Minutes - Conservation Committee

   

Minutes from May 2, 2017 Conservation Committee Meeting   DRAFT 1

Attendees: Gerry Gulseth, Mary Clark, John Reynolds, Tom Brimacombe, Tom Bredenberg, Paul Butt, Rob Egemeier, John Parker (Meeting Secretary), John Henricksen (Board Liaison).

  1. May minutes approved; Rob Egemeier motion, Jerry Gulseth second.
  2. Proposed new trails in the Greenbelts approved by Board. Both are short segments providing needed connection to amenities. One will connect Fonda Road with the Compadres playground, the other the other connecting the Greenbelt trail through Los Alamos Park (which currently terminates at the community garden) with Avenida Torreon, and the new “Biblioteca Trail.”
  3. April 29th workday was canceled due to inclement weather. Wisdom of postponing the decision to cancel until the morning of the 29th was discussed.
  4. May 6th workday arrangements were discussed, John Parker and Paul Butt volunteered to retrieve tools and supplies from CC shed on Friday night to avoid expected difficulties of doing so Saturday AM during the annual Eldorado Flea Marker.
  5. Tom Brimacombe attended the annual meeting of the ECIA Board on behalf of the CC. He reported it went well, having satisfactorily answered questions from Board members and receiving their support.
  6. Tom Dominguez, County Agricultural Agent – still awaiting response from our contact John Gervers regarding our request for a presentation on land stewardship and managing landscapes for wildlife and native vegetation …
  7. Paul Butt is in contact with vendor used by SF Fate Tire Society to produce signage for trail heads that requests that the trails not be used when muddy. Some discussion occurred around how many such signs need to be procured. It was decided that we should order 15 signs. Paul will investigate whether we also need to get new “no trespassing” signs or if we already have a sufficient supply of these signs.
  8. John Reynolds reported on his coordination with the F & G and Road Committees concerning the walkability and master plan. Felicia Probert (Roads), and Russel Winslow (Roads????) have met with John to discuss walkability …(help me John!)
  9. Mark – letter from committee sent to ECIA management . Meeting requested but no response yet.
  10. COTLPAC – John Parker shared that the COLTPAC is currently completing management plans for a number of the county properties in our area including Madrid and Lamy. Approval of the plan for Thornton Ranch pending meetings between the County, BLM and Indian Pueblos. John mentioned that he and new member Paul Butts were recognized by the SF County Board of Commissioners for their work with youth through the Master’s program at the SF Community College . The program promotes better understanding and appreciation by our young people of our parks, open spaces and trails.
  11. Old Business – Jim Daniel is looking to step aside from his duties as committee chair.

It was decided that we should wait until fall to perform treatments of salt cedar rather than at this time.

  1. New Business – next trail day, efforts to reschedule spring trail day that was cancelled were postponed pending discussions between committee leadership and our contractor.

Paul Butt suggested that we finalize our designs for gates and fencing at Trailheads 2 & 3. We need to assure that the design excludes unapproved uses and allows for implementation of active controls (e.g. seasonal closures.)

  1. Meeting adjourned at 9 PM.

 

Minutes from April 4, 2017 Conservation Committee Meeting

Attendees: Jim Daniel (Chair), Gerry Gulseth, Mary Clark, John Reynolds (Meeting Secretary), Tom Brimacombe, Tom Bredenberg, Rob Egemeier, Cecil Rich, John Henricksen (Board Liaison).

Guests: Paul Butts (nominated committee member), Carol Biedleman, David Tyemeyer, Paul Wickstrum

1. Approval of March Minutes – Motion to approve made by Gerry Gulseth, seconded by

John Reynolds. Motion carried unanimously.

2. Committee drafeter letter to Isabel formally requesting Mark Young to be assigned as laison to the committee. Letter signed by the members who were present, and will be delivered.

3. Survey day for project planning will be on April 11th. Jim & Jerry plan to attend, but many members have conflicts.

4. It’s been reported that the 400 trails have cattle loose. Mark Young has been asked to fix fence the fence, but moving the cattle is a problem. John Reynolds volunteered to help locate the cattle owners through his cousin who is on the Livestock Board.

5. John Reynolds presented an update on the Biblioteca project. The trail is open and being enjoyed by neighbors. There’s minor work remaining that John & Tom Brimacombe will perform. John wrote an article for the Vistas that will be in the May issue (hopefully).

6. Paul Butt presented suggestions for the trailhead 2 gate to reduce non-Eldorodan horse traffic.

Big R tube gate 6 foot $61. Round posts. V gate. All agreed that we need gates at both 2 & 3 trailheads. Install high enough to not drag. Tom Brimacombe suggested 8 feet for equipment access and all agreed. Paul will get the gates if they fit in his car.

The signs for these gates will be based on the Fat Tire signs that emphasize VOLUNTEERS maintain these trails. Please close gate. Pronto Printing makes aluminum backed UV coated signs.

7. Paul Butt presented info on Trail Maintenace Groups in the area (separate document).

8. Group Discussion on Future Greenbelt Projects. Discussed proceeding with Library Trail by avoiding county land. Cecil Rich presented his plan for Playground access from Fonda Road.

We will send plans and requests to Isabel and the board and ask if further approval is needed.

The question was raised “How can we get gates to State land?”. Not sure, but we’ll look into it.

Cuesta Lane trailhead encroachment is still embroiled in legal discussions with the offending property owner. Conservation Committee will ask for guidance.

9. Jerry presented his “Best Landscaping Guide, and feels that it is ready for information committee approval. Jerry will work with Joel Newman to design the card for the newcomer packet..

10. Forest Service inventory request is in progress. John Henricksen will follow up.

11. We’ll ask Tom Dominguez, the Santa Fe County Agricultural Extension Agent, for another session. Tree pruining workshop was a great success. The requested topic will be Land Stewardship, Managing for wildlife, Healthy landscape, etc.

12. The ECIA Annual Meeting is May 1st. Tom and Tom will cover for Jim who will be out of town. 7pm to 9pm at La Tienda.

13. Confirmed that Salt Cedar treatment will be applied during April.

14. Paul Butt was nominated by John Reynolds and seconded by Gerry Gulseth for membership on the committee. Unanimously approved. John R will draft request to board for Paul’s confirmation.

15. Jim is ready to pass the baton of chairmanship and asked all present to consider stepping up to the plate. Jim’s served for 3 years in this role and done a great job.

16. John Reynolds informed the committee that he’ll be travelling weekly for work and is unlikely to be at committee meetings for the next few months.

17. Spare chain and sharpening kit for the new chainsaw - Tom Bredenberg will get them.

18. Meeting adjourned at 9:15pm.

                                                                 

 

  Minutes for March 2017 CC Meeting


Eldorado Community Improvement Association- Conservation Committee Meeting held March 7, 2017 7:00 PM at the Eldorado Community Center.
Attendees: Jim Daniel (Chair), Jerry Gulseth, Tom Brimacombe, Tom Bredenberg (Meeting Secretary), John Reynolds, Mary Clark, Rob Egemeier, Cecil Rich, John Henriksen (Board Liaison)


1. Approval of minutes of February 7, 2017.


2. Guests: Paul Butt, Paul Fink, John Gervers, Jan Willam Jensen of Ecotone


3. Mountain bikers and vandalism on preserve trails: Intentional removal of rock structures and water bars noted on 300 series trails, presumably by mountain bikers. We may have to reconsider biker access to all trails.


4. Jan Willam of Ecotone: Educational Power Point Presentation and Priorities for the Preserve trails in 2017:
• PPP on last 10 years of Committee activity well received and suggested web posting and presenting to the Board at annual meeting. Jim and John H. will discuss it at next working session.
• Trail Restoration Plan for 2017 (see attachment 1) Entrance trail to 3A has no apparent good solutions and will require further recon. Portions of the 200 series are becoming dangerous without action the trails could face closure in 2 to 5 years. They may also require seasonal closures and restrictions.
These two areas are the major areas to be addressed in 2017 with work dates TBD. Other work on the 300 series and 101 is not as urgent.


5. Muddy trails discussion: Fencing and a gate at the 200 trail head was proposed to restrict horses


6. Tree pruning seminar: John Gervers announced a workshop co-sponsored by the Road and Conservation Committees scheduled for Thursday, March 16 (see 2nd attachment)


7. Chainsaw training: scheduled for 12:30 PM MDT Sunday, March 12, 2017 and limited to committee members.


8. Committee’s shed cleaning and tool sharpening: Jerry reported this was done 02-14-2017.


9. Los Alamos Canyon greenbelt project: Saturday March 25, 2017. Meet at Senior Center at 9:00 AM on Torreon for tractor work and support.

 


10. Landscaping practices: Jerry reported that his computer was unfortunately attacked and much of his work will require re-inputting.


11. Forest service request: The committee was consulted regarding a US Forest Service plan to survey trees on 2.5 acres in the 300 area of the preserve. There were no objections from the committee so John H. will let Isabel know.


12. Old business: None other than described above.


13. New business: Tamarisk eradication: Cecil, Tom Brimacombe and Paul Butt will form a sub-committee to further discuss best time to treat. Mark Young: Proposed HOMECO administrative changes could eliminate Mark Young’s role of staff liaison for the committee. The committee will send HOMECO a letter at our next meeting expressing our position.


14. Adjournment, next meeting Tuesday, April 4, 2017.Minutes

Eldorado Community Improvement Association       

  

ECIA Conservation Committee Minutes
Feb. 7, 2017

Attendees: John Reynolds, Tom Bredenberg, Tom Brimacombe, Jerry Gulseth, John Parker, Rob Egemeier (secretary), John Henriksen (ECIA Board Liaison)

Guests: Cecil Rich, Paul Fink, Paul Butt

1. Minutes Accepted for Jan 3, 2017 meeting.

2. Reviewed Conservation Committee's 2016 Annual Report and recommended the following additions:
* CC member Greg Colello sponsored a project to improve access to greenbelt from Monte Alto Way.
* Committee worked with ECIA to resolve access issues to greenbelt from Cuesta Way.
* 5 ECIA Preserve Community Works days were planned and accomplished.

* Added to Goals for 2017 – Planning and site assessment to be completed for new trail in the 400 trails section for the Preserve.

3. April 29 has been set as a date for removal of Salt Cedar. Committee will also assess winter damage to 200 trails on the same day. Cecil Rich is a licensed applicator for Garlon.

4. Discussion of Jan Willams assessments of trails 201 and 301 was moved to the March 5 meeting.

5. Cleaning of Conservation Committee's tool shed and tool sharpening is scheduled for 2/14. John Parker will be contact person for those interested in participating.

6. Status of Greenbelt Trails Project – John Reynolds reported that a preliminary route has been mapped out and flagged. He said that the Kubota would most likely be needed to be able to complete the trail in a reasonable time period. Some residents in the area have also volunteered to help with the trail building. John will present the project to the ECIA board meeting Feb. 13. John Henriksen asked whether the Committee would want a brushog for trail building. The Committee decided that a brushog would not be needed for trail building, but would be useful for ongoing trail maintenance.

