WILD AND SCENIC STUDY COMMITTEE MINUTES
Meeting: November 19, 2007
MEETING CALLED TO ORDER by Chairwoman Sally Rieger at 7:05 p.m.
Sally Rieger, Simsbury; David Tolli, Salmon Brook Watershed Association; Sue Murray, Hartland; Alis Ohlheiser, Canton; Margery Winters, Simsbury; Larry Schlegal, Farmington; Joyce Kennedy Raymes, Community Planner; Kevin Gough, Bloomfield; Paula Jones, Bloomfield; Carolyn Flint, Granby; Diane Field, Avon; Susanne Battos, Simsbury; Mike Krammen, East Granby, Harry Spring, Avon
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Meeting of October 15, 2007
Approval was moved, seconded and voted with the following correction. Misspelling of Chairwoman Rieger’s name was corrected from Reiger to Rieger.
Sally announced that a videographer from SCTV had agreed to tape Brian Toal’s address for broadcast on Community TV. She had spoken with the videographer in the morning but he had not yet arrived. Sally asked Brian if he would be willing to delay his presentation briefly, to which he agreed, and the meeting moved on to Committee reports.
Chairwoman Margery Winters announced that the committee was planning a mailing in January to introduce the Wild and Scenic study process, the make-up of the committee and the newly selected ORVs.
It is planned that the first newsletter will be mailed in January. General committee members were invited to write articles for future newsletters as the intent is for each to cover a different ORV.
She also reported that the group planned to work toward introducing a bill of support in the State Legislature.
The committee requested the appropriation of $ 1500.00 in funding for Outreach and Education activities for items such as a banner, a high quality display board for use at events a postcard type mailer to advertise our website. The group would also like to put together a video. Anyone having photographs they would like to offer for the project are invited to send them on to any of the committee members. Photos will be needed for the website and all outreach activities. Alis Ohlheiser offered a motion for of the appropriation which was seconded and unanimously carried.
Marjorie raised a question as to the content of the photos. The response was that they should pertain to any of the ORVs
Susanne Battos of
Chairwoman Paula Jones reported that the committee has had extensive discussions on establishing short term objectives as well as longer term goals beginning with outreach to town land use commissions and a review of the Eight Mile plan for a review of State and Federal regulations to build on the work already in place.
This committee discussed a legislative bill describing support of the designation and DEP’s cooperation with the designation and implementation of the management plan. In regard to this, Eric prepared and handed out a compilation of Representatives and Senators representing the Study Area towns. Eric pointed out that some legislators were very strong supporters of the project but that some were less so. If committee members have relationships with their State legislators please let Eric or Joyce know so they can help make the contact with them for future meetings.
In order to get the support into bill form for action in the next session we need to begin work in December/January. Although we expect passage in the upcoming legislative session, a delay to the next session will be well within our time frame.
Larry Schlegal reported on the October “Marathon Meeting” which moved along to conclusion much more swiftly than anticipated. We agreed on narrowing the large number of individual ORVs to five principal categories which are:
2. CULTURAL LANDSCAPE
4. BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
5. WATER QUALITY
Sally commended Larry on a complex job well done.
Eric announced that the Town of
Joyce reported talks with both Outreach and Education and Management and Protection committees regarding strategy for town contact. It is felt that there should be one “point person” for each town to function in communication.
Harry reported that we have already been approached by the Town Manager in
Harry indicated that both Diane and he would be the “point persons” for
A question was raised in terms of public participation and Harry said that a Town Meeting was anticipated farther into the process as well as public inclusion in meeting with Council.
Discussion centered on the type of presentation and it was generally agreed that the point persons would present via power point and Q & A.
Eric suggested taking an already existing power point version, turning it into a PDF, send it around and get opinions on modifications for specific towns. Sally thought it would be very desirable to include photos of easily identified town specific sites in the presentation tailored to each town.
Eric agreed to update the existing presentation to reflect the now established ORV categories and introduce it at the December meeting.
A question was raised concerning “manila cards” promoting the W & S Study. Eric replied that they had been handed out at a number of sites, Tavern Day in
GUEST SPEAKER: MR. BRIAN TOAL
Harry introduced Brian Toal who is a resident of
Birds, preservation of bird habitat and birding are interrelated in a number of ways to Wild and Scenic designation of the study area. In the recreational sense, birding is the fastest growing outdoor recreational activity in
Hartford Audubon is a venerable organization and next year, its Centennial Year, there will be a large number of activities centered on that event. Hartford Audubon has a strong organization of 600+ members and sponsors one or two ornithological walks on most weekends which are led by members with “amazing expertise”. Hartford Audubon owns a few critical habitat properties, one of which is known as “Station 43” which abuts the Connecticut River in
A large number of rarely seen birds can be found within the Study aREA. Brian has graciously offered the organization’s advisory expertise to the Study Committee.
Grassland habitats are the most endangered in
Management practices can have beneficial or disastrous effects on bird populations. For example, grassland nesting birds can have successful reproduction or dismal failure depending on when mowing takes place. Early mowing (prior to August first or late July) can destroy nests or fledglings. Mowing delayed until August first or later will enhance reproductive success. Selective mowing, for example, half of a field cut early for immediate forage but the remainder left until after the “critical” date will be a worthwhile compromise. Where the cutting is done is also significant. Birds tend to nest towards the center of a tract so, if early cutting is necessary, a peripheral cutting will have a less severe impact on nesting success. Generally, for successful grassland habitat, a minimum fifty acres is required.
Other birding areas in the Study Area: Northwest Hills and
Woodlands and thickets and power line clearings are good habitat for Barred and Great Horned Owls as well as Yellow Bellied Sapsuckers. Ponds, lakes, reservoirs and the river itself, a major flyway, offers home to Bald Eagles, a variety of Hawks, Black and Turkey Vultures, Ospreys
In response to Eric’s question regarding how exceptional the Study Area is for birding, Brian replied, “
Thanks to Brian for a very informative discussion.
OTHER NEW BUSINESS;
PHOTO SESSION Meeting was adjourned to an informal photo session for member photographs to be used in the January and future newsletters.