At the Board of Supervisors meeting on 11 March, I will be announcing a proposal for a new partnership with the USFS Plumas National Forest (PNF). For the past month I have been working with PNF Supervisor Earl Ford formulating a program to provide an economic infusion for our community.
As a result of settlements coming out of the Storrie and Moonlight fires, the Forest Service has funding for forest restoration projects in the fire “footprints”. The proposed program would have the PNF contracting with Plumas County to create a workforce made up of residents of Plumas County to perform various restoration works which could include the following:
- Tree plantation maintenance, trails restoration and facility work, clearing and hand piling.
- Road restoration, storm proofing, stream restoration, drainage repair, and grapple piling.
This program is envisioned to run about 4 years, providing training and employment. Ultimately, it could infuse millions of dollars into our economy. While many of the details remain to be worked out, the potential for huge benefits to the people of Plumas County is great.
An overarching agreement on the part of the County and the PNF is that we do not wish to use these funds to “grow government”; rather, to “grow jobs” in the community.
The preliminary plan is for Plumas County to put out contracts based on a “Request for Proposal” type program, where contractors would be encouraged to submit proposals for accomplishment of various identified work elements. Plumas County would act as contract administrator.
Today we had our “kick-off” meeting with the entire team; a very productive meeting at that.
As you can well imagine, there are so very many details to be addressed, it is at times mind boggling. However, if successful, this could be a vehicle to change the economic climate in Plumas County! It will be a work in progress for some time – but what an exciting, challenging opportunity!
Please check back as I will be blogging about our progress as details become available.