7. David Yard is willing to do a chainsaw training on a Sunday afternoon. Tentative date for training is March 12th at 1:30pm.

8. Jerry Gulseth presented an extensive handout covering Best Landscaping Practices. His subcommittee with be taking the information outlined in this handout to the ECIA Information Committee to put on the ECIA website. The subcommittee is also considering producing a card as a handout. The card will have basic information and will refer the reader to the ECIA website. John Parker recommended that we the use the Master Gardeners Association to schedule a talk on the subject when this project goes live on the ECIA website.

9. The Committee approved a motion that Cecil Rich become a member pending ECIA board approval.

10. COLTPAC Update – County Rail Trail has been completed to Avenida Eldorado. Coltpac is planning trail routs on Thornton Ranch that will minimize impact on Petroglyph Hill.

11. Old Business - John Henriksen will check to see if ECIA has an active county permit to allow machine use on trails. Cecil has met with the ECIA road committee about trimming or removing Siberian Elm trees that are considered to be a nuisance.

12. New Business - Tom Brimacombe explained the horse damage to the 200 trails in more detail. He felt that the horse riders may come from the area surrounding the 200 trails and not from Eldorado. He will check with Mark Young to see if we have signs for deterring both motor vehicle use and riding in muddy areas. Tentative community work days were set up for April 29 and May 6. A 3rd work day will be planned with a date TBD.

Meeting adjourned at 8:58pm.

 

ECIA Conservation Committee Minutes 

January 3, 2017


Eldorado Community Improvement Association- Conservation Committee Meeting held January 3, 2017 7:00 PM at the Eldorado Community Center.
Attendees: Jim Daniel (Chair), Jerry Gulseth, John Parker, Tom Brimacombe (Meeting Secretary), Tom Breedenberg, John Reynolds, Mary Clark, Rob Egemeier, David Yard (Board Liason)
1. Approval of minutes of Nov. 1, 2016 meeting.
2. Guests: none
3. February 7 Meeting Chair- To be determined.
4. Priorities for the Preserve trails in 2017:
• Trail 105: East end erosion control.
• Trail 101: East end multiple trails and rutting- Hire Jan Willem Jansens as planning consultant.
• Trailhead 4, east side of County Rd. 51: Remove abandoned refrigerator.
• Trail 301: Complete “Lombard Street” switchbacks on S.E. ridge. Complete erosion control features identified on October 2016 trail work day.
• Salt cedar removal in vicinity of 200 series trails.
• Trail 201: East side meadow head cut. Consult with Jan Willem Jansens.
• Trail 102: Add switchback to steep fall line section.
5. County Land Development Permit: David Yard will verify if ECIA has filed for renewal, and whether permit applies to all greenbelts, or is site specific.
6. Tools purchased in 2016: Backpack sprayer for soil compaction, Stihl chain saw, 2 Rogue Hoes,
4 material carrying bags.
7. Tool sharpening and Brush Hog mower: Will coordinate with ECIA maintenance staff to sharpen trail tools. Status of Brush Hog repair not determined
8. Committee’s shed clean-up: Date to be determined.
9. Chain saw training date: To be determined. David Yard offered to conduct chain saw use and safety clinic.
10. Greenbelt Trail Standards status: David Yard will move for adoption of standards at next ECIA Board working session.
11. Remediation of Los Alamos greenbelt project: John Reynolds described current conditions of two spurs of the upper Los Alamos Park greenbelt, nick-named “Paseo Biblioteca” (north), and “Glorieta Spur” (south). Conservation Committee will conduct a survey of these sections to determine feasibility of trail remediation and access improvements. Committee to place notice in Vistas newsletter and on ECIA website regarding general intent to continue greenbelt improvements in Eldorado. David Yard reiterated the Board’s policy that greenbelt maintenance is a responsibility of the ECIA.
12. Best Landscaping Practices publication project: Jerry Gulseth had no progress to report.
13. Cecil Rich committee membership vote: Postponed due to Cecil’s absence.
14. COLTPAC update: Phase 3 of County Rail-Trail improvement of section running through Eldorado is nearing completion.
15. Old Business: None.

16. New Business:
Tom Brimacombe and John Parker described scouting the southeast portion of the Preserve on Glorieta Mesa. They proposed planning a new hike-bike trail that would begin at the far end of Trail 403, near junction 4E, and loop northward back to Trailhead 4. Length of the new trail would be approximately 3 miles, with a halfway shortcut, and would incorporate some remains of old ranch roads. Trail would be accessible to hikers, but particular emphasis would be on creating a mountain bike-friendly track that would avoid steep grades, as well as being less prone to erosion and maintenance needs.
Meeting adjourned at 8:55 PM

 

There was no December 2016 Meeting

 

 

 

 
Eldorado Community Improvement Association 
October 4, 2016 Conservation Committee Meeting

Attendees: Jim Daniel (Chair), Jerry Gulseth, John Parker, Tom Brimacombe, Tom Bredanburg, Mark Young (Staff Liaison), John Reynolds (Meeting Secretary), Rob Egemeier, Mary Clark.

1. Approval of September Minutes – Motion to approve made by Jerry Gulseth, seconded by John Reynolds. Motion carried unanimously.

2. Guests – Cecil Rich, Paul Fink, Amy Nyman

Paul and Amy are new to Eldorado and visiting each committee.
Cecil is intending to join the committee.

3. Clarification of Mark Young’s status. Mark is Staff Liaison – cannot be a committee member since he works for Hoameco.

4. Work days with be October 22nd and 29th and November 5th. Meet at Community Center at 8:30 am. We will begin on trail 301 and consider other projects once that work is completed.

5. Indian School mistakenly collected pinon on the preserve… simple mistake for which they apologized. They suggested joint work projects. Mark will follow up with them.

6. David Yard could not attend. Green belt standards will be discussed once the board settles down – likely in October.

7. Cuesta Road Trailhead incursion has been investigated by the board and they’re working on an agreement (similar to a variance) that appears to be a win-win for all.

8. Steven Griego has been a great resource for trail work, but has represented himself as representing the committee. Jim will draft a tactful letter to correct any confusion this has caused, while acknowledging Steve’s contributions.

9. Best Landscaping Practices Committee - Jerry will have a working session on October 16th. Cecil Rich has offered to help.

10. Cecil discussed invasive plants with the committee, which ties in closely with Jerry’s efforts. The suggestion was made to investigate doing an invasive plants census for Eldorado – the existing one is from the 80s.

12. COLTPAC - John Parker gave us an update on COLTPAC activities. Expressed concern that the Rail Trail activities are resulting in lots of weeds. John Parker? to draft letter to the county suggesting they mow.

13. Old Business – There has been some movement on the Library Trail. The county seems to want to do the work and might actually do something.

14. New Business – John Parker pointed out that rocks are left over from the pilot project and should be cleaned up. Mark will bring this up with Isabel.

12. Next meeting – November, 2016. Tom Bredanburg will be Secretary.

13. Meeting adjourned at 8:30. Rob Egemeier made motion to adjourn, Jerry Gulseth seconded.

JTR

 

                                                                                           

September 6, 2016 Conservation Committee Meeting

Attendees: Jim Daniel (Chair), Gerry Gulseth, John Parker (Meeting Secretary), Tom Brimacombe, Greg Colello, Mark Young, John Reynolds, Rob Egemeier, David Yard - Board Liaison.

 

1. Approval of July Minutes – Motion to approve made by Jerry Gulseth, seconded by John Reynolds. Motion carried unanimously.

 2. Guests - Jan-Willem Jansens in attendance to discuss scheduling of workdays.

 Cecil Rich introduced himself to the committee. He stated that he wanted to sit in on a few meetings to see if his background in biology might be a good fit. He is new to the community.

 Lee Onstott introduced himself to the committee. He is a long-term resident of Eldorado that enjoys the Preserve trails. He came to express his disapproval of the new “No Trespassing” signs on the backside of Vista Grande Peak. He hikes to the top of VG Peak on the marked trail and prefers to go off the backside to continue his walk. He thinks the placement of signs on the social trail is not going to stop erosion. John Parker and Tom Brimacombe responded to his assertions and suggested he use only signed trails - erosion is a problem in this area.

 3. Survey of 300 and 400 Trails - Jim Daniel opened discussion of surveys performed by himself, other committee members and JW Jansens. Discussions centered on several sections of trail most in need of work. These areas include the southern end of Trail 301, the northeast portion of Trail 401, and a re-route of Trail 401 before the intersection with Trail 403. JWJ also mentioned his concern over erosion in a meadow area perched on the slopes adjacent to Trail 302.

4. JWJ presented potential candidate sites for fall work projects. These centered on those areas discussed in the previous item. Consensus was reached on two projects; Trail 301 between markers 3D and 3C, & Trail 401 near the intersection of 403. Dates 0f October 22nd and November 5th were agreed upon. An additional project may be scheduled for October 29th - possibly on the northeast section of Trail 401.

 5. Best Landscaping Practices Committee - Gerry reported that he had been in contact with JWJ who has reviewed the draft booklet and suggested sources of information that might be included. Gerry hopes to revise the document before the November meeting.

 6. Greenbelt Trail Standards - the Board has not discussed the proposed standards yet. David Yard suggested that these be brought up after the special election, and further suggested that a committee member be present.

 

7. Trash and possible Poaching at TH 400 - former committee member SueAnne Armstrong reported smelling rotting flesh on a walk up a canyon off Trail 403. She found a pile of trash in the TH 400 parking lot. Amongst the trash was an empty package of arrow heads. Several committee members walked through the area based on SueAnn’s description but found (and smelled) nothing. The committee discussed concerns with poaching in this remote section of the Preserve.

8. Greenbelt Trail Standards - Jim Daniel will request the ECIA board consider the Greenbelt document at their next meeting.

 9. Coltpac - John Parker gave us an update on COLTPAC activities. Members noted the county had occupied the parking area by the Rail Trail at Avenida Vista Grande. Work is now progressing on Phase 3 of the Rail Trail.

10. Survey of Greenbelt access at Cuesta Road - Survey was competed which showed encroachment of driveway and semi-permanent landscaping into the access tract. The Reverend Virginia Grey, who owns the property at 12 Cuesta Road, stated that she had verbal permission to place the drive and features in the tract. Her “Church of the Calling Stones” holds services in the Greenbelt.

 11. Old Business - PNM Agreement – ECIA has received the signed agreement from PNM. It is awaiting signature from Board President Dag Ryan.

 12. Next meeting – October 4, 2016.   John Reynolds will be Secretary.

 13. Meeting adjourned at 9:150. Rob Egemeier made motion to adjourn, Jerry Gulseth seconded.

 

JWP/jwp

Eldorado Conservation Committee 8/2/2016 meeting minutes 

Attendees: Jim Daniel (Chair), Gerry Gulseth, Tom Bredenberg, John Parker, Tom Brimacombe, Greg Colello, Mark Young, Mary Clark, John Reynolds, Rob Egemeier (Meeting Secretary).

