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15 Comments

  1. Here’s a web-site with a focus similar to yours and with a lot of substantive comments and graphics. Written by an F.S. retiree, it provides another perspective on public land management and especially “use vs. preservation” and renewable energy from these lands.

  2. He linked through his name, Sharon.

    http://www.wvmcconnell.net/

    I took a look and there is some good stuff there, Mac. We need your experience. Many of us are western folk but, eastern forests are starting to garner their own share of preservationist issues. I’ve been lucky to have worked in the De Soto, Sumter, Ouachita and Allegheny National Forests, seeing both differences and similarities with western forests. Imagine having to dredge up ancient Dendrology “brain sludge” to do forest inventory in South Carolina. TWENTY different oaks?!?!?

  3. Regarding FERC releicensing. What is the understanding of forest managers regarding relicensing of hydroelectric generators?

    My observation is that the geographic area of the project does not extend far enough from the water to establish responsibility.

    There is a need for fuels management, including reduction, to prevent the type fire that results in siltation of the reservoir. Most licenses seem to be predicated on tens of feet of elevation or tens of yards from the high water mark.
    Seldom is the hydroplant tasked to pay for services rendered in fuels management.

    S

    • Sharon – You might consider this a new topic, but to reply directly to the original question of “What is the understanding of forest managers regarding relicensing of hydroelectric generators?”, “an” understanding (mine) is that forest managers often support political forces promoting dam removal to favor “wild rivers” and to gain possession and control management of riparian areas. This may be more of an Eastern issue, and a position that seems “only natural” to some, but it raises an important question of social equity: do we really want to spend money removing facilities that generate carbon-free power to favor habitat for (usually, in the East, non-native) salmonids fished by a few up-scale anglers (including me) while removing flatwater habitat for warm-water species more often fished by the more “average American”? Don’t we normally think that public policy should aim at redistribution in the other direction? I know that dam removal is a tremendously complex topic, but oddly I have never heard this simple social-equity aspect raised, and it may be but one example of a more general blind spot regarding other natural resource management questions. (Thank you for letting me get that off my chest.)

      • Yes, I think that it is worth a separate post… do you want to write more, perhaps with specific examples and email it to me and I will post separately.. A photo might be nice also..

        • I don’t have much more to say – not really an expert in this area – just a nagging question in my mind of the sort that it seems like we never want to address, and am interested to see what others might have to say.

  4. Sharon, the specific relicensing which prompted this question is New Bullard’s Bar in Yuba County, CA. The Yuba County Water Agency, YCWA is the operator.

    The question was prompted by my observation at a public meeting that the map suggested the licensing would address the entire geographic area of the watershed. Someone else asked a question about the map. The response was that the project geographic area was limited to a small perimeter around the reservoir. Then the discusion went on about boat ramps and recreation. Neither fire fighting or fuels reduction was mentioned.

    T

    • I think I have something to add here, regarding water entities. When I worked on the east side of the Tahoe NF, the Lahontan Water Board expressed concern about impacts to their water rights, and insisted that more monitoring be done in their drinking watershed. After serious wildfires totalling more than 120,000 acres, salvage logging occurred and impacts and mitigations needed documentation. I was selected to do BMP’s for many logging sites, and I decided to be as objective as possible, to the horror of my boss. One landing was located in a terrible spot, at the bottom of a gully, and the Sale Administer had the landing ripped. After a winter flood event, the entire landing was washed away. Being a temporary employee, I was not asked to return the next year, partially due to my write-ups of those BMP monitoring reports.

  5. Your post in this link is a direct copy of an article from the Aspen Daily News. It is in violation of copyright law to use photos without permission (I am the photographer). Please remove the post immediately and in the future do not improperly use photos. http://ncfp.wordpress.com/2012/02/26/. It is also a copyright violation to completely lift an entire story. Aggregation is acceptable when linking to the original source (but never for a photo).

  6. Sharon, the topic is CWPP. Community Wildfire Protection Plans. The following are my (Dick Boyd) comments about Yuba County preparation of CWPPs.
    The larger topic would be the Healthy Forest Act.

    Hal, a question to be asked and answered: Which Fire Districts will be asked to participate?

    Only Camptonville and Oregon House? Who decided that those are the only two fire districts in Yuba County that are in the vicinity of Federal Forest Land? What about mutual aid Fire Districts from adjacent counties? Of CalFire? Or DoD at Beale? Or Forest Service from the National Forests?

    RICHARD BOYD
    dickboyd@aol.com

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Stocker, Hal
    To: RICHARD BOYD
    Sent: Fri, Feb 7, 2014 12:21 pm
    Subject: RE: Stocker’s Mailer: Fire Safety in the Foothills – A New Dimension. CWPP

    Hi Richard: Thanks for the comments on the Fire Safety letter. HAL

    From: RICHARD BOYD [mailto:dickboyd@aol.com]
    Sent: Friday, February 07, 2014 11:47 AM
    To: Stocker, Hal; ganader@ucdavis.edu; barbara@barbaraavedassociates.com; Bryan, Scott; sfpfirec4100@att.net; flyingrancher@aol.com
    Subject: Stocker’s Mailer: Fire Safety in the Foothills – A New Dimension. CWPP

    Supervisor Hal Stocker recently paid for and mailed an update on The Yuba Fire Safe Council action to prepare Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPP).

    Two considerations.

    First is the letter of the law. People administering the grant money require the Tees to be crossed and the eyes to be dotted. In this case YCWA provided funds to prepare CWPPs. An approved (I assume Federal approval comes from Department of Agriculture or maybe a state agency, a question to be answered). There may not be any money from the Feds unless Congress, the House of Representatives, appropriates it.

    Approved CWPP then qualifies a community for federal funds (which may of may not be there). The CWPP must answer the terms and conditions of Disaster Mitigation Act 2000, Healthy Forests Restoration Act (HFRA) 2003. and other federal programs. CWPP preparation is area best left to experts like Deer Creek Resources of Chico. Experts selected from a qualified bidders list or by competition. A short cut to avoid the cost of a source selection activity to choose someone to do the work. Or the risk of source selection by someone who does not understand what is being purchased. Dr. Stocker is well qualified on the ins and outs of spending citizens’ money. Even more so, Dr. Stocker looks for the experts to advise him.

    Second is the intent of the law. Healthy Forests, Disaster Mitigation, Flood Protection and other Federal Laws have the intent that local people govern themselves. Governing including how people will pay for things that have to be done. Translated into California English that means taxes or fees. The intent sometimes gets lost in translation. Local people may concentrate on the letter of the law to qualify for “free” money. At the expense of ignoring the intent of the law.

    If the intent of the law is ignored, there is a nice book sitting on a bookshelf somewhere that is consulted only to make free money flow. The intent is not met. Local government will come back for more free money. Local government will evaluate how much money is spent as the measure of success. While ignoring mitigation or risk avoided. The well will be dry at the second visit. Anticipate paying locally for the effort required in a CWPP.

    Expect to see CWPP fliers at the Post Office, in stores, churches, schools, on the internet and wherever people visit. Thank Martha Burke and Applied Forest Management and Cathy of Camptonville for their efforts.

    Look for CWPP meetings at the Foothill Fire Districts. Smartsville, Camptonville, Collins Lake, Dobbins Oregon House, possibly Loma Rica and Hallwood? Fire protection is not one size fits all. Tailor fire protection to local threats.

    RICHARD BOYD
    dickboyd@aol.com

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