Note: Lana Cohen is a Report For America fellow covering the environment & natural resources for TMV & KZYX. Her position is funded by the Community Foundation of Mendocino, Report for America, & our readers. You can support Lana’s work here or email [email protected]. Contact Cohen at LCohen@mendovoice.com. TMV maintains editorial control.
LITTLE RIVER, 12/15/20 — The Mendocino County Climate Action Advisory Committee (MCCAAC) met over Zoom on Friday afternoon, Dec. 11, for their monthly meeting. Over two hours, they made plans to present their committees projects and goals to the board of supervisors in the new year, discussed protecting the county’s oak woodlands, mulled over how to collaborate with and get endorsements from more local environmental organizations, and explored potential issues related to six timber harvest projects planned for the coast.
The committee was created more than a year ago, but with minimal support from other branches of county government, no staff, and no funding, the group of appointed volunteers has had trouble turning ideas into action and policy. Although their members are no doubt passionate about reducing the county’s carbon footprint, many, if not all, have other priorities, including full time jobs, and have shown hesitation around commiting to big projects for the committee.
Around one-third of the members did not even show up to last week’s meeting, and one member emailed the entire group during the meeting that she was not going to re-apply to participate in 2021.
The only action taken at Friday’s meeting was to approve the minutes for the previous meeting.
At their meeting, they discussed and settled on a date for their meeting next month, which will take place on Friday, January 15. Additionally, they assigned committee members to write comment letters to the board about a variety of matters including concern over the environmental impact of indoor cannabis growing, desire for an ordinance that specifically highlights the benefits of the oak woodlands ecosystem and protects them in potential future timber harvest plans, among other things.
The group also discussed their planned 2021 presentation to the board. They have not yet locked in a specific date and time for their presentation because the Board is still working on its 2021 calendar, but chair Marie Jones said she thinks it will take place sometimes in February. Here’s a rundown of what it will look like and who will be involved:
- Marie Jones, committee chair, plans to solicit help from the county with grant writing
- Member John Nickerson was assigned to present the results of the groups baseline study, which includes data about Mendocino County’s current carbon use
- Member Michael Potts intends to give a rundown of the committees policy recommendations to the board
- Member Randy MacDonald will briefly touch upon how climate change is impacting Mendocino and California to provide some context
At their January 15 meeting, the group plans to do a practice run of these presentations. Additionally, the group plans to discuss their progress on their comment letters.