1. Approval of July Minutes – Motion made by John Parker , seconded by Tom Bredenberg. Motion carried unanimously.

2. Coltpac - John Parker gave us an overview of COLTPAC.   What they do, what lands they hold, and their plans for the future.   An idea was discussed to have a possible field trip for Eldorado residents to Petroglyph Hill on the Thornton Ranch property.

3. Election of new members – Jerry Gulseth moved, John Parker seconded to have Greg Colello and John Reynolds elected as new members, motion passed unanimously.   Committee is not sure who our ECIA Board liaison is.   Jim Daniel will check with Dag before next meeting.

4. Best Landscaping Practices Committee - Jerry presented the members with a list of topics that his committee is working with.   The committee will have a budget for the $1000 allocated to it by the next meeting.

5. Social Trail Signs - Jim Daniel will meet with ECIA work crew to locate trail signs on Vista Grande Peak.   He will notify CC members when this project is planned if any would like to take part.

6. Library Trail Project - Tom Bredenberg and Jim Daniel met with Santa Fe County on this project. The trail will not move forward until the County finishes approval.   There was no indication of an approval date.   The County will use their own equipment on the portion of the trail that lies on County land.

7. PNM Agreement – ECIA has finished their requirements for the agreement and is waiting for approval from PNM.

8. Greenbelt Trail Standards - Jim Daniel will request the ECIA board to consider the Greenbelt document at their next meeting.

9. Budget – Proposed budget was presented to the committee.   An additional $1000 was proposed do one project in the Greenbelts.   John Reynolds proposed a site in Los Alamos Park.   Jim Daniel will contact Jan Williams for an estimate of consulting costs for a project.

10. Trail Surveys -   Surveys are planned on the following dates: August 24, 9:00-11:00 am – Survey of TR 301 C-D and TR 302 B-D.   August 31, 9:00 am - noon – Survey of TR 401 and 403.

11. Old Business -

A. Mark Young contacted Joe Newman and confirmed that ATV use in the neighboring greenbelt has halted for the present time.

B. Greg Colello noted that the Questa Lane access survey has been approved.

C. Trail 105 Head Cut – Jan Williams and Jim Daniel surveyed the area and determined that effectively diverting water away from the head cut is not practical.   Jan W. recommends re-routing the trail away from the unstable area.

D. Monte Alto Way Trailhead – Project still needs more coarse material. Greg Colello will work on projects completion.

12. Next meeting – September 6, 2016.   John Parker will be Secretary.

13. Meeting adjourned at 8:50. John Parker made motion, Jerry Gulseth seconded.

 

Eldorado Conservation Committee meeting minutes- 7/5/2016 -

Attendees: Jim Daniel (Chair), Gerry Gulseth, Tom Bredenberg, John Parker, Tom Brimacombe, Greg Colello (Board Liaison), Mark Young, Mary Clark

Guest: Joe Newman

1. Guest: Joe Newman reported cactus restoration area in the preserve has experienced an 83% survival rate. There will be a cactus cutting giveaway on July 17 at La Tienda shopping center. Also, Joe has experienced repeated incidents of motorized dirt bikes in the greenbelts near his home, off Ave. Compadres in the Los Alamos greenbelt. Joe has confronted the riders and informed them they are trespassing, to no avail. Joe provided photographs of the illegal dirt bike riders. He has filed a report with the County Sherriff.

2. Best landscaping practices project: Gerry Gulseth reported on progress of source material compilation. A draft will be presented at the August Meeting. Will change name to “Good Landscaping Practices.”

3. Erecting social trail signs: Two "No Trespassing" signs will be erected on social trails on Vista Grande Peak in the Preserve. Two additional signs will be held in reserve.

4. Library Trail Project: A meeting, date TDB, will occur with the county to finalize plans for ECIA staff and tractor to grade the portion of the library greenbelt trail that lies on county property. County volunteer coordinator Carol Branch will supervise work performed by ECIA.

5. Rail Trail Improvement Project: Discussed ways to inform residents of alternative routes while County Rail Trail improvement project is underway this year. Will submit a notice to the Vistas newsletter.

6. Monte Alto Way Trailhead. Greg Colello reported trailhead improvement is 98% complete, with delivery of base coarse material and hand work by committee members. While material now has a sharp texture, future rainfall will likely compact and smooth the surface. While this effort was successful, committee agreed this is not a suitable treatment for the many greenbelt trailheads that exist.

7. Trail 301 re-route and erosion control work day, June 18. 15 volunteers participated, under the guidance of Jan-Willem Jensens. Despite the hot weather, many improvements were completed on the 3A-3B section. Improvements included addition of one-rock dams, wooden water bars, rolling drips, and re-routes of badly eroded sections. Some finish work will be required with the arrival of wetter and cooler weather.

8. Green Belt Trail Standards: John Parker will forward a draft to Greg Colello for review. Greg will add some slight modifications before presenting to the ECIA board.

A motion was presented by John Parker and seconded by Gerry Gulseth to request the ECIA board approve conducting a survey on the Questa Way greenbelt access ASAP. Motion approved unanimously.

9. 2017 Budget: Will present preliminary requests at August meeting.

10. Eagle Scout Projects: No updates to report.

11. COLTPAC Business: No updates to report.

12. PNM easement: No updates to report

13. Other business: Future community talk ideas: Best landscaping practices. Animal track and scat identification.

Jim Daniel submitted an article to Eldorado Vistas newsletter on the role of the conservation committee.

Follow-up on mowing green belt Pueblo Canyon green belt pilot project: Mark Young will advise ECIA staff to proceed with mowing.

14. Meeting was adjourned at 8:30.

Next Meeting: August 2, 2016 at 7:00 PM

 

 

Conservation Committee Minutes - June 7, 2016

Attendees: Jim Daniels (Chair), Jerry Gulseth, Tom Bredenberg, John Parker, Bob Sandlin, Mark Young (Staff Liaison). The Board Liaison was not in attendance. It was determined that a quorum was established. A copy of the audio record will be made available for the preparation of the minutes.

Guests: John Reynolds (prospective Committee member)

1. Approval of May minutes: John Parker moved to accept the minutes with minor typographical corrections, Jerry Gulseth seconded. Mark Young will make the minor corrections.

           

2. Update on ad hoc committee Best Landscaping practices: There was nothing to report this month.

3. Social Trail Signs: 4 signs have arrived (see Agenda for illustration) and are ready to install in order to block off social trails on Vista Grande Peak that the Committee has deemed harmful.

4. Latest on library trail project: Jim Daniels reported that some progress had been made in obtaining County equipment and personnel to complete the County’s portion of the trail after GM Brenda Leonard contacted the office of the Commissioner. However, Mark Hogan, the County employee who supported the project has been replaced by Paul Olafson. Mr. Olafson is encountering opposition to the project from another County employee, thus prolonging the impasse. John Parker will speak to Paul Olafson.

5. Rail Trail status: The contract for completion of the section of the County rail trail south of Avenida Vista Grande has allegedly been awarded and ready for execution but this has not yet been done, thus no progress on the trail for now.

6. Trailhead work on Monte Alto June 20th. John Parker and Jim Daniels will meet with the residents 8:30-9:00 AM to advise on restoration of greenbelt trail and access. Rolling dips, e.g., will be encouraged where appropriate.

7. Update on Greenbelt trail standards; No further input from Board Liaison on question of verifying easements for permanent greenbelt trail access. A survey to verify easement at Board expense prior to commencement of any greenbelt seems to be the inclination of the Committee. The Committee has no intention of initiating a massive greenbelt trail building program through out Eldorado. The role of the Committee would be advisory and supervisory once community initiative and support for a particular project has been established, ref Monte Alto project and the notion of a neighborhood champion for a project. John Reynolds also has plans for community adoption and revitalization of a greenbelt trail. He stressed the importance of educating the public on the concept of greenbelts and the installation of informative signage at permanent access points, thus bringing us back to easement issue.

8. May work projects report

            A) Trail 201, May 20, 2016: This project suffered from extremely low turnout. Despite that, the rock pile is gone and the rock structures are completed.

            B) Trail 203, Jim completed the section of trail left from the April 20 work day that had previously been roughed out by Tom Brimacombe. It is a well defined trail that has received favorable comments.

9. June project dates:

            A. June18, 2016, trail 301: Water bar repair and reroute of some portions. John Parker and Jim Daniels have conflicts on this date, so volunteers and trucks are needed. This project will be supervised by Jan Willem Jensens. Flags have already been set

            B. Effort to get better turn out from volunteers: At Jim’s request ECIA VP Pam Henline sent out an email blast on May 31requesting volunteers for the 301 project. A similar message has already been posted on the marquee. Mark indicated that he has already received responses from interested parties.

10. Eagle Scout Projects: The scout troop that used to take on trail projects in the preserve for Eagle Scout qualification declined to participate further. A different scout troop has expressed interest in trail projects. Mark will continue in contact with the troop. The VGL Trail project and the 105 Trail head cut project scheduled for autumn were brought up as possibilities.

11. COLTPAC report: John Parker recommended that members from COLTPAC (County Open Land, Trails, Parks Advisory Committee) be invited to a future meeting of the Conservation Committee to educate the members on the extensive holdings, plans and policies that comprise COLTPAC.

12. Other Business: There have been reports of a motorbike rider intruding on green belt and power line trails. Law enforcement has been notified but their jurisdiction in this instance is limited to roads. Photographs have been taken and were reviewed by the Committee. All agreed the first priority is to identify the rider and, if and ECIA member, proceed weith engforcement action.

Jim reported that Tom Brimacombe noted via email that the grass on the Pueblo Canyon pilot trail is growing vigorously and ECIA staff should mow it twice this summer. John Parker made a motion that this be done and Jerry seconded it and it carried with no opposition.

13. Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 8:20 PM. The next meeting is scheduled for July 5, 2016 at 7:00 PM. Tom Brimacombe will take the minutes.

 

Conservation Committee Minutes—May 3, 2016 – FINAL

Attendees:  Jim Daniel,  Mary Clark,  Tom Bredenberg, Robert Egemeier, Tom Brimacombe,  John Parker, Mark Young (Staff Liaison), Greg Colello (Board liaison), It was determined that a quorum was established.

1.   Guests: John Reynolds (prospective Committee member). 

2.   April minutes: The minutes were reviewed. Tom Bredenberg moved to accept, John Parker seconded. All approved the minutes.

3.   Report on Annual Meeting:  Chair, Jim Daniel stated that he had attended the Annual Meeting and that at the meeting he highlighted not all the projects that the committee had done, but rather the fact that our work is  mainly in 4 areas:   Trail work and erosion control, Signage, Education and Invasive Plant Species remediation.

