TNRC Agenda October 13, 2023

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Meeting Agenda for Friday, October 13th, 2023, 9-11 a.m.
Transylvania County Community Services Building, 106 E. Morgan St., Brevard, NC 28712
Zoom Link for Virtual Attendees

9:00-10:00…………Program: “Wildlife Passage in Gorges State Park”
Sarah McMullen, Wildlands Network
Creating wildlife-specific infrastructure over or under roads is a proven solution to increase wildlife habitat connectivity and prevent wildlife vehicle mortality, but these crossings are often focused on large-bodied mammals due to driver safety concerns. However, roads can pose an even greater conservation threat to smaller and less mobile species of conservation concern, such as reptiles and amphibians.
In 2009, Gorges State Park placed four small experimental culverts under the newly constructed park roads in the hopes of facilitating safe passage under the roadway for timber rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) and eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina), both species of conservation concern in North Carolina. Wildlands Network and the Timber Rattlesnake Conservation Alliance has been monitoring these structures since 2022 to determine if and what animals are using the structures.
The presentation will highlight the structure specifications, findings from our first two years of monitoring (including successful use of the culverts by timber rattlesnakes and a diversity of other wildlife such as long-tailed weasels, spotted skunks, wood rats, gray foxes, red foxes, bobcats, and multiple salamander species), and implications for encouraging the use of this type of smaller wildlife crossings when replacing or creating new road infrastructure in Western North Carolina to protect and conserve our diverse wildlife species.

10:00-11:00…………Business Meeting:
Welcome & Introductions
Approval of September Meeting Minutes
Land Manager Updates
Committee Member Updates
Wild & Scenic River Resolution Update
New Business
Tentative Programs Schedule:
August 8-Sep-23

Dr. Jennifer Bauer Appalachian Landslide Consultants landslide Hazard Mapping for Transylvania County

13-Oct-23 Dr. Liz Hilliard Wildlands Network Wildlife Passage Projects in Gorges State Park

10-Nov-23 Rachel Hess USFS – Pisgah Ranger District River Rangers Program

8-Dec-23 Jake Rash Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture Speckled Trout in Transylvania County TNRC Speakers (2023)Date Speaker Affiliation  Topic
Possible future programs:
1. NC Growth – Smart UP Field Guide to Blueways

2. Geology of Appalachian Mountains (Michael Follo)
3. User/entrance/parking fees for public recreational areas
4. Updated Forest Plan (USFS)
5. Dupont State Forest Master Plan
6. Rescues and Safety on Public Lands
7. Ecusta Trail Updates (COB)
8. Chronic Wasting Disease within White-tailed Deer (NCWRC)
9. Mussels of the French Broad
The next regular meeting is tentatively scheduled for Friday, November 10th from 9-11 a.m. at the Community Services Building, located at 106 E. Morgan St., Brevard.