Sharing Information  |  Encouraging Engagement


The second BOS meeting of February included important news for Trinity County from the United States Forest Service, a presentation regarding the Sites Reservoir initiative, responses to recent Grand Jury reports, a public hearing on an electric vehicle charging stations ordinance, and more.

Here are the notes I took during the meeting. Please understand that this is not meant to be a comprehensive documentation of discussions and decisions that took place.


USFS Presentation

  • Rachel Birkey | Forest Supervisor
  • Trinity County will be receiving significantly more USFS resources to deal with forest management
  • This is part of a 10-year strategy that allocates additional resources to high-risk fire sheds
  • Trinity County was selected as one of eleven priority landscapes for 2023 (added to ten selected in 2022)
    • Trinity County Fire Resilient Rural Communities Project
      • 700K acres managed by Forest Service
      • Potential for $11.5 to $20.5 million in 2023…
      • More funding is potentially available in the future… this will be based in part on results from initial efforts

    • For 2023, this means resources are available to treat an additional 6,500 acres beyond normal
  • Klamath River Basin Landscape – also included (10M acres)
    • Includes additional portions of Northern Trinity County
    • The area between two Trinity Units may be combined into the Trinity Landscape for purposes of this program
  • USFS is partnering with local organizations to implement the program
    • This translates into more jobs/income in Trinity County and stronger relationships between key organizations that are committed to a healthy future for our forests
  • Funds are still available to support post-fire disasters
  • NEPA streamlining is underway for initiatives in the high-risk fire shed areas
  • Website links will be provided for access to more information about these programs
  • Timber Harvests are included in treatment options
  • Recruiting planned for:
    • Full-time Deputy District Ranger position
    • Fully staffed units – including the South Fork area
  • Supervisors Frasier and Carpenter-Harris asked for quicker responses to burned areas
  •  Chair Cox emphasized the importance of regaining lost funding from the Secure Rural Schools Act….
    • The Good Neighbor Authority initiative that is in development will be another channel for funds to enter Trinity County

Sites Reservoir Project Presentation

  • Jerry Brown provided an update regarding this initiative
  • Significant changes to the project over the last few years
  • Total storage – 1.5 million acre-feet
  • Joint Powers Authority established in 2010 (Sites Project Authority)
  • There is a waiting list for parties interested in participating in this initiative
  • 180 miles of conveyance (only 20 miles of this is new… the rest was existing infrastructure)
  • Funding
    • No grants, this is user paid with some State and Federal funding
    • Loans and bonds are involved
  • Water Right Permit
    • Submitted application to State Board in May 2022
    • Expected completion in 2023
    • For diversion of Sites water only – no diversions of CVP or SWP water
    • Not applying for a right to divert Trinity River water
  • Construction to begin in 2025
  • 25 property owners (in the area of the project) will be impacted
  • As an example of how and when this project could help – Jerry Brown noted that 200,000+ acre feet (Less than 4%) of water that was flowing during recent storms could have been diverted into the reservoir
  • Their research indicates that no fish species would be negatively impacted by planned diversions

American Red Cross Month

  • A proclamation was read and approved to recognize this as American Red Cross Month


  • Concerns were shared regarding the safety of 299 in the Douglas City area… and the need for action of some kind to improve safety
    • Chair Cox offered to follow up with resident
  • Comments shared by residents/business owners on Garrett Road (road damaged by recent flooding)
    • Special funding may have to be identified to support road work
  • Information shared by the representative of Trinity County Childcare Planning Council regarding “Kids Count”
    • This is a data-gathering process that is currently underway to help us better understand and support the needs of youth in Trinity County
  • Information shared regarding $1.5 M funding for Cannabis for Conservation.  Funding/support will be provided to 72 qualified cultivators.
  • Concerns were shared related to lot line adjustment that was previously before the board in the form of an appeal.



  • Planning | Ed Prestley
    • General Plan is progressing and a presentation will be given during the March 7th BOS meeting
    • Expecting state response to low-density rural housing ordinance within a few weeks
  • Cannabis | Drew Plebani
    • 404 Appendix C’s received
    • 122 Approved/Noticed
    • 78 Picked up/Active
    • Re-engaged both consulting groups with more defined assignments.
    • Costs per application are expected to be around $900 – a significant reduction from previous efforts
    • Our Cannabis Equity Grant application was denied by the State
      • We have gathered information regarding the reason for denial and will be refining our approach for submittal for next year
      • Next year there will be a 1:1 fund match for funding over $500,000
    • Working on MOU (memorandum of understanding) with Tribes regarding environmental matters related to cannabis permitting
    • Cannabis Ordinance modifications are underway to address inconsistencies, etc.