4.   Status of Library Trail Project:   Jim reported that there is still no further word from the County in terms getting them to sign a liability release to allow the ECIA to work on these County lands, other than the fact that this could take a long time.  As well, due to lack of funding, getting the County to come in and do the work was unlikely.  Greg volunteered to contact Liz Stephanics office to see if there was any way she could help us to expedite this process. Also Mark pointed out that we have had some interest from an Eagle Scout Candidate from Troop 414 and this might be a way to get this project done, by hand, and with less of a liability issue.  Mark will continue to communicate with this candidate and report back to the Committee.

 

5.  Upcoming Work Projects:   Also discussed were some now firm dates for upcoming trail work days.   Mark will communicate these dates to the Trail Volunteers.  These are as follows:  

-May 21st, Saturday

-June 18th, Saturday

 6.  April work projects report

            A) April 20th Trail 203: Jim reported that this went work day well and that the reroute was fully flagged and more than ½ of the work done on the re-route.  Tom Brimacombe will try to get out in the near future to rough out the remainder of the area that needs to be completed.

            B) April 27th 105/101 connector trail survey – social trails on Vista Grande: Jim Daniels reported that Jan Willem Hansen joined several committee members to walk this proposed new trail route.  Much discussion arose over both the roughness of the trail area and the fact that this would not be a good trail for horses and would take a lot of work to create due to the rockiness of the area.  As well, it is felt by some that Doug’s trail accomplishes the same thing by providing hikers with a shorter route and connects tails 101 and 105.  In the end it was decided that members could walk this proposed trail area and see for themselves if they thought that it would be a feasible trail to be formally constructed.  Tom Brimacombe noted that there were some cairns placed by the entry of the trail for committee members to locate the route, but the committee decided that we did not want to promote this to the general public for use as this could cause erosion and other issues.  

This conversation brought up the fact that there are a number of social trails coming off the east side of Vista Grande Peak that we should discourage the use of Rob Egemeier and John Parker both felt that it was the responsibility of the Committee as a land and trail steward to close off these trails when they are noticed and all agreed.  The committee asked Mark to try to source 6 “Trail Closed” signs so such trails could be closed off with signage but felt that they did not have to be brushed.

7.   Update of Ad Hoc Committee—Best Landscaping Practices:   Jerry was not present by Greg Colello reported that Eduardo Krasilovsky had confirmed that this document should be not only a web based but that also we should have a printed copy for use by residents. 

 

8.   Status of Rail Trail: Jim reported that there is still no work being done on the Rail trail but it had been put out to bid and work should begin soon.  

 

9.  Update on PNM Easement:  There was no update.

 

10.  Discussion of Greenbelt trail standards drafted by John Parker: John presented his latest draft of the Greenbelt trail standards and it was well received.  Greg Colello did ask that we include some verbiage about the need for all trail heads, and access easements, to be located on the actual ECIA established trail easement corridors.  He also pointed out the need to formally survey any areas of the Greenbelts when trail work was to be done, if there were potential issues of encroachment onto private lands.  Greg will provide John with further wording on this issue and will discuss the feasibility of the Board approving the surveying of such areas before trail work was to be done, and report back to the Committee. 

 

11. Proposed other Projects with Jan-Willem:   The committee is waiting to see what dates will work well for Jan Willem Jansens and these dates will be communicate to the member and discussed at the June meeting.   

12. Update on COLTPAC Meetings:   John Parker reported that there they had not met at a recent COLPAC meeting and there was no report

13. Other Business:

 

  • Jim reported that the new book Windmill and Dreams was now available at the ECIA and had a good section on the History of the Conservations Committee.
  • Tom Brimacombe asked if we might want to consider adding signs to wet trails areas that state to not use muddy trails.  This was discussed but no decision made.
  • Mark Young reported that our GM, Brenda Leonard is recommending that, with the resignation of Cherry Payne, and the loss of someone to do the minutes, that we appoint a secretary and/or minutes taker.  This issue was discussed and members agreed that since no one wanted to do this on a regular basis that we should alternate the taking of the minutes.  Tom Bredenberg agreed to do this by taking the minute at the meeting in June. It was pointed out that having access to the meeting recoding would be beneficial.

14. Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 PM.

 Next Meeting: June 7th 7:00 pm


Conservation Committee Minutes—April 5, 2016 - DRAFT

Attendees:  Cherry Payne, Jim Daniel, Mary Clark, Bob Sandlin, John Parker, Tom Bredenberg, Jerry Gulseth, Rob Egemeier, Tom Brimacombe

1.         Guests: None

2.         March minutes: The minutes were reviewed. They need to be corrected: Jim Daniel will walk and map the Los Alamos Canon trail (not all the Greenbelt trails). The minutes were approved with that one change. Tom Bredenberg moved to accept the minutes with the change. Jerry seconded. They were unanimously approved.

3.         Update on PNM easement agreement: Both the Board and PNM have approved the agreement. It needs to be signed.

 

3a.       Best Landscaping Practices:  Jerry reported that the committee has been meeting and is looking at existing materials such as a Xeriscape Plant Guide, and a Weed Identification Guide to use to assemble an informational packet. They are discussing the best means to distribute the materials (pamphlet or web site). They are working on categories such as soil amendments, natives, perennials, etc.

Jim noted that Jan-Wilem Jansens is interested in helping with the committee, particularly in firewise landscaping.

There is also an herbarium that ECIA has.

4.         Status of Library Trail Project: In March, Steve Griego contacted Jim and Cherry for a meeting with county staff about the Trail. The county is gung-ho about getting the project done, but thinks the only way it will get done in a timely manner is if ECIA does the work with the Kubota. Jim subsequently contacted Dag who indicated that it would be approved if liability is waived. Steve drafted an agreement between the County and ECIA which has been sent to Mark. John noted that this is not a great time to do this work because the soil is rock-hard and it is windy.

Jim spoke to Brenda about using the Kubota who is amenable to it. We will also need to communicate with the adjacent homeowners. Jim will draft an article for the Vistas explaining the rationale in using the Kubota.

 

5.         Discussion of Greenbelt trail standards drafted by John: There was a discussion of what the trail standards should be. Greg had suggested that there be tiers of trail standards, but that seemed somewhat complicated. A few years ago there was an assessment by a former committee member whose assessment determined that most of the trails were in fair to poor condition.

Maintenance needs to be added to the SOP. There was a fair bit of discussion about use of lawnmowers at last month’s meeting. It was suggested that mowing could be one element of maintenance on an as-needed basis. John will add maintenance to the SOP. There was also discussion about having homeowners champion trails near their homes and to participate in an “Adopt a Trail” program. Tom Bredenberg has spoken to some folks on the western end of Gallinas Park about their interest in such a program.

Jim Daniel mapped the trail through Los Alamos Cañon to create an example of what we could come up with. It raises the question of which trails to fix and in what priority? Cherry suggested that trails that connect to community facilities or are more heavily used be a higher priority. The priority also might depend upon neighborhood champions.

John will continue to amend and polish it and get it back to the committee. There was a discussion about whether or not to get community comments first or to take it to the Board for final approval. Perhaps the Board will want to solicit comments from the community. We set a target of finalizing it at the next meeting.

 

6.         Work projects for April:

            a) April 20th, 9:00 am at Trailhead #3: Jim will ask Mark to send out a call for volunteers. Everyone should bring hat, gloves, sturdy shoes, and lunch and water. The project will end about 3:00 pm. Jim will coordinate with Mark about tools, etc.

            b) April 27th: review the feasibility of a 101/105 connector trail. Meet at Trailhead #1 at 9am.

7.         Report on wildlife camera and efforts to publish photos: Tom Brimacombe talked about shots that he has gotten: coyotes, the tail of a Swift fox, a dog’s nose. Tom will email the photos he has to Jack Arnold to post on the web. Jim feels that we don’t need to wait to get a mountain lion or other dramatic photo before we post to the web as any photos we post will whet people’s appetite.

8.         Report on COLTPAC Meetings: There are new members on the committee. The next phase of the Rail Trail has still not commenced. There have been some public outreach meetings regarding trails at the Thorton Ranch—no members of the public were in attendance. There were tribal members there who were concerned about maintaining the sacredness of some sites. There has been some other work about trails in the US 285 corridor that would be a part of a Grand Unified Trail System (GUTS), a trail network that would surround Santa Fe with town as the hub. This is a concept conceived by the mountain biking community.

Tom Bredenberg mentioned the new County interactive trail maps.

 

9.         Clarification of YTD budget expenditures: Two 2015 expenditures have been charged to 2016:  $113.00 for trail tools, and $235.40 for development of new electronic files for Trail #1 trail junctions.

 

10.       Other Business: Cherry announced that she is resigning from the committee. It was agreed that Mark would take minutes at future meeting (although Mark was not in attendance to concur).

11.       Adjournment:  Meeting adjourned at 8:20

Next meeting: May 3rd, 7:00 pm

 

Conservation Committee Minutes—March 2, 2016 – DRAFT 1

Attendees: Jim Daniel, Mark Young, Tom Bredenberg, Jerry Gulseth, Tom Brimacombe, Tom Bredenberg, John Parker, Greg Colello (Board liaison),Bob Sandlin (prospective Committee member). It was determined that a quorum was established.

1.         Guests: Jan Willem Jansens (Ecotone).

2.         February minutes: The minutes were reviewed. Tom Bredenberg moved to accept,

Jerry Gulseth seconded. All approved the minutes.

3.         Ecotone Work Schedule: The Committee discussed the proposed work schedule with Jan Willem Jansens to both prioritize the project that were budgeted out for 2016 and to start to come up with some specific dates for both field visits and actual work days. The results were as follows:

  • The 1st field visit was planned for Wed. April 20th at 9 AM and we will meet at Trailhead 3. On this date we will look at the work required on the 203 reroute and 201 head cut.
  • The next schedule field visit was scheduled for April 27th at 9AM at Trailhead 1 to review the feasibility of the 101 to 105 connector and the head cut on the trail 105
  • It was also determined that the 401 trail would be the 3rd priority for 2016 and the 301 trail projects would be the 4th priority for 2016.

Also discussed were some initial dates for actual work days and what has been set aside are the following dates so far:

-May 21st, Saturday

-June 18th, Saturday

These dates will be finalized at the next meeting or upcoming field visits.

3.         Update of Ad Hoc Committee—Best Landscaping Practices: Jerry reported that he had met with the Architecture Committee on this project and while they want to be kept in the loop on its progress, they did not have any particular need to have a member of their Committee be involved with this project. The Committee felt that if Jan Willem’s expertise was needed in this publication that it would be ok for him to get involved, but likely there was enough expertise on the Ad Hoc Committee to put together a professional publication. Jerry pointed out that it would be advantageous to make this document more of a web based document so that it was immediately available to residents and could be more easily updated. Mark asked that it be done in a word of pdf doc so that it could be easily be printed off for residents and put into welcome packets. Jerry will report back to the committee at the next meeting.

 

4.         Status of Greenbelt work between the Library and the Rail trail: Jim reported that there is still no work being done on the Library trail and that the County had recently put out the next and last section of the Rail trail to bid.

 

5.         Update on PNM Easement: the agreement was finished and sent to Brenda. Mark reported that she is working with PNM to get their approval.

