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TNRC Meeting Minutes January 2018

Meeting minutes for Transylvania Natural Resource Council
Regular Meeting

January 12, 2018

Welcome

The meeting was called to order at 9:00 A.M. by Lee McMinn; the business meeting was called to order at 10:14 A.M. by Lee McMinn.

Roll Call:  David Whitmire, Addison Bradley, Bart Renner,Jennifer Kafsky, Woody  Noland, Lee McMinn,Jeff Parker, Dan Hodges, Dave Casey,Jason Guidry, Kent Wilcox

In addition, 18 members of the public were present.

Speaker Series:

Program consisted of a presentation by Yvonne McCall-Dickson, on the Cherokee: Their Natural Environment and Practices.

Approval of Agenda:

None

Approval of minutes from November and December 2017:

Kent Wilcox made a motion to approve, Jason Guidry seconded. Minutes were approved unanimously

Future Presentations/New Business:

Program for February: Sustainable Forestry in W.N.C., presented by Rob Elliot, Evergreen Packaging.

Program for March: Climate Change in the Southern Appalachians.

Program for April: Climate Change and Western North Carolina and a video showing arranged by R.K. Young.

Program for May: Field trip to Courthouse Cut organized by David Casey and David Whitmire.

Old Business:

Subcommittee on Significant Natural Heritage Areas: Kent Wilcox stated the subcommittee met with Wesley Knapp from the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program and he has agreed to present at the September 2018 meeting. Wesley Knapp also stated that his staff would draft a brochure to deliver to real estate agents and other relevant parties regarding natural heritage areas.

Landslide Planning Subcommittee: Subcommittee met with the Transylvania County Planning Department, no pertinent news to report as of now. The Landslide Planning Subcommittee will present findings at the October 2018 T.N.R.C. meeting.

Hemlock Restoration Project: Per Bart Renner a total of 8 applicants completed the entire process, 1,331 trees were treated, and there were $5,552.63 in reimbursements in 2017. Educational programs regarding landowner self-treatment of hemlocks are being planned for 2018.

Updates from public land managers:

Pisgah National Forest, David Casey: Certain roads and trails are closed due to freeze and thaw conditions. A letter regarding proposed actions on trail re-routes and funding will be published prior to the next T.N.R.C. meeting, including closing camp sites on Cathey’s Creek. Hopefully limited burning will occur this spring.

Dupont State Forest, Jason Guidry: In 2017 there was leveling off of visitors to the forest, 560,000 visitors, a slight decrease from 2016. Will continue research as to what drives visitation to the forest, which will include a survey as to the expectations of visitors of the forest. The Tour de Falls program, hosted by Friends of DuPont State Forest, will be re-evaluated and replaced with another event.
Trail courtesy will be a major topic in 2018; as DuPont does have a multiple use philosophy including hikers, horse-back riders, and bikers.
There were three prescribed burns in December. Staff has doubled in 2017, to allow more personnel for burning.
The Hooker Falls bathroom has been designed, but no bids have been accepted due to funding.

Fish and Wildlife Conservation Council, Stakeholders Forum, David Whitmire: Stakeholders Forum actions postponed until spring. January 25, 2018 the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Council will host a meeting at the research station in Mills River. District 9 Wildlife Commission meeting will be January 16, 2018 in Waynesville. There are changes in wildlife regulations. Deer season is usually three weeks, considering changing it to five to six weeks.

Soil and Water Conservation District, Jeff Parker: three debris sites have been removed recently, including one on Wilson Road. A large stream bank restoration was completed on Whitmire Farms in the Cherryfield community.

Meeting was adjourned at 10:53 A.M.