California Fire Safe Council Board of Directors Meeting
April 20 and 21, 2006
La Playa Board Room, Ventura Marriott Hotel
Day One, April 20, 2006
The meeting was called to order at 2:40 PM, with Chairman Bruce Turbeville presiding. In attendance:
Chairman Bruce Turbeville, Treasurer David Horne, and directors Jay Watson, Frank Stewart, Cheryl Miller,
Secretary Pat Kidder, and Jerry Davies via telephone, constituting a quorum. Absent: Ms. Katelman, Ms.
Pollema, Mr. Whitman, Mr. Blonski, and Mr. Bischel. Also in attendance were Exec. Dir. Erica Bisch and
Southern California Region Grant Manager Cathy Brooke.
I. Welcome, Opening Comments and Public Comment Period:
A. Approval of January 2006 meeting minutes
Motion: Ms. Miller moved to approved minutes, Dr. Horne seconded, passed unanimously.
B. WGA Conference Report
Mr. Stewart reported that the WGA provided a good opportunity to make a presentation on the CFSC, although
he felt the regional meetings were more positive. He commented that other states are really struggling with
funding the types of activities handled by the CFSC and are curious to know how the CFSC operates. Many
areas have lost infrastructure (contractors, biomass materials, industries who work with biomass). Ethanol was
also discussed; apparently, although there was previously a great deal of funding for ethanol plants, they have
not proven effective because of a lack of technology to convert to producing corn ethanol. Mr. Stewart
estimates that using biomass for ethanol is at least 15 years away.
Mr. Stewart also commented on the efforts to reauthorize HR2389. While this legislation is primarily for
funding schools in rural counties, it also has the possibility of providing funding for Fire Safe Councils. Mr.
Stewart noted that there has been little endorsement of the reauthorization from members of Congress, and that
he feels the FSCs need to educate our legislators (primarily Senator Boxer) about the benefits of this legislation.
Mr. Watson said that he had already talked with Senator Boxer’s representative, and that she had a concern
about some changes that had been made in the legislation regarding separate contracts for cutting/selling trees.
Mr. Stewart recommended that Sen. Boxer’s concerns be examined further, and Mr. Watson said he would do
this. According to Mr. Stewart, Sen. Feinstein is already supportive of this legislation and thinks that, with
more input, Sen. Boxer will also support. Ms. Bisch noted that the CFSC has sent letters of support via fax to
each Member of Congress on the relevant committees, and that Ms. Katelman has met with Senator Boxer.
Mr. Stewart asked that the CFSC sign and submit a form which would list the CFSC as a supporter of the
reauthorization of HR2389, and would like local FSCs to sign as supporters as well. He commented that the list
of local FSCs on the website at present is not current and would like them brought up to date and listed by
county. Ms. Bisch said that staff time is not available to do this. Mr. Stewart also spoke of a need to organize
more county FSCs; this will be discussed later in this meeting.
Mr. Stewart also discussed increasing the use of stewardship contracts. This provides for a “fee for service”
contract instead of sale of logs and other materials. The revenues that would be developed with these contracts
would stay at the local site and not be steered to County budgets. He believes that the use of these contracts
could be beneficial to the CFSC and local FSCs and help us not have to be so reliant on support/funding from
Motion: Ms. Miller moved to increase the CFSC’s support of HR 2389 by submitting the form, and to
encourage local FSCs to do the same via notifying them that they can sign up to support HR 2389 at
www.forestco.tcde.tehama.k12.ca.us in the May 15 e-newsletter. Mr. Kidder seconded, and the motion passed
unanimously. Mr. Turbeville asked that the form indicating the CFSC’s support be submitted by May 15 as this
is a time-sensitive issue (it will be voted on in August).
Motion: Ms. Miller moved to create an informational package, authorize Mr. Stewart to convene a committee,
and meet with Senator Boxer at her next recess in California to encourage her to be a co-sponsor of the
reauthorization of HR2389. Mr. Stewart seconded, and the motion passed unanimously. Mr. Stewart and Mr.