 

6.         Discussion of Greenbelt trail standards drafted by John: John pointed out that he is still a strong advocate for the finalization of the trail standards as well as a separate SOP. He feels that we should articulate how the trails should be, the process that we go through to achieve that, and to seek to get the Board’s approval. There was again a lively discussion about what the initial “maintenance” should consist of and Greg is still an advocate for at least the mowing of certain Greenbelt areas to make them at least “passable”. After extensive discussion on the proper approach to take, Jim volunteered to walk the greenbelts and produce a report that shows the condition of various greenbelts so that we know which ones need the most attention. John Parker pointed out that former Committee member, Cliff Chetwin, had done a Greenbelt field study and report and Mark is going to look for this document and copy all on his findings. Hopefully at the next meeting we can use Cliff’s report and Jims’ findings to come up with a Greenbelt status report that we can use in planning future maintenance or improvements and supply to the Board.   John will also work to complete his Trail Standards and SOP documents for the next meeting.

7.         Proposed projects in addition to those we will do with Jan-Willem: Due to the fact that we had discussed a lot of these projects with Jan Willem Jansens earlier in the meeting, it was agreed that these various projects will be addressed during out field visits and work days.

  • Trail 203: reroute the upper half. Trail 105: install a connector trail from 105 to 1D; Tom has marked a proposed trail with Cairns that would break up the long run of the trail 105 and create a shorter loop.
  • Trail 201: there is a large head cut that is creeping toward the trail; a relatively easy fix would be to put deadfall in
  • Trail 201: picnic tables—move them to shady spots
  • Trail 401: the long descent on the northern side is over 30% and has erosion issues. Perhaps a work party could begin to put in some switchbacks to alleviate the problem.
  • Closure of the social trail between 101 and 301 because it would be dangerous if the current erosion progresses.

8. Survey Greenbelt Access Trailheads: The committee discussed the proposed trial head experiment at Monte Alto Way. The experiment would be how to best create a trail head in an ECIA trail head easement, when it doesn't already exist and substitute social trails have developed crossing over into private lots or an ECIA trail head has deteriorated. The result of the discussion was that the committee reiterated that they had previously officially deferred the Monte Alto Way trail head experiment over to the GM, the staff, and Greg Colello and his neighbors. This was due to the fact that they were just waiting for us to set a date and inform them, so they could oversee construction. Greg further pointed out that what was "probably" needed for this experiment was the use of the ECIA Kubota to do some scrapping and adding some gravel, as well as the placement of already donated stair steps-timbers. He further pointed out that all his neighbors were enthusiastically on-board, and ready to donate volunteer labor to the project.

9 . Update on COLTPAC Meetings:   John Parker reported that at a recent COLPAC meeting there was discussion about the G.U.S. (Grand Unified Trail System) around the Santa Fe area and that he has been asked to represent Eldorado and the 285 area in this project. John will report back more once he has more information. He also reported that he has now been appointed to a 3year term with this committee.

10. Status of YTD budget expenditures: Mark did not have this information but will request this from Brenda.

11. Other Business: Tom Bredenberg moved to have the committee recommend prospective Committee member, Bob Sandlin to the Board for their approval. This was seconded by John Parker and passed unanimously.

12. Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 9:20 PM.

Next Meeting: April 5th 7:00 pm


 

Conservation Committee Minutes

February 2, 2016

Attendees: Cherry Payne, Jim Daniel, Mary Clark, Mark Young, Tom Bredenberg, Rob Egemeier, Jerry Gulseth, Tom Brimacombe, Greg Colello (Board Liaison)

1.  Guests: Eduardo Krasilovsky, Brenda Leonard, General Manager, ECIA

2.  January Minutes: The minutes were reviewed. Tom Bredenberg moved to accept,

     Jerry seconded. All approved the minutes.

3. Update of Ad Hoc Committee—Best Landscaping Practices: Eduardo and Jerry submitted a proposal to create an informational brochure regarding sustainability. Tom Bredenberg suggested that a brochure may not be the best way to go, that other avenues of communication might be more cost effective. There was a discussion about what the product might be; the goal is not to recreate anything, but to cull existing information and synthesize it. Various means of outreach were discussed (Vistas, website, etc.). Eduardo mentioned bringing it to the Architecture Committee for their input. The project is similar to the project that we have put into our 2016 budget to develop Firewise materials with Jan-Willem’s help. The Committee suggested that the ad hoc group develop an outline that could be the springboard for the project and we could then loop Jan-Willem into the effort. Thanks to Eduardo, Jerry and Sharon Paris for their good work.

4. Status of Greenbelt work between the Library and the Railtrail: Nothing to report at this time.

5.  Update on PNM Easement: The agreement was completed and sent to Brenda, General Manager. We hope the Board will review and address it soon.

6.  Discussion of Greenbelt trail standards drafted by John: John was absent from this meeting. Tom Bredenberg noted that a separate SOP would be included along with the trail standards. Jim noted that we should articulate how the trails should be, the process that we go through to achieve that, and to get the Board’s approval. It was noted that we need to include Trailheads as a part of the standard. There was a lively discussion about what “maintenance” consists of and whether or not the Pilot Project trail was maintenance or an improvement. Greg talked about the library trail and the benefits of mowing vs. addressing v-cuts and draining issues and suggested that there be two classes of work—mowing vs. trail repair.

     There was some discussion if we should mow first and then blade, or vice versa. Tom Brimacombe suggested we pick a trail and use it to apply the standards. It was agreed that we use the Library trail to apply the standard.

7.  Proposed projects in addition to those we will do with Jan-Willem—Tom

Brimacombe: Tom walks in the Preserve and has identified a few things that we can do in-house with the existing Committee. A small team of people could address many of these:

     -Trail 203: Reroute the upper half. (Priority 1).

     -Trail 201: There is a large headcut that is creeping toward the trail; a relatively easy fix would be to put deadfall in. (Priority 3).

     -Trail 201: Picnic tables—move them to shady spots. (Priority 3).

     -Trail 401: The long descent on the northern side is over 30% and has erosion issues. Perhaps a work party could begin to put in some switchbacks to alleviate the problem. (Priority 4).

     -Trail 105: Iinstall a connector trail from 105 to 1D; Tom has marked a proposed trail with cairns that would break up the long run of the trail 105 and create a shorter loop. (Priority 2).

     Jim suggested that next month we discuss setting a date to start on Priority 1; we could get it flagged beforehand.

8.  Discussion of Charter revision: Cherry talked about the changes she made to the Committee’s mission statement; essentially, education has been added to the mission statement.

9.  Discussion of 2015 Committee Annual Report and Goals for 2016: The report was reviewed and accepted. Cherry will submit it.

10.Discussion of incorrect Greenbelt Access on Monte Alto Way: One stake has been installed. The Committee had talked about installing two. Jim asked if we needed to redefine existing trailheads. Mark noted that in some areas, the trailheads do not need to be defined as there is little usage. There are at least two trailheads that are not correct where the social trails cross private property. The two that we know of should be addressed this year. Mark will install a second stake at Monte Alto Way once the ground thaws. There is also a problem area off of Cuesta Lane.

11.Report on COLTPAC Meeting: John was absent, so there was no report.

12.Status of 2016 Budget expenditures YTD: There is no budget report for this month.

13.Other Business:

a)Greenbelt Maintenance: It has become more and more evident that the greenbelt trails require some attention due to cholla and cholla pieces put into the trail treads by rats, as well as erosional problems from monsoons. Additionally, trailheads need to be marked consistently and clearly. Greg presented a proposal to maintain the greenbelts to a certain year (circa 2000). Most felt the standard is to make trails passable to people and their pets. The standard might be to construct them so as to be sustainable and to better withstand heavy rains. Brenda noted that the ECIA has the duty and right to restore trails to a certain standard. Rob noted that the language is captured in John Parker’s draft trail standard document for the Greenbelts. Brenda suggested that the ECIA maintenance crew might be able to help; however, Cherry stated that the work levels involved are a challenge for the Committee. Tom Bredenberg added that the failure of the Committee on the Pilot Project trail was failure to notify neighbors prior to commencing work. That criterion has been included in the draft trail standards. Jim suggested that we put something out in Vistas that we are developing a plan to maintain the Greenbelts and will begin work over a series of years. Greg suggested that we use the trail near his residence to mow the grass. He and his neighbor will build a stairway into the area. Cherry said that rather than talking about specific projects, it would be more appropriate to develop a standard for Greenbelts that the board can approve prior to beginning specific projects. There was a discussion about training ECIA staff. Greg suggested that if this kind of effort requires staff time, that the Committee may need to identify estimated hours as a part of the budget process.

b)Charter review: We are happy with it as it is. No changes were made.

c)Tom Brimacombe has been pruning the Preserve trails on his hikes.

d)Trail camera: Tom has relocated the camera to an active wildlife area; he has a lot of coyote photos, squirrels and rabbits. There have been some mountain lion tracks in the area and he hopes to get a shot of that.

14.Appointment of minutes keeper for March 1 meeting (Cherry will be absent): Mark graciously volunteered. Tom Bredenberg and Greg will help, also.

15.Adjournment: Meeting was adjourned at 8:50 PM

Next Meeting: March 1, 7:00 PM

 

 

Conservation Committee Minutes—January 5, 2016 - FINAL

Attendees: John Parker, Cherry Payne, Jim Daniel, Mary Clark, Mark Young, Tom Bredenberg, Jerry Gulseth, Tom Brimacombe, Greg Colello (Board liaison)

1.         Guests: Eduardo Krasilovsky

2.         November minutes: The minutes were reviewed. Tom Bredenberg moved to accept, Jerry Gulseth seconded. All approved the minutes.

3.         Best Landscaping Practices Publication: Eduardo opened by discussing the restoration work done in the Preserve, but noted that he has seen many landscape changes in Eldorado itself, notably stressed trees and changes to flora. He feels it would be important for homeowners to have an idea how to landscape so that plants will survive despite climate change. He understands that some monies were put into the 2016 budget to do some work in Eldorado. This could include identifying microclimates to help people to think about Eldorado’s future.

Jerry mentioned the on-going transition between Zone 5 and Zone 6 and on-going changes in climate.

There was some discussion about budget; there is money in the 2016 budget for education of residents on Fire Wise communities and the planting of natives. The Architectural Committee has developed a list of native plants that are recommended for residents to use. There are also the Master Gardeners which Cherry is tapped into. John mentioned the welcome packet that new residents receive that we might amend, if that is an objective. He feels that we could help facilitate awareness without it being a huge workload.

There was some discussion as to what the effort might look like, i.e., education of residents. Jim felt that information put into the welcome packet would be lost, but if we could put something together that would be sent to each resident outside of all the other noise, it might garner some attention.

Eduardo mentioned a book by Carole Tashel, Gardening the Southwest, that might be a good resource. The State Engineer’s office also has publications on water conservation and xeriscaping. There are many resources available.

