Identifying and protecting green zones
Oregon Country Fair Land Use Management Planning Committee

Green zone action plan

Assign responsibilities for

* reporting and delineating (booth reps, crew coordinators, camp hosts, campers, Vegmanecs, Site Crew, managers?)

* verifying (camp hosts, Vegmanecs, Site Crew, managers, botanists?)

* recording (managers?)

* mapping (Site manager, Cartography Crew?)

* monitoring (Vegmanecs, Site Crew, camp hosts, campers, booth reps?)

* informing (managers, camp hosts, booth reps, coordinators, guidelines, LUMP manual?)

* protecting (designated individuals?)

* enforcing (managers?)

* resolving disputes (managers?)

Draft reporting form (Robert, Ann)

Review David's draft of green zone designation in cases where not all neighbors agree (March 2013)

Draft LUMP manual entry, Guidelines text

Contact Bob Nisbet for LUMP manual images, descriptions, invasives

Compose and post web page for plant and ecotype identification


Green Zone discussions taken from LUMP committee minutes

2003 January: No discussion of green zones. Bob Nisbet proposed a vegetation map and a program for invasive plant control. He’s advocating the idea of veg mapping but lives in Portland and doesn’t want to be in charge of the project. He has photos and a nicely prepared color booklet of OCF plants. He brought a list of exotic invasive plants and proposals for control techniques. He wants to be involved in annual or twice-yearly work parties to remove invasives. He also brought a list of rare, endangered, or sensitive plants known to occur on OCF site or nearby areas.

2005 June: Robert A: Don't be afraid to have an opinion about how we would like to have our world. Micro-environmental plans and rules will help plans and use. Proposes a rule book defining vegetation or place specific use. Don't permit camping on sensitive plants or in desired green zones.

Susan: Has been coming to Fair for a long time. In the beginning, camping was just clusters of folks on blankets around trees. Has watched huge changes on the land since then and wonders if we can't do fallow zones - forbid use of some areas for a year or two. People will move into unused spaces so we need to establish green zones and make them work. We must start now. Review the camping zones before Fair and see what our impact is on the land. Plans haven't adjusted to meet the annual variations in weather. Impacts are different in dry and wet years.

2006 November: We reviewed the board mandate to identify and protect green zones. It’s not clear what the role of the LUMP committee should be. There are problems with designation and mapping of green zones in unambiguous ways.

Agenda for the next few meetings:
Develop strategy to implement green zone mandate
Push for greater involvement of other crews, e.g., vegemanecs, cartography, site crew
Continue development of green zone demonstration projects.
Work with camp hosts to designate and protect green zones.
Develop criteria for green zones.
Meet with cartography crew to discuss whether they can map green zones.

2006 December: We addressed the intent of the BOD in their directive on 5/2/05 to develop an ecosystem restoration and recovery plan. The consensus was that the LUMP manual encompasses such a plan. Designation of green zones is another directive from the BOD. We reaffirmed that protection of green zones will depend on controlling and reducing camping pressure. Creating new, attractive campsites is crucial… David (cartography crew) and Bill Large have been setting surveyed control points around the fair. Tom Laird is developing a GIS database of the site. People can easily learn to use a plane table and 100-foot tape to do detailed surveys from the control points. This technique could be used to define green zones, camp sites, or other features of interest…. Steve suggested that we designate one of the heavily-impacted inner loop zones as our next demonstration project. We could contact all the booth holders to explain the project and its purpose, encourage them to reduce camping pressure and to move some campers into other campgrounds. Other operational groups should be recruited to focus on this area—e.g., cartography to map green zones and tent sites, camp host coordinators to recruit and train hosts, vegmanecs to manage vegetation. Steve suggested focusing on the interior of the Left Bank.

Agenda for next meeting: Focus on defining green zones—how to designate them, how to define and delineate them, how to evaluate the effectiveness of protection and planting, how to enlist and engage other crews and participants.

