February 17, 2011

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Kern River Valley Fire Safe Council 

Stakeholders Meeting

Attendance: Terry Bolt, Don Brady, David Brinsfield, Ken Delfino, Ruth Ellison, Tom Gelder, Dennis Greenoe, Christine Hancock, Gordon Hancock, Mike Lanza, Patrick Pontes, Robert Robinson, Sharon Rooney, Ed Royce, Chad Saeler, Penelope Shibley, Lloyd Smith

President's Activities:

  • President Smith attended the Exchange Club Firefighter of the Year banquet where Derrick Davis (KCFD) was honored.
  • The January 2011 Update of the Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) was completed.
  • President Smith discussed the RAC Demonstration Lots and Hardship Grant and what was proposed.  He remarked that he had been working on creating a "Firewise Community" with the Kern River Valley Revitalization group. He pointed out that a Firewise Community is a structured educational process. He has not received a response from KRVR yet.
  • Regarding referring fuel reduction vendors to the Living Green Festival, he reminded the Council that the Fire Safe Council's general philosophy was not to make any endorsements.

Treasurer's Report - Sharon Rooney:

Sharon Rooney highlighted the major points of the 2010 budget year, including that the Council had secured $218,450 in grants, that our checking account still had a large balance ($135,540) but that was because several large expenditures had not been paid yet, that our contributions goal was short of budget projections and that we didn't spend all of our education allocation. (See attached report)
Ms. Rooney said she was almost finished with the 2011 Budget and would present it at the next meeting


Review and status of the California Fire Safe Council Grants for 2010 and 2011- Patrick Pontes, KRVFSC Grant Administrator - Mr. Pontes discussed the various fuel hazard, defensible space and fuel break projects that were underway and the progress made on each. He pointed out that these grants could be used on private lands and for education and signage. He also mentioned that there were over 200 fire safe councils within CA competing for grant funding.

Review and status of the USFS Alta Sierra and Wofford Heights Fuel Reduction Project - Ken Delfino, KRVFSC Grant Administrator - The Alta Sierra and Wooford Heights project, was started in 2010 and goes over twelve quarters. The project is still in its first stage and has cleared about 38 acres and burned a number of brush piles. This was funded by the USFS for $300,000. About $277,500 will be paid to Kern County Fire, $21,000 will be paid for grant administration, and the council will retain $1,500 for operating costs. Brushing will also be done along Route 155 and Old State Road for a project total of 200 acres.

Committee Activity Reports:

Grants - Ed Royce, Patrick Pontes and Ken Delfino:

Proposal for 2012 CFSC clearinghouse grant project - Our collaborative meeting was held in October with the USFS, BLM, Kern County Fire, and the KRVFSC. This meeting involved looking at the various projects and prioritizing them. The CA Fire Safe Council receives federal monies for these projects and then serves as a state clearinghouse. CFSC uses an on-line process and consistent criteria to evaluate the proposals. The State selects a panel of experts that reviews the applications and scores them. Awards are made in June, based on their merits. The receiving organizations must meet certain requirements, including being a not-for-profit organization, have liability insurance, etc.

  • Grant writing workshop - this is still in process
  • Valley View assessment visit and grant proposal initiatives - The USFS has a project defined to do fuel reduction surrounding the community. A presentation was done in the community by Ed Royce. More work needs to be done on private land. It makes sense to look at this for the 2013 planning process. It needs to be looked at by a professional. There are only a few cabins there but the community is motivated to be involved.
  • Breckenridge assessment and grant proposal initiatives - At Breckenridge, there are isolated lots that are surrounded by USFS lands. The USFS is planning a defensible space project on their land and when that is done the project should be re-evaluated.
  • As for ongoing grant proposal initiatives, there are four projects ongoing - tying together the Burma Road project's different phases, the Bodfish project is in its 3rd phase, the Lake Isabella field break project is ongoing and the Mountain Shadows project will take place in 2011. (See attached overview of projects)
  • RAC proposal opportunities - June 1st is the end of the cycle. All these projects are one-time efforts.

