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Board Meeting – January 15, 2008

Northeast Washington Forestry Coalition
Approved – Minutes

January 15, 2008

Next meeting: February 19; joint NEWFC/CNF bi-monthly meeting – 1-3 p.m . at Stevens Conservation District

Attending:

Lloyd McGee, President
Russ Vaagen, V. President
Ron Gray, Treasurer
Tania Ellersick, Member
Steve West, Member
Maurice Williamson, Member
Dick Dunton, Member
Derrick Knowles, Member
Bob Playfair, Member
Claudia Michalke, Exec. Director
Lloyd Odell, FCCD Visitor
Russ Larsen, Visitor
Steve Harris, DNR J
ohn Ernst, Gilchrist , Oregon , Visitor
Don Stragis, Visitor

Absent Board Members : Tim Coleman; Dave Heflick; Mike Petersen.

Agenda:

1. Review/Approve minutes

2. Treasurer’s Report

3. Grant Reports

4. Committee Reports

5. Old Business

6. New Business

Exhibits: A) Financial Report; B) Letter to Beck Heath, USFS, C) Approved Ground Rules; D) December Monthly Report

1. Approval of Minutes of the December 13, 2007 . After review, Motion: Russ Vaagen moved and Dick Dunton seconded a motion to approve the Minutes as presented. Motion passed unanimously.

2. Treasurer's Report: Ron Gray, treasurer, distributed computer generated copies of the Register Report and Itemized Categories showing income of $7,500, expenses of $2,270, and a current balance of $6,231.33 for January 1 - December 31, 2007 . Copies of the reports are attached to the original minutes as Exhibit A. After discussion, Motion: Steve West moved and Dick Dunton seconded a motion to approve the Treasurer's report. Motion passed unanimously.

3. Grant Reports:

A. NFF Fire Grant - Dick Dunton reported that the Stevens County Commissioners approved the county Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) yesterday following a public hearing. After the State Forester approves the Plan, Dick will send two hard-copies and an electronic copy with his final report to the NFF. Per NFF request, NEWFC will request the SCCD return the remaining $3,436.38 grant funds. Claudia will prepare the final financial report form and a cover letter to accompany the returned funds.

B. NFF Monitoring Grant: - Dick Dunton reported he has sent the monitoring protocol, developed by the sub-committee, to the USFS. USFS staff, the sub-committee and Brett Winterowd will meet January 28th to discuss the protocol for application to the Bangs Mt. and Burnt Valley projects. Claudia reported that NEWFC and the monitoring contractor, Brett Winterowd, have signed the Contract for Services. She requested, but has not received, $8,590 grant funds that must be expended before the end of February.

C. NFF-MAP Grant Application: - This application is to enhance and expand the USFS Disabled Hunter Access Program. We will know by the end of the week if the pre-proposal was selected to advance to the next step in the application process.

D. AmeriCorp Grant: Derrick Knowles reported that the grant is approved for a full-time person to do on-the-ground work with the Recreation Committee and the USFS to enhance and develop trails on the CNF. He is accepting applications (mostly college students) for the one-year position.

E. National Fire Plan Grants - Steve Harris, DNR and Don Stragis, Chair, Local Coordinating Group, discussed opportunities for qualifying entities to apply for forest fuel-reduction grants. Applications are due by February 8, 2008 and require a 50% match. To-date, they have received only one application for a $200,000 project near Pierre Lake .

4. Committee Reports:

Lloyd McGee explained that committee chairman will provide reports at each Board meeting. He asked each committee to write a mission statement for their committee for 2008.

A. Executive Committee - Russ Vaagen, chairman, reported the Committee met this morning. Their discussion included the roles of various committees and a system of communication between the committees and the Board so that everyone is kept well informed. This coming month they will focus on developing the APW for 2008 and a revision of the Bylaws for board input at the February meeting.

B. Education/Outreach Committee - In the absence of Tim Coleman, chairman of this committee, Lloyd McGee reported that in 2008 he wants to see this committee educate the members of the Board as well as do public outreach. Since the Coalition is about forestry, forestry management, and vegetation management, the cattlemen are a fit; and they are willing to continue discussing joining the Coalition. He has recommended that the motorized and non-motorized recreationists form their own collaborative group or forum to address their specific interests. At some point in the future, they and the Coalition might collaborate. County Commissioners are working on a Tri-county ATV Plan.

C. Finance Committee - Ron Gray, chairman, reported that he appreciates the simplified monthly financial reports and that the IRS 1099's forms are completed.

D. Forest Plan Revision Committee - Russ Vaagen, co-chairman, reported that this committee will be re-activated to take on Blueprint discussions and that the Executive Committee will provide direction for communicating with other committees to accomplish the work of the Coalition.

E. Projects Committee - Lloyd McGee, co-chairman, reported that the Executive Committee will discuss how the Projects and Task Force sub-Committees might interact during 2008. The Committee is working on two collaborated projects - Malo East Lake in Ferry County with lots of old-growth units. They are meeting in Republic on Thursday with District staff to hopefully resolve some issues. Misery Lakes project located in the Newport District is a work in progress. There is a medium level of support with no attempt to block where this project is going, but there will be 'after' monitoring to assess the outcome. Turn-over of USFS District Rangers is a problem for effective collaborating.

Task Force sub-Committee - Maurice Williamson, chairman, reported on issues this Committee is wrestling with including roads in old-growth units; the need to redefine old-growth for the Coalition and the Conservation Community; the need for the USFS to shorten and clarify their road definitions; regeneration and thinning harvest definitions and honest application of these definitions by USFS staff; and the need for intensive monitoring following some of the USFS projects. Discussion on how and to whom this Committee reports and/or coordinates was tabled until the February Board meeting.

F. Recreation Committee - Derrick Knowles, Chairman, reported the Committee meets quarterly. The Committee focuses on projects under consideration and will work closely with the AmeriCorp person to GPS, map, and enhance routes on the CNF.

5. Old Business:

Proposed MOA - Lloyd McGee reported that the Executive Committee is also working on an MOA for members of the Coalition to sign. The Board can expect a draft MOA, via email, prior to the February meeting.

Adding NEWFC Members - The present system is being considered in the Bylaw revision. Ex Committee is engaged. Discussion tabled until February meeting.

Malo East Lake Response - Lloyd McGee shared a draft copy of a letter to Becki Heath, Colville , Okanogan , and Wenatchee , National Forests Plan Revision Team. A copy is attached to the original minutes as Exhibit F.

Categorical Exclusions - Maurice Williamson requested that Mike Petersen investigate the possibility of categorical exclusions being set aside from the court action, if the litigants are willing to support. Discussion followed including this being a major issue due to documentation or monitoring (or lack thereof) to demonstrate effectiveness; tied to the Healthy Forest Initiative; USFS is not appealing; projects in progress were not enjoined.

6. New Business:

Assessment of allotments in CNF - Due to the absence of Dave Heflick, Lloyd McGee, tabled this discussion until the February meeting.

Draft Annual Plan of Work - Lloyd explained that the draft APW that everyone received is just a beginning. He requested everyone to email their recommendations to Claudia prior to the next meeting. He also asked each Committee chair to draft a mission statement for their Committee.

Meeting Adjourned at 3:10 p.m. Next meeting February 19, 2008