Foresters Discuss Possible Study Session
The Humboldt County Forestry Review Committee (FRC) is a standing subcommittee of registered professional foresters, appointed by and serving at the pleasure of the Board of Supervisors. They act in an advisory capacity to both the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors and to the Planning Commission and consider technical forest related matters of concern to Humboldt County. The committee informs and makes recommendations on these matters to both the Supervisors and the Planning Commission.
In 2007 and 2008 the FRC met several times to go over forestry-related issues in the proposed GPU and passed a number of motions outlining their comments. These were presented in June of 2008 and were discussed by the Planning Commission in April 2010 when the commission was discussing section 4.6 (Forest Resources) of the GPU.
However, the discussion of section 4.6 was not limited to one meeting and there were numerous times over the course of several meetings when commissioners sought the input of FRC members but there was no spokesperson in attendance.
Another issue that came up was the need for input on new and revised policies, standards and implementation measures that had been added since the FRC had first looked at the proposed plan.
Throughout the Planning Commission’s review of the GPU it has become very clear that the commissioners welcome and indeed desire, expert input on the policies before them. Yet that input has been lacking on forestry issues.
On Wednesday, October 20th HumCPR Executive Director, Estelle Fennell went before the FRC to encourage more participation in the GPU. Upon hearing the following letter, committee members discussed scheduling a study session and looking at other sections of the proposed plan that also touch on forestry issues.
We’ll keep you posted on further developments.
To: Humboldt County Forestry Review Committee 10/20/2010
Re: Participation in General Plan Update (GPU)
HumCPR appreciates the expert input you have already provided to the Planning Commission regarding Forest Land Use issues.
However, we believe that this is a conversation that has been truncated, interrupted and all but muzzled by temporary time constraints and other factors advanced during the process.
We share your frustration with some of those constraints and were pleased to note that the Planning Commission was respectful of your knowledge and experience with regard to forest management issues and asked for your input on many of the proposed policies, standards and implementation measures.
We also note that the commission specifically requested that staff provide you with revisions and additions to the proposed GPU that have been developed since your initial study of the plan in 2007 – 2008.
However, we were surprised to note that there is no planned discussion of the GPU on tonight’s agenda. Is this because you have not yet received those materials?
Over two years ago the FRC requested that the Board of Supervisors hold a study session on January 15, 2008 (or another suitable date) with the Planning Commission and the FRC to discuss TPZ issues. But it is our understanding that such a study session was never held.
Now that the Planning Commission has completed it’s review of section 4.6, Forest Resources, the next time this issue will come before the public is when it is forwarded to the Board of Supervisors. Given the need for clarity in this important decision making process we urge the FRC to remain active and to schedule a committee study session of the latest version of the proposed language in anticipation of being able to provide input to the Board.
We also note that in March of 2008 the FRC passed a motion recommending that: “the draft TPZ implementing ordinance language should be brought to the FRC for review of the development standards for ministerial permits on TPZ parcels less than 160 acres prior to Board adoption.” Though plan – related ordinances await future final approval of the plan we urge you to remind the Board and the Commission of that request.
In summary, we believe that your input is essential to a General Plan Update that addresses the future of Humboldt County’s privately held forestlands in a constructive and appropriate manner. We strongly urge you to remain involved in this process.