Attendance via email: Lloyd Smith, Ed Royce, Sharon Rooney, Gordon Ehmann,
Christine Hancock, Gordon Hancock, Gordon Ehmann, Chris Horgan, Patrick Pontes
and Kimberley Cushman.
+ I continued to work with Ben McFarland, Congressman McCarthy's
representative, on the National Fire Plan reauthorization. The authorization is
included in H.R. 4578 "The Department of the Interior and Related Agencies
Appropriations Act of 2001" (106th Congress). I have provided comments that
would apply to new authorization.
+ I attended the Kern Fire Safe Council meeting 17 March 2010. A final review of
Living With Fire was completed. I took an action to prepare an application for a
State Farm grant to provide funds for printing and distribution (A $2,500 grant
was awarded (4/9/2010) for printing and distribution of Living With Fire for the
three councils in Kern County). Battalion Chief Bob Lechtreck announced his
retirement for 2 April. Battalion Chief Don Brady was introduced as the possible
+ I had an extensive discussion with Tim Smith, BLM Bakersfield District, as a
follow up to my letter to each of the agencies. Tim agreed to provide a
presentation on the BLM activities and priorities at our 20 May 2010 meeting.
+ I attended the California Fire Alliance meeting in Fresno on 24 March 2010.
Many source of educational material were identified and have been passed to
+ I responded to a UC Berkeley researcher doing a survey on the development and
stakeholder participation of the CALFIRE mandated Wildfire Management Plans that
each contract county (Kern County is a contract county) is required to prepare
each year. I had never seen the plan before, nor had Ed Royce. The KRVFSC is
definitely a stakeholder in this document where the KRVFSC CWPP and grants are
cited. I will investigate further how the plan was developed by KCFD.
+ I visited with the new Public Information Officer (PIO) for the USFS, Cody
Norris. Since Cody is new to the area I shared what the council does and how,
and then invited him to our events (meetings, projects, and chipper days).
+ I will be developing the agenda for the 20 May 2010, 0930 to 1130, meeting
next week. I plan to turn the meeting around by having the presentation first
(30 minutes), then the committee reports, then the agency reports. Please plan
to have your committee report organized so as to facilitate the process.
This month Sharon Rooney received a $175 donation check from Kern Valley
Exchange Club and $250 donation check from Ed Royce.
This month the bills that were paid are $340.00 to Sierra Signs for the road
sign stickers and $212.75 for the Web Site.
Patrick has submitted and Ed Royce have approved detailed invoices covering his
work monitoring the Bodfish II and Pala Grant projects. Payment of these
invoices will zero out those accounts. These invoices document additional effort
on these two projects, totaling $190. In view of all the truly superior work
that Patrick has done for us, I propose that we also reimburse him for this
amount out of our general fund. We are not required to do this by our contract
with Patrick, however. I ask Board approval by "reply to" for this
expenditure. Lloyd Smith seconds and six yes votes
+ Lloyd developed and sent a request to Southern California Edison (Debbie
Hess) for support of the KRVFSC.
+ Lloyd sent a thank you letter to Atchison Propane for their in-kind
contribution of printing and distributing the one-page information sheet.
+ Total cash contributions through 12 April are $875.00.
Education Committee Report
+ Lloyd retrieved the Walker Pass roadside sign frame materials from USFS
Kernville, and complete the restoration, fabrication, and reinstallation (84
miles for match).
+ Lloyd picked up the new website stickers from Chris Horgan and returned the
display board (use at the Fire Alliance meeting in Fresno) to Christine Hancock
(88 miles for match).
+ On 7 April, with the assistance of Matthew Quezada and Shawn Rambo of the
Forest Service, rotated the message boards and put the new website stickers on
the signs at Paul's Place, Walker Basin, and Borel (190 miles for match). Lloyd
also installed the website stickers on all of the other message boards. Lloyd
returned the spreader that Sierra Sign loan us to install the stickers. The
sticker project is completed, thanks Chris Horgan.
