Goat Fund Me Nevada City
There is little need to stress how important it is to the safety and wellbeing of Nevada City citizens and neighboring residents that we reduce the fire load in our surrounding forests and neighborhoods. The unprecedented fires in California, particularly in Paradise, have hit all too close to home and have become the ultimate Cautionary Tale.
Fortunately, we can do something about it and while the City of Nevada City is taking the lead we cannot do this alone. Whether you are a homeowner, a renter, or a business owner, we are all in the same boat together, equally at risk for catastrophic fire.
THE CITY OF NEVADA CITY
Our city staff, fire and police departments, as well as city council members realize how important it is that we take proactive steps NOW. This is why we have been working for weeks with local ranchers to launch a goat/sheep prescriptive grazing on city-owned land including the over 450 acres of city-owned greenbelt.
In addition to these greenbelts, we are starting this December with the backside of Pioneer Park as our Goat Grazing Public Demonstration. While we are being proactive as a city we believe in the Chinese Proverb, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
We know it’s equally important that we teach our local residents how to reduce the risk on their own property by providing this Public Demonstration, as well as tips, tools, best practices, and contact info of qualified, vetted ranchers. We will provide this information in brochure-form as well as on our official city website so you can utilize the same prescriptive grazing techniques on your property and surrounding neighborhood as we will on our city-owned land.
However, we can't do this alone and this is why:
TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE
Yes, we can use prescriptive grazing as a solution to reduce our risk of catastrophic fire, BUT the rub is we only have THIS winter available to use several different large herds: Our local ranchers have already rented out their herds next spring, summer, and fall. And while the ranchers are expanding to meet demand, for now, they are only available to Nevada City on a large scale THIS winter..... THIS is why time is of the essence.
While we turn to our homeowners, renters, business owners, and neighborhood associations, we will be looking at securing grant funding as well. However, this generally takes many weeks or months and we simply don't have that kind of time to be able to launch the program by this month, December, and throughout the rest of the winter.
Prescriptive grazing utilizes goats for bushes, trees, and manzanita (not scotch broom) while sheep graze on grass. The program requires a herdsman to be on-site at all times as well as a camping trailer, water wagon, electric fencing, herding dog, and transport trailer. It also requires timely public notice through signage alerting residents of the incoming herd.
Prescriptive grazing can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000 per acre depending on the difficulty of the terrain and how much there is to graze. Approximately 200 goats can knock down an acre per day. Nevada City has over 450 acres of greenbelt and it is of utmost importance we keep the fire risk to a minimum. That’s a lot of acreage, but we’re breaking it down into bite sizes and prioritizing where the risk is greatest. However, the more money we raise, the more acreage we can cover!
To get going, the city staff is recommending the City Council approve (up to) $5,000 for the Pioneer Park Prescriptive Grazing, Public Demonstration, & Outreach Materials. City staff and council members have walked city owned property and have identified 4 different methods of clearing as well as the following properties as high priority for this winter:
Community Volunteers (CV)
Goats or Sheep; Prescriptive Grazing (G)
Jail Work Release Program, or Washington Ridge Crews (WR)
LOCATIONS & (METHOD)
Pioneer Park (G) (CV)
Deer Creek Environs including Treatment Plant (G) (CV) (WR)
Woods Ravine (West of Hirschman's Pond) (G) (WR)
Sugar Loaf (WR)
Old Airport (M)
Once these properties have been cleared by the prescriptive grazing we will follow up with hand-crews for additional clearing and de-limbing. We will need community volunteers for easy-to-reach properties and are working towards partnering with the County to utilize the Jail Release Program and/or the Washington Ridge Crews.
We will maximize the benefits of clearing out these properties by also following up with removing abandoned homeless camp so as to discourage homeless camps in the future thus reducing the fire risk even more while ensuring a healthy watershed!
Please support us in keeping Nevada City and surrounding communities safe. If we don't do this for ourselves, it's simply not going to happen. There is no better insurance policy than to reduce the risk at hand. Let's be proactive and ensure that we are safe and thriving in a healthy, fire-free community!