Fundraising - Lloyd Smith:

  • Total contributions raised in 2010 - $3235
  • 2010 Honor Role provided for website update (which was completed in January, 2011)
  • Kern Community Foundation workshops

Chipper Days - Lloyd Smith (for Don Davis):

  • Don Davis will be Chipper Day Committee Chair
  • KCFD would like to get started immediately (Crew 7)
  • Possibility of roaming chipper days - to be advertised
  • Requests from Alta Sierra (June 4th), Walker Pass (March), and Squirrel Valley (May 22nd)
  • These should be coordinated with Crew 7's Jimmy Rocca. The USFS and BLM may be able to help

Website - Ed Royce:
A massive update was just completed in January so it is all current except the newly elected board of directors and officers.

Education/Speakers Bureau- Lloyd Smith:

  • Valley View Property Owner's presentation - December 11, 2010 - Royce and Washington
  • Exchange Club presentation - "Wildfire Fire Protection", January 13, 2011 - Smith and Scott Williams (USFS)
  • Roadside sign rotation in March (USFS Whiskey Flat Fire Module (Crew 40 led by Chris Scott)
  • Discussion was had involving the local schools - to be delayed until the Board has a chance to discuss strategies

Agency Reports:

Kern County Fire Department - Don Brady and Chad Saeler

  • Chipper Days constraints - may be difficult to schedule considering their workload
  • Living with Fire brochure - KCFD will not be providing financial support. Last year with KCFD and State Farm, support 19,000 were distributed in May, 2010. Other fire councils are using ads. Possibility of using our unspent educational funds to create a package of materials. Discussion was had as to most effective way to distribute. Kern Valley Sun offered to get involved in a way that would make it self-sustaining. Lloyd Smith has action.
  • Hazard Reduction Service Providers (Station 71) - this crew does the training typically but it didn't happen in 2010. A different process is being initiated by KCFFD. KRVFSC is willing to place a Providers list on their website

USFS - Penelope Shibley

  • Personnel Changes at USFS - Nickie Washington now with BLM, Ernie Villa will replace her, Bart Kicklighter is the new person on Fuels, Scott Williams is still consulting
  • The Forest Service didn't get funded for a $6 million grant which they expected
  • The Old Sawmill Project will be renamed the Oakridge Project. This was started in 2005 but stalled.
  • There was a public outreach meeting held in Alta Sierra regarding 4000 acres there
  • The Ice project is stalled in court

BLM - David Brinsfield

  • Most of BLM's efforts currently have been on fixing roads with heavy equipment, including working on Old State Road
  • They have been spending much of their efforts in the Three Rivers area but plan to come back to Lake Isabella in 2012
  • There is a Chipper Day scheduled with Kennedy Meadows
  • There will be an education project started in the Kern Valley in mid-March
  • There are some minor personnel changes contemplated, including moving Ruth Ellison into more of a coordinating role with the captains doing more of the work themselves

Election of 2011 Board of Directors - Terry Bolt, Don Davis, Tom Gelder, Christine Hancock, Gordon Hancock, Sharon Rooney, Ed Royce and Lloyd Smith were nominated. Ed Royce moved that the nominees be elected, Tom Gelder seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous in favor of their election to the board.

Next KRVFSC Meeting: Thursday, May 19, 2011, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in Supervisor McQuiston's conference room, 7050 Lake Isabella Blvd, Lake Isabella, CA 93240

Kern River Valley Fire Safe Council, Board Meeting

Attendance: Terry Bolt, Tom Gelder, Christine Hancock, Gordon Hancock, Ed Royce, and Lloyd Smith

The meeting was called to order by President Lloyd Smith at the conclusion of the KRVFSC's Stakeholders Meeting for the purpose of electing officers for the board for 2011 and to discuss areas of focus for the upcoming year.