+ I am scheduled to give a 15 minute presentation at the Kern Valley Exchange
Club meeting on 22 April (75 miles for match). Thank you Patrick Pontes for
provided many current photos of the 2009 and 2010 grant project
Atchison Propane has sent out about 1000 Fire Safe Info sheets along with the
bills this month and will send them out again next month, since the bills are
not necessarily to the same people each month
Atchison Propane printed and mailed them and no cost to the Fire Safe
Chris Horgan developed the Info Sheets using data provided in other Fire Safe
material, laws or regulations and created the artwork all at no charge
Kern County, BLM & Forest Service have asked to be added to the Fire Safe
Info Sheet as endorsement
Kern Sun will be printing the info sheet in the paper sometime over the next
month as space permits
Debbie Santiago-BLM hopes to be able to help with the Fire Safe Talk 6/5 at
Audubon Society if she is not on a fire
Stickers have been printed to replace the old web address on Fire Safe signs
and Lloyd is working on installing them with the Forest Service
The State Farm grant for the distribution of Living With Fire has been
approved. The $2,500 check is being mailed to me and I will get it to Sharon for
deposit. The grant application I prepared was for the benefit of all three fire
councils in Kern County. The $2,500 will be disbursed in proportion to the
number of Living With Fire each council receives. The decision to print 22,000
Living With Fire has been made and went to the printer last week with Kern
County Fire Department paying $2,500 (about 19,000copies). So the State Farm
grant is to be use to pay for the additional 3,000 and distribution.
Website Committee Report
The following updates to the web site have been made: changed Board and
officers, changed contact numbers in several places, new honor roll, project
descriptions updated to reflect completion of 2009 projects and addition of 2010
projects, new calendar, Minutes posted, additional news stories and the
elimination of old news. There are a few glitches that need correction (most
notably the KRV CWPP in four parts rather than as a single file).
We will do another consolidated update later this month -- fixing glitches
and adding minutes. Please let me know any other changes you-all would like to
have. Also, the Council/Board/Education Committee needs to decide what it wants
to have posted on the website for Wildfire Awareness Week. For example, do we
have a file of the current version of Living with Fire that could be posted?
Lloyd? Please get any changes to me by the 23rd.
Grants Committee Report
Patrick Pontes' detailed report is attached. Briefly: (1) Final closeout
documentation for the 2009 fuel reduction projects (Paiute Meadow, Pala, and
Bodfish II) has been submitted. This includes before and after photos, and
Patrick has offered to make a power point presentation to the Council of these
photos if there is interest. Lloyd? (2) All clearances have been completed for
our 2010 projects (Burma and Bodfish III). Funds are now promised to arrive
electronically on the 26th: 39.1k for Bodfish III and 44.7k for Burma. Project
work will start when KCFD has crews available.
Our 2011 fuel reduction project proposals (Lake Isabella and Pala II aka
Mountain Shadows) are with the state evaluation panel run by the state FSC. We
will learn if they are to be funded on June 14th. Cathy Brooke reports via
Patrick that approximate total funds statewide available are 200k from the BLM
and 9 mill for the USFS (plus a trivial amount for the NPS). (Last year these
funds totaled about 20 mill.) Total submissions are in excess of these amounts
by some 40 mill, so the competition will be even more severe than before.
Congressman Nunes (Tulare County) has stated he will support continued
appropriations for fuel reduction work under the National Fire Plan (phone call
from a staffer), and Lloyd continues to work with Congressman McCarthy's staff
on the issue.
