Coarsegold Resource Conservation District

Notes from March 26, meeting at 10:00 am

CDC Conference Room, North Fork Mill Site 

  1. Open Meeting
  1. Pledge of Allegiance – done by all.
  2. Roll call and self-introductions – We had a sign in sheet. Everyone knows each other.

 In attendance: John Kilburn, Marcie Freedman, Anne Melrose, Chuck Sikora, Aaron Kern, Jenny Johnson, Barbara Grow, Jay Seslowe and Tom Wheeler.

Action Item – Jon will provide Aaron with an electronic copy of sign in sheet.

Action Item - Aaron will print the sign in sheet and bring to the meetings.

2.General Business

  1. Approval of Agenda – The agenda was provided on Google docs. by John; ½ the group is stilling trying to access successfully.  

Action Item –John will send the Google docs  link again.

Action item: John will review access to Google Docs, our new website and making email lists with all members at the next meeting. Bring your laptop and meet at The Studio in town as it has wi-fi for all.

Action item: John will change the place of our next meeting on the website.

Action item: Everyone will PRINT their own agenda and bring to the meetings.

b. Approval of March 2014 Minutes – approved. Minutes – Aaron moved that we accept them and Marcie seconded them. All in favor.

c. Treasurer’s Report – April 2014   - Marcie will have one next time. She will take the 2014 documents book home to look at. CARCD dues will not be paid now, but hopefully in the future.

The deposit of the $5000 Kinsman Flat award will help to end our monthly bank charges having allowed us to achieve a minimum balance.

Action item: Jon needs to give $5000 deposit receipt to Marcie.

Action Item –John and Marcie will go to the bank next Monday by their arrangements, to add her as a signer.

Action item: John and Marcie will pay the final phone bill and shut it off.

d.         RCD Correspondence – Marcie will be starting her own binder for 2014.

      Action item – Marci will talk to Jeannie about the two insurance forms in the mail.

3. Public Comment (Limited to 3 Minutes) - none

4.Action Items

Vote on John Schroeder’s presentation at the June meeting -

 John Schroeder is a member of the Mariposa RCD and heads a major fuels reduction program there.

Marcie discussed a proposal to YS RCD for community support for fuels reduction. The group confirmed that all documents from the RCD should be approved by the Board before release. Applauding their early efforts, Marcie will share her groups draft document with the group.

 Action item:  Marcie will share her fuels reduction copy with those present.

5.Informational/Discussion Items

Current Grant Updates

  1. RAC Funding – Fuel Break on 274 – The in-kind reporting for the 274 Grant is complete. They have a contract with Chuck Sikora and are working on a getting a contract for a Registered Forest Plan (RFP)(?). They were able to get a California Environmental Quality Act exemption (CEQA). The actual day(s) of work will require road permits. Only 2 people got involved in the private property chipping effort. Apparently annual reports are overdue but they hope to file a detailed one this year. The project involves a 40 feet strip along rd 274. It is the maintenance of an old fuel break.

Action item: Aaron will look into the idea of using goats instead of spraying to reduce the fuels return and share with the group.

Chukchansi – Kinsman Flat Handicap Access - 2014 Application – March 1, 2014

Action Item: Anne will check with Jeannie that Kinsman flat grant was resubmitted.

  1. Fuel Reduction Community Outreach – Update

Action Item: – Barbara will communicate with students from Minarets about not being able to fund senior projects right now.

6.Project/Committee Updates

a.         Kinsman Flat Management Plan – We need to confirm that Kinsman flat can be held on to. It has traditionally been managed for fuels to encourage wildlife. It has a non functioning windmill. The management plan has expired. We are not sure there was ever a final version of the MOU approved by F&W in Sacramento.

Department of Fish & Wildlife MOU –

         Action Item:  Anne will find the F&W MOU and share with the group. (on website/search)

b.New RCD Website - It has all been archived but we need to go through it and decide what should go to the new site.

