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Wickersham Road News
April 27, 2007


  • Some More Thank You's
  • Road Committee Election
  • 2008 Summer BBQ
  • Grants


Thanks to Dave Otero for the work he does on his section of the Road. His relentless vigilance and stewardship of his stretch of road greatly relieves the Association of some of its tremendous burden.

Not only does he perform work of a very particular standard, but he does it in a timely manner and with a bright smile.

We could safely say that without the efforts of Dave the Road Association would be a very different organization.

2007-2008 Road Committee Elections

Most ballots for the Road Committee Regular Election have been received. The results are as follows.

Votes Cast: 17 parcels
Parcels: 32

Vote Results:

Martin Dreiling: 18
David Katz: 18 Votes
Gary Martinez: 12 Votes
Rob Weinstock: 5 Votes (write in)
Jim Butler 1 Votes (write in)

Thus the 2007, 2008 Road Committee will be as follows:
Martin Dreiling: Director
David Katz: Director
Gary Martinez: Director
Gary Martinez: Director

We anticipate no substantial change in Road Committee responsibilities or methods.

We also anticipate continuing with the Master Plan that has been in place for the last six years with minor adjustments pending the possibility of successful grant application for assistance.

More on the Master Plan in subsequent Newsletters.

2008 Summer BBQ / Meeting

Last year there was much interest noted in making the summer BBQ / Association Meeting a regular event.

If that interest is still alive, please let the Road Committee know at wranch@cssanf.com

Martin Dreiling is offering to host the event at his camp this year.

Possible 2008 Grants

The Road Committee will be submitting an application for funding to the Fisheries Restoration Program administered by the California Department of Fish and Game.

This program provides funds to eligible entities to support watershed improvements aimed at restoration of key state fisheries. The Gualala River and its tributaries are considered a critical habitat for salmonic species and are also considered severely degraded in many areas. Restoration efforts have occurred throughout the watershed with specific focus on minimizing sediment contributions from adjacent rural road systems.

The program appears to have increased funding this year, increasing the likelihood of a successful application. Since our road directly affects water quality in Tombs Creek, a major tributary to the Gualala, support of our ongoing road improvements is probable.

In the past there have been key questions raised by the membership about seeking grant support: I will paraphrase some of those questions herein:

What kind of organization is necessary to apply for grants?

These grants are administered though a trustee and therefore do not require a strict legal organization (such as incorporation) among multiple landowners.

In our case, the grant application will be made by the Redwood Empire Chapter Trout Unlimited. If successful, funds will be released to Trout Unlimited use in the final maintenance scope.

Funding will be made available for specific work to be carried out by the Road Association. This work will be administered, on our side, by the Road Committee as part of its current and ongoing responsibility to maintain the common road.

No new legal or administrative tasks are necessary.

What kind of work will be performed?

The Road Committee has been focusing on a Long Term Improvement Program for six years now that has included examples of the improvement methods supported by the Fisheries Restoration Program.

The Owners should not anticipate that this will change the nature or character of the road, nor will it increase the service capacity beyond our current goals. In other words, we are not trying to make a freeway here. We are just trying to get the road stable and environmentally sound, with the added benefit of reducing regular maintenance costs.

Examples of anticipated scope include:

  • Continued out sloping and road geometry adjustments at areas not previously corrected (Two Mile Hill, Snot Hill.)
  • Continued culvert replacement / improvement
  • Additional rock surfacing at key stretches, corners, watercourse crossings

Proposed work will also include specific mitigation at problem areas that have been outside our internal capabilities. Examples include:

  • The drainage problems associated with the south side of Tombs Creek near the bridge.)
  • The slide/ slump / surface problems at the north approach to the bridge
  • The "slip"
  • Surface geometry and drainage conditions at mile 13-14

Other key areas will be identified as the Application is assembled.

What Costs will there be to the Association?

Successful grant applications will usually require a match from the landowners. We anticipate this match will represent less than the equivalent of one years' regular Road Association Dues to be adjusted as follows.

Matching amounts also include volunteer work by the landowners. In our case the ongoing road inventory, mapping and scope planning has been the result of volunteer efforts by Martin Dreiling and his staff at CSS Architecture. This work will be valued and included as part of our match. Martin and CSS will be updating the Master Plan and Maps to address specific needs in the context of this application and that time will also be valued and applied to our match. Additionally, David Katz will be preparing portions of the application and facilitating the application process with Martin.

Will the use of outside funds have "strings" attached?

This has been one of our most serious concerns. Many owners do not want to see excessive regulatory activity in association with our roads. Additionally, landowners are not interested in extending the purview of regulatory agencies beyond the bounds of the common road.

First it is important to understand that the agencies involved already have regulatory jurisdiction over all of our roads and any other aspects of the watershed. The limiting factor in their presence and interest in our roads has been the limits of agencies resources and their focus on the worst problems out there.

As was made clear at the 2006 Meeting, Neither Water Quality nor Fish and Game are interested in bothering people who are already working on their roads. They are more than happy that we are taking a pro-active stance in fixing the road and protecting the watershed. This frees them to watch the real problems out there.

We are confident, based on insight provided by David Katz, that this grant application will be viewed in the same light: It will further establish that the Wickersham Road is not one of the problem roads in the watershed.

Additionally, there are no long term -re-inspection / monitoring components to the program. Since the funds are allocated through a trustee, the trustee has responsibility to ensure that finds are utilized wisely and in compliance with agency goals. The trustee bears responsibility for near term monitoring to ensure that funds were used correctly and that assets are being maintained in the spirit of the original grant. The trustee's reputation is also dependent on satisfaction of agency goals; therefore the trustee has an interest in the quality of the work.

When will all this happen?

We are submitting an application in mid-may for the 2008 season. Should the application be approved, this grant will affect the 2008 work season.

How Much Money are we talking about?

We do not know how much will be allocated at this time, should the application be successful. We are in the preliminary stages of this effort and are simply advising the Association of the start of the process. As more information is available, we will advise the Association.

Martin Dreiling
707 431 1305


Ranch Mailbox wranch@cssanf.com

Ranch Website "http://www.wickershamranch.com"

Thanks to Tami Bobb for her efforts in sharing space on her personal ranch site for our benefit.