Please note that 100% of ALL FUNDS go Directly to the City of Nevada City, overseen by Financial
Directory, Loree McCay.
Last Friday we gave a FlameMapper Fire Spread Modeling Presentation at city hall to city & county residents, as well as different agencies and FireWise Neighborhood members. These fire spread models were provided in-kind by the creators of the FlameMapper software. They reached out to me through our Goat Fund Me Campaign. They believe in combining the low-tech (goat grazing) with the high-tech (fire spread modeling).
Please watch the presentation and check out the fire spread models for 36 sq miles around Nevada City. Do understand, however, that these fire spread models include only a 30 mph wind from the NW direction. Other wind directions will soon be modeled as well. What these models DO NOT include are structure fires and what would happen in an ember storm.
Most importantly what these models provide us is a way to identify and prioritize the heavy fuel load properties that should be prioritized for goat/hand grazing.
It is our hope to work closely with the FireWise communities to begin a very targeted and affective fuel load reduction campaign.
NCTV filmed last Fridays presentation AND we have the pdfs of the fire spread models here: https://www.nevadacityca.gov/files/documents/FlameMapper-PublicPresentation1329060200032219PM.pdf
Lastly, please spread the word about Nevada City's Goat Fund Me campaign. Remember that "the more we raise the more we graze!" Here's the link to share: https://www.gofundme.com/GoatFundMeNevadaCity
I just wanted to keep you apprised of the latest regarding our Goat Fund Me; as I had reported earlier in one of our updates, we were kindly offered in-kind services of a state of the art fire spread modeling by the creators of FlameMapper from So. California. The modeling is complete and I have now seen the fire spread models for the 36 square miles around Nevada City. They are chalk-full of valuable information regarding fire prevention/fuel load reduction, and emergency routes. Stay tuned! I will be sharing the map and its different layers next week! In the meantime, we are $4,500 away from our Goat Fund Me goal.... and remember, the more we raise the more we graze!
Check out the story in today's The Union, our local paper, "Nevada City Turns to Low and High-tech Solutions to Fight Wildfire Risk: https://www.theunion.com/news/local-news/nevada-city-turns-to-low-and-high-tech-solutions-to-fight-wildfire-risk/?fbclid=IwAR2wEPz1dyj9l53KuJs-ZG_XmQhkFpk-qS8X9CToGJY2-fbbFm4zx_iytaM
In the meantime, we have agendized for our city council meeting next Wednesday the approval of the remaining parcels to be grazed, as well as a contract with what is known as the Washington Ridge Crew. They are a low barrier prison that does fuel reductions work throughout our forests. The city of Nevada City is doing a trade with them; we will take care of their water/sewage treatment plant while they will follow behind the grazing goats and help us reduce our additional fuel loads in our forests.
Stay tuned! As our supporter you will be the first to see the maps and report!
Hello Goat Fund Me Supporters!
The goats have returned! Here is a shot I took yesterday at Pioneer Park.... the goats were playful and curious as to what I was doing. They are so fun to watch it’s addictive!
In spite of the contiguous days of snow and rainfall, rancher Rob Thompson was able to get his herd out between storms to take on another section of Pioneer Park. He will be removing the herd again today for a week to take a much needed vacation, but will return with the goats after this next big series of storms pass: Good timing!
We will be sharing the results next week of the FlameMapper modeling that will show us the potential spread of fire in our area. This will become a helpful tool for us to use as we reduce the fuel loads around our little hamlet.
In addition to working with FlameMapper in providing raw data they need for modeling, myself and many others in our community have been working on a much larger project that will beautifully compliment our Goat Fund Me! Stay tune for details!
We are $5,000 shy of our overall goal! So please share this campaign with as many people as you can. It's hard to imagine when it's snowing outside that a blistering summer is before us, but it is only a few months away.