Action item:  Everyone look at the old website, PLEASE!!

c.PG & E Land – Manzanita Lake - Tom Wheeler came to speak to the group about this PG&E conservation easement.  As a result of PG&E’s bankruptcy years ago, pieces of their land became available. Many pieces have been pulled back off the “Surrender List” but this one remains. There is a Stewardship Council that is paid to manage these lands. Tom met with them 3 weeks ago. Money to manage comes from the Green sticker fund, $ 200,000 in fines related to biological, geological and archeological citations(?)etc. Chuck  Sikora has been involved for7/8  years. It is about400+ acres but part of it has been removed for FERC (hydro electric ) reasons, so about 200-300 acres remain. There will be a hearing in June regarding giving title for the piece to Madera County. It should include money for a staff person/administration costs!  The Board member would manage the effort .  The easement holder would be Madera and the manager would be CRCD. This could be a good situation. Funding is forever A Conservation plan would need to be developed with this money. PG&E will give the tax money up front. Ideas for use of the property include: Horse trails and hiking trails to complete a trail from Bass Lake. Fuel reductions are considered important. It had been  decided not to allow motorcycles and the idea of using part of it for a sprayfield was turned down.  Part of the area burned years ago and was replanted with non native trees.. The Stewardship Council has a meeting in May and they will decide in June. We would then have to write the conservation plan with the county.  When the report comes back we will discuss this further. There can be a Board member conflict with management positions we need to be aware of, and we will need to be clear about the difference between contract employees  vs regular employees, as they have different issues.

Action item: Tom will get the proposal from the county for this group to see.

  1. Workshops/ Events/Presentations 

a. Fires & Fuels – Vegetation Management – We will focus on this after the Fire and fuels talk with John S.

b.Illegal Marijuana Grow Sites – The Chukchansi grant application for clean up efforts next year could use a support letter from us. As an agenda item we spent 15 minutes on it today. Jon,  Marcie,  Aaron,  Jay and  Anne  would all contribute hours towards these clean up efforts. We will aim for 50 hours in kind. Do not use the marijuana word, rather  “Public Lands Clean Up” for safety reasons. No personal names!

Action item: Anne will start a letter with Brittany and then  share with Board, promising 50 hours of in kind work.

Action Item:  Anne will talk to Jon Anderson about process of reporting grow sites. What are their Constraints?

c.Water Dialogue/Drought – Could we do a Water Dialogue /fund raiser at the same time? We should attend the Dinkey Creek – Forest to Faucet - event in May? –Marcie and Anne will plan to go. Is there an IRWP proposal we should be thinking about? Are there Homeowners associations we could involve?

Action Item:  John will make a drop box folder to share ideas with.


a. Future Fundraisers - Tri tip dinner. We should of covered Earth Day. Octoberish dinner fundraiser, presentation, and music will be discussed further.

Action item:  John will add to next agenda.

b.Native Tree Sale – did not discuss.

c.Wildflower CDs Wildflower CD.

Action Item: Barbara is taking to Oakhurst Visitor bureau about distributing them. Aaron will pick up some for his store.

              Action Item:  Anne will check with Sue about caring at Gift Works-      


  1. RCD Minimum Requirement List – There is s minimum requirement sheet that we need to review.

Action item:  John will put on next meeting agenda.

Action item:  Jenny will forward the list to the group again.

  1. Agency/Partner Reports (Limited to 3 Minutes)

  1. Attendance at partner meetings – none given

  1. Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) – Jenny brings up the question of switching to the Central Sierra RCD vs the San Joaquin RCD, which we are currently in.  Jenny attended the latest CSRCD meeting. They do workshop we could use: ie. Livestock on small property.  We could incorporate one at a future fundraiser. They also have a Joint Power of Attorney JPA? With Cal Fire that gives them access to more fuel reduction funding.  The timeline would involve  submitting a resolution for a  November vote by the  state CARCD. She also discussed their tricolored black bird program. California only has 100,000 of them, 50% of them are in Madera. There is NRCS money until Sept for fuel treatments. There have not been any cancelations. Point blue is a program that looks at/studies wildlife on private property, like bird populations. Wendel Gilgert from the NRCS wants to come and talk to us. Jenny also shared her upcoming Minarets Conservation Day for the following day. Anne will drop by.

Action item: John will put Wendel on our July meeting for ½ hour.

  1. S.N.A.M.P. – Anne shared SNAMP’s fire scar history graph.

Action Item: Anne will share a detailed description of fire history with group.

  1. Next Meeting:     May 22nd, 10:00am  – CDC Conference Room, North Fork Mill Site

8.         Topics to add to next agenda

Action item:  There will be a 9:30am start time for our May meeting. Note our Google calendar with dates! (John can you add the LINK?

June – Discuss the issues around moving to a different RCD and John Schroeder presentation.

         Aaron made the motion and Barbara seconded.

July/Aug – Jenny will come to talk to us about Kinsman flats. (Did I get that month right Jenny?)

  1. Adjourn

RCD Area 9 meeting  - May 2nd  Aaron, Marie and Anne plan to go. We need 2 raffle items – Wildflower CD, Marcie’s book and pomegranates.

Check out our facebook page (link?)!