June 2005

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General Meeting
June 16, 2005

Those present: David Bacalis, Richard Olson, Matt Pontes, Gordon Hancock, Christine Hancock, Penny Lampkins, Sharon Rooney, Ed Royce, Angela Yearwood, Debbie Santiago, Chris Ryan, Jennifer Mata, Jim Davis, Emily Diggles, Eric Hutchins, Ken Stevens, Robert Robinson, Robin Wyatt-Little.
Vice President Dave Bacalis convened the meeting at 8:30 A.M. Introductions were made including a new guest, Robert Robinson, RC&D Watershed Coordinator.
The May minutes were read. Motion to accept: Sharon Rooney. Ed Royce – 2nd. Unanimous approval.
Treasurer’s Report: Sharon Rooney reports an operating account balance of $1,336.61;
Myer’s Canyon Grant balance of $126,653.10; Tehachapi Grant balance of $5,000.00.
Sharon paid the H&R tax preparation invoice of $250.00 for the KRV FSC; $10,000.00
initial Tehachapi Community Fire Plan fee for Hangfire Environmental and $218.50 for invoice received from Wildfire Risk Management for the Myers Canyon project.
Motion to accept: Robin Wyatt-Little. Emily Diggles – 2nd. Unanimous approval.
Grant Administrator’s Report: Rich Olson
l. The final grant report for the Alta Sierra Community Fire Safe Plan has been submitted. There will be a $1,300.00 administrative cost invoice submitted from Wildfire Risk Management.
2. Rich reports that of the $200, 000.00 for the Alta Sierra Fuel Break, $185,000.00 has been spent. The remaining $14,000.00 will be spent on removing winter storm hazard trees and downed debris.
3. Residents of Myers Canyon are very pleased with progress thus far on the fuel reduction project. Road brushing is done and fuel break work has begun on the west side of S. Alpine.
4. Kennedy Meadows Community Fire Plan Grant is progressing. A Request For Proposal (RFP) is being developed for a consultant.
Rich Olson reiterated the need to alert private property owners of their responsibility to maintain fuel breaks once the project(s) are completed.
General discussion regarding grant monies availability and possible sources for future grant funding.
Jim Davis feels that there is a visible increase in defensible space clearing throughout the Kern River Valley and attributes this directly to our Fire Safe Council outreach, educational efforts. Bodfish is a prime example of this according to Rich Olson.
BLM Report: Debbie Santiago.
Debbie urges our FSC to proceed with CWPP formal recognition for the Alta Sierra Community Wildfire Protection Plan which is mainly the domain of California Department of Forestry. The benefit of this “certification” will be realized in the future when our CWPP’s in the Kern River Valley evolve and are amended, which then will enhance consideration for future grant funding. Matt Pontes will proceed with the signatory page needed for signatures from all agencies that participate in fire suppression which affects structure. This signatory document at the conclusion of a CWPP project shows the level of collaboration between agencies i.e. KCFD, BLM and USFS. Matt and Rich will contact Georgianne with the Kern County Office of Emergency Services.
NOTE: This document will automatically be processed for the Myer’s Canyon project.
Debbie reports that BLM has mandated a five year projects plan which will assist BLM budgeting for Communities at Risk projects adjacent to private properties. This 5 year project will be coordinated with the Forest Service.
Debbie is also working on a Risk Management Mitigation Strategy (RAMS) for Communities at Risk (CARS.) She is preparing maps and pertinent data for the
July 11th deadline. Debbie requested a history of the KRV FSC accomplishments since it’s’ inception. Robin and Rich will get this information to Deb.
Dave Bacalis addressed the need for the FSC to maintain data records for future grant applications and project planning etc. It was agreed this should be coordinated.
It was further agreed that an annual planning/coordinating meeting should be on our calendar for KCFD, BLM and USFS to collaborate and plan future fire prevention projects in the Kern River Valley. It was agreed this meeting will take place by the end of October 2005.
Debbie reports that the posters are ready for distribution and asked FSC members to help with this project. Several members took posters for this purpose. A round of applause for Debbie’s efforts on this educational outreach project.
Forest Service: Eric Hutchens and Angela Yearwood.
