Pit River Watershed Alliance by 2sGRZLZ


									                              Pit River Watershed Alliance
                                   September 19, 2002
                                       Canby CA

Present: Mark Steffek, North Cal-Neva RC&D; Dale Kroschel, NRCS; Wendy
Johnston, VESTRA; Terry Williams, North Cal-Neva RC&D; Gary & Nancy
Monchamp, Big Valley; Laura Shinn, Central Modoc RCD; Sandra Higa, NRCS; Cliff
Harvey, Central Modoc RCD; Fraser Sime, DWR; Mike Bacca, SPI; Robert Shaw, Pit
RCD; Rod McArthur, McArthur; Paula Fields, Central Modoc RCD; Shannon Ludwig,
USFWS Modoc NWR; Caity Cook, Central Modoc RCD; Bobbie Schiermeyer, North
Cal-Neva RC&D

In the absence of Todd Sloat, Watershed Coordinator, Mark Steffek called the meeting to
order at 3:05 PM.

Introductions were made.

Review of the Alliance Grants:
Mark Steffek advised that the DOC (California Department of Conservation) grant
funding the Watershed Coordinator ended in June this year. The Alliance was awarded
another 16 months, but the funds are coming slowly. The 319 EPA funds come from
SWRCB (State Water Resource Control Board).

The Pit RCD proposal for a Watershed Coordinator has made the first round and will
come up for the next round. Dennis Heiman commented that it should be funded shortly.
The funds will be used to hire a coordinator and implementation of three identified
projects that include 2 stream enhancements in the Upper Oak Creek and channel erosion.
Pit RCD needs to put together a watershed program as others have.

Cliff Harvey, Central Modoc RCD, reported that CMRCD is waiting to see if their 319
proposals for projects will be awarded. One is the storm weather project with the City of
Alturas regarding the wetlands. The new EPA is for wetlands monitoring and restoration
and could also be a good project the Alliance. They could form a committee to do a

Julie Morrison, Gooselake Watershed Coordinator, reported that she is fairly new on the
projects. The projects are on-going for the past years. They are working with the
landowners regarding riparian, working on the creek to do natural channel. They had a
seminar for producers in Surprise Valley. They plan to develop an educational project
for the State Line School.

Steffek discussed the CALFED contract with North Cal-Neva RC&D that has been
signed. VESTRA Resources is the sub-contractor to do the assessment for the Alliance.
There is funding for capacity building, for a watershed coordinator and educational
funding for the Modoc River Center staffing.

Steffek announced that Todd Sloat has resigned as watershed coordinator. We have
received 12 resumes. A committee will review the resumes and start interviews.

Sandy Higa reported on the 2003 Farm Bill. Higa advised that the Third party Vendor
criteria will be out in early October and they will need to be certified. Contact Eric
Breadsley at 530-527-2667 for the web site address.

The CSP has three levels. The RMS plan on property is a #3 in Iowa only in 2003. GRP
for grasslands will not be available for 3 years. EQIP, available for individual farmers
and ranchers only, is for $450,000 or smaller. There are no geographic area priorities, and
requires a local ranking group. FSA, Farm Bureau and local working group need ranking
criteria for the area. They must do this immediately in order to get funding. Need to talk
up the formation of a local group at the District meetings because there needs to be a plan
in place. Each plan gets ranked. The Alliance could be designated as the local work

Dennis Heiman reported on the monitoring. He is working on the final report of the 8
stations. The year and half monitoring was completed on September 1, 2002, and they
won’t be collecting any more samples. A fish survey, water quality study of 1980 and
1960 will be included in the report, as well as what has exacerbated the problem and what
can be done about it. Heiman sees the Pit River as a warm body, with weed growth and
sediment is natural.

Heiman explained that because the state does not like to contract with non-government
agencies and does not like pass-through contracts, i.e. contract to RC&D and then
RC&D sub-contracts the job out. Therefore, the state rejected the contract to North Cal-
Neva RC&D and awarded it to Central Modoc RCD who employees the Pit River
Coordinator. The coordinator needs experience and trust of the landowner to do the
tributary monitoring. Grant is for $110,000 for the first 2 years with most of the funds
for the coordinator to do the monitoring. Harvey explained that the funds will go to the
Central Modoc RCD but the coordinator and project will be overseen by the Alliance.
This is all part of the study plan.

Heiman reported that Stewart Reed, with the Land owner permission for most of the
river, completed the fish sampling on the Pit River yesterday. Reed will give a full
report at the next Alliance meeting. It will include the difference between the last
sampling and this. He did not find trout, bass or catfish. The south fork has red band,
brown and rainbow trout. Some also found near Alturas. Almost all are native fish and
downstream from Alturas are a very diverse selection.

Wendy Johnston, VESTRA, reported on the steps to be taken regarding the assessment.
They will start by meeting with the landowners. Four community meetings are
scheduled. VESTRA will need names of people to contact and preference of when
meetings should be scheduled for specific areas. Vestra will then announce the meetings
and send information to the stakeholders.

Johnston complimented the Alliance and said that the Pit River Watershed Alliance is
unique in California.

Johnston said that the assessment should answer questions that the people of the area ask.
There is a need to get the public involved, and they are contacting the people who have
lived in the area a long time to share their memory and history of the watershed. Photos
that can be scanned would be helpful. Heiman suggested going through the Historical
Society. Some of the information to be brought forward is, what are the issues of specific
areas, what controversy to expect, what were the changes in lifetime and why did they
happen. The document will give all people the same basic knowledge. It will cover
analyzing, findings, conclusion, and recommendations to help with Phase II.

Johnston said that the goal is to have all the meetings in October. Flyers will go out next
week and start state wide data in 2 weeks. Johnston will summarize at the next Alliance
meeting. The division would be, Alturas – upper watershed, Bieber – Middle watershed,
and McArthur – lower watershed. Suggested meeting dates were for Wednesdays:
September 23, Bieber at 7 PM in the Memorial Hall; November 6, Alturas at City Hall;
Likely – need to contact for a date.

Fire Safety Council in Adin at 6:30 PM tonight.
Clean Up the Pit River will be Saturday, September 21 from 10 a.m. to Noon.
North Cal-Neva RC&D Council will meet in Cedarville on September 25 at 9:30 a.m. at
Community Hall.
The Modoc Plateau CARCD will meet October 23, 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 PM in Susanville at
the Country Kitchen Restaurant.
Workshop on November 5, 6 and 7. 2 days on stream vegetation technique and 1 day on
road maintenance and design. Need to sign up. Contact Cliff Harvey.

Agenda for next meeting:
Introduce Watershed Coordinator
VESTRA update – Wendy Johnston
Modoc Fish Sampling – Stewart Reed
Water Quality – Dennis Heiman
Working Group re Farm Bill – Sandy and Dale

Next meeting will be Thursday, November 21 at 1:00 PM in Canby.

Meeting adjourned at 4:30 PM


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