NEWFC/CNF Joint Meeting – April 19, 2007
Notes: NEWFC/CNF Joint Meeting, April 19, 2007 , Park Place Restaurant, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Next NEWFC/CNF joint meeting: June 14, 1:00 PM
LIDAR: In the morning hours, CNF and NEWFC members viewed powerpoint presentation and engaged in Q&A about the potential for LIDAR technology to be applied on the CNF. Further discussion between NEWFC and the CNF is slated for the next CNF/NEWFC meeting in June
Provision of RMA theme to CNF staff : David will provide an ArcView shapefile of the RMA to Kevin Wolfe and Scott Brogan for the purposes of project planning and CNF feedback on implementation of boundaries lines at the project level.
Discussion on harvest rx guidelines: Lloyd provided an overview of the taskforce’s progress on development of broadscale prescriptions. David made case for the increase in project level collaboration that would result from broadscale agreement—once that agreement was reached, collaboration at the project level could mostly be focused on situations where the CNF was proposing an exception to the prescription guidelines. Lloyd will connect with Tom Pawley and set up a meeting between taskforce and silviculturists about moving forward on development of these prescriptive guidelines
Monitoring: Lloyd led discussion on the potential for NEWFC to pursue funding for and implement multi-party monitoring. CNF is open to the notion, is willing to help us develop protocol, and advises against using retired FS personnel to head up the monitoring work—suggests we find a more “neutral” person for this role. David raised the possibility of the CNF and NEWFC also working together to do a review of past projects with objectives similar to the ones now being proposed and see how things turned out. CNF seemed generally receptive to the idea, though no next steps were determined. This item should be placed on the agenda for the next board meeting for further discussion.
Project Updates: Malo is the first HFRA project on the CNF. Completion of county fire plans was one of the things they were waiting for. In the future, Don Gonzales will also provide updates on post-sale project implementation.
NFMA Ruling: USFS is not allowed to have any more public meeting on forest planning until this is resolved. FS is working hard on meeting 2 or 3 mandates from the ruling—mostly consultation issues with public and ESA related consultation. However, other entities could call the meetings, invite the FS, the FS can then engage participate, and that is not a violation of the ruling.
Judge did not throw out the new rule, just said you can’t use it until the deficiencies are remedied. “It’s unlikely that the FS would go back to one of the older rules that would require and EIS... there is no indication that the FS will appeal the ruling.
Proof of Concept Designation
Following a report by Rick Brazell on what the CNF learned about what it means to be designated a “Proof of Concept Forest” at a week-long conference in Denver last week, everything is as clear as mud. Key point we took away from the discussion (words in quotations are Rick’s, or at least best-attempt paraphrases of what he said):
The CNF’s history and success with collaboration was big reason for the designation. “USFS WO was very supportive of what were doing here on the CNF.
A draft charter will be developed for five years, there will be no evaluation by USFS WO until the 5 years are up, so we’ll have time to plan, work out kinks, and get things running smoothly.
Flexibility with the budget is a key benefit of the designation, because “the budget tells us what we can do...right now, for example, the recreation budget is in the toilet...in the future, we could shift moneys from other areas, like Minerals for example, and move it into Recreation.” There is, however, no additional money that comes in directly from the designation, so “wherever we add some money, we’ll have to cut it from somewhere else...we’ll collaborate to determine what things we want to do, others will have to get dropped.
We cannot necessarily think of the budget as one big pot of money—we can get in trouble with that, like Region 9 did in the past. (Much confusion here over this item and the above item.)
“We’ll probably need to get away from talking about mmbf, because planning under the designation is more about outcomes rather than outputs.
There is a performance contract that will lay out what we are going to try to do, in terms of outcomes. This must be done before October 1, 2007.
CNF will be looking at long term projects that will give the community some stability. They want us to look at collaboratively developed watershed scale projects. Which means that the earlier years could be more about planning than outcomes.
Under the designation, CNF will get stable budgets for the next 5 years. The amount is yet to be determined.
There is an expectation that there will be partnerships with governments, organizations, and other entities.
“Any policy that gets in the way of doing what we want to do on the land can be done away with. Example is the R6 policy requirement for a FS employee to be present at a log scale.” However, the CNF has to go through a petitioning process to get an exemption from any policy. Forest plan, FSH, and FSM will all apparently still apply.
“There have been lots of concerns from commissioners that they haven’t been involved.” Rick is thinking about going to commissioners to get their buy in on development of a performance contract planning process up front. There will be a new process for collaboration on the performance contract that will be similar to the forest planning collaboration process. Rick want to get the commissioners to agree to a strategy of merging public collaboration with commissioner collaboration.