UDRC March 16, 2022 Board Meeting Minutes

April 21 UDRC Public Meeting Announcement

You are invited to attend a public meeting on April 21, 2:00 – 3:30 PM, at the Sunriver Library. Guest speakers will be Robert Newey, US Forest Service, Ross Huffman, Oregon Department of Forestry, and Boone Zimmerley, Fire Adapted Communities Coordinator. Presentations on Forest Service fuels reduction projects, ODF community defensible space assistance, and Firewise community education.

March 16, 2022 UDRC Board Meeting Minutes

Attendees: Called to Order 10:30AM
Jim Larsen, President
Dean Richardson, Vice President
Carol Brennan, Treasurer
Helen Marston, Board Member
Glenna Larsen, Bookkeeper
Carl Jensen, Advisor
Boone Zimmerlee, Deschutes County Fire Adapted Communities Coordinator
A quorum was established

April Public Meeting and speakers:
The April meeting potential dates are April 21 or 22, depending on speaker availability. Planned speaker is Robert Newey, National Forest Fire Management Officer, who will talk about 3 projects in the local area and other projects of interest to the region. Boone Zimmerlee will give a presentation on the basics of defensible space, home hardening, and OSFM (Office of State Fire Marshall) classes on defensible space inspection. Carol and Dean will do introductory comments, introduce UDRC, who it is and what it does. Board members agreed to help with set-up 30 minutes before the scheduled meeting. Ideas for the May and June public meetings were discussed; such as Home Hardening tips from the Fire Marshall’s Office, Water conservation, County and State roads projects, and District Ranger’s and USFS/BLM 5-year plans in the area.  Board members will forward flyer ideas to Helen Marston for creation of a flyer for the April presentation.

Secretary and Treasurer Officers:
Motion to elect Glenna Larsen to the Office of Treasurer and Board member, passed unanimously. Motion to elect Carol Brennan to the Office of Secretary, passed unanimously. Glenna Larsen developed new financial security procedures requiring separate Board signatures to (1) approve work/invoice and (2) to approve payment for the work/invoice. Glenna will coordinate Board changes with First Interstate Bank, and change signatories as required. New procedures will follow GAAP principles. Glenna will keep the Board informed of new security policies and procedures. Board Members signed Conflict of Interest forms and returned them to Glenna.

SWOT Analysis:
After a brief introduction to the SWOT (Strengths/Weaknesses, Opportunities/Threats) the Board decided to get input from Board members via email. The intent is to create a 3-year strategic plan, focus resources, and target a mix of public outreach, grant application, central resource for other programs. Lengthy discussion about targeting the La Pine region for expansion of programs, volunteers, and Board members. No final decision was made. Boone Zimmerlee commented that La Pine Fire may decide to combine Upper Deschutes and La Pine CWPP’s, because La Pine Fire serves both regions, the issues/risks are similar, and oversight may be more efficient. UDRC’s CWPP is due for an update beginning in 2023 and combining the two CWPP’s may be considered by La Pine Fire during that process. Consequently, it may require clarification of the UDRC role and service area. The Board is open to further discussion and will reach out for assistance from La Pine volunteers at the April public meeting. Carl suggested that we send our flyers for public/speaker meetings to the Sunriver and La Pine Chamber to be included in their monthly newsletters. Their newsletters have larger distribution and will reach more people than UDRC’s distribution channels.

Vandevert Acres Road Clearing:
UDRC was approached by Vandevert Road District to assist in obtaining a grant to do road clearing of trees/brush within the Vandevert HOA area. UDRC has agreed to help. Jim Larsen will attend the Road District’s quarterly meeting for more details on the scope of the project. Jim will inform the Board and direct assistance to the appropriate grantor. Potentials are BNSF Railroad, First Interstate, and Heart of Oregon SB 762 grant.

Heart of Oregon “Vulnerable Communities” projects:
discussion about how to identify vulnerable communities, and what kinds of projects can be developed for grant assistance.  The Fire Marshalls office has not yet defined “vulnerable communities.” UDRC neighborhoods are becoming gentrified due to the rapid increase in housing costs.  Future identification of vulnerable communities may require a % of low income, disabled, persons of color, and elderly to qualify for assistance. The state is developing maps to identify such areas, but the maps are not finalized or released for public viewing at this time. Areas like La Pine have an obvious and great need for assistance. Focus on La Pine might create some opportunities to organize, define projects, and get assistance; however, UDRC needs more volunteers and input from the La Pine area. We expect details to be revealed by the State Fire Marshall’s Office by the end of the year. In the meantime, UDRC will stay informed and act as a conduit of information to communities that may qualify. Also, UDRC can get started on identifying projects and pricing them. Discussion of options include landowner reimbursement for fuels reduction, curbside chip days, free yard waste dump days, weed and flammable shrub removal, replacement alternatives to bark mulch within the 5’ zone. Boone Zimmerlee offered that Firewise Communities are more likely to get grant assistance. Discussion about promoting the Firewise program with HOA’s, however; in some cases, HOA-wide may be too big of a reach due to lack of organization. Firewise communities can have a minimum of 8 landowners. Sometimes when a small group gets started on Firewise Community status, it encourages others to join.

HOA and Road District Communications:
Jim Larsen’s list is outdated for some communities. Jim is in the process of updating the contact list and requested help from other Board Members. UDRC wants to leverage outreach by having HOA’s and Road Districts forward public meeting and grant assistance information to their members via their mailing lists.

Next regular Board Meeting: in 1 month, to be arranged via email later.
Adjourn: 12:30PM

February 2022 Activities Statement

February 2022 Grant Summary