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TNRC Meeting Minutes 9-8-2017

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Meeting minutes for Transylvania Natural Resource Council
Regular Meeting September 8, 2017

The meeting was called to order at 9:00 A.M. by Lee McMinn; the business meeting was called to order at 10:25 A.M. by Lee McMinn.
Roll Call:
Lee McMinn,  David Whitmire Bart Renner, Dan Hodges,  Addison Bradley, Peter Chaveas, Jason Guidry,  Jeff Parker, Steve Pagano, Davis Whitfield-Cargile,  Kent Wilcox,  Aaron Bland

In addition, twelve members of the public were present.
Speaker Series:
Program consisted of updates from Friends of DuPont State Forest (Sara Landry), Pisgah Conservancy (Carlton Murray), and Friends of Gorges State Park (Micki Andrews and Bob Andrews).

Approval of Agenda:

Lee McMinn made a motion to amend agenda to allow Landslide Planning Subcommittee to present first, motion was seconded by David Whitmire and passed unanimously.
Approval of minutes from April 2017: Minutes were previously approved in June. New Business:
R.K. Young was introduced as an applicant to replace Justin Petit-Mee on the council. Lee McMinn’s term is expiring and volunteered to remain in his position for another term.
Old Business:
Program for October: College day organized by Jennifer Kafsky.

Program for November: November 10, 2017 is when Veteran’s Day is observed; therefore, the meeting will be rescheduled for November 17, 2017. Ryan Jacobs will discuss wildlife populations and challenges associated with managing wildlife and habitat on public land. Lori Roberts, Transylvania County Tourism Development Authority, will also discuss tourism and the environment.

Program for December: Katie Greenberg will present the effects of various habitat management on a suite of wildlife species (game and non-game).

Transylvania County Comprehensive Plan and T.N.R.C: no update.

USFS Cooperating Agency Update: discussion tabled as David Casey was not present.

Subcommittee on Significant Natural Areas: subcommittee met August 23, 2017; minutes from this meeting were distributed. The findings of the subcommittee are based on a report by Ed Schwartzman. This report is available electronically. Schwartzman identified multiple Natural Heritage Areas in Transylvania County in 2008. The subcommittee determined various considerations regarding continuance of project: revisit areas to determine if they are still considered Natural Heritage Areas, gain permission from private landowners to survey areas, Natural Heritage Areas located on public land are being maintained correctly. The subcommittee requested input from experts in the field as to decide if hosting educational programs for private landowners would be beneficial.

Landslide Planning Subcommittee: Gray Jernigan, Aaron Bland, and Davis Whitfield-Cargile met prior to today’s meeting to discuss if the council should seek funding from Board of Commissioners to identify and map landslides. On the Transylvania County website, there is currently a slope study map and a landslide susceptibility map; however, neither are detailed. Kevin Shook does support the creation of more detailed studies and maps regarding landslide possibility in the county. Two possible issues were mentioned with identifying and mapping landslide potential areas 1) homeowners will question if it is necessary to disclose information when selling; and 2) landowners with possible landslide conditions will seek funding from the county to prevent a landslide. The subcommittee did recommend for the council to present to the Board of Commissioners. A motion was made by Peter Chaveas and was seconded by Kent Wilcox to draft a resolution to present to the Board of Commissioners; motion was approved unanimously.

Hemlock Restoration Initiative: Meeting with all contractors involved in project was held; contractors stated that the reimbursement rate to landowners is not sufficient. Bart Renner will present to Board of Commissioners that the reimbursement rate will increase to 50% of total cost, up to $2 per inch diameter at breast height. Marketing efforts for the project will increase and language regarding qualifications to apply will change to allow for greater participation.

Updates from public land managers:
Jason Guidry: visitation has leveled-out; will increase during leaf season. There has been incidents involving law-enforcement, emergency management, graffiti, etc., which is directly correlated with the number of visitors. The park recently hired a new law enforcement officer, with two more law enforcement officers being hired in the near future. Deer harvest is showing same levels as Pisgah National Forest and other game lands.

Steve Pagano: campground is in progress and at 50% design currently. The park has a full staff, with two more individuals being hired. There should be an overlap in Steve’s retirement and the hiring of the new superintendent to allow for continuity and ease of transition.

David Whitmire: Several meetings regarding Pisgah Ledge have taken place. Drafts were presented, but have not been accepted by the committee.

Lee McMinn made the motion to adjourn, Jason Guidry seconded. The motion was approved unanimously.
Meeting was adjourned at 11:06 A.M.