It was suggested that a subcommittee be put together with Eduardo as chair to put together a one-page proposal to develop something. Jerry and Greg were nominated to the team. Eduardo suggested that someone from Master Gardeners would be good to be on the committee. Cherry will see if she can recruit someone. This sub-committee will put together a name for the effort, objectives and a draft budget next month.

Tom Brimacombe suggested that they check with the New Mexico State Engineer, the Soil and Water Conservation District, etc.

4.         Status of Greenbelt work between the Library and the Railtrail: Jim sent an email to Steve Griego who believes that when the landscaping work for the Senior Center begins, the trail work by the county will commence. Jim asked Steve to keep us informed so that we can make sure that the flags have not been moved around.

 

5.         Update on PNM Easement: today we received an email from Brenda about the draft PNM agreement. The Board’s attorney has responded requiring some changes due to some inconsistencies within the document. There was a discussion about who corrects the proposed agreement. Jim will amend the text to correct the inconsistencies raised by the attorneys, and send the draft to the committee members.

 

6.         Salt Cedar Remediation on 200 Series Trails: Tom had raised this issue earlier. He met a contractor who does salt cedar remediation who uses a backhoe with a special tip on the end of the backhoe that will uproot the trees. Otherwise, they use garlon which is used for woody shrubs. There are a dozen or so trees of various sizes, some of which are getting pretty big. Tom has found a source for garlon ($250 for 2.5 gallons). Greg cautioned the committee about the Pesticide/Herbicide policy and suggested that we run this by Brenda first. John suggested that we try to dig out what we can before we move to garlon. This chemical was used in Everglades; Cherry will contact a botantist to find out what the protocol was in the park. Tom Bredenberg suggested that we get a MSDS sheet to see what potential issues might be. We will tentatively do the work on April 9th to initiate the mechanical removal.

7.         Cholla in Greenbelts: Several residents have reported that they are not using the Greenbelts because of proliferation of cholla adjacent to trails and pieces of cholla placed in the trails themselves by packrats. Jim suggests that we begin on the Library trail to remove the cholla, using the new tools that were acquired at the end of the year.

John suggested that we develop some sort of trail standard—i.e., remove all cholla within 20’ of a trail tread. He also believes that we need to address the cupped trails because that collects the cholla. He suggests that we develop a trail standard based on other land management agencies’ standards so that we can defend our approach from people who may be concerned with our activities. He is willing to draft a one-page trail standard for the greenbelt. We may apply that to the Library trail as a test case. Tom Brimacombe notes that the Pilot Project Trail was built to standards with a certain set-back.

 

8.         Report on Development of New Trail Junction Signs for 100 series Trails: New digital files for all the rest of the 100 series trail junctions were completed just before the end of the year. We hope that we can find the funds to produce these signs in 2016..

9.         Discussion of Incorrect Greenbelt Access on Monte Alto Way: There is an access point to the greenbelt that incorrectly crosses private property. The property owner has requested that an access trail be constructed in the easement. Greg reports that with the snow, the easement trail can be seen. The correct access is along a gradient and neighbors will grub out a proper trail. They are requesting a load of gravel to be furnished from the committee will install water bars to develop steps. John moved that we ask Mark to install proper green stakes that say Greenbelt Access. The committee will assess the easement in the spring to see what needs to be done, especially if mechanized improvements need to be made. Tom Bredenberg seconded and all were in favor.

10.       Report on COLTPAC Meeting: John reports that he is asking to be reappointed as his temporary appointment expired. A full term is 3 years. They will be working on management plans for county lands that are developed by contractors.

The contract for the Rail Trail between Avenida Vista Grande to Avenida Eldorado has been let and work should commence when the weather gets nice.

           

11.       Status of 2016 Budget: The Board approved a budget of $7650 for the Conservation Committee and added $2000 for weed control in the Greenbelts. The 2015 budget has been closed out; we spent almost all of our funds, but had a few hundred unexpended.

We had put a camera in the Eldorado preserve. We have gotten photos of deer and coyotes.

 

13.       Annual Report: Cherry drafted an annual report for 2015 and passed it out. She has asked for comments from the committee and we will finalize the report at next month’s meeting. It will be due on Feb. 15th.

12.       Other Business:

Tom has some projects that he would like to see get done in 2016. He will bring a draft list next month of projects that do not require funding. There was also a discussion about the 401 trail and erosional issues there.

John has spent a lot of time on the pilot trail. Someone has been using a 4-wheeler there.

Mary has not seen any additional 4 wheeler tracks on the 105 trail.

                       

13.       Adjournment: John moved we adjourned, Jerry seconded, all unanimously agreed.

Next Meeting: February 2, 2016 at 7:00 pm

 

Conservation Committee Minutes—November 3, 2015 - FINAL

Attendees: John Parker, Cherry Payne, Mary Clark, Mark Young, Tom Bredenberg, Rob Egemier, Jerry Gulseth, Tom Brimacombe

1.         Guests: None

2.         October minutes: The minutes were reviewed. Jerry moved the minutes be accepted and John seconded. All voted aye.

3.         Final Discussion about Nov. 7th workday: This is scheduled for Saturday. Participants should meet at ECIA at 8:30, prepared to be out until 3:30 or so. The work will be on Trail 101 between 1C and 1D, and 1E and 1F. What is accomplished will depend upon the turnout. There was a discussion about the need for rock and where it could be dumped, as well as access. Jim will talk with the interim GM to see if we could use one of the ECIA maintenance workers to help us on Saturday to move rock with the Kubota. If okayed, Mark will order the rock. If we are not successful, we will look for materials on site. There was an extensive discussion about logistics. Mark and Jim will assess tomorrow.

 

4.         Status of Greenbelt work between VGPL and Railtrail: Steve Griego was going to report back on the county’s plans after our meeting last month. We have not heard any update. There are a couple of factions within the county that have differing philosophies about who can do work. Mark did talk to Dag about approaching the county to see if we could get permission to do the work, but we have not heard back.

5.         Update on PNM Easement: No report. Mark will send an email again to the Board.

 

6.         Salt Cedar Remediation on 200 Series Trails: Tom Brimacombe assessed the salt cedar in the wash and estimates that there is a need of about 4 work hours of work. There was a discussion about cutting and treating the stumps. Tom says the USDA recommends grubbing and digging as mechanical means or to use garlon after cutting as a chemical application. (This is the same chemical that was used in Everglades National Park to control non-natives and is safe in wetlands.) We will talk with Jan Willem about this.

7.         Report on Progress of Remaining 3 Trail Junction Signs: all signs have been installed.

 

8.         Report on Development of New Trail Junction Signs for 100 series Trails: Cherry has assessed all trail junction signs in the 100 trails and will meet with Andrea Sharon to engage her to make new sign files later this week. Eight junction signs need to be replaced. Depending upon our budget balance, we may wait until next year for fabrication.

9.         Discussion of Incorrect Greenbelt Access on Monte Alto Way: The current access to the Greenbelt is on private property. We are awaiting to hear back from Greg Colello to set up a meeting with the property owner and Greg to do an on-site assessment. It may be as easy as relocating the green stake to mark the trail head in the correct location. We then had a discussion about access to the Greenbelt from Cuesta Lane.

10.       Report on COLTPAC Meeting: No work has begun for the next phase of the Rail Trail work. There was supposed to be a ribbon cutting for the completed section which will coincide with the on-set of the next phase of work (between Ave. Vista Grande and Eldorado).

           

11.       Status of Budget Expenditures YTD: The committee has still been billed for the Sponholz’s work without giving us the extra $5000 that we requested and that the Board approved for the work. We have $2446 left, with an estimated $2000 in outstanding bills. We tried to get this corrected in July by contacting the former GM. Cherry will email the interim GM to correct the problem.

12.       Other Business:

 

a)         There was zoning effort by the County and the Preserve is now zoned as a protected area.

b)         Cherry mentioned the web-based bulletin board NextDoor and will invite committee members to join.

c)        Trail camera update: Tom Brimacombe has been monitoring it; a hiker apparently found it because we had a close up shot of a face looking at it. He has relocated it to another site and continues to hope for a photo of a mountain lion.

d)         We did not request funds for signage in the 2016 budget. After looking at the trail junction signs, they are beginning to look faded and worn, and some have been vandalized. Cherry suggested we consider a multi-phased effort to design and fabricate new trail junction signs over the next few years. The Trail 100 series would be this year or next, then the Trail 300 series, and finally, the 200 and 400 series trails. Cherry will include a request for an additional $1000 for this effort when she emails the interim GM about the billing error.

e)        We decided to keep with tradition and skip the conservation committee meeting in December. Happy holidays!

                       

13.       Adjournment: John moved we adjourn, Rob seconded and all voted to adjourn at 8:35.

 

Next Meeting: January 5, 2016 at 7:00 pm

 

Conservation Committee Minutes—October 6, 2015 - 

Attendees: John Parker, Cherry Payne, Mary Clark, Mark Young, Tom Bredenberg, Jerry Gulseth, Rob Egemier, Tom Brimacombe, Greg Colello,(Board Liaison)

1.         Guests: Eduardo Krasilovsky,

2.         September minutes: Tom Bredenberg moved to accept the Sept. minutes with no corrections, Jerry seconded and minutes were unanimously accepted.

3.         Greenbelt Trails: The Pilot project was mowed last week and two small mowers were used. Tom Brimacombe noted that he has been on it since it was mowed and is working well. Cherry suggested that we consider mowing the Greenbelt trails; the suggestion was not well-accepted. It was suggested that the Committee go to the Board at some sort with a proposed Greenbelt standard in hand, and then the project should be resourced as it is beyond the capability of a volunteer committee.

 

4.         Best Landscaping Practices (Eduardo): Eduardo moved to Eldorado in 2005 and travels Vista Grande all the time. In the last few years, he has noticed dying trees including stressed junipers. He has started to think about trees and other flora that might be more successful in 10-20 years as a result of warming climates. He is suggesting that we do an evaluation of the local ecosystem (including microclimates) and then develop a brochure for homeowners that includes best landscaping practices for Eldorado. This could include a list of trees, shrubs, grasses, etc. that are likely to be successful with average temperature increases.

Tom Bredenberg mentioned the Extension Agent with NMSU. There is already a lot of information out there from a variety of sources. John suggested something on the ECIA website with suggested best practices such as whether to mow or not, etc. Rob noted that there was an article in the most recent Vistas about mowing.

Eduardo brought up the question of fire hazards. John explained how we have worked on fire assessments. John suggested that the Conservation Committee participate in any efforts along these lines. The Architectural Committee has a link on their web page of suggested species to plant. In the 2016 Conservation Committee budget, there is a line item to have someone create educational materials to help assure that their landscapes are fire wise. Eduardo has volunteered to help with the project.

5.         Update of Eagle Scout Project, 10/17: The Eagle Scout project has fallen apart as the leader is not supportive of our trail project as an Eagle Scout project; the work day on October 17th will not be supported by them. Tom Bredenberg motioned that we consolidate the Oct. 17 and Nov. 7th work days into one day on the 7th. Jerry seconded and the motion carried. Mark will let Jan-Willem know of the change.

