|Coastal San Luis RCD Board Meeting Minutes
UC Cooperative Extension
2156 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo, CA
February 21, 2014
Minutes of Meeting
I. Call to Order – Director Linda Chipping called the meeting to order at 12:34 PM.
A. Directors Present: Linda Chipping, Rob Rutherford, Dave Alford, and Cheryl Lenhardt
B. Directors Absent President Neil Havlik, Vice-President Jean-Pierre Wolff, and Director Kathie Matsuyama
Staff and Associates Present: Staff Members Della Barrett, outgoing Accounting and Grants Manager Shawn Meara, incoming Accounting and Grants Manager Cindy Gonzales, Nicole Smith, G.W. Bates, Mark Skinner, Sarah Phillips, Tim Pesce, Peter Rowland, and NRCS Representative Margy Lindquist.
II. Public Comment Period – None
III. Approval of Minutes of January 17, 2014 – On a motion by Rob, seconded by Dave, the Minutes of January 17, 2014 were approved unanimously.
IV. Financial Report
Approval of February Disbursements – Shawn had e-mailed the Disbursement List earlier. She reviewed it for the Board and answered questions. On a motion by Cheryl, seconded by Rob, the February Disbursement List was approved unanimously.
1/31/14 Financial Reports and Finance Manager Report – Shawn reviewed the report she had e-mailed earlier, and answered Board member questions on the statements. At the conclusion, because this was to be Shawn’s last board meeting, Linda and Cheryl made a short presentation to her and announced there would be refreshments after the meeting.
V. Report Items
A. Conservation Programs Manager Report – Nicole reviewed and elaborated on her report, which she had
e-mailed earlier. Board members commented and there was discussion of some of the points.
B. Engineer Report - G.W. reviewed and elaborated on his report, which he had e-mailed earlier.
C. Restoration Specialist Report – Mark gave his report. He welcomed Tim Peche, who is on loan from State Parks. He explained they are on a “crash program” to show results on dust control. Over a three day period the previous week, researchers from the Desert Research Institute of Reno, the California Geological Survey, archeologists, and others collaborated. The immediate plan is to install 17 rows of sand-trapping fencing and 6,000 intact bales of straw to trap dust in a targeted area. He showed a map of the area just west of the “sand highway”. They will be assisted by State Parks Maintenance crews and the CCCs. The results will be measured, and at the end of a three month period, the fencing will be removed. The Board discussed various possibilities. Rob mentioned a successful project in a former gold mining area, where “mountains” of tailings needed to be stabilized. They spread hay, brought in cows that ate and scattered the hay, their hooves pushed the hay into the ground, their manure fertilized the area, and the next year there was 90% plant coverage. The heavy cattle were a key component of the project, when lighter-weight goats would not have worked as well.
D. Natural Resource Conservation Service – Margy reported that most of the recent focus has been drought related, including EQIP funding for livestock watering wells or spring development. However, spring development will require intensive environmental reviews so will not be a short-term solution. Disaster drought assistance is also available from Farm Service Agency, which shares offices with the NRCS in Templeton. They and the NRCS are working together. She mentioned the Farm Bill has been passed, and passed out a report showing how Farm Bill spending is allocated. In the new bill, easement programs have been folded into one big program.
VI. Discussion and/or Board Action Items
A. Discussion of Future Grant Opportunities and Board Member Updates – Nicole reported there is a possibility of applying for a SLO Creek Watershed Management Plan grant through the California Dept of Fish and Wildlife Fisheries Restoration Program. Linda suggested looking at irrigation water efficiency grant applications, in view of the governor’s recent allocation of $687 million in drought emergency funds, primarily for a program that DWR will be putting together. On that subject, Guy mentioned he had just received an e-mail from Anne Coates, E.D of Cachuma RCD, wanting a list from all the RCDs about funding needed for possible irrigation-related water conservation projects.
B. Results From and Discussion of Strategic Planning Workshop – Rob and Linda led a discussion of possible mission statements. Peter and Sarah had made substantial contributions. After discussion, it was decided members should “blend” the proposed statements and e-mail their suggestions to Linda. Rob proposed a statement of purpose, took suggestions, and will e-mail the combined statement to members and staff before the next Strategic Planning meeting. The next workshop will be on March 12 at 6:00 pm at Lenhardt Engineering, 4115 Broad Street, Suite B6, San Luis Obispo.
C. Discussion of ARP permits for irrigation storage ponds – GW explained the need for formal board guidance regarding permitting irrigation and other agricultural ponds. After substantial discussion, it was decided a written policy is needed soon, before applications come in. Among the possible items to be addressed in the policy could be a requirement that the irrigation system be tested for efficiency and possibly requiring an upgrade. GW will write a draft policy for Board discussion.
D. Discussion and Possible Adoption of Conflict of Interest Code – Della had earlier e-mailed the draft Conflict of Interest Code. She explained the lack of a formal CSL RCD policy had come up during the first Strategic Planning meeting. She had received a sample Code, she and Jean-Pierre revised it to make it specific to the CSL RCD. She reviewed the code. Board members made one change: “a fee equal to the District’s cost will be charged for document reproduction”. With that change, Cheryl moved to approve the Conflict of Interest Code, Dave seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
E. “Conservationist of the Year Discussion” - Tabled until the next meeting.
F. Price Canyon Board Committee Report – Linda had attended a scoping meeting for the EIR for the proposed expansion of the Price Canyon oil field, recently acquired by large multi-national Freeport McMoran Oil and Gas, a copper, gold, and molybdenum extractive business, mostly outside the US. They have recently entered the oil and gas industry in California and Texas. The proposal for the Price Canyon expansion is to add 450 new oil wells. The CSL RCD was interested because of the water that is reclaimed by their reverse osmosis facility there. She reported that when they pump oil, 93% of what comes up is “produced” water. That water can be re-injected, or treated by RO so it can be put into Pismo Creek or other uses. In 2012, an estimated 817 acre feet of produced water was extracted. There will be considerably more with the proposed expansion. The EIR should identify every potential use of the reclaimed water. There will also a loss of over 2,000 oak trees and other native vegetation. The CSL RCD will comment on appropriate mitigation for this habitat loss.
G. Proposed Future Regular Board Meeting Dates: The next regular meetings will be March 21, 2014, and
April 18, 2014. Both will be at 12:30 pm at the Co-Op Extension. Linda will not be available April 18.
VII. Meeting Updates
A. CARCD, NACD, RC&D Council, and State Watershed Advisory Committee – No report.
B. ALAB, Edna Valley/Pismo Creek Watershed Group, and RWQCB – No report.
C. Water Resources Advisory Committee – Linda reported that pretty much everything regarding the Paso Basin proposed Water District activities had been covered in the newspapers.
D. Zone 9, LAFCO, and CSDA – No report.
VIII. Other Business – None
IX. Adjournment - The meeting was adjourned at 2:10 PM.
Della Barrett, Board Secretary