Watson will investigate Sen. Boxer’s concerns, and will report back to the board at the July meeting on any
actions needed in order to be prepared to meet with her. They will also try to involve Tehama County
Superintendent of Schools, Bob Douglas (who also serves as the Chair of the County School Coalition) as a
C. Alliance Leadership Meeting Report:
Ms. Bisch said that it was an interesting meeting, with growth and structure being significant issues discussed.
There is a need for dedicated administrative staff support for the Alliance, as well as support for the website.
There is some possibility of folding the Alliance website into the CFSC website. There would also be the
possibility of putting funds through the CFSC for staffing and website support. It may be mutually beneficial to
use this staff person to handle administrative support for the CFSC. Mr. Turbeville said two members were
added to the Alliance: the Regional Council of Rural Counties, and Cal Chiefs.
Mr. Stewart inquired who was delegated to oversee the Fire Safe Council website. Ms. Bisch responded that
nobody does at present, that it doesn’t fall under the currently funded scope of work for current CFSC staff.
Grant managers are only funded to manage grants, and their time is fully booked. We would need to find
someone else to do the website. She commented that the website was never intended as a FSC responsibility; it
was previously managed by Manning Selvage and Lee when the Council was part of CDF and reverted to the
CFSC when it became a business. Ms. Miller asked if we could propose to the Alliance that they fund a
position to manage the website? Ms. Bisch said that is possible. She said that, for the Alliance web site person,
she had tentatively budgeted $25,000. She thinks it is a key position, since the website is “our storefront.” This
issue will be further investigated and discussed; no motion was made regarding specifics.
D. Regional Grant Manager Reports:
These had been included in the Board packets, so there was no discussion. However, Mr. Turbeville
commented that he wanted it noted that he felt the reports were “extremely well done and much appreciated.”
II. Vision Statement Development
Ms. Bisch provided some background, saying that at the January meeting, the board had discussed the concept
of a vision statement – what does success look like? She commented that it is motivational, which differs from
a mission statement. The results of today’s discussion, she said, will go to the Planning Committee, and will
also help with the development of the overall Strategic Plan. Dr. Horne, who teaches this subject, mentioned
that in his work with other organizations, he has found the strategic planning process to be uncomfortable
because it deals with change, uncertainty and new directions. He said that the vision statement points “the way
to get there and makes the hard work worthwhile.” He said that the vision statement doesn’t need to be
incredibly specific. He also said that these statements help attract employees who have many options – people
who WANT to be with you as opposed to people for whom you’re the only option. The results of this
discussion were a streamlined mission statement and a vision statement.
Motion: Mr. Stewart moved the adoption of the following mission statement for the California Fire Safe
Council: “mobilizing Californians to protect their homes, communities and environment from wildfires.” The
motion was seconded by Ms. Miller and passed enthusiastically and unanimously.
Motion: Mr. Stewart moved the adoption of the following vision statement for the California Fire Safe Council:
“Together, people and communities have eliminated the impact of catastrophic wildfires to all they hold dear.”
Mr. Kidder seconded, and, again, the motion passed enthusiastically and unanimously.
IV. Adjournment: The board adjourned for the day at 5 p.m.
Day Two: April 21, 2006
The meeting was called to order at 8:15 a.m. by Chairman Turbeville. In attendance were: Chairman
Turbeville, Treasurer David Horne, and directors Cheryl Miller, Frank Stewart, Jay Watson, Ellen Pollema and
Secretary Pat Kidder, constituting a quorum. Also in attendance were Exec. Dir. Erica Bisch and Southern
California Region Grant Manager Cathy Brooke.
V. Vision Statement (continued): Mr. Turbeville will send the other members of the CFSC board the new
mission and vision statements. They will also be sent to members of the Alliance and posted on the website.
VI. Discussion of CFSC to local FSC relationship:
Ms. Bisch prefaced the discussion by asking what do the local FSCs want and how do we meet our mission?
