A few but not all current watershed restoration projects were approved by the executive committee of the Feather River Coordinated Resource Management group, Plumas Corporation, Wednesday, June 27, in Quincy.
The modern and cost-effective pond-and-plug method took a beating, and only one project using it was approved, with conditions.
District 4 Supervisor Lori Simpson chaired the meeting in the absence of Chairman Earl Ford, supervisor of Plumas National Forest.
The newest member, representing the public at large, was introduced: rancher Jeff Carmichael had been appointed by unanimous vote during the June 20 meeting, which was chaired by Ford.
Several agency members of the resource management group were present and participated in discussion, including representatives from county- and state-level agencies, as well as Forest Service personnel, members of the ranching community and others, some via a conference call.
Although executive committee members previously agreed to use Robert’s Rules of Order, there was some confusion over the correct parliamentary procedure for decision making, since all group decisions needed to be made with either a unanimous vote or at least a consensus.
Simpson agreed to seek clarification from county counsel about this.
After more than three hours of discussion about myriad engineering and permitting requirements and other issues, the required consensus was reached on a few projects, including a controversial one, the Upper Dotta.
Committee member John Olofson, the Sierra Valley Resource Conservation District representative, moved for approval of the project on conditions, including obtaining a grading permit and engineer’s stamp, which satisfied some concerns brought forth by agency people, and to contract with the Department of Water Resources as a third-party monitor, which satisfied some concerns of the ranchers.
His motion to proceed was approved unanimously, even though it was added to and clarified to the point that a clear reading was not possible after the decision was made.
In a later email, minute keeper Gia Martynn said that before the decision, Carmichael clarified that the engineering stamp would be on the whole design and not jut the grading and pond-plug parts.
One person mentioned the permit would cover that, another disagreed and Phil Noia of the Feather River Conservation Service said the motion should include comments from the engineering committee, all of which might be moot with the engineering stamp.
The Spanish Creek project, which is not a pond-and-plug, was controversial in another way.
Simpson said many comments were received from landowners who are upset that this is being held up.
“They’re losing land and are upset about it,” she said.
Committee members agreed to let the project proceed with no objections.
The Greenhorn project, another with no ponds and plugs, was also approved with no opposition.
The Last Chance Phase II project was given approval for more investigation only, with no opposition.
Any other approvals would be sought after all regulatory requirements have been met.
The Long Valley project was also mentioned by Simpson, who relayed that District 5 Supervisor Jon Kennedy had been receiving a lot of complaints from those downstream of the project.
She thought a field trip would be a good idea. Another disagreed and wanted it at the top of the agenda for the next meeting.
Both the Long Valley and the Last Chance projects will be on the agenda for the next meeting, set for Wednesday, July 25, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Plumas County Planning Department conference room, located at 555 W. Main Street in Quincy.
For more information call Gia Martynn at Plumas Corporation, 283-3739, or visit feather-river-crm.org.
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