 

6.         Status of Greenbelt work between VGPL and the Rail Trail: Jim sent an email that included an update; there are some in the county who want to give permission to ECIA to cut the trail, and others who are opposed to it. It does not look like the county will be doing this any time soon. Mark will approach Dag about the possibility of ECIA cutting the trail with our Kubota and if he approves, will ask Dag to talk to county staff.

7.         PNM Utility Easement Update: This was not addressed in the September meeting and has been pushed to October.

 

8.         Salt Cedar Remediation, 200 trails: The stream bed that leads into the wetlands on 201 has some salt cedar. Tom suggests that we get on it as soon as possible. Tom will check it out and will send the committee and email and suggest a mini-workday.

9.         Remaining 3 Trail Junction sign installations: The signs were installed today.

10.       COLTPAC: The ribbon cutting for the new section of trail will coincide with the commencement of the project’s next phase (Ave. Vista Grande to Ave. Eldorado), but a date still has not been set.

           

11.       Budget YTD and 2016 budget: We are shown on the books as being $93.85 overspent, but they accounted Craig Sponholtz’s work against our account without adding the special funding to the committee budget. However, if we back Craig’s bill out, we have $2600 remaining though we are awaiting invoices for the new signage and posts. We do have a line item to replace the trail junction signs in the 100 series trails because of the addition of Trail 105. Cherry will survey and talk with Andrea about doing the design work for this project.

12.       Mowing on Greenbelt pilot trail on 10/2: Mowing was completed and there were no complaints. Tom Brimacombe has biked it and says it looks good.

 

13.       Other Business:

 

            a). Greg is hopefully taking a sabbatical for 3 months from the committee to attend to personal matter; David Yard will be filling in for him as the committee’s liaison. Greg introduced an herbarium and plant list for Eldorado that was compiled in 1997 with 180 plants on the list. There are six binders with specimens and the plant survey list. This had been tucked away for several years. Greg hopes that we can obtain photos of each genus/species and post it on the ECIA web site. Greg would also like to identify plants as native and non-natives.

            b) The Plague/Hantavirus talk went well with about 12-15 people in attendance. Mark and John were there representing the committee. The speaker was from NM Dept. of Health, Dept. of Epidemiology.

            c) The trail camera has been installed in an area where animals transit. The motion sensor is very sensitive and blowing chemisas will trigger it to shoot a photo. Therefore, we’ve gotten many blank photos. Most wildlife activity has been at night; a coyote has definitely been photographed and perhaps a large cat. Tom is continuing to look for a good, secure, safe location.

            d) John was approached by an environmental educator at the community school wanting to know if we would want to staff a booth at an environmental fair in the spring.

            e) John also suggested that we think about finding AmeriCorps volunteers to help us with our projects. Mark will contact Jan-Willem to locate a contact.

            f) There are bags of yard debris that were dumped at the #2 trailhead. Tom Brimacombe asked that ECIA staff pick the bags up.

14.       Adjournment: John moved to adjourn, Mark Seconded. Unanimously approved. Meeting was adjourned at 8:40.

 

Next Meeting: November 2nd at 7:00 pm

 

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Conservation Committee Minutes—September 1, 2015 Final

Attendees: Jim Daniel,John Parker, Cherry Payne, Mary Clark, Mark Young, Tom Bredenberg, Rob Egemeier, Tom Brimacombe, Greg Colello (Board Liaison)

1.         Guests: Jan-Willem Jansens

 

2.         August minutes: John Parker moved to approve, Jim Daniel seconded. Approved unanimously.

3.         Additional Project for this year (2015 budget): Because we have been relieved of reporting requirements by the USACE, we have some extra money to do trail work on Trail 101 between C and D ($450). Tom Brimacombe has done some work, but some structures have silted in and there are still features that will help to protect and stabilize the trail. Jan-Willem has proposed we work on Nov. 7 and that we could get the work done in a half day. There was a discussion that the trail might need to be realigned rather than the maintenance work that Jan-Willem proposes, especially entering and exiting two arroyos that the trail crosses. Jim suggested that we plan our maintenance day and combine that with an assessment of options. The work can probably be done with 12-15 people. Mark will send an email out to our volunteer list. Meet at the Clubhouse at 8:30 am - 1:00 pm, Saturday, Nov. 7.

 

4.         Budget development for 2016: There was a discussion about several potential projects, including projects that we would assess in 2016, prioritize, and then complete in 2016 if the budge allows, as well as budget others for 2017 and beyond. It will include items that require ECIA staff work. The budget proposal is an attachment to these minutes.

5.         Greenbelt work between VGPL and the Rail Trail: there was a meeting today with the county (Mark Hansen) regarding the work that we are hoping that they will do on their lands. The county has suggested some alternative routes to allow users to access the Senior Center. The project is working its way through the county bureaucracy. To get rid of the cholla, we need about 3 hours of Kubota work on this trail.

 

6.         PNM Easement agreement (Trail 401-403): a draft has been sent to the Board.

7.         Update on Eagle Scout project on Trail 101: Jan-Willem has met with the Scouts on-site and they flagged the trail. The work is to take place on Oct. 17th as part of one of our workdays.

           

8.         Update on erosion control work along the Greenbelt Pilot Trail: the structures are working and collecting sediment. There is still rock available there.

9.         Report on site visit to Los Alamos Park Greenbelt: there is some disagreement among committee members as to how pervasive the cholla in the trail is, especially relative to other trails in the Greenbelt. One management strategy would be to remove cholla within a certain distance of a trail. The cupped trails contribute to the problem as well. The amount of manual labor required relative to the problem is overwhelming, especially on a Greenbelt-wide basis. Greg has volunteered to address a section of this particular trail.

10.       COLTPAC: The ribbon-cutting for the completion of the new section of the Rail Trail that ends at Avenida Vista Grande will be in September. John suggests that someone from Eldorado be there. Not date has been set yet.

           

11.       Report of Prograss on remaining Trail Junction signs: Andrea Sharon has completed a design for us and the files have been given to the sign manufacturer. We await an estimate on when we will receive them.

12.       Acceptance of John Cannella’s resignation from the committee: John resigned from the committee due to home and work demands, but would like to volunteer on workdays. He was a great addition to the committee; he will be missed.

 

13.       Status of budget expenditures YTD: Mark was unable to get this before the meeting. As of July 23, we have spent $4238. Since then we have bought grass seed for $669, $205 for sign design and an estimated $200 for the sign manufacturer’s time. Tom Brimacombe has given information on cameras that we want to purchase to Mark. Mark will order a camera.

14.       Request to Mow Pilot Project Trail: A memo was sent to the Board for their consideration.

15.       Other Business: Greg suggested creating plant catalog, with a standard form and protocol for submissions by residents. ECIA has an herbarium collection that was collected years ago by a resident and a UNM professor.

16.       Adjournment: Meeting was adjourned at 8:50 pm. John moved to adjourn, Rob seconded and the meeting was adjourned.

 

Next Meeting: October 6th at 7:00 pm

 

Conservation Committee Minutes—August 4, 2015 - FINAL

Attendees: Jim Daniel,John Parker, Cherry Payne, Mary Clark, Tom Brimacombe, Tom Bredenberg, John Cannella, Jerry Gulseth, Greg Colello (Board Liaison)

1.         Guests: Bob Sandlin (second meeting), Roger Clark, Carol Clark, Dillon Gonzales, Torin Sanneth, Jan-Willem Jansens

2.         July minutes: Cherry moved to approve, Tom Bredenberg seconded, unanimously approved.

 

3.         Jan-Willem Jansens-Trail 101 project and annual report to USACE: two items remain to undertake on this year’s work plan regarding trail improvements:

-Trail 101 between 1E and 1F is badly eroded and rutted. We are ready to commence work on this section of trail which entails brushing, grubbing a new trail tread for a short distance and installing minor erosion control features. We also need to close about 250 feet of existing trail to construct some rock dams, walls, fill ruts with debris, etc. Estimated resources are 4 yards of rock and 20-25 hours of labor.

-downstream to the south of this point, the trail is also rutted; we need to construct some rolling dips, water bars, one-rock dams, and rock bowls near the old stock tank at 1E and alongside the wetland area. Need: 4 yards of rock and 20-25 hours of labor.

Pending inspection, and due to rains, we may have had more erosion. Both sites are accessible for rock delivery pending permission to cross private property.

Boy Scout Eagle candidates from Troop #414 (Torin Sanneth, Dylan Gonzales) were at the meeting and think that they might be able to provide as many as 20 workers for these projects. A discussion with them indicated that these two projects might be likely Eagle projects. They think that their Scoutmaster would approve them. The Scouts would be responsible for not only organizing people, but also to bring tools that would be needed.

There was a discussion about possible work dates. It was decided that either Oct. 3 or Oct. 17 would work. We will shoot for Oct. 3rd, and keep Oct. 17th as a back up. The Scouts will need to write up a proposal which Jan-Willem can help with. The Scouts will send Jan-Willem the basic requirements of that write-up, and they will do a site visit with Jan-Willem. There was then a discussion about what is required of the Scouts in terms of leadership.

-USACE report: Next Tuesday, there will be a visit by representatives from the USACE to look at the wetlands and the work we’ve done. They require annual reporting for 5 years. We have submitted three reports as required; we are eligible for an exemption from reporting the final two years. If we receive that, we could free up some funds for another little project.

Jan-Willem looked at what the county did regarding the berms along the road by Trailhead 3; they did minimal work, but it seems to be holding for now. We might want to put something on the budget for next year.

 

4.         Roger Clark-Bluebird Box Maintenance: The Bluebird trail that Roger knows about is the one along the Rail Trail. A resident spearheaded placing the boxes there. John Parker noted that the boxes may actually be creating habitat for English Sparrows. Roger said that maintaining Bluebird boxes is a lot of work. They must be checked weekly to prevent Sparrows and Starlings from taking up residence. Roger is constantly removing nests built by non-Bluebirds, which actually does not help them, but contributes to population growth that displaces the Bluebirds. Roger suggested the possibility of a local Bluebird Association taking over the maintenance. If the boxes cannot be maintained, they should be taken down. The boxes need to be cleaned at the end of the season and checked in late winter to ensure they are ready to receive birds which can be as soon as next March. The nests need to be checked for ants and flies or the nest will fail. House Sparrows will invade and kill the adult Bluebirds and then usurp nest. Bluebirds usually raise two broods a year: May and late July. They are usually done by mid-September. Roger cautioned us that they can be a lot of work.

There is no local Bluebird Association, and as best we know, there is no one maintaining the boxes along the Rail Trail. Roger also noted that it does require someone who knows what they are doing—for instance, if the fledglings are large enough to fledge but not quite ready, they can flush and be jeopardized. Roger said that Eldorado is absolutely filled with Sparrows. Over 150 spp. of birds have been identified locally. The issue is people don’t realize the importance of maintaining Bluebird boxes—Roger suggested that we offer an educational program on maintenance. Previously, a resident a came to the Conservation Committee to ask permission to build and install 3 boxes in the Greenbelt which was approved. The specs on a Bluebird box are also pretty critical in order to exempt other birds from entering the cavity (but Sparrows can get into them even if built to specs).

