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TNRC Minutes 11-17-2017

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Meeting minutes for Transylvania Natural Resource Council

Regular Meeting
 November 17, 2017

 The meeting was called to order at 9:04 A.M. by Lee McMinn; the business meeting was called to order at 10:30 A.M. by Lee McMinn.

Roll Call:

David Whitmire
Addison Bradley
Mark Tooley
Kent Wilcox
David Casey
Jennifer Kafsky
Peter Chaveas
R.K. Young
Lee McMinn
Davis Whitfield-Cargile

 In addition, six members of the public were present.

Speaker Series:

 Program consisted of a presentation by Lori Roberts of Transylvania Always, on tourism and the environment; and a presentation by Ryan Jacobs of N.C. Wildlife Resource Commission, on wildlife populations and challenges associated with wildlife habitat on public land.

Approval of Agenda:


Approval of minutes from October 2017:

R.K. Young made a motion to approve, David Whitmire seconded. Minutes were approved unanimously, with the addendum of adding “and experiential” regarding the Brevard College program per Jennifer Kafsky to October 2017 minutes.

New Business:

 Program for January: Cherokee: Their Environment and Practices, presented by Yvonne Dixon.

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

Program for March: National Climate Assessment

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

Program for May: Potential field trip to Panther Branch Timber Trail organized by David Casey.

House Resolution 2936: passed the House of Representatives on November 1, 2017. Lee McMinn stated that if T.N.R.C. would like to recommend whether to support or oppose H.R. 2936, a resolution needs to be drafted by the council.

Proclamation 30-2014 Plant Natives First: In 2014 Transylvania County recommended that native species are encouraged for landscaping rather than non-native species. If this proclamation needs to be further addressed, it will need to be added to the agenda in a future meeting. R.K. Young volunteered to review the proclamation and present her findings to the council.

Old Business:

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

Subcommittee on Significant Natural Heritage Areas: The committee has not met since September, the subcommittee plans to meet with Wesley Knapp, Western Regional Ecologist/Botanist of the N.C. Natural Heritage Program and will report summary of the meeting to the council at a later date.

Landslide Planning Subcommittee:  Davis Whitfield-Cargile reported there is a meeting set with the Transylvania County Planning Department on November 30, 2017 to determine further action.

Hemlock Restoration Initiative: Addison Bradley reported there was a homeowner hemlock treatment workshop in Cedar Mountain on October 27, 2017 with over 30 in attendance. There will be another homeowner workshop in the spring of 2018.

Updates from public land managers:

 Pisgah National Forest, David Casey: Volunteers on the Pisgah Ranger District were recognized by the regional forester as the greatest number of volunteer hours on any district across the country. Dogs off leash are continuing to be an issue in the Bent Creek area; there will be increased educational initiatives and regulation in the future to decrease incidents. Currently seeking grant funding for various trail projects. Significant erosion issues at Panther Branch Timber Trail; multiple organizations are aware and involved in addressing the issue.

Dupont State Forest, Mary Smith: Mary Smith is the new recreational director at Dupont State Forest. Currently dealing with trail courtesy concerns; beginning an educational campaign to teach trail etiquette. There has also been an issue with dogs off leash. There are new law enforcement officers who are issuing tickets for dogs off leash. Depending on the weather, there will be controlled burns in the following weeks. Dupont State Forest will acquire a portion of the Cascade Lake property eventually. There are no immediate plans for the Donut Hole.

Fish and Wildlife Conservation Council, Stakeholders Forum, David Whitmire: Stakeholders Forum had their last meeting last week for the year. The environmental impact statements will be completed during the winter. Stakeholders Forum will engage with the U.S.F.S. prior to the roll-out of the statements to assist the Forest Service in addressing questions from the public.

Gray Jernigan, of Mountain True, stated that Mountain True is involved with the erosion issue at Panther Branch Timber Trail. Mountain True is also partnering with various entities regarding the Upper French Broad River.

R.K. Young made the motion to adjourn, Davis Whitfield-Cargile seconded, motion passed unanimously.

Meeting was adjourned at 11:06 A.M.