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Transylvania Natural Resource Council Minutes March 8, 2019

Meeting Minutes for Transylvania Natural Resource Council
Regular Meeting – March 8, 2019

Welcome

The meeting was called to order at 9:05 A.M. by Lee McMinn; the business meeting was called to order at 9:50 A.M. by Lee McMinn.

Roll Call:
Peter Chaveas
David Whitmire
Kent Wilcox
Woody Nolan
Jennifer Kafsky
Aaron Bland
Lee McMinn
Bart Renner
Addison Bradley
Jason Guidry
Rob McGraw

In addition, seventeen members of the public were present.

Speaker Series:

Program consisted of a presentation by Brevard College students Molly Brown, Kate Chaump, and Abi Fuesler.

Approval of minutes from January 2019:

David Whitmire made a motion to approve, seconded by Kent Wilcox. Minutes were approved unanimously.

Future Presentations:

Program for April: Kids in the forest, presented by various groups.

Program for May: Field trip to D.S.R.F. to revisit Chestnut restoration project.

Program for September: Ken Webb, T.C. Landfill Manager: The State of the Landfill, Reducing the Waste Stream; Kim Coram: Moving to Conserve (Peter)

Program for October: TBA

Program for November: David Brown, U.S.A. Corps of Engineers, Regulatory Specialist/Geologist (Mark)

Program for December: Mitch Woodward, N.C.S.U., Storm Water Management

Program for April: Maria Wise, Mills River Partnership, Monetizing Riparian Zones

New Business:

Draft letter from N.C. Cooperative Extension supporting the continuation of AmeriCorps position: Extension is requesting $5,000 from the county to support the position. The council made no amendments to the letter. T.N.R.C. will send letter of support to Board of Commissioners and County Manager. Kent Wilcox made motion to approve letter, seconded by Jennifer Kafsky. Motion passed.

Review of forum: Economic Impact of Outdoor Recreation Industry on Transylvania County: successful event, which was well attended. Multiple stakeholders were in attendance including state, county, city leaders, business owners, etc.

Consideration of resolution supporting voluntary discontinuance of single-use plastic bags, straws and Styrofoam containers: issue tabled until April.

Old Business:

Resubmittal of Position Description for Natural Resources Specialist: unlikely to be included in budget. Peter Chaveas requested to amend resolution to read “green issues for existing and new businesses.” Motion was made to support position by Peter Chaveas, seconded by David Whitmire. Motion passed.

Update on Chronic Wasting Disease and feral hogs: new regulations regarding transporting deer across state lines. There have been 190 deer in Tennessee which have tested positive for C.W.D. Public awareness is key.

Update on discussion with Sheriff about spotlighting and poaching deer: excellent article in newspaper to increase public awareness. Discussions continue with D.A., sheriff’s office, and Wildlife officers regarding prosecuting offenders.

Updates from subcommittees:

Significant Natural Areas: Kent Wilcox continues to research mapping for G.I.S. overlap layers.

Hemlock Restoration Cost Share: possible informational booth at the Farmers Market. Currently treating hemlocks through cost share program.

Update from public land managers:

Rob McGraw, Gorges State Park: $2.2 million still required to build campground. Opening of campground is delayed for one year due to various issues. Two rangers were sworn in as law enforcement.

Jason Guidry, DuPont State Park: new properties will not be open to the public in 2019. Significant natural areas must be mapped prior to public land use. Currently harvesting timber, approximately 45 acres. Undercounting visitation, visitation is now approximated at 800,000 per year. General Assembly has asked D.S.R.F. to explore implementing user fees.

Kent Wilcox made a motion to adjourn, Peter Chaveas seconded, approved unanimously.

Meeting was adjourned at 11:00 A.M.


Resolution supporting voluntary reduction in the use of single-use products

Whereas the North Carolina Outdoor Recreation Industry Office has identified outdoor recreation as a significant source of jobs and revenue for Transylvania County, and
Whereas Transylvania County is the headwaters of the French Broad River, its waters feeding our economic development, infrastructure needs, agriculture, local wildlife, recreational opportunities, and health needs, and
Whereas the quality of these waters and all other waters in Transylvania County is decreased by contamination with single-use products, especially plastics and foam containers, and
Whereas the cleanup of this contamination requires investment of county resources, landfill space, paid and volunteer hours, and tax dollars, and
Whereas the presence of litter along our roads and trails, clinging to our bushes and trees, killing our forest animals and fish is not compatible with our emerging best source of county jobs and income from outdoor recreation, and
Whereas the presence of litter would be greatly reduced by decreased consumption of single-use products;
Be it therefore noted that the Transylvania Natural Resource Council finds that:
a) The use of single-use carryout bags, foam food containers, and straws by consumers at retail establishments is detrimental to the environment, wildlife, public health, and welfare.
b) Single-use carryout bags, foam food containers, and plastic straws contribute to environmental problems, including litter in storm drains, along rivers and streams, and beside our roads and trails.
c) Single-use carryout bags, foam food containers, and plastic straws impose unseen costs on consumers, local governments, and taxpayers and constitute a public nuisance.

Therefore, be it resolved that the Transylvania Natural Resource Council recommends voluntary reduction of single-use carryout bags, foam food containers, and plastic straws by replacing such items with compostable or recyclable items of the same purposes, and

Be it further resolved that merchants continuing to offer single use plastic bags are encouraged to offer recycling or recycling information and to offer alternatives of paper bags or reusable bags, and

Be it further resolved that food service businesses offer straws, either plastic or compostable (encouraged), only at customers’ request, and

Be it further resolved that expanded public and private pursuit of recycling partnerships and a public relation campaigns to promote voluntary reduction and recycling efforts is highly recommended.

Drafted by RK Young