August 2007

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Board of Directors and General Meeting
Thursday, August 16, 2007

Those present: Christine and Gordon Hancock, Scott Williams, Debbie Santiago, Ken Stevens, Mike Ryan, Bob and Linda Kubisiak, Emily Diggles, Ed Royce, Lloyd Smith, Bob Robinson, and Robin Wyatt-Little.

President Ed Royce convened the meeting at 8:30 AM. Introductions were made: Bob and Linda Kubisiak were new guests from Frontier Trail Homeowners Assn.

Minutes: Motion to approve – Lloyd smith. Second – Gordon Hancock.
Unanimous approval.

Treasurer’s report: Christine Hancock reports the KRV FSC operating account balance of $3,721.54. Grant balances are: Sequoia Crest - $5000.00 and State Farm - $1,648.78. Motion to approve – Emily Diggles. Second – Robin Wyatt-Little. Unanimous approval. Clarification determined regarding invoices for Newspaper inserts. Christine will check with the Kern Valley sun and Ken Stevens will check with the Bakersfield Californian.

Grants: Patrick Pontes tells us no news as yet on pending grant applications. He is hopeful we will hear soon from BLM regarding Bodfish Canyon and Kennedy Meadows environmental clearances. Patrick is also working on two grant projects for the Tehachapi FSC: Golden Hills fuel reduction project and Alpine Forest road brushing. Patrick has received a sample copy of the Ojai “License to Enter” letter for projects on private land.

Patrick visited the recent wildfire area of South Lake Tahoe, visiting friends whose home was spared during the wildfire. He showed us an impressive CD which graphically illustrates the devastation. Patrick offered his views on why some homes were destroyed and yet others next to them were not. Winds (35-40 mph), embers and defensible space played a big part in the mosaic of devastation within neighborhoods, covering a total of 3,100 acres. A total of 242 homes and 67 commercial buildings were destroyed. There is a proposal for the Federal Government to spend 217.5 million dollars for fuel treatment projects on 67 acres between 2007 – 2017 in the Tahoe Lake region.

Lloyd suggests our FSC might begin reiterating the basics of defensible space techniques during our programs and in our publicity. He also suggested the possibility of the FSC and its’ partners hosting a community-wide meeting to better reach people and educate them about defensible space treatment successes. Ed suggests an article praising the success of defensible space in the event of a wildfire. Emily volunteered to write the article.

Fundraising: Lloyd Smith reports “all quiet on the fundraising front.” Lloyd will coordinate a photo-op with the local papers when he presents a local merchant with a FSC Sustaining Member “sticker/logo” for their office. Lloyd will be developing letters for the KRV business community.

Road Signs: Scott Williams said the signs are ready. Cindy Thill is coordinating with the County and State in an attempt to site the sign locations ahead of time so we can install them on a more flexible schedule rather than trying to schedule everyone for the actual installations. In the meantime, the Walker Pass sign will be replaced and Lloyd will arrange for a photo opportunity for the local papers.

Kern County FSC: Ken Stevens reports the next meeting will be September 26th, Wednesday, 1:30 PM at 5642 Victor Street, Bakersfield.

New Business: Lloyd smith asked Scott Williams of the Forest Service and Debbie Santiago from BLM if their agencies had a policy/guidelines for rehabilitation of a burned area? Scott tells us the usual criteria to qualify for rehab of a burned area is if more than 300 acres are affected and if there is a danger of potential runoff which would affect private property and/or damage infrastructure. Debbie Santiago said that BLM would remove hazard trees if near utilities and/or homes. Agency budgets are stretched at this juncture. Lloyd inquired as to areas of less than 300 acres and raised the question would it be reasonable for the FSC to endorse/participate in rehab/cleaning of small burned areas. No action taken.

Gordon Hancock inquired as to KCFD guidelines regarding vacant lots and the need to have these lots cleared during fire season. Ken Stevens explained that these lots, if cleared by the June 9th deadline early in the year, have fulfilled the requirements providing there is no threat to structures or if the lot is adjacent to the roadside.

It was agreed that the new BLM Bakersfield Field Manager Tim Smith and newly appointed Sequoia Forest District Ranger Rick Larsen be formally invited to attend next months’ FSC meting.

Sequoia Crest Community Wildfire Protection Plan quarterly report by Ken Delfino was given by Ed Royce. Ken met with Harry Love, President of the Alder Creek FSC April 20, 2007. A contract was completed in May, 2007. Ken toured the project area with local residents and spent time on site during June, 2007 evaluating 100 properties. Only two residents denied access to their properties. Ken will revisit the site in late august, making estimates of parcel(s) and adjacent lands fuel loading. Ken’s goal is to have the evaluations ready for presentation at the POA fall meeting on September 2, 2007. This project is on schedule.

Bob Robinson reports that plans for the September 22n Native Plant Sale are on schedule. Bob distributed order forms to the FSC attendees and tells us that the plant order form can be downloaded from the website. Bob and others have compiled lists of native plants which will be available also. To view photos of these plants Bob suggests we check out

BLM: Debbie Santiago suggests that Walker Pass does not require it’s own CWPP as that area is already covered in the KRV CWPP. There will be scoping of the wilderness boundaries to determine future fuels projects adjacent to private lands. Scott Williams said that the FS has been tasked to develop a fuel break around the Jacks’ Creek area on FS lands. Scott would like to schedule a meeting with the area residents, the FS and BLM to plan these future projects.

Scott Williams would like to schedule the Collaboration Group meeting for October 18th, Thursday, immediately following the FSC monthly meeting. Scott displayed the Collaborative’ project book with CD and said additional copies are being printed for participants. Kudos to Scott for this effort!

Ed Royce gave an overview of the Sierra Conservancy grant guidelines. Discussion followed regarding FSC grant opportunities with the Conservancy. This is a first-come, first-serve process and license-to-enter waivers must accompany the initial application. There is no deadline for applications so it appears that the funds will be distributed quickly.

Debbie Santiago reports that the ZACA Fire is 67% contained and has burned 110k acres thus far. Interested people can check for updates on this fire. Debbie had a map of the fire.

Ken Stevens reports that KCFD Crew 87 is on the Los Padres ZACA Fire.

Property Owners Associations:

Kennedy Meadows residents will rent a chipper again this weekend to continue their proactive efforts for fuel reduction. The Hollister BLM Crew will continue with their chipping roadside fuel project on Windy Springs Road.

Robin Wyatt-Little inquired about the Rodgers Road Fuel Reduction Grant application. No news as yet.

Ed Royce adjourned the meeting at 11:30 AM

REMINDER: Next FSC meeting is 9/20/07, 8:30 AM, Supervisor McQuistons’ Conference Room, Lake Isabella.

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

General information: Lloyd Smith ● (760) 377-3542 or Robin Little ● (760) 376-6842

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