Lloyd Smith agreed to serve as president for another year, Sharon Rooney told Lloyd Smith that she would agree to serve as Treasurer for another year, Tom Gelder volunteered to serve as Secretary, Terry Bolt volunteered to serve as the Education Committee chair, Ed Royce agreed to serve as Grants Committee chair, Lloyd Smith said that Don Davis had agreed to serve as the Chipper Days Committee chair, Ed Royce volunteered to oversee the Website with the help of a consultant we have used from Kennedy Meadows. With no further candidates to consider, Lloyd Smith moved that nominations be closed and that the aforementioned people be elected as officers. Ed Royce seconded the motion and the vote in favor was unanimous.

President Smith then outlined his vision for the coming year:

  • More emphasis on education
  • Because of so many ongoing projects, it might make sense as a strategy for 2012 to go back and do maintenance on our previous projects
  • There is a desperate need to recruit more volunteers to help with the Council
  • The focus for 2011 was to secure grants and that strategy worked well

President Smith then suggested that the Board meet in the near future to discuss our strategy for the coming year. He said he would find a location and date and notify the board. The meeting was adjourned.

The next board meeting has subsequently been set for Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at 8:30 a.m. in the conference room of the USFS in Kernville.

Committee Reports (Electronic Meeting)

President's Activities-Lloyd Smith

+ Signed and returned the Domestic Grant 11-DG-11051352-042 with the USFS for Defensible Space Demonstrations and Hardship Cases on 2/10/2011. We have requested a onetime payment of $6,000.

+ Received request for hardship assistance from representative on In Home Support Services. Initiated review of request, personally looked at the property and request Don Davis (or a KCFD representative from Lake Isabella) to look at the property to determine if there is a real fire threat. No determination has been made yet. (75 miles match)

+ Completed developing updates (January 2011) for the KRVFSC CWPP and Fuels Projects Plan. Produced CDROM and distributed via email to those that could receive. Produced two hard copies (thanks to USFS in Kernville). Provided the update to CFSC and the California Fire Alliance. (75 miles match)

+ Attended the Kern Valley Chamber of Commerce Man and Woman of the Year banquet visiting with Ben McFarland (Congressman McCarthy’s representative), Supervisor McQuiston and his new representative Lori Acton, and Javier Reyes representative for State Assemblywoman Shannon Groves. (75 miles match)

+ Assembled and sent pictures/logo to CFSC for Bruce Turbeville’s (CEO of CFSC) retirement.

+ Referred several vendors to the Living Green festival sponsored by the Kern River Valley Revitalization (KRVR) as a place to showcase their products.

+ Developed rational and benefits statement for KRVR BoD to evaluate collaborating with the KRVFSC on a Firewise Community.

+ Received notification of public workshop on the Kern River Valley Specific Plan on Wednesday, 23 February, at the Kern Valley Veteran’s Building at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM.

+ Developed and distributed agenda for 17 February Stakeholder’s meeting.

+ Updated KRVFSC contact list and email addresses.

Fund Raising Committee

+ Received workshop schedule from Kern Community Foundation. We need to try an attend one of these workshops in March.

Education Committee/Speaker's Bureau

+ Discussed alternatives for Living With Fire production and distribution with Marsha Smith, publisher of Kern Valley Sun. Marsha will research alternative and provide estimated costs.

Chipper Days

+ Received email from Derrick Davis requesting that we attempt to start chipper days in February since KCFD will probably only have Crew 7 in the Kern River Valley this season. I share this request with Don Davis and we developed a strategy that should work under these circumstances. Walker Pass has requested a March date. Don will develop articles for the newspaper to encourage this early start.

+ Received chipper day request from Greenhorn Mountain POA for 4 June.

+ Reviewed previous (2009) Hazard Reduction Service Providers list. This was produced by Station 71 (Lake Isabella) following a mandatory training. Don Davis will determine if there will be training this year and an update of the list.

Board of Directors Nominees

+ We will elect new board of directors at 17 February Stakeholder's meeting.