She commented that as local FSCs mature, their needs change. In addition, she said the CFSC needs to manage
its corporate image so avoid use of that image by groups that don’t subscribe to the mission and vision and
whose use of it could tarnish the efforts of all FSCs. Some guidelines and structure are needed. Mr. Stewart
suggested that the creation of more county-wide FSCs could help provide structure. Ms. Pollema questioned
how these county-wide FSCs and staff would be funded. Ms. Miller cited the “Nevada System,” in which the
state provides the funding. Ms. Pollema asked how we can feasibly trademark the logo after the fact.
According to a report from the CFSC attorneys, we can indeed trademark the logo, but the federal government
may not recognize it as “unique.” If it is approved, we can grandfather in those who are already using the logo.
Mr. Turbeville commented that the bigger question is, “does the logo belong to CDF,” since it was developed
under a contract with CDF. Dr. Horne said it would still be all right for the CFSC to trademark the logo,
according to the attorneys.
Mr. Turbeville stated that a Code of Conduct should accompany the application to use the logo. He also said
that having county councils would create a chain of command. He said that the proposed new structure would
be politically and operationally sound, and have better communications. As envisioned, the county councils can
incubate new councils, but can also apply for grants. This would not preclude local councils from applying for
grants. Ms. Miller said that, the way she would picture the new organization, the state board would deal with
the county councils, and the county councils would deal with the local councils. Mr. Turbeville recommended
that the existing Endorsement Committee” (composed of Mr. Bischel, Mr. Turbeville, Mr. Blonski and Ms.
Miller) continue their discussions and develop a flow chart of organization and associated needs (e.g. funding,
training needs, code of conduct), and produce their report by the July board meeting.
VII. Treasurer’s Report:
A. Financial statements: Dr. Horne commented that he has minimized or eliminated some accounts,
which was made possible by our strong relationship with the bank. He will be working with our
Accountant, Mr. Moline, to identify any additional appropriate funds that can be moved into the money
market account to earn interest.
B. Budget vs. actual expenses: This report was not received from Mr. Moline in time for the meeting.
C. P&L/Income Statement: Direct and indirect expenses for consultants are now very minimal, according
to Dr. Horne. The remaining indirect expense is the website. While it is a minor expense now, it may
increase if we are able to expand the management of the website as per yesterday’s discussion. Ms.
Bisch said that we are ready to begin our audit. Since the audit would likely not be concluded by the
time the CFSC’s tax returns are due, Ms. Bisch anticipated the auditors will file an extension and do the
most recent year taxes following completion of the audit. After this year, if we have another clean audit,
we will move into a low risk auditee status, which might reduce our audit costs while also giving our
funders more of a sense of security about our proper management of federal funds.
Motion: Ms. Miller moved to approve the Treasurer’s Report as presented. Seconded by Ms. Pollema, and
D. Expanded Credit Card Policy Adoption: The Finance Committee recommends the adoption of this
policy (as contained in the board annotated agenda) as a change in our Policy & Procedures Manual.
(The employee statement is currently not specifically included in the Manual.)
Motion: Mr. Watson moved to adopt the expanded credit card policy. It was seconded by Mr. Kidder and
E. Unrestricting funds: Mr. Turbeville reported that he has not yet received an official letter from PG&E
to unrestrict funds remaining from the PG&E grant, although he has had positive discussions about it
with PG&E personnel. Mr. Davies has also not yet obtained an official OK from State Farm to
unrestrict State Farm funds remaining from its grant.
VIII. Strategic Plan update/discussion of organizational priorities:
The group reviewed the tracking summary. Many categories need to be prioritized, with specific due dates
added. Some tasks are currently being addressed, i.e. define relationships between CFSC and local FSCs,
legislation, federal grant applications. Ms. Miller suggested that the form needed to be simplified, and offered
to tackle this project. As one example of things she believes should be changed, she felt that fundraising should
be shown as a higher priority over education. Ms. Bisch briefly discussed the small group sessions that had
taken place at yesterday’s Statewide meeting, saying that these same questions would be put to local FSCs in
the other regions at upcoming Statewide meetings. The group felt that these same questions should be put to the
Alliance, and also posted on the website for general information and input.