  • Fee Study work continues – update expected at next BOS meeting with completion in June
  • COVID resolution will be presented to respond to changes in status


  • Heidi Carpenter-Harris
    • Successful community meeting regarding Canyon Creek Rd slide
    • Attended the NACO Conference in Washington, D.C.
      • Secure Rural Schools Act – we are joining other counties that are stepping up efforts to address concerns
      • USFS Chief
        • spoke to harvesting as a viable/important measure for forest management
        • mentioned awareness of the need for road maintenance
        • acknowledged the impact of wildfires on homeowner access to insurance
      • Opioid Crisis – healthy discussions about new ways to address problems
      • Supervisor Carpenter-Harris joined the Rural Action Caucus
        • One current item is the potential for prescription cost reduction for some in Trinity County
    • Frontier Communications – reached out to State representatives to help
  • Dan Frasier
    • Meetings with staff regarding snow maintenance and low-density rural dwellings ordinance
  • Ric Leutwyler
    • Continuing work on Economic Development – including meeting with local (NorCal) experts
    • Attended Leadership Training (with Supervisor Gogan) regarding disaster response
    • Frontier Communications – connected with CEO who initiated outreach by leaders who are now in touch with our Office of Emergency Services to address our challenges
    • Snow Maintenance for Volunteer Fire Departments – mentioned this as one of several items planned for upcoming board meetings
  • Jill Cox
    • Economic Development – participating in meetings (including Civitas Advisors)
    • Hosted two broadband-focused meetings
    • Senator McGuire called to confirm support for the Minersville Boat Ramp
      • Media Release on February 16th
      • He will be the auctioneer for the fundraiser taking place in Weaverville on April 15th
    • Good Neighbor Authority collaboration continues
  • Liam Gogan
    • TRP discussions and proposal reviews
    • TMC Monthly Meeting – brief this time.  Two-day meeting coming up
  • Strategic Plan Committee
    • On pace to present to new CAO during first few weeks on the job
    • CAO would then present to the Board soon afterward
  • Good Neighbor Authority Committee
    • Tara Jones | USFS is working with input provided by Trinity County representatives
    • The goal is to get approval prior to the Spring backlog of project reviews
  • Cannabis Finance Committee
    • Meetings continue to refine the information that will be presented to the board.  This will help the board understand the short and long-term financial impact of this program/division.


  • Item 3.9 was pulled for discussion
  • The board approved all remaining items on the Consent Calendar
  • Item 3.9 Sheriff’s budget regarding aircraft maintenance
    • Insurance change removed volunteer coverage (no volunteers involved)
    • Limits were negotiated… no major changes
    • The board approved this item


  • Electric Vehicle Charging Station Ordinance
    • Presentation by Skylar Fisher
    • Relayed input from Planning Commission
    • Concerns were raised that the ordinance leaves all parcels, in any zone type, open to the installation of commercial vehicle charging stations
      • Discussion took place to modify the ordinance to address these concerns.
    • The board approved an amended ordinance.
      • The amendment specified that applications for commercial charging stations would only be streamlined in commercial zoning areas.  All others would go through the CUP process.


  • Board of Supervisors
    • Appointment of Board Members to represent the county on the Social Services Transportation Council
      • Chair Cox assigned Supervisor Carpenter-Harris to be the second primary representative
  • Clerk of the Board
    • Board’s response to the Grand Jury Report – Abandoned Vehicle Abatement Report
      • The board approved the response with an amendment to indicate that the new CAO would respond no later than the June 6th meeting of the board


  • Board’s response to the Grand Jury Report – County Counsel Review
    • There was a great deal of discussion related to this response… much of it focused on the response to findings vs. the response to recommendations.
    • The board approved a modified version of the response


I hope these notes are helpful in your efforts to stay informed about county matters.  For a more comprehensive understanding of what took place…


Sharing Information  |  Encouraging Engagement