+ New officers will be elected by the new BoD immediately after the Stakeholder's meeting.

+ I have attached the conflict of interest form that you must sign each year as a director.

Website Committee Report: Web site has been updated as follows:

Items updated or replaced:

-- 2011 Calendar -- replacement
-- Council History -- replacement/update -- Link at the bottom of the "About Us" page
-- 2010 Honor roll -- to replace the 2009 Honor Roll -- Link on the "About Us" page
-- 2010 Minutes formatted in the format we have used in the past on the web site (Link on the "About Us" page) -- August (complete, replacement for the partial previously posted), September, October, November (partial), December.
-- Projects update -- Replacement material for the "Projects" page
-- 2011 CWPP -- Links on the "Home" page and elsewhere. (Will be posted in a day or two.)
-- Projects listing from the 2011 CWPP -- Links on the "Home" page and elsewhere.

Outdated materials in the news section were cleaned out. The Bull Fire Follow-Up report (Success Story) was posted.

The name, phone number, and e-mail for Don Davis, our new Chipper Dude, was added to the "Chipper Day" page and the "About Us" page.

Grants Committee Report

Ongoing 2010 Projects: The 2010 Burma Interagency Extension Project is completed except for ongoing restoration work on Rogers Road. The 2010 Bodfish III project is nearly completed, except for burning slash piles. Patrick Pontes' report is attached. Acrages completed will be available at the stakeholder's meeting.

Crews have completed about 32 acres on the USFS three-year Alta Sierra-Wofford Heights Project, all cleanup in the timber sale area. Pile burning is nearly complete.

2011 Projects: We are awaiting environmental clearance from the BLM for Lake Isabella and Mountain Shadows. A mixup on the subaward letters with the state FSC on these projects has been cleared up. Lloyd has resent the signed Lake Isabella letter, and we will receive a new copy of the Mountain Shadows letter for signature. There appears to have been a hiccup in the mail system somewhere.

2012 Proposals: The deadline for proposal submission has been extended to 1 June 2011. Workshops will be held before then -- schedule not yet available.




March 10, 2011

2010 Bodfish III Fuel Reduction Project-

The project is almost complete with one narrow strip of brush left to be cut near the toe of the slope. Chad reports there are between 75 and 100 piles remaining to be burned. Again, if you get a chance to visit the project it is visible from the road and looks great.

The final Quarter Accomplishment Report ends March 31st and is due April 30th. Please continue to keep track of your "Match" hours and mileage for the March Quarterly Accomplishment Report.

2010 Burma Interagency Extension Project-

The crew has completed the 35 acre Burma portion of the project and is working on the 6 acre Rogers Road maintenance section.

The final Quarter Accomplishment Report ends March 31st and is due April 30th. Again, continue to keep track of your "Match" meeting hours and mileages as they will be applied toward the 2011 projects.

2011 Lake Isabella Project- We are waiting for the Arch Report review to be completed by BLM. We should receive our initial payment ($5,000) soon. The 1st Quarter Accomplishment Rpt for the project ended January 31st and was submitted on February 28th. KCFD's worksheets were not available and will be included in next quarter's report.

2011 Mountain Shadows Project- The project is in the same status as Lake Isabella's; we are waiting for the final Archaeology Report approval and biological requirements from BLM. The Quarterly Accomplishment Report is the same as Lake Isabella above.

CFSC News/Update- The most recent information (2/28/11) regarding 2012 Grants is that the Application deadline will be June 1st. The new date provides more time for CFSC and applicants to learn of the details of match requirements and program priorities. CFSC is proposing 6 Workshops in California, but they haven't decided on the format. They are considering several options, including live/interactive teleconference, workbooks on CD, downloadable PDF and printed materials

Patrick G. Pontes
Kern River Valley FSC, Grant Administrator


Kern River Valley Fire Safe C-uncil ● PO Box 633, Kernville, CA 93238

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

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