The discussion then segued to Alliance involvement in the overall process. Mr. Kidder said he believes we
need more help from the Alliance in achieving the goal of creating CWPPs statewide – he says it’s really an
Alliance task and the CFSC is a tool in helping them achieve the CWPP goals. Mr. Turbeville commented that
we need to remind them that the Alliance Directors said having a CWPP would be a factor in future
grantmaking decisions. The funding streams haven’t helped the process along in that they haven’t been putting
an emphasis on funding projects to complete CWPPs on a wide scale. Suggestions on ways to expand funding
for projects in CWPPs included stewardship contracts and workshops to identify other funding sources. Mr.
Stewart feels that it’s a much bigger picture than just the Clearinghouse-funded projects. He believes we need
to be working to help get projects completed which adjoin projects on Federal lands.
Ms. Bisch suggested that individual meetings with Agency Directors might be very effective, since issues vary
with each Agency. Agency staff would need to be briefed as well so that they are in the communications loop.
The group agreed that Agency staff needs to be assured of the CFSC’s dedication to CWPPs, and of our interest
in getting them implemented. In general discussion, board members said, they need to find a way to make
CWPPs properly weighted in funding decisions. As the CFSC discusses the situation with each Agency
Director, we need to ascertain what are the stumbling blocks to wider funding/implementation of CWPPs –
money, people, equipment, etc. The current firestorms in Oklahoma and Texas may provide strong object
lessons. One question raised was, “What’s being done in other states?” Apparently Idaho has a CWPP in each
county, but all work is being done by the counties, with little citizen/local involvement. Mr. Turbeville stated
that he wishes to see more information on the CWPP issue by the July meeting.
Another organizational priority discussed was 07 funding. The board felt we should ask Sen. Feinstein for
assistance in securing $5 million. In the discussion, it was commented that we should contact Sen. Feinstein’s
staff to find out what they see happening with funding for the next FFY. Dr. Horne suggested that we also need
to involve OMB and suggested Mr. Stewart talk with his OMB contact in Washington D.C. Mr. Turbeville will
talk to Directors Weingardt and Pool. Mr. Kidder will discuss with USFS staff where hazardous fuels funding
might come from. Mr. Watson will talk with John Watts of Sen. Feinstein’s staff. All of these actions need to
be done ASAP – within the next 30 days. Also discussed were ways the CFSC could be helpful in developing
tools to help local FSCs fundraise with corporations on the local level, such as Home Depot, Lowe’s, etc.
(Many of these corporations are reluctant to fund statewide, saying that they provide local funding.) At the
same time, Mr. Turbeville said, we need to find the right key for the right door to unlock corporate support on a
statewide level. Ms. Bisch noted that development (i.e. fundraising) staff and associated non-federal funding
would be needed, as it is beyond the capacity of current staff and CFSC financial resources to handle.
A. CFSC logo trademark: Ms. Bisch said that we have had preliminary discussions on this with our
lawyers, but that we want to meet with counsel to trademark our names (CFSC and FSC), logo, and
selected slogans (“Be Fire Safe,” “Fire Safe California”). Once the trademark is in place, we need to
establish criteria on usage – a Code of Conduct. Dr. Horne suggested that before we meet again with
our attorneys, we see what we can do ourselves to save money on attorney fees. He volunteered to do
this before we set up our next meeting. At the same time, Ms. Bisch will get an estimate on attorney
services for trademark issues.
Motion: Ms. Miller moved that the CFSC trademarks, on both state and federal levels, our names, logo,
and slogans (as listed above): that we research the best way to do this ASAP, and authorize David and
Erica to move forward with trademarking at a cost of no more than $2,000 excluding fees, while
reporting back to the board at the July meeting. Mr. Stewart seconded and the motion passed
Motion: Ms. Miller moved that the Endorsement Committee be authorized to draft a Code of Conduct
and other materials needed to determine how the trademarked items will be used. These materials shall
be presented to the board at the July meeting. The motion was seconded by Ms. Pollema and passed
B. FSC e-newsletter policies: The e-newsletter goes out twice per month. The question is,
“Who decides what content is included?”
