June 17, 2010

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Thursday, June 17, 2010


Kern River Valley Fire Safe Council Electronic Meeting 6/17/10

Attendance via web: Lloyd Smith, Ed Royce, Gordon Ehmann, Christine Hancock, Gordon Hancock, Sharon Rooney, Chris Horgan, Patrick Pontes and Kimberley Cushman

President's Activities: 

+ Lloyd signed the remaining documentation for the Domestic Cooperative Agreement for the Alta Sierra and Wofford Heights Fuel Reduction Project with District Ranger, Rick Larson, on June 1 (80 miles for match). A draft news article was developed and passed to Cody Norris, Forest Service Public Information Officer, for release. 
+ Lloyd updated registration in the Central Contractors Registration (CCR), required for all grants for direct federal funding, so that Sharon Rooney is an alternate administrator for the council. 
+ Lloyd exchanged emails and held several conversations with Supervisor McQuiston and KCFD Chief Dunn about the criticality of fire crews to support fuel reduction projects. The KCFD commitment to the grant project, made over a year ago, and the existence of money in the bank were argued that the issue is not one of funding, but rather a personnel management issue between permanent and seasonal employees. 
+ Attended the Board of Supervisor's budget review meeting to express the concerns of all three county fire safe councils with regard to the grant funded fuel reduction projects (150 miles for matching). If permanent crews are used to complete the work (higher costs than seasonal workers), then less acreage for the same funds. No clear path to resolution, but the councils need to be involved in any solution that would result in less acreage for the grant funding. 
+ Lloyd provided all of the documentation for the Domestic Cooperative Agreement to the Mt Pinos council and the Los Padres Forest so that the could replicate as much as possible for their similar grant proposal.

Treasurer's Report: 

We received $2,500 from State Farm Insurance & and $100 donations each from Kennedy Meadows POA, Frontier Trails & Lake Isabella Bodfish POA.

A Check for $67.50 was sent to Zephyr Assoc for Web Site fees.

A check for $2,235 was paid to Patrick Pontes: ($1,155 for Burma project & $1,080 for the Bodfish III project).

The taxes were completed and a check for $311 was paid to H & R Block, $10 to California Franchise Tax Board & $75 to Attorney General Registry of Charitable Trusts.

Website Committee Report:

Minutes for April were posted, along with three news articles from the KV Sun and other updates.

Fund Raising Committee: 

A total of $1,675 has been donated this calendar year. Received contributions from the Frontier Trails Homeowner's Association ($100), and the Lake Isabella-Bodfish Property Owner's Association ($100) since the May reporting period. A grant request to Southern California Edison (SCE) was prepared and sent in March, was funded for $250. The timely funding of the grant in June was facilitated by Debbie Hess of SCE. Thank you letters have been sent.

Education Committee/Speaker's Bureau: 

Christine and Gordon ran the Fire Safe Booth at the Health Fair and they find that other booths have items to give away such as stickers, pins etc. People seem to be more likely to stop at a booth and learn about the program if a giveaway item is available They would like the Council to order In Case of Emergency Pet Notification Pet stickers that people can post on their doors to let fireman know about pets in the home to be rescued in case of fire Chris would like to make a motion to order 200 stickers at 0.27 each for a total of $62.95 including shipping. Please vote on for the July meeting minutes.

Chris gave a Fire Safe presentation to the Audubon Society on 6/5 and it was well received although poorly attended. Reed Tollefson and Shawna Cortez of the Audubon were very appreciative. In addition to the presentation we watched a Fire Video and we ran everyone through the Fire Analysis where they learned about way to improve fire safety on the property. Christine, Gordon and Ed also attended on behalf of the Fire Safe Council and were able to provide additional information during the presentation Ed ran the group through and on site analysis of the structures on the property

Thanks to Christine, Ed and Gordon for all your efforts to educate the public regarding fire safety.