2007 January: Defining green zones: Robert pointed out that connectivity is important in protecting and restoring green zones. Steve: All contiguous stakeholders must agree that it is a green zone. Chewie: Old river channels are good green zones—there’s little camping in the uneven terrain. Sanctions for violations are necessary. Chewie: Vegmanecs see a need for green zones to protect historical green areas and to provide buffers between camp areas. Dennis: Unless we can reduce camping pressure in highly-impacted areas, little restoration will be possible. Steve brought up starting a pilot project in the interior of the Left Bank to designate a green zone. No population growth should be allowed. There’s a grievance about vegetation damage that might add impetus. Chewie thought that the area on the NE side of Shady Lane (into the old river channel) would be another possible pilot project. Michael camps there, reports that most neighbors are long-time campers.

Draft definitions:

A “Green Zone” is a designated area of land with clearly defined boundaries in which humans are limited to no-impact activities. Goals: Robust native vegetation, visual barriers, traffic control, wildlife habitat, soil vitality. Implementation: get stakeholders to agree on boundaries, map and record boundaries, publicize maps and guidelines, enforce guidelines, encourage participation in restoration and protection.

“Enhancement zones” are areas in which activities are historical and permitted, designated to be managed to enhance habitat and to increase the size of green zones.

2007 March: Jay: 20 yrs maintaining green zone, since 1986, at Energy Park. Don Hathaway & Jay put up signs to mark protected areas. EP has had population cap of 100, self-imposed, and awareness of green zone. One year someone cut down a hazelnut tree, had to face censure, didn’t come back again. Lines and signs are the only way to protect green zones when the tidal wave of campers arrives on Wed and Thursday—green areas unoccupied by tents are attractive unless they’re protected. People would rather set up on greenery than on hardpan. EP members put up tapes, fences, and flags a week or more before the fair to protect vegetation. Paths are more destructive than tents—need careful management because it can take 5 years or more to recover. Campgrounds creep, tents get bigger, Some camps have “living rooms” with rugs and chairs. Osoberries are hardy when mature but can’t tolerate trampling, so there’s little reproduction in heavily camped areas. Jay related dealing with a difficult Blintz booth camper who repeatedly took down green zone flagging and filled the green zone with a tent. He called in the camping elves but was dismayed by the lack of enforcement and sanctions. He’s concerned that we need to take care of our green zones but as a camp host he found it very demoralizing… Jon argued that education about green zones should begin this year… Jay: It’s important to note that EP has a camping limit that is enforced—it’s the only way to protect green zones and limit camping pressure… Jon proposed that the committee prepare some language that could go into an informational campaign to help raise consciousness this year about green zones.

2007 April: Green Zones: efforts underway for this year? Are we going to rope them off, etc.? Rope has disappeared, string can affect wildlife. Effort will have to be based on person-to-person interactions. Neighborhood system will have to grow to keep this effective… Some fairly extensive areas are maintained as Green space simply because they are not attractive to campers—boggy, hard to get to.

2008 February: Booth packet: Info for booth packet must be concise—one or two paragraphs. Anna suggested an amusing graphic to highlight the passage. Bob suggested a “green frog” award to booths that work to protect green zones. Deane pointed out that it’s hard to get booth members to read the guidelines or handouts. Interested parties should contact Steve or a LUMP committee member for further information. Include one-sentence descriptions of green zones and restoration & recovery zones. Letter should also go to coordinators, BoD, FFN, other interested people. Some established areas are ready to be flagged and recorded. Should we flag them by this fair? Could we include a post card in the packet that would provide a way to notify us that they are interested? We should provide an information packet to the QM. Anna: If we can set up a voicemail box, we can direct interested parties to that number. Dennis: We could set up an e-mail alias that would forward messages to committee members. Gary: e-mail is easier to manage than voice mail. Steve is developing a flagging system for use throughout the fair. We could accompany interested individuals to behind-the-scenes, already-protected zones for demonstration purposes. We could flag a site next to a path for the public to view. Chris: we could have a rubber stamp of a frog made to use on the flagging. Steve picks up flagging after the fair each year to reduce visual pollution. Bob: we could make biodegradable paper signs.

