KERN RIVER VALLEY FIRE SAFE COUNCIL
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
Minutes: Motion to approve – Lloyd smith. Second – Gordon Hancock.
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
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
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
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
KRVR.com 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 calflora.com.
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
Debbie Santiago reports that the ZACA Fire is 67% contained and has
burned 110k acres thus far. Interested people can check inciweb.org
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
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.