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California forest caucus to be held on South Shore

Andy Bourelle

Residents interested in having an impact on the urban and community forests in the Lake Tahoe Basin may want to go to the El Dorado County Public Library on Saturday.

The California Urban Forests Council will be holding a caucus this weekend to obtain local input. More than 10 caucuses will be held throughout the state to build urban forest strategies that will be prioritized at a two-day summit in August 1999.

Mel Johnson, executive director of the California Urban Forests Council, said officials were trying to come up with a “broad-based blueprint” for the state to use as a guideline for policies concerning urban forests.

Saturday’s caucus is to gather information about local forests and come up with potential strategies for the Lake Tahoe areas.

Individuals from a wide variety of viewpoints are asked to attend: those interested in urban forestry, parks and recreation, beauty and open space, city growth and planning, gardening and horticulture, air quality, urbanization of rural areas and more.

“We hope to get a good cross section of people from the Tahoe Basin,” Johnson said. “We really encourage people involved to call us for more information.”

The caucus will involve discussions between everyone in attendance as well as smaller group sessions. At the end of the day, Johnson said, the council hopes two or three sets of goals and strategies will be established. Additionally, about 10 people will be selected from the Saturday caucus to represent the Lake Tahoe strategies at the 1999 summit.

Johnson said the end result will be a working document which can be used as a tool for any California agency for determining future programs, projects and grants.

In July, a caucus was held in San Francisco and more are planned for Long Beach, Lompoc, Chico, San Diego, Palm Desert, Fresno, Sacramento and other cities.

“San Francisco was very successful,” Johnson said. “We had about 65 participants. We were quite pleased. We had a good cross section of community groups, government and private citizens.”

Johnson said the council expected 30 to 50 people to attend at Lake Tahoe. Because of limited space available, Johnson said a maximum of 85 could attend.

Preregistration is preferred, Johnson said, but if there is room people who don’t can still participate.

breakout

What: California Urban and Community Forests Lake Tahoe Caucus

Where: El Dorado County Public Library

When: Aug. 22, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: About $15 for lunch

Information and registration: 415-647-4207

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