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Transylvania Natural Resource Council Meeting Minutes 2-9-2018

Meeting minutes for Transylvania Natural Resource Council

Regular Meeting

 February 9, 2018

 Welcome

The meeting was called to order at 9:00 A.M. by Lee McMinn; the business meeting was called to order at 10:15 A.M. by Lee McMinn.

Roll Call:

 David Whitmire                     Addison Bradley                               Bart Renner

Jennifer Kafsky                      Woody Noland                                  Lee McMinn

Jeff Parker                              Davis Whitfield-Cargill                      Peter Chaveas

Jason Guidry                          Kent Wilcox                                       Aaron Bland

R.K. Young

In addition, 5 members of the public were present.

Speaker Series:

 Program consisted of a presentation by Rob Elliot, Evergreen Packaging, regarding Sustainable Forestry in Western North Carolina.

Approval of Agenda:

 None

Approval of minutes from November and December 2017:

R.K. Young made a motion to approve, Davis Whitfield-Cargill seconded. Minutes were approved unanimously

 Future Presentations/New Business:

 Program for March: Michelle Aldridge, Southern Research Station, and Jim Fox, National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center, will be presenters.

Program for April: 2017 National Climate Assessment to Congress and a video showing arranged by R.K. Young.

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

Program for September: We Knapp, N.C. Natural Heritage Program will present how to manage Significant Natural Areas.

Program for October: Subcommittee on Landslide Planning.

Program for November: Cooperative Extension and the Environment: Bart Renner.

Program for December: Maria Wise, Watershed Coordinator, Mills River Partnership.

Bart Renner: Americorps Volunteer has been chosen; her name is Brooke Burrows and is a native of Brevard, N.C. Her primary responsibility will be assisting French Broad Stewards in planning the Upper French Broad Riverfest. Conserving Carolina, French Broad Stewards, and N.C. Cooperative Extension provided funding for the position. This is a temporary position. Jennifer Kafsky made a motion and R.K. Young seconded to express support to the Board of Commissioners to continue the Americorps Volunteer position; the motion passed unanimously.

Hartwell Carson, French Broad Riverkeeper, requested volunteers to sample river water in Transylvania County.

Old Business:

Resubmission of Natural Resource Specialist Position: The position is approximately a $50,000 cost per year. Peter Chaveas stated that he would encourage adding that the person within the position would identify natural resource issues in the county and identify those that the public are most concerned about; as well as inform the public on those issues and mobilize available volunteers to assist in the effort. Peter agreed to edit the position and resubmit the description to the council. David Whitfield-Cargill requested opinions from Jeff Parker and Bart Renner. Both stated that it was necessary to convince commissioners that the responsibilities of this position are not already being accomplished by another county entity. R.K. Young stated that T.N.R.C. was not a regulatory council; Jeff Parker and Bart Renner also stated the departments they represent are non-regulatory. Lee McMinn listed projects that would potentially be the responsibility of the Natural Resource Specialist, such as private land conservation initiatives.

Peter Chaveas agreed to send an amended version of the position to Lee McMinn, upon which Lee will distribute via email the council members. Council members will vote via email.

See attached for amended position description. Council members Jennifer Kafksy, Dave Casey, R.K. Young, Peter Chaveas, Kent Wilcox, Aaron Bland, David Whitmire, Dan Hodges, Mark Tooley, and Lee McMinn voted in favor of the amended document.

Subcommittee on Significant Natural Heritage Areas: nothing to report.

Landslide Planning Subcommittee: nothing to report.

Hemlock Restoration Project: Hemlock Restoration Initiative will host an educational event Monday, April 9, 2018 at the Cedar Mountain Community Center.

Updates from public land managers:

 Dupont State Forest, Jason Guidry: Tread lightly, as trails are muddy. Currently completing road maintenance throughout the forest.

Fish and Wildlife Conservation Council, Stakeholders Forum, David Whitmire: Per Dave Casey gates have been torn down in the national forest, increased vandalism. The public should be made aware of incidents in an attempt to prevent further vandalism and littering.

Fish and Wildlife Conservation Council has a meeting February 20, 2018, in Mills River.

The Forest Management Plan will be published in summer 2018 with a 90 day public comment period following the release of the report.

Davis Whitfield-Cargile made a motion to adjourn, Peter Chaveas seconded, approved unanimously.

 The meeting was adjourned at 11:00 A.M.