Motion: Ms. Miller moved that, “The purpose of the newsletter is to promote the mission and vision of
the CFSC. Any items that are not generated from within are to be reviewed by the staff and may be
subject to further review by the “red face committee” (Mr. Watson and Mr. Stewart). The board is
asked to exercise good judgment in submitting items for publication. A disclaimer shall be included on
all e-newsletters saying, The California Fire Safe Council does not necessarily endorse viewpoints
expressed by sources cited in this newsletter.” Mr. Stewart seconded, and the motion passed
C. Fundraising consultant: Because funding for such a position is tied to unrestricting funds as discussed
previously, the topic is tabled until the July meeting. However, Mr. Watson offered to do some research
in the meantime on foundations that make capacity-building grants. Also, Mr. Turbeville spoke with a
representative yesterday from Fireman’s Fund and preliminarily discussed a $25,000 grant; he received
a positive initial response. He will be meeting again soon to follow up.
D. Results of CEO/ED employee reviews: Ms. Bisch’s review is complete, but Mr. Blonski has yet to
complete Mr. Turbeville’s review, so the topic is tabled until the July meeting.
X. New business
A. Approval of Clearinghouse review committee project selections: Ms. Bisch distributed a list of
preliminary funding decisions made by the review committee, and explained that, according to our policy,
these decisions need to be approved by the board. Prior to considering approval of the entire list, Mr.
Stewart brought up the issue of several problems that had arisen in connection with one of multiple projects
proposed by the Lassen Fire Safe Council. Although two of their concept papers were approved for
funding, the Lassen FSC felt that a third project should have been approved, but that certain supplementary
information was not provided to the review committee. Although Sierra Region Grant Manager Brenda
Rightmyer had previously sent a letter explaining how the decision had been made, the Lassen FSC has sent
a subsequent letter to Mr. Turbeville protesting this decision. It was Mr. Stewart’s position that the CFSC
needs to respond to this subsequent letter, letting them know that Dennis Orbus of the Forest Service had
said that if additional funds are found, Lassen’s request would be among those given priority in the decision
process. Mr. Turbeville agreed to send another letter to the Lassen FSC which includes this information.
Motion: Ms. Pollema moved that the list of preliminary grants be approved. Ms. Miller seconded, and the
motion passed unanimously.
Motion: Mr. Kidder moved that we recommend the creation of an appeals process to the Alliance, and also
that the Alliance develop a system to codify the scoring process for grants which would elicit information
and comments from the review panel on each concept paper. Ms. Pollema seconded, and the motion passed
Mr. Watson suggested that we report to Sen. Feinstein on how the money she made possible was spent, by
county. She should be sent the total list of all projects funded, so that it is evident how important her help
was. Mr. Watson will draft this letter for Mr. Turbeville’s signature, and staff will provide data base
information on grant distribution by county.
B. Evolution of Board Operations
1. People interested in serving on CFSC board: in Mr. Blonski’s absence, tabled until July
2. Code of conduct/conflict of interest statements: One statement for board members, plus
another for the entire FSC network will be developed by the Endorsement Committee.
3. Use of consent agenda:
Motion: Ms. Miller moved to adopt a consent agenda, with information being provided to the
board one week in advance. Mr. Stewart seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
C. Sierra CWPP grant: Mr. Watson reported that the Resource Legacy Fund’s mini-grants, which local
FSCs could use to participate in CWPP planning efforts, is on hold for the foreseeable future.
XI. Next meetings
Ms. Bisch requested that the planning meeting be moved to July, as plans made at that meeting will
affect the budget, due at the October meeting. She would like to see the planning meeting held at the
April meeting next year to further facilitate placement of identified programs in the annual budget.
It was decided that the October meeting will be held in Sacramento on October 26, in an effort to
dovetail with the Alliance Leadership Group. The Directors will be invited to participate for part of
the CFSC board meeting. With regard to the July meeting, Mr. Stewart suggested that Jim Branham
of the Sierra Conservancy be invited to attend.
XII. Closing comments
The board discussed other potential funding opportunities.
XIII. Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at 1:25 p.m.
Cathy Brooke, Southern California Region Grant Manager