Cherry Volunteer Fire Association
Annual General Membership Meeting
April 20, 2013
Bud Gindhart, President Joe Boyle, Vice President
Bob Kennedy, Treasurer Jim Bond, Legal Advisor
Karen Bruno, Secretary Nancy Clauss, Board Member
Boyce Macdonald, Board Member Frank Melluzzo, Board Member
Faren Wattie, Board Member
Celeste Gordon, Verde District Ranger, Verde Valley Center, Prescott National Forest
Brian Steinhardt – Fire Management – Zone District Manager
(928) 567-1150 direct line for fire operations – Prescott National Forestry Service
Kurt Wetstein, Team Leader
Scott Spleiss, Fire and Fuel Specialist
Thomas Thurman, Supervisor – District Two – County Board of Supervisors, Prescott
President Gindhart called the general meeting of the CVFA to order at 12:18 pm to order. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited. The above listed quorum was called and confirmed. President Gindhart then requested that all new attendees stand and introduce themselves, including location of residence.
Bill Reiber introduced himself as living by Black Hawk 3 by Nancy Cooper. Ed and Summer Osinski stated they have purchased a place by the Suttons.
President Gindhart announced the launching of our new website.
Treasurer Kennedy discussed the treasurer report which included:
Auto insurance on the fire trucks and workman’s comp are our highest expenses. Last year, these two items combined was $ 838 and this year these two items total over $1000. Our second highest expense is APS. We will continue to look into ways to cut the electric bill for the firehouse.
Faren Wattie presented information from Fire School. He supplied hand-outs and reviewed tips for homeowners from firewise.org. Faren suggested we add this website to the cherry website. Grants were discussed for homeowners that can’t afford help to clean up their properties.
President Gindhart presented Treasurer Kennedy with a 10 year service award.
Supervisor Thurman discussed the following topics: fire wise communities and grants that are available for latter fuel reduction, EMT certification, and road paving. Of the remaining unpaved section of Cherry Creek Road, the county will pave half of it this year later in the summer and the other half next year. The asphalt will then be chip sealed.
Celeste Gordon reviewed analysis on Black Hills regarding treatments, which includes the 09/2011 decision which was signed and is now being implemented with treatments; grazing permits and environmental analysis on grazing permits, management direction, and plans to integrate projects to help watershed areas were discussed. Ms. Gordon also discussed the Cherry Creek watershed; 132 Road, fencing on Log Springs, upper ash will be one of the next watershed areas; and black canyon water shed; we have access issues on some roads.
Kurt Wetstein discussed the 10 year goals: 1)promote or maintain a healthy forest 2) vegetation condition 3) fuel reduction 4) maintain healthy forest which includes thinning out the trees, which will also provide a condition under which the June fire won’t rip through the forest. Regardless of vegetation type, they are maintaining ecosystems to reduce fire. Place emphasis in and around private property. Prioritize adjacent areas to private property.
Large maps were hung and discussion included thinning and prescribed burning in the Black Hills area. Mr. Wetstein reviewed the maps and discussed protection south and west as this is the direction fire travels in.
Also discussed was the oak fuel wood project west of the community; objective was reducing density for healthier trees, and provided fuels reduction so fire will burn at a ower intensity.
The Forestry Service is planning smaller similar projects with its own crews. They are planning on thinning the oaks and leaving them on the ground. Also discussed was the community gathering wood with permits for burning.
Mr. Wetstein stated 1/3 of permit money stays in the community. The program includes the following: West of Cherry and at Powell springs and Log Springs they will be implementing cutting down smaller trees and leaving the best ones and then doing a prescribed burn in the near future. 150 acres this fall and 150 by Log Springs a year from now. The Forestry Service is looking at 100-200 acres of commercial timber sale of ponderosa pines. They will measure the volume, mark trees to take, and they will control the contracts to make sure they are being followed. Doing this it’s not really a natural condition. But that’s really natural. Thinning these trees will promote the safety and health of the trees. Following up with a prescribed burn is a critical part. They need it to survive. The small trees are sickly.
Ranger Gordon suggested we look at already-treated areas to get an idea of what it will look like.
The community’s concern over removal of trees was discussed. Betty Miller stated we didn’t get a chance to bid on the oak firewood sold last year. Ranger Gordon took responsibility for the lack of communication and said the community would be notified of changes to come.
Scott Spleiss discussed the Cherry dumping area. Requested residents dump only yard material; Scott Spleiss is in his 10th season of working the fuels projects, prescribed burns, and fighting fires in and around Prescott National Forest area. He discussed the map, showing remaining fiscal 2013 and all of 2014 scheduled burning. He also discussed 117 acres associated with Sunnybrook mine area they would like to do initial treatment with. This includes crush the brush, knock it down, rearrange fuel, come in and burn it and follow up with additional treatments by opening canopies.
Mr. Spleiss will supply Karen Bruno with websites to add to our website for forestry information. Ranger Gordon will provide the NIPA website so we can look at the environmental survey on animals, etc.
By nature of the work they do they look at ecological time frames based on what they know historically and what they’ve gathered scientifically. To maintain pine trees we currently have, they need to perform this type of work to make sure the trees are still present 100 years from now. Mr. Spleiss also discussed projects coming up – one of which was 117 acres around Sunnybrook. They are currently waiting on funding; There has been a 10% reduction in seasonal firefighters due to the sequester.
Phone books: All in attendance received the new 2013-2014 Cherry Phone Book. Those not in attendance will receive a phone book by mail. Additional copies may be purchased for $3.50 each.
CVFA hats and t-shirts are still available for purchase. See Karen Bruno for details. Cost is $20 each.
The meeting adjourned at 1:50 pm.
Duly Submitted – Karen Bruno, Secretary