LARIMER COUNTY ENVIRONMENTAL AND SCIENCE ADVISORY BOARD (ESAB)

 MEETING MINUTES

September 12th, 2017

 


 

Members In Attendance:

Jane Abels

Richard Alper

Daniel Beveridge

Corey Broeckling

Richard Conant

Jim Gerek

Evelyn King

David Lehman

Matt Tobler

Joseph Wilson

Guests

Sam Adams, District Conservationist, NRCS

Gretchen Reuning, Conservation Forester, Big Thompson and Fort Collins Conservation Districts

Jonas Feinstein, State Forester, NRCS

Matt Lafferty, Principal Planner,  Larimer County

Staff :

Shelley Bayard de Volo, Environmental Coordinator, Engineering

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Meeting Start:  6:05 PM

 

Amendments or Additions to the Agenda:

Discussion of the following was suspended until the October meeting

·  Neighboring County Citizen Board

·  Nexus with other Larimer County advisory boards

 

Introduction of Members and Guests:

The members and guests introduced themselves. 

 

Citizen Comments:

None

 

Discussion Items:

Healthy Forest Initiative

Sam Adams opened the group’s talk with introducing who the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is and what they do.  He explained the Service’s goal of grassland and forest conservation in the Colorado Front Range and how the Service works with private property owners to assist them with conservation of natural resources on their lands.

 

Gretchen Ruening, then presented on the Healthy Forest Initiative, which is a program focused on maintaining ecosystem services through landscape scale forest restoration.  The program engages landowners in multiple ways including conservation planning, economic development and science-based monitoring following forest restoration treatments.  Forest restoration differs from traditional forest fuels treatments in that it focuses on returning forests to historical levels of tree density and spatial patterns.  In Ponderosa Pine forests, this can mean removing a lot of standing timber from the landscape, and leaving trees in dispersed groups.

 

Jonas Feinstein facilitated continued discussion of the resulting forest products that come from the landscape scale treatments.  There is a lot of saw logs, but also limbs and waste.  Right now, finding a market for such products is key to expanding the program.  There was also discussion regarding public education and outreach, and how the mountain landscapes impact our watersheds and water quality for downstream users.

 

Comprehensive Plan – Phase I Mountain Resilience Plan

Matt Lafferty provided an update to the County’s Phase-I of the Comprehensive Plan.  The Plan centers on building resiliency in mountain communities using six resiliency sectors (Community, Economic, Watersheds & Natural Resources, Housing, Infrastructure, and Health & Social).  He described the Visioning Events that took place over the summer in several mountain communities, where County staff and the Stakeholder Committee members interacted with citizens who provided feedback on their visions for their communities.  ESAB member Evelyn King was one Stakeholder committee member at the Visioning Events.  Jim Gerek and David Lehman participated in a separate Boards and Commissions Visioning Event.

 

The ESAB will begin reviewing the Foundation and Visioning chapters for the Phase I Mountain Resilience Plan, and draft comments and make recommendations for Larimer County Planning staff.  Once the third chapter of the Plan is completed (in October), the ESAB will comment and make recommendations on that as well.  ESAB members will provide independent comments and recommendations, which will be consolidated into a spreadsheet for Larimer Planning staff.

 

Approval of Minutes:

D. Lehman moved to approve the July minutes, J. Gerek seconded.  J. Gerek moved to approve the August minutes, J. Abels seconded.  All minutes were approved by acclimation.

 

Updates:  

S. Bayard de Volo and R. Alper provided a brief synopsis of the August 29th BCC Administrative Matters meeting where Northern Water was asked to respond to the ESAB’s comments on the Fish and Wildlife Mitigation and Enhancement Plan.  The Board engaged in an after-action review of how their review process went and made suggestions for how they might proceed with reviewing such plans in the future, especially in light of time constraints.  

 

ESAB Issue Index:

The issue index will be updated for the items discussed tonight.

 

Next Meeting Agenda:

October 10th

·  Jessica Royer, Larimer County Health and Environment, Zoonosis annual update (18.03)

·  Katie O’Donnell, Larimer County Health and Environment, Syringe Disposal (11.02) and Opioid Abuse

 

Adjourn:

The meeting ended at 9:15 PM