Draft paragraph for the booth packet: “The fair is establishing and protecting green zones and restoration and recovery zones. These are areas of native vegetation that shall be protected and damaged areas that are undergoing restoration. Lime green tape or flags designate protected areas. Please stay off. If your booth, camp, or favorite site includes vegetation that should be protected or restored, please contact Site Manager Steve Wisnovsky, a member of the LUMP committee, or the Quartermaster for further information and assistance.”

Chris: distribute informational packet to all booths and campers around a green zone. Deane: start with a map. Dennis: a map of a specific zone could be distributed to everyone around the zone. Michael: there are so many different groups around the green zone behind Community Village that they don’t know each other. Chris: sharing information gets green zone neighbors to buy in. Anna: the audience for on-the-ground initiatives is primarily people who spend more than 14 days on site. Fairgoers who spend less time are less likely to develop a bond with the land, more likely to be pragmatic space-seekers who could unknowingly camp in green zones. They need someone to help them find camping space. Michael and Joseph argued that people who are on site only a few days can develop great fondness and respect for the site.

2008 March: New draft of the booth packet statement: “The fair is establishing and protecting green zones and restoration and recovery zones. These include areas of native vegetation that shall be protected and damaged areas that need restoration. Lime green flags and tape designate vegetation to be protected. If your booth, camp, or favorite site includes an area that should be conserved or enhanced, please contact Site Manager Steve Wisnovsky, the Quartermaster, or a member of the LUMP committee or Vegmanec crew for further information.”

2010 March: We revisited the issue of green zone designation and protection. Dennis offered to organize and post information and asked other members to send him the relevant material. He argued that we need clarity and specificity in describing the process, but not in the LUMP manual, which should remain more general. The specifics can be posted on the web. Joseph said that we need an explicit statement differentiating locally-designated green zones and the larger green zones specified by the LUMP manual zone map. Rachel emphasized that standardization is important. Chewie: No one likes to be called a “green nazi”; we need agreement. Rachel: We should prioritize areas. Anna and Steve agreed that the highest priority for green zone designation and protection is with the figure 8.

2011 October: Anna led the discussion to set up a work schedule for the committee. November- 1. Draft LUMP section on mapping standards for green zones.

2013 March: David: Circulated a 2010 draft of green zone delineation in cases where not all neighbors agree.

2014 March: David wants to call Green Zones, Green Spaces. We need a subcommittee to condense all the work we’ve done on this and make a plan that can be enforced by an outside party (not us.) Paxton will try to work with David on the Green (Whatever) subcommittee. We have to map where we are now, says David.

2014 April: Dennis wants to make this committee go—we’ve been in the doldrums for years now, & it’s cost us a lot of our members…Some things we’ve managed to get done, other things have gotten lost. Green Zones, for example.

2014 May: Green zones put on priority list.

2014 October: Anna thinks not all subcommittees need to be working at the same time. We should start with the ones with the board mandates. Long Tom Watershed might just need a representative, says Dennis. OSU report—maybe 2 people could read through that, summarize it, and bring it back. Stewardship is done. Green Zones maybe 2 or 3 people work on that, bring it back to this group.

2014 November: Green zones : Joseph will convene. Dennis & Thom will help. Need to go through notes for the last 8 or 10 years, organize them into a set of protocols that we can implement. Implementation would be through the camp host system, so they’d know where special zones are defined & described.

2014 December: Green Zones—Dennis will copy archived material from the BoD minutes, & Joseph’s articles for the FFN, and get them to Thom, who says Recycling Crew’s excited about this, and plan to go out with string to mark green zones in May.

2015 January: Review green zone material for subcommittee—Dennis made copies of documents we’ve produced in the past. Problems were designation and enforcement, but now that we have a camp host system these areas should be covered and we can move forward. We need descriptions, goals, problems, and implementation plans for the LUMP manuals. Recycling crew plans to record where their people camp and where green zones are, says Thom. Will talk with Jason on how to integrate this info with maps. Some green zones are intact, says Dennis, & others need to be nurtured back. We could use 3 designations. Thom and Joseph are the green zones committee. David would like to be on it but he’s too busy—concerned about plan to move CV yurt & tipi out of the way of new access path to E. 13th into green zone behind booths near the Junction.