Lloyd delivered a presentation to the Sequoia Amateur Radio Group at their 12 June meeting in Lake Isabella (75 miles for matching). Gordon Hancock, a prospective member of the group, was able to add valuable comments about the fire council's work.

Lloyd contacted Steve Griffin, Forest Service-Kernville, to make arrangements for the roadside signs to be rotated during July.

Grants Committee:

Report Patrick's detailed report is attached. Briefly: All clearances have been completed for our 2010 projects funded through the state FSC (Burma and Bodfish III), and the first increment of funding has been received. We are waiting for KCFD crews to be 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.

All agreements and commitments to carry out the Forest Service $300k, three-year Alta Sierra-Wofford Heights fuel reduction project have been signed. We had thought that this project was also held up waiting for KCFD seasonal crews but have just learned that some chipping work has already been done near Alta Sierra using permanent crews.

It appears that KCFD may not hire seasonal crews this summer because of budget constraints. A proposal is to do all the fuel reduction work (about $1 million between the three FSC's) using only permanent crews. Lloyd has been following this issue; it is currently unresolved.

Chipper Day Committee:

Kennedy Meadows Report, June, 2010. The annual Memorial Day KMPOA road cleanup (17 miles), barbeque, and meeting at the fire station drew over 70 property owners. We had excellent representation from the Forest Service, BLM, Tulare County Fire, and Tulare County Sheriff. Our Tulare County Supervisor, Mike Ennis (who's running for re-election), attended as he has every year he's been in office. That weekend the local first aid team and volunteer fire department (actually paid call) raised over $800 with a bake sale and raffle. 

Mike Ennis has donated $1,000 from his "good works funds" to the first aid team and fire department for each of the last three years and has donated another $800 this year, in spite of budget constraints. Mike has a second home in the Sequoia Crest subdivision on the west side, so he understands mountain communities. Prior to the meeting, the fire department folks did a massive fuel reduction and cleanup around the fire station, so that it now meets defensible space guidelines (more or less).

BLM brought their chipper and a crew of four (plus Debbie!) up Friday the 11th, and we had a good day chipping at six properties. We're trying to discourage folks from burning their slash.

Publicity Committee: 

I wanted to thank Chris for the presentation at the Preserve. Also thanks to Chris and Gordon Hancock for their show participation and getting the news out on the KRVFSC at the Health Fair.



June 10, 2010

Bodfish III Fuel Reduction Project

When KCFD crews come on we will be ready to begin work. As of June 9th, no work has been done on the project and there has been no decision on crew on-dates.

The 3rd Quarter Accomplishment Report ends June 30th and is due to CFSC by July 30th. Please continue to keep track of your "Match" meeting hours and mileages for our 3rd Quarter Report.

Burma Interagency Extension Project: Same status as Bodfish III above.

FS/KRVFSC Alta Sierra Grant- The Grant Project is now finalized and work can begin. The project consists of 200 acres of roadside brushing, maintenance of existing fuelbreaks adjacent to communities and further cleanup of a timber sale area for a cost of $300,000. The following documents have been completed and the appropriate signatures are secured: 1) Domestic Cooperative Agreement between the FS (Sequoia NF) and KRVFSC, 2) Commitment Letter Agreement between KCFD and KRVFSC, 3) Revised Alta Sierra Project Proposal and map, 4) Work Plan Schedule between the FS (Kernville Office) and KRVFSC, and 5) FS Project Decision document. Ed/Lloyd may provide additional information on this project.

The project status is the same as Bodfish III and Burma above-- we are in a holding pattern regarding the decision on Kern County Fire Crews.

2011 Grant Proposals- We are still waiting for word from the State on the projects selected by the review panel. We should hear the results any day now.

CFSC News/Update-- No news update to report from CFSC at this time.

--Patrick G. Pontes 
   Kern River Valley FSC, Grants Administrator

Kern River Valley Fire Safe Council ● PO Box 633, Kernville, CA 93238

General information: Lloyd Smith ● (760) 377-3542

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