City Council Meeting - FINAL

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Meeting Date: 01/03/2023  
Co-Submitter: Mark Reavis From: Neil Chapman, Forest Health Supervisor

Consideration and Adoption of Ratifying the Supplemental Project Agreement:  Ratifying the Supplemental Project Agreement between the City of Flagstaff and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Coconino National Forest for the implementation of cultural resource surveys.
Ratify the Supplemental Project Agreement with the Coconino National Forest in the amount of $1,504,489.93.
Executive Summary:
This ratifies the acceptance of the Coconino National Forest Supplemental Project Agreement Award 22-P-11030400-043 which provides for cultural surveys, site revisits, reporting, data entry and management of Natural Resource Manager (NRM) cultural resource database of record, and other cultural resources work as needed in order to prepare priority areas across the Flagstaff Ranger District for prescribed fire operations. 
Financial Impact:
The Supplemental Project Agreement is for a total project cost of $1,504,489.93. The Federal contribution is $1,391,643 and the City of Flagstaff is contributing $112,846.92 in non-cash staff and equipment time. This is a multiple year agreement/project.  The Wildfire Management (WFM) section has $1.2 million budgeted in FY22-23 for these type of agreements/project.  The remaining funding will be budgeted in future years.
Policy Impact:
This agreement allows the City of Flagstaff to add significant capacity for wildfire risk reduction based cultural survey clearance work across the Flagstaff Ranger District. In addition, this agreement creates new partnership opportunities with the US Forest Service as we will be supporting prescribed fire planning in addition to operations. 
Connection to PBB Priorities/Objectives, Carbon Neutrality Plan & Regional Plan:
Priority Based Budget Key Community Priorities and Objectives
High Performing Governance: Implement innovative local government programs
Safe and Healthy Community: Ensure built environment is safe through the use of consistent standards, rules and regulations, & land use practices
Environmental Stewardship: Promote, protect & enhance a healthy, sustainable environment & its natural resources
Environmental Stewardship: Strengthen Flagstaff's resilience to climate change impacts on built, natural, economic, health, & social systems

Carbon Neutrality Plan
  • CR-1: Ensure all mitigation actions improve Flagstaff's ability to adapt to the future.
  • CR-2: Strengthen existing community systems to create resilience to both short-term shocks and long-term change. 
Consolidating carbon stocks in fewer, larger trees reduces the risk of carbon loss from fire. The pre-suppression forest structure provides the best target for maintaining sustainable carbon stocks and ecological function. Implementing prescribed fire after mechanical thinning treatments supports the maintenance of the restored natural tree structure and pattern.

A Forest Health update to the CNP is in development. 

Regional Plan
Environmental Planning & Conservation – Vision for the Future: In 2013, the long-term health and viability of our natural resource environment is maintained through strategic planning for resource conservation and protection. 
Policy E&C.3.3 – Invest in forest health and watershed protection measures. 
Policy E&C.6.1 – Encourage public awareness that the region’s ponderosa pine forest is a fire-dependent ecosystem and strive to restore more natural and sustainable forest composition, structure, and processes. 
Policy E&C.6.3 – Promote protection, conservation, and ecological restoration of the region’s diverse ecosystem type and associated animals. 
Policy E&C.6.6 – Support collaborative efforts for forest health initiatives or practices, such as the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI), to support healthy forests and protect our water system. 
Policy E&C.10.2 – Protect, conserve, and when possible, enhance and restore wildlife habitat on public land. 
Has There Been Previous Council Decision on This:
Options and Alternatives:
Ratify and Accept the Agreement = Allows for the exchange of funds to complete the project.
Reject the Agreement = The project will need to be canceled or delayed.
Severe and destructive wildfire is an annual and ever-present threat to our forests and the community. Forested areas that have undergone science based ecological restoration treatments are healthier, more fire adapted, at a lower risk of carbon loss, and enhance public safety and infrastructure protection. 

A Master Participating Agreement (MPA) between the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Coconino National Forest, and the City of Flagstaff was approved by Council on April 19, 2022. This MPA allows for Supplemental Project Agreements based on watershed protection. 

Before prescribed fires can be implemented on National Forest System lands, a thorough planning and clearance process must be completed. This Supplemental Project Agreement agreement will allow the City to add needed capacity to the USFS and manage contract to complete cultural resource surveys across the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project footprint and surrounding Flagstaff Ranger District priority areas.  
Key Considerations:
Completion of ecological forest treatments within the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project (FWPP) footprint and Flagstaff Ranger District have proven highly effective in supporting the control of undesirable fire, while reducing the severity of fire and post-fire flood events.
Expanded Financial Considerations:
All cultural survey contracts managed by the City will be fully reimbursed by the USFS. 
This agreement includes a 6.35% indirect cost rate for the City ($77,621). 

Community Benefits and Considerations:
The Flagstaff community will experience improved forest management due to this agreement.

Approval of this Agreement, and the forest treatment work which will result, will reduce wildfire risk to adjacent neighborhoods, recreational opportunities, and wildlife habitat, while promoting forest health and long-term ecological sustainability.

This agreement will also support forest management objectives that consolidate forest carbon stocks in fewer, larger trees, reducing the risk of carbon loss from catastrophic fire. 
Community Involvement:
Inform: Following the success of the 2012 bond election, FFD has continued to work at keeping the community informed of what we are doing, and why.

Involve: Project outreach efforts will go directly to the Flagstaff community. FFD staff are available to the public to address any concerns.


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