2015 February: [For the March meeting] Joseph will try to get something together for Green Zones.

2015 March: We have been discussing with the camp crew about further training for the camp hosts to enforce and designate green zones. They are excited and willing to take on this task, which is going to be very helpful as we expand the camping in the South Woods….Green Zone subcommittee report: Joseph isn’t sure what new set of designations we need and why. Protocols were already in Shane’s report. People need to go through the camp host for camps and the site manager for other areas. Will draft something for us…Next month: finalize the upland forest plan, more bridge discussions, more LUMP manual for Robert, review draft of Green Zone proposal, update on ponds project.

2015 April: Subcommittee reports (Green zone subcommittee)

Joseph’s report:

The Oregon Country Fair declares certain areas as Green Spaces and restricts activities in those areas. The decision to declare a green space is based on the following factors:

1. Presence of sensitive species in the area;

2. Overall ecology of the proposed space;

3. Needs for shade, esthetic qualities, visual and auditory screening, and other benefits of understory growth;

4. Preferences of stakeholders.

Stakeholders may include those who camp or work near the proposed space, as well as staff and management, subject experts such as ecologists, and others who have an interested in the immediate context of any Green Space declaration. Stakeholder input will be weighed strongly in decisions, but may not be determinate, particularly in the cases where sensitive species are present.

For the purposes of this policy, sensitive species will include any species either listed, or currently proposed for listing, as either threatened or endangered. Other species may also be declared sensitive within the OCF site by the Site Manager, President, or General Manager, in consultation with appropriate subject?area experts. Since we are mandated to protect listed species, management may override other stakeholder preferences when necessary in order to meet legal obligations.

Those who wish to propose a new green space designation should generally begin with the camp host, booth rep, or coordinator nearest to the space involved. In cases of sensitive species, concerns should also be directed to the Site Manager. Camp hosts and others will work with the Site Manager to identify stakeholders and gather input on the designation. In most cases, management should seek consensus on a designation, but may move forward for compelling reasons.

Once a designation decision has been made, the Site Manager shall work with Cartography Crew to ensure the new Green Space is added to the Green Space layer of our map.

Anna says this document talks more about a process than the rest of the LUMP manual. Paxton likes the basic protocol, as a response to the board motion asking us to map green spaces. Bob wonders if LUMP should be running green zones. Robert says the manual should be incorporated into the process, since it describes what goes where. Jason says the site manager or whoever is required to approve a green zone should have a form to sign off on. Then this document shows how things got designated in case of disputes. This tells how we designate green zones, but not how we act on it, how it’s enforced. Joseph says he left that part undefined on purpose. Robert wants to add how green spaces get added to the LUMP manual, say if a particular species is identified. Dennis says this might be too specific for the LUMP manual, which deals with larger areas & more general descriptions. Bob thinks we should be consulted as subject experts for green zones. The primary purpose is to preserve green zones around the Fair, says Dennis. Joseph says we do want to include preservation of sensitive species.

Agreement among the stakeholders may be difficult to reach in some cases, says Dennis (Community Village, for example, says Steve.)

Bob wants to know who to consult to get green space designated. Shane?

Jason says the LUMP manual describes ecotypes effectively, and we can use those descriptions to preserve areas near campgrounds that fit them.

What does a camp host do, asks Anna, who wants to designate a specific area as a green zone? Is it in the guidelines? Could we put it in the 2016 edition? Could we as a LUMP committee put pieces of Joseph’s document in the LUMP manual and pieces in the guidelines?

Dennis says part will go in the LUMP manual and part in the Guidelines. We could add a sentence to point out that for the purpose of this policy, green zones are primarily to maintain visual barriers. Elaborate on the last paragraph to talk about processes and guidance for people who want to designate green zones. Bob says this part should go in the guidelines. Implementation shouldn’t be in the policy. Jason says Shane shouldn’t have to look at every green space. There are books at Quartermaster’s that people can use to record them. Then if there’s a dispute Shane can refer to that record.

Anna says we need to educate coordinators & camp hosts about how this works.

