The following letter went out to our email distribution list, and is a quick recap of the FOBM meeting held at Cobb Elementary School on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015. A more detailed summary will be available in the Dec. newsletter. To sign up for updates, please submit your request to fobmtn AT gmail DOT com.
We had a very good turnout last night at the informational FOBM meeting. Boggs Forest Manager, Nick Kent, held an excellent slide presentation of BMDSF (Boggs Mountain Demonstration State Forest) before and after the Valley Fire.
This email is intended to provide you with the attachments showing the burn severity of the area and an overlay map to help you discern which areas and trails were impacted and to what degree.
Please note that the severity is measured by CAL FIRE professionals. We as community members may have widely inconsistent opinions on what we might regard as severe, so please keep this in mind as you view the burn map and compare it to what you see from publicly-accessible roads such as Hwy 175.
FOBM is grateful for Nick’s time and outreach, and especially his gracious manner in responding to the audience’s questions. Our board and members are in strong support of the incredible work that Nick has put into managing the several agencies and research personnel, while responding to public queries in the limited time he has available. Not only has he been working with CAL FIRE and timber personnel and cleanup crews; Nick has also been working with researchers from Humboldt State and UC Davis Extension, who are monitoring many areas in the forest. Thank you all for your patience, and please know that Nick is doing his best to respond to your questions.
Kudos also to the many present and past BMDSF fire personnel and community members, such as previous forest manager Gerri Finn, who have returned and stepped up in the fire recovery phase.
A more detailed summary will be forthcoming in our next newsletter (December). The primary takeaways that we would like to leave you with here are:
- Please respect the forest closure. It is for your safety as well as the safety of others who may have to come and bail you out of a dicey situation.
- What may seem like a sacred space after a burn is in reality, a significant hazard zone. A tree that may look “OK” may suddenly fall and collapse. This is not a warning simply to frighten people. It is a common occurrence witnessed by Nick and other CAL FIRE personnel months after a burn. In addition, mammoth-scale cleanup and timber harvesting machines will be in the forest.
- There are hazards of stepping into depressions or holes where a tree previously stood but was burned to the ground. These depressions can be hard to detect. At least two CAL FIRE staff were injured this past year from this type of hazard.
- The anticipated re-opening of the forest is some time in the end of summer 2016. CAL FIRE is considering opening certain sections, but Nick cited the challenge of keeping the public from exploring other areas that are off-limits.
- Reforestation, tree planting, etc. will not happen until late fall/winter of 2016. Thank you to those who have enthusiastically sent their emails on wanting to help replant, but we need to wait another year before we can head out to help the foresters.
- FOBM will continue trail maintenance in the area behind Cobb Elementary which is still part of BMDSF but is open and mostly unscathed in the fire. The next trail maintenance day will be Sunday, Dec. 13 at 9am. Please meet at Cobb Elementary parking lot and contact David Thiessen for more info: 707-295-5972
- Thanks to FOBM co-founder Tim Battaglia, who provided the following link with some interesting data and photos (see last two pages with “Values at Risk” information) with regard to the post-fire watershed study:http://cdfdata.fire.ca.gov/pub/cdf/images/incidentfile1226_1955.pdf
There are many other hikes and rides in Lake County and environs (though admittedly, none as gorgeous and user-friendly as Boggs), and here are some resources to find them:
Thank you all for your care and support of Boggs.
We wish you a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving!
The FOBM Board
P.S. Note this Friday’s meeting at the Black Rock golf course (formerly Rob Roy) on High Efficiency Home Design: