SIERRA BROOKS WATER SYSTEM was again discussed at the SIerra County Board of Supervisors’ meeting on Tuesday in Loyalton. Keith Knibb of Sauers Engineering was on hand to answer any questions regarding the Assessment Engineer’s Report to be approved by the Board. Under question on how much this will cost for residents, Knibb stated the annual assessment payment was $246.30 per Equivalent Dwelling Unit (EDU) which comes out to $20.52 per month for 39 years, adding additional rates will be added for operations and maintenance. He said residents could pay it all upfront for $5606.86 and save over $3,000 in interest and service charges. Knibb said the system was designed for 2,500 gallons a day and meters will be installed. There were many questions and County Counsel told the Board, this was not a public hearing, it was just to approve the report and then a public hearing date will be set and ballots will be sent out 45 days prior to the public hearing to be counted that night. The Board tabled the item to the next meeting, September 4th in Downieville.
SIERRA COUNTY’S PROCLAMA-
TION FOR EMERGENCY RESOLU-
TION 2014-066 with regard to catastrophic wildfire potential was discussed during the Sierra County Board of Supervisors’ meeting on Tuesday, August 21st. Sierra County Planning Director Tim Beals stated he placed this item out of frustration. He said the Board adopted a resolution in 2014 proclaiming a local state of emergency and in 2016 under the same approach, and started engaging the rural counties, agencies and Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC). Beals felt the “paralysis” in agencies unable to move this forward was stunning, adding the impacts of not doing anything has started people thinking of the exposure of having catastrophic fire here, isn’t a matter of if, but when. Beals stated, “We have been lucky”, and agencies have been asleep at the wheel. Beals wasn’t sure what the Board could do, but felt it was more of a national issue now than it was in 2014 and 2016. Supervisor Paul Roen stated he forwarded the Resolution to Congressman Doug LaMalfa and his District Representative Shane Starr who was present, in trying to continue to draw attention to the fact there‘s a problem. Supervisor Lee Adams stated 70%. of Sierra County’s problem is National Forest land, which is not under the control of the State of California. Chairman Scott Schlefstein added there was a lot of overgrowth on California State Wildlife land in Sierra Brooks.. Beals said they needed to prioritize this on a national level and demand attention. He said one of the concerns, was the posture of the conservancy, and felt they were in a prominent position to be effective on this issue. Roen stated he thought the director was so frustrated he was retiring this fall. Beals thought maybe Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) had some voice and likened the situation to the tree mortality task force, where there’s 15 counties doing it 15 different ways. He said everybody’s feeling either abandoned or isolated and felt it was a full-time effort to try and garner support. Sierraville District Ranger Quentin Youngblood looked at the situation as an opportunity and focused on three points of consideration: one being the expansion of tier 1 and tier 2 designations. Youngblood stated a lot of dialogue was being had on an expedited planning process and always look at SNC as a central pivot point to these conversations, he felt would be fruitful. Youngblood said to also look at grant money, adding there’s a lot out there. Beals stated leadership to muster the resources was really what was on the table, and felt SNC was in the best position. Local rancher, Dave Goicoechea, stated a lot of big issues we can’t fix, but on a local reference here, he said houses burn, but irrigated cropland usually doesn’t. He said, this was a land use decision, and felt the biggest loss in most forests were grazing rights. Goicoechea told the Board to look at Carson City stating until they started grazing and paid to have sheep brought in, there were fires there. He said usually what sets big trees on fire are little plants next to larger plants that are all edible to livestock, adding there were a lot of things that could be done by this Board. Goicoechea concluded by stating, “You can swear at the dark or light a candle.” Roen stated he and Beals would commit to having a meeting with SNC Chairman.