As indicated in the president's report, the Forest Service has decided to
fund a 300k, 3-year Alta Sierra-Wofford Heights fuel reduction project through
the KRVFSC. Lloyd has worked out the needed documentation with Nickie Washington
of the Forest Service, and that documentation (a "Cooperative
Agreement") is under review with the Forest Service fiscal folks. Patrick
and Ed met with Kern Fire folks on the 13th to work out the details of making
the KCFD a "subgrantee" or "subrecipient." The meeting went
well, and documentation will be by a "letter of commitment" from the
KCFD to do the work and to meet all of the terms and conditions the Forest
Service is laying on the FSC. Progress will be tracked quarterly. All
(quarterly) reports from the Fire Department will go to the FSC (Patrick), to
support the FSC's quarterly reports to the Forest Service. Operationally, the
project will be handled by Patrick in the same way as our other fuel reduction
projects, except that Patrick's (KRVFSC) reports will go to the Forest Service,
rather than the state FSC.
Attending the meeting from the Forest Service were Derrick Davis and Don
Brady. Bob Lechtreck's job has been abolished, and Don has been assigned the
duties of that position, in addition to his current duties (battalion chief?) in
charge of aviation operations. Whether or not he will attend our meetings
remains to be seen.
As indicated in the last report, Ed continued to participate in the planning
of a potential Forest Service fuel reduction project on Greenhorn/Sawmill Ridge
+ We received a letter from the Sequoia National Forest that we would receive
funding for the grant proposal that was prepared during December 2009. The grant
project titled is Alta Sierra and Wofford Heights Fuels Reduction Project. The
total value is $300,000 over a three year period. I took the action to prepare
the necessary documentation (thirteen separate forms) for the KRVFSC to receive
the funding from the USFS, and took the completed signed package to Kernville
(84 miles for match). Nickie Washington of USFS is our principal point of
contact, and she will forward the documents to the USFS contracts person. Ed
Royce and Patrick Pontes will work on an agreement between KRVFSC and KCFD to
execute the project.
Publicity Committee Report
The Courier included the Fire Safe Brochure in all 5000 of their papers last
week. Thanks very much to Christine and Gordon for helping to stuff the papers
with the Courier staff
The Sun included 4500 in their papers
Thanks both to the Sun and the Courier for including the Fire Safe Brochure at
We have 500 copies of the Fire Safe Brochure remaining for distribution, plus
perhaps 500 of last years at Lloyd's house.
CHIPPER DAY COMMITTEE REPORT
The new Chipper Day Committee met for the first time in February, 2010, at
committee chair Gordon Ehmann's home. The committee members are listed on the
attached "Chipper Day Contacts" list. Initial planning for handling
Chipper Day requests and events was discussed. All subsequent committee activity
has been via email and telephone.
Currently, five (5) communities have requested a Chipper Day event (see
attached "Chipper Day Schedule"). Kern County Fire Department's (KCFD)
says their commitment to this schedule is very tentative due to shortages of
personnel and funding. Extensive discussions with our contacts (Captain Loren
Lange and Battalion Chief Don Brady) about feasible alternatives are continuing
as well as KVFSC President Lloyd Smith's continuing contacts with Supervisor Jon
McQuiston and his staff on this matter. Each of the five communities has been
told that Chipper Day action may not take place as scheduled and may be as late
as July. Suggestions to "firesafe" their piles has been made. It's
possible that Camp Owen will be able to help with this. We are being told that
KCFD will be "understanding" about the chipper piles that will be
present during the June fire hazard inspections.
There are KCFD personnel in Kern River Valley on duty and trained for Chipper
Day activities and the FireSafe Council chipper is fully maintained and ready
for use. Additionally, a crew from Camp Owen's Boys Camp is available (and
assigned) to help with all Chipper Day activities as well (except for the Walker
Pass event that they will not be participating in). All this is, of course,
dependant upon Kern County deciding that this is where they would spend funding
and not somewhere else due to the tight budget and the necessary political
posturing that inevitably and necessarily takes place when funding is
Bottom line…. Chipper Day events could logistically take place as planned,
but the KCFD personnel and funding issues probably won't be worked out until
well into June or July and we can only put the five communities on a
"hold" until this situation clears up. That's all that can be done for