Dennis suggests we revisit this next month.

2015 May: Revise Green Zone declarations—this info will go into separate publications: some in the guidelines, some in LUMP manual, and some in Site Manager’s operations manual.

Green Zone enforcement or dispute resolution would start with camp hosts flagging proactively. Disagreements not resolved at that level go to BUMS or to the Site Manager. Dennis has more complete notes on this, adding monitoring & dispute resolution to the guidelines. How to designate & record Green Zones should go to the LUMP manual rather than the guidelines, says Paxton. Joseph says more people read the guidelines. Jason says once the benchmarks are in people can use their phones to record

GPS points for their camps or for green zones. Then we can create overlays to update our maps & see changes.

2016 March: Green Zones: Bear says this can be part of the MOST display. If Joseph can fill one of the 4-foot panels & educate the staff (the “Park Rangers”) they'll know what to say to the family & public about what's on the wall. Dennis has notes he can use, Joseph remembers an article in the Fair Family News.

2016 May: Protocols to designate green zones on priority list

2016 October: Guidelines revision: Revisions should empower camp hosts to designate and protect green zones. In the on-line LUMP manual, we could we include photo keys of what plants can be camped on (e.g., reed canary grass), and which should be protected (e.g., slough sedge). We should work with the camping crew to identify plants or zones that should be protected. Camp hosts have been proactive with green zone protection.

2016 November: Work/action plan and projects for 2016-7 season. Develop protocols, incentives, facilitation for adopt-a-tree, designation of green zones, reporting and protecting bird nests, other wildlife—this will be high on our list of things to do this year.

2017 January: Discussion turned to the next item on the agenda, developing protocols, incentives, and facilitation for green zones, adopt-a-tree, and protecting wildlife. Much depends on our ability to map locations accurately…Robert is working with others to develop standards for submission forms. We could devise a form to be used to report site-specific notifications of bird nests, wildlife habitat, green zones, or other natural phenomena that should be recorded and mapped. The submitted forms could be archived, posted, and/or mapped in a GIS layer…Dennis proposed that we record green zones by center point, not perimeter, and a narrative that describes the dimensions of the zone and its special features. Mapping the center, not the perimeter, could reduce the cartographic and territorial issues involved in defining the edge…We need to write a wildlife page for the LUMP manual and define the protocols for recording green zones and other sensitive habitat.

2017 February: An app for on-line recording or reporting of features would work most of the year, but not during the Fair because of bandwidth limits. We'd also need a paper form. Green zones can be delineated by their centers, which are easier to map then the edges, but will need to be defended on site….The recording & reporting form could include green zones, adopt-a-trees, miscellaneous wildlife observations, bird nests, rare & endangered plans, and invasive & dangerous native plants. We'll want latitude, longitude, or GIS coordinates, OCF landmarks, center point of an area or green zone or nest or whatever, a photo if available, & a short narrative including how the area is used at the Fair (camping, booth, parking, etc.) who's submitting it & their affiliation & contact info, date & time. Bear will see if Jason knows how to find Tony's rumored app that worked pre-Fair but not during the Fair. Joseph thinks we need a protocol for designating Green Zones.

2017 April: Develop protocols, incentives, facilitation for adopt-a-tree, designation of green zones, reporting and protecting bird nests & other wildlife: Dennis says we've talked about using a phone to report. Would we use the same app for recording green zones, photographing wildlife, reporting hazards? Maybe we need two ranks, or someone to sort through the submissions, & divide the temporary (bees' nests) from the more permanent. Paxton: we can have several buttons, one for a green area, one for other categories, that would connect with the GPS and get them sent to the appropriate recipients. DJ: are we reinventing the wheel? There's already a system of books at the QM desk for bees & poison oak. Bear: we can use phones for pictures. Dennis: we could use both methods—the books where we don't need pictures, but for documenting a green zone we could use GPS and photos. Paxton: books are for what we're immediately working on at the event. Dennis: something with more permanence would go on the phone apps. DJ: we have some temporary green zones, like the giant camas at Pooh Corner, that can be protected during its flower.

(revised 10/28/17)