Eric feels that private property hazardous fuel reduction is in greater evidence than last year. The 1st Round noncompliance letters are being sent soon. Eric reports that the Kern Plateau prescribed burn will begin in the near future.
Angie suggests that the FSC review the 2005 Firewise Community Guide CD. She also reports that she will be teaching the ROP (Regional Occupation Program) Fire Science class at the Kern Valley High School. Angie would like to explore the Fire Safe Council’s role/participation in this class. Suggestions were made which included having students attend the FSC monthly meetings; the FSC presenting a program to the class and perhaps having the students give presentations to the community. Debbie suggested a “HOST” (Helping Our Seniors Together) project for the students. All of these will be explored.
Kern County Fire Department: Ken Stevens.
Ken reports that the demonstration lot across from the Bodfish Post Office (aka Bodfish National Park) has been cleared. Ken also tells us that the defensible space demonstration DVD is still being tweaked. Ken feels that it is time to “teach defensible space treatment” rather than “defensible space clearance”, by showing viewers exactly what is involved i.e. limbing trees, clearing fuels etc.
Ken reports that Tim Walsh, consultant for the Tehachapi CWPP, has built into their Plan, a Plan amendment process.
Ken reports that the Kern County FSC meeting involved a mission statement, prospective members and consultants.
Crew 7 is currently working on the Greenhorn. Photo monitoring of the Myers Canyon project is ongoing.
Property Owners Associations:
Greenhorn POA – Penny Lampkins. Penny reports that property owners spent three weekends preparing for their green waste project which resulted in 7 large bins being filled and hauled away by Thomas Refuse. The property owners bore the expense of this project. She tells us that 60 residents participated this year versus 20 residents last year. There were two KCFD crews, two chippers and 28 residents on site June 11, 2005 for their chipper day project which lasted from 8AM to 6PM. Great cooperation! Penny also thanked the FSC and its’ partners for the fuel break. Penny was assured the remaining fuel piles will be burned in the Fall by Crew 7 plus removal of any dead trees
standing within the fuel break area.
Kennedy Meadows POA – Ed Royce.
Ed reported that their Memorial Day clean-up project went well followed by their annual BBQ and meeting. Marcine and Rich Olson attended along with 38 others. There was a helicopter evacuation demonstration.
Myers Canyon POA – Emily Diggles.
Emily reports the residents are very pleased with the fuel reduction project. Emily has distributed posters which warn residents not to add their debris to the piles already stacked by the crews. Emily gave a fire safe presentation to a group of 10 in the area. Emily has requested a chipper day event in the Fall.
Frontier Trail POA – Robin Wyatt-Little
Robin reports that she developed a letter to the property owners advising them of their responsibility to maintain the Rodgers Road fuel break. Robin suggested this might be a collaborative effort between Rodgers Road and FTHA residents. She has volunteered to coordinate this. Robin also requested FTHA address the need for road brushing on both North and South Frontier Trail. This letter was distributed at the general meeting (25 in attendance.)
Bodfish/Lake Isabella POA – Gordon and Christine Hancock
Gordon and Christine submitted four color photos of defensible space examples in Bodfish. Robin submitted nine addresses, Emily submitted three from the Myers Canyon area.Discussion followed regarding Dave Bacalis’ suggestion that perhaps the FSC might develop an article for both papers and see if they would run a “collage” of photos showing KRV residents efforts in creating defensible space. Agreed this would be a good idea. We need more addresses from around the KRV. Angie said she would contact the News papers about the photo layout once the article is written.
Sawmill POA – Jim Davis
Jim reports that Sawmill residents have taken their cut fuels to Hungry Gulch for the scheduled June 25th chipper day. Camp Owen will be assisting. Dave Bacalis will take photos.
Respectfully submitted by: Robin Wyatt-Little, Secretary

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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