Twenty-eight goats struck out into Pioneer Park two weeks ago because of your kind donation, and the first stage of the Public Demonstration is nearly complete. The goats were removed before the big storms rolled in and once the inclement weather passes the goat brigade will return to finish up their job before hand-crews follow behind them.
In the meantime, community members, neighborhood associations, non-profits, and city staff have been busy identifying possible projects and funding to continue and enhance our grazing efforts. In fact, I am really excited to announce the possible combination of a low tech/high tech solution in landscape level mitigation modeling and fire line containment analysis for Nevada City and surrounding areas.
A ONE OF A KIND DONATION
Donations can come in many forms: Last week I was contacted via Go Fund Me by Oliver Curtis and Shea Broussard, creators of a state-of-the-art software called FlameMapper that can maximize our fire mitigation efforts. They have offered Nevada City an in-kind professional use of this extraordinary software.
FlameMapper is a leader in near-real-time fire behavior modeling that identifies needed areas of mitigation (grazing goats) for the first phase of emergency management. Their software uses virtual fires to understand the movement of fire and fire intensity over a landscape. This allows for targeted goat-grazing-fire-mitigation for maximum impact at the lowest cost. The in-kind service that the creators of Flamemappers are willing to provide Nevada City will ultimately come in the form of maps with identified areas ranked in terms of prioritized mitigation. This removes the guesswork out of prioritizing the fire mitigation of our 450 acres of city-owned land as well as 9 square miles surrounding Nevada City.
Being we are a tiny city with a tiny budget we need to use what resources we have to be as effective and efficient as possible. This even includes our hired goat brigades. This is why I have reached out to our city staff and leaders to consider utilizing FlameMapper, in the future, to help us better identify where to position our grazing goats for optimum results.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
FlameMapper enhances understanding of the spread of fire by providing advanced fire forecasting technology to improve the way wildfires are tracked and contained. It uses predictive tools to help supply citizens information to prepare for action. This data includes evacuation routes, critical junctions, direction of fire spread and speed, as well as rated areas of mitigation before fire ever strikes.
This 2.4 million dollars worth of software (in research and development) will provide wildfire mitigation analytics; a prioritized list and statistically justified mitigation plan so Nevada City’s maintenance budget will be far more effective. It can build fire structure, then synthesize where the greatest exposure is, and highlight where a fire is likely to go.
Clearly defined fire boundaries will be assimilated and mapped. We will be able to even zoom in to see what structures are most vulnerable.
By mapping the possible spread of fires Nevada City can implement effective plans with the ability to prioritize mitigation through fuel load reduction via goats and hand-crews. In fact, proper mitigation measures can even encourage a fire to go in a certain direction.
Utilizing fire science, this software can keep fire crews, equipment, and citizens safer than ever before with high-resolution wind modeling, and instantly identify risk to better understand the landscape in a whole new way.
The software provides five different spatial analysis models and creates scenarios of fires coming from different directions thus allowing our community to identify critical junctions and mitigation to ensure safe evacuation routes.
The price of this software generally depends upon a city or agency’s capabilities, expertise in OES (Office of Emergency Services), and ability to use the tools. However, for Nevada City, this is being donated as in-kind professional services and will include analysis of a 9 square mile radius with Nevada City in the center.
THIS IS WHERE COMMUNITY COMES IN
Not only does FlameMapper utilize advanced fire forecasting technology, but it allows a community to enter its own data, intimately understood from the ground, that could ignite a catastrophic fire such as abandoned butane tanks, bark beetle kill, homeless camps, etc. This allows the ultimate model to be even more accurate, allowing us the ability to make even more educated and informed decisions.
The FlameMapper team of specialists has been working with Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, and the City of Malibu utilizing post analysis. They have also worked with campuses, facilities, and fire departments, the US Coast Guard, and Berkeley National Laboratory's creating 50 virtual and consecutive fires.
Please check out the video, attached, and check out the FlameMapper website here: http://www.flamemapper.com/products.php
Also, please share our Goat Fund Me campaign! We are almost there!
Stay tuned for Nevada City's results from the FlameMapper analysis!