Central Zone Meeting Notes

February 22, 2001


Issues and Action Items:


MACs and Mini MACS:  Issue- There was not a good zone-wide coordinated MAC this past season. Representatives were not available due to fire commitment and we probably didn’t have the “right” players for a zone MAC. The division level Mini Macs worked well in Helena and Dillon.


Action Item: Continue the division levels Mini Mac groups in Helena, Great Falls and Dillon. Form a MAC group with Line officer level members across the zone. One Rep each from the DNRC, USFS, BLM, and BIA. One to three Reps from the county (one from each division, and the Central Zone NRGC rep will be members of the Central Zone Rep. Other agencies may be asked to join as situation dictates. MAC plan will be outlined in the operating plan that will be signed by the line officers.


Restrictions and Closures: Issue- (there are lots of them)  Is that we need to have a system that works for the Central Zone. We have too many overlapping zones to coordinate all activities; we need to define a manageable zone in which the members are familiar with and coordinate all issues. This past summer, Julie Neff-Shea from the Gallatin, did a good job coordinating but the Zone is too complex for our current process.


Action Item: John Allhands and Lee Clark will take our proposal to the committee working on the restrictions and closures. The desire of the Zone will be to just include those counties that are part of the Central Zone (this would eliminate Park, Gallatin, Sweetgrass, Carbon and Stillwater counties from the Central Zone). We will coordinate restrictions and closures at the local level and work within our Zone for consensus. The Zone, as currently provided, may split for restrictions and closures North/South along county lines depending on conditions and needs. We will follow specific guidelines for the process and levels, etc. as they are defined by the NRCG working team.


Splitting up the Zone: Issue- Does the Central Zone need to be split into smaller zones for manageability? The zone would be split into 2 or 3 smaller zones.


Action Item: Keep Zone as is, work to improve communications between divisions, representatives, MAC groups, etc. Improve the current operating plan to define roles and responsibilities of the representatives, chair, etc. Keep restrictions and closures Zone to the same Zone as the operating Zone. Judy Crandall will send out a new draft of the operating plan for review. Signed final by June 1, 2001.



Mobilization Boards- Issue: Continue to improve and expand to cover entire Zone.


Action Item: Helena is working well as the “model” for local Mob boards. Dillon seems to be working well locally, Greatfalls is working with private and rural RFDs to form  a local Mob board.


Red Carding Private Contractors: Issue- There is no easy way for private contractors to receive red cards from anyone in Montana. Both the DNRC and USFS have been directed to not issue redcards to private contractors. The only current alternative is to join a contractors association that is based out-of-state.


Action Item: The NRCG needs to finalize the agreement and develop guidelines for the redcarding of private contractors. There may be an opportunity through the Rocky Mountain Emergency Services Training Center (an affiliate of the University of Montana) located in Helena. They would be willing to take on this issue.


Divisions will identify new representatives for the zone and  NRCG working teams as needed. Zone agencies agreed to continue to help sponsor county reps with minimum budgets for travel and per diem costs.


Thank you Sandy Evenson for your input and attending as the NRCG rep.