Sierra Nevada Conservation Framework
Core Staff Meeting, CDF/FS Office, Sacramento
28 April 1998

Notes by Mike Chapel, USFS

Staff Attending: Jim Barry (CDP&R), Mike Chapel (USFS), David French (RCRC), Judy Heath (Calfed), Russ Henly (CDF), Frank Jerauld (Central Sierra RC&D), Sue Ladner (USDA-RD), Jerry Reioux (NRCS), Bob Roan (High Sierra RC&D), Mike Oliver (UC), Lon Payne (EPA), Linda Reynolds (USFS), and Ken Sanchez (FWS).

Observers: Pat Blacklock (Calif. Cattlemen's Assn.), Sue Britting (Sierra Forest Protection Camp.) and John Hofmann (CFA).


* Chapel summarized recent changes to the Sierra Program for the national forests for the group as follows:

Regional Forester Lynn Sprague soon send a letter to the forest supervisors that provides guidance for consistent implementation of existing direction and policy on Sierra Nevada National Forests. Chapel will forward this letter to the staff team when it is available. The team will review individually and advise Chapel if there is a desire for a meeting to discuss the letter with the Mr. Sprague or other Forest Service Staff.

The Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station (PSW) will complete a short-term review of existing information (SNEP, Calowl DEIS, FAC Report, etc.) with the goal of identifying lingering issues for national forests in the Sierra.

The PSW will lead a more rigorous science review for important lingering issues such as old-growth forests and riparian areas. This project will take 4-6 months. Science review teams will be led by PSW and staffed with other scientists as interest and availability permits. The science reviews will be subject to peer review.

Results from the science reviews will be used by the Forest Service, working with the public and others, to determine whether there is a need to consider changes to existing management direction on the national forests. The science reviews, determination of the need for additional NEPA work, and any subsequent planning for the national forests will be completed in an open public process that is highly interactive with the public and others in government. The estimated time for completing any new NEPA work is 18 months.

*Chapel also summarized an April 17 meeting among Lynn Sprague, Hal Salwasser, Doug Wheeler, Jim Branham, Richard Wilson, Ed Hastey, and Felicia Marcus. The purpose for the meeting was to discuss options for proceeding with the framework project. This group agreed that:

1) a leadership team should be formed to help guide the framework project;

2) they would be willing to serve on the team;

3) other leaders from the California Biodiversity Council should be invited to participate;

4) an MOU or charter should be drafted to outline the program of work;

5) short-term work should focus on improving collaboration on existing programs and projects, but work should also begin on a longer term conservation strategy for the Sierra; and

6) staff from the Biodiversity Council should begin working on an implementation strategy for these ideas.

At the April 17 meeting, the Forest Service also offered to coordinate the science reviews and subsequent planning for the national forests with the leadership team. It also agreed to lead the staff effort to organize the leadership team and craft a charter for the framework.

* There was much discussion about the details regarding the science reviews and NEPA for the national forests and their relationship to the framework. The staff and observers concluded that they would like to continue working together on Sierra issues in some capacity. They decided to table the agenda items for the meeting a redirect their discussion towards crafting a recommended organizational structure for the framework project. The group developed the following generalized structure for a collaboration framework for the Sierra which will be presented to the Biodiversity Council staff on May 5:

(Includes local, state, and federal government leaders, plus representatives from tribes and private interest groups)
(comprised similarly to the leadership team)
(Local watershed groups, community groups, facilitated by
RCDS, RC&DS, Community colleges, etc.)

Under this proposed structure, decisions would be made at the lowest possible level. Assistance would be solicited from higher levels when there are needs for technical expertise, information, funding, and dispute resolution. Requests for funds, data, and other opportunities available through state and federal programs would move in the opposite direction and originate through the executive leadership team. In this structure, the existing staff for the framework project would become the staff support for the executive leadership team.

May 4, 1998

Core Staff Group - Sierra Nevada Conservation Strategy

Name Organization
Banky E. Curtis California Department of Fish & Game
David French Regional Council Rural Counties
Jim Gaither Agency
Jerry Reioux Natural Resources Conservation Service
Jim Lecky National Marine Fisheries Service
Connie Millar Pacific Southwest Forest & Range Experiment Station
Ray Murray National Park Service
Carl Rountree Bureau of Land Managment
Leonidas Payne Evniromental Protection Agency
Joseph Saulque Tribes
Ken Sanchez National Fish Wildlife Service
Bill Stewart California Department of Forestry
Pete Stine United States Geological Survey-BRD
Tom Wehri California Association of Resource Conservation Districts
Judy Heath CalFed
Jim Barry Department of Parks Recreation
Russ Henly California Department of Forestry
Sue Ladner USDA RD
Mike Oliver University of California, Davis-Wildland and Water Resources Center
Linda Reynolds United State Forest Service
Rick Alexander United State Forest Service
Wendy Yun United State Forest Service


Interested NGO representatives

Name Organization
Sharlene Reed United Forest Families
John Hofmann California Forestry Association
Tracy Grubbs Sierra Business Council
Louis Blumberg The Wilderness Society
Bob Dale FSEEE (Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics)
Laurel Ames Sierra Nevada Alliance
Scott Hoffman Sierra Nevada Forest Protection Campaign
Pat Blacklock California Cattlemen's Association
Sue Britting  

Sunday, January ,(, /),( 0(:,(:,( AM