The boxes along the Rail Trail are on County property. John will bring it up at the COLTPAC meeting. Nonetheless, there are hundreds of boxes in Eldorado. We should write a Vistas article to advise people about maintenance, etc. Roger will write something to run in the winter (maybe January).

 

5.         Roger Clark-September greenbelt birding outing: Roger knows that there are lots of birders in Eldorado and suggested a birdwalk or series of birdwalks. We could try doing one and see how it goes. John said we have done them in the area of the Community Center. There was a discussion about doing something in either the Greenbelt or Trail 201 area of the Preserve. Roger would be willing to lead a walk. Anytime from last-half of September to first half of October could work. We will tentatively schedule it for October 10th.

6.         Status of Greenbelt Work-VGPL to Rail trail: Most of this project is on County property. A trail was marked and they will do the bulk of the work. Steve Griego has completed paperwork the county required. The question is should we install a sign to direct people to the correct trail? There was some discussion about the routing of the trail to the Senior Center, but that has been resolved. There is one small section of trail where it is unclear if the proposed trail would be on county or ECIA property. Cherry raised the issue of a sign installed by a property owner living on Cuesta Lane in which they say that the currently used access is not the official easement into the Greenbelt. We will talk with Mark about that. We await the county to commence work.

7.         Crossvane Repair: Tom Brimacombe reports that the new crossvane is holding up, although we have not had a major storm this year like the one from last September.

8.         Quivera Coalition Grant (Trail 401): We received word that we did not receive this grant.

9.         PNM Utility Easement (Trail 401): John wrote some modifications that Cherry added to the language of the draft agreement. Mark has the changes and it needs to go to the Board. We agreed to put this on next month’s agenda to determine status.

10.       Erosion control features near start of Greenbelt Pilot project: We have had three work sessions where several small structures were built and some seeding was done. All structures seem to be holding, but we have yet to see signs of seed germination.

11.       COLTPAC: There was no meeting last month, but they will meet tomorrow. The Rail Trail is open from Santa Fe to Ave. Vista Grande. There does not seem to be any immediate movement to begin work south of Avenida Vista Grande which is the next phase of the project. There was some discussion about a severe erosional gully by the southernmost trestle on the Rail Trail between Vista Grande and Ave. Eldorado.

12.       The state of Los Alamos Park Greenbelt and Trail: A resident has advised the committee that this trail is in poor shape. Jim made a map. There is a lot of cholla in the area. The trail is in the bottom of the swale and is filled with cholla. There is only about 1/3 of a mile of trail tread that needs to be rerouted. Jim suggests we have a field day to look at it and assess feasibility. We will meet on August 19th at 9:00 at the foot of Reno Place to assess.

 

13.       Report on Progress of Installation of remaining Trail Signs: The previous vendor is incommunicado. Cherry, Mark and a possible new designer/vendor will be meeting.

14.       Status of budget expenditures YTD: To date we have spent $4238. Less what we have committed for Trail 101 and the USACE report, we have a balance of about $800.

15.       Discussion of Mowing Pilot Project Trail: John Parker took some photos of weeds on the Pilot Project Trail. The trail tread is down to about 1-2 feet in width because of weeds along the edge. It is forcing people to walk single file. Mowing is somewhat controversial, but he thinks that in this case this might be worthwhile. Cherry suggested that we move to ask the Board for permission to mow the trail to a 4 foot width or the width of the smallest Kubota mowing attachment, and support the request with John’s photos.

John Parker moved that we submit to the board a proposal to mow the Pilot Project trail in the Greenbelt using a riding mower to reinstate the trail to its original width. John will provide photos to Mark. Tom Bredenberg seconded and it carried unanimously.

16.       Other Business: Mary has pointed out that there has been ATV use on the 105 Trail up an arroyo to Trail 101.

Tom Brimacombe says we can spend about $200 to get a good camera that includes night-vision, high resolution, motion sensor camera. We agreed to purchase one camera to deploy as a test. Tom will pick out the model, etc. John Cannella suggested we get a cable lock for it too.

Tom and Jim will walk the boundary on the south side of Trail 400.

Scotch thistle issue: Over the weekend, a resident sent an email to the Roads Committee requesting they address the issue of Scotch Thistle, an invasive, growing along roadsides. Though ECIA does some mowing along the roadsides, this is a county issue. The conservation committee felt we could collaborate with the Roads Committee and send a proposal to the board to develop an education effort for residents, perhaps using the web site as a portal for this effort. It was noted that the scale of the issue is beyond our capability, and that a one-time education effort would not be adequate. Tom Brimacombe reported that he regularly cuts Scotch Thistle as he encounters it.

Tom Brimacombe has done erosion control work this past month on the 100, 200 and 300 trails.

17.       Adjournment: Meeting was adjourned at 9:05 pm.

 

Next Meeting: September 1st at 7:00 pm


 

Conservation Committee Minutes—July 7, 2015 - FINAL

Attendees: Jim Daniel,Mark Young, John Parker, Cherry Payne, Mary Clark, John Cannella, Rob Egemeier, Tom Brimacombe, Greg Colello (Board Liaison)

1.         Guests: Bob Sandlin

2.         June minutes: no corrections or comments. John P. moved to accept the minutes, Cherry seconded. Approved unanimously.

3.         Status of Greenbelt Work-VGPL to Rail trail: The county owns part of the property that the Library trail transits which is a part of the trail improvement project. Carol Branch, Santa Fe County, has confirmed they own the trail. The county has agreed to do improvements in accordance with our suggested revised alignments. The next step is to flag the trail and then the county will cut it. It was decided to flag the trail Thursday morning, July 9th, 9:00 am. Meet at the Library. John P., Jim and Tom will be there. Mark will let Steve Griego know. Mark is providing the county the addresses of adjacent landowners in order to notify neighbors of the impending work.

4.         Crossvane Repair: This work in the Galisteo Creek wetland is scheduled to happen between July 9th and the 14th. Denise and Mark worked through administrative issues so that Craig Sponholz, the heavy equipment operator, can repair the washed out erosion structure. Part of Trailhead 3 will be closed off on the 8th for the delivery of rocks. Jim would like to consult with Craig about the condition of a structure immediately upstream from the damaged one.

5.         Quivera Coalition Grant (Trail 401): We received word today that we did not receive this grant.

6.         PNM Utility Easement (Trail 401): In an effort to discern the status of the PNM easement, Mark contacted PNM. Subsequently, their representative (Dennis Kemp) did an on-site visit with Mark and Dag Ryen. In 2011, there was an agreement written up between PNM and ECIA that was never finalized. The draft agreement has been emailed to Dag Ryen for his review. There was a discussion about the language of the agreement. It was suggested that we draft some language to provide to PNM giving ECIA some say in what happens. regarding repairs and work on the easement, as well as inserting a sunset date on the agreement. This kind of language does not appear in the 2011 draft. John P. made a motion to amend the easement language, Mark seconded, and it passed unanimously. John Cannella will draft up some language and send it to the committee.

There is an opportunity to get a grant from PNM for trail/easement improvements. However, there is no money budgeted for the work at this time. They have advised us of the opportunity to request a grant, but there are some caveats associated with their grants.

If there emergency work needs to be done on the power line, PNM can come in and do any required work.

7.         Erosion control features near start of Greenbelt Pilot project: Jerry, Jim and John P. worked on the trail and addressed a spot where there is run-off coming down a hill and across the trail. They built some one-rock dams; another day is needed to finish the work. Subsequently, Mark and Jim planted grass seed in some bare areas. We will meet on July 15th at 8:00 at the Rail Trail parking area on Ave. Vista Grande. Bring gloves and water. Be prepared to work 2 hours or so.

8.         COLTPAC: There was no meeting because there was no quorum. John P. did speak with Carol today about the Rail Trail from the Spur to Ave. Vista Grande. There was an inspection recently and there is a punch list of about 20 items to be addressed. It should be officially opened in about 3 weeks. There will be a grand opening/ribbon cutting when it is completed. John P. asked Carol that we be notified.

Work should commence on the next section, Ave. Vista Grande to Ave. Eldorado immediately upon completion.

9.         Report on Progress of Installation of remaining Trail Signs: The vendor has yet again promised signs which we have not received. It was suggested that we find someone else to do any editing and layout revisions. Tom has Adobe Suite software and will look at the files to see what he can do.

10.       Status of budget expenditures YTD: We are unable to get a updated status of our budget due to the switch from Quickbooks to Hoamco’s system. Mark is tracking bills as they come in. To date, we have spent about $4325. We have a balance of about $3600 remaining.

11.       June 6th Herpetology Talk: Ted Brown gave a herp talk on June 6th. There was a good turnout—maybe 30 to 40 people. He brought some snakes and everyone seemed to learn a little bit and enjoyed the talk. The emphasis of the talk was onreptiles and amphibiansfound in New Mexico andTed did not emphasize that most snakes found in Eldorado are both harmless and beneficial. Snakes are often killed by homeowners out of fear, when they ought to be welcomed as allies in keeping our rodent population down.

John P. has contacts for a talk about Hanta Virus, the plague, and tuleremia; it might be something we want to consider for the community. There seems to be a boom of rodents right now. With cooler weather, rodents tend to come in, so September or October might be a good time to offer this.

12.       Eagle Scout project (Diego Rigalis): He was invited to tonight’s meeting; we think he may have another project that he is interested in doing rather than our project.

Jim suggested we have Jan-Willem attend our August meeting to discuss the Trail 101 project which was the project we thought would be good for the Eagle Scout project. Mark noted that Scouts always need service hours and that we can invite them to help on this project. He will follow up with the Scout Master.

 

13.       Invasive thistle and Japanese dodder in preserve and greenbelts: Two residents have contacted Mark regarding invasives in the preserve and the greenbelt. Tom thinks we might have Scotch thistle. Perhaps goats would be a good control method. Mark ran into someone that has cattle and asked about the possibility of cattle grazing on ECIA property. Mark told him that goats are probably preferable.

Tom has noticed that the thistle has invaded in colonies in the Preserve. He has been whacking thistles—it is probably a losing battle.

English Sparrows have taken over the Bluebird boxes installed along the Rail Trail. John P. suggests that the Conservation Committee talk to the person who is installing Bluebird boxes in the Greenbelts and ask him to maintain them and ensure that the boxes are occupied by Bluebirds. It was suggested that we ask Roger Clark, a bird expert, if he knows someone who would pull sparrow nests. John C. will email him and see if we can get someone from Audubon. There are also some houses on Trail 105 near Los Vaqueros as well as some boxes on the 200 trails that were put out by the Earth Works students.

13.       Other Business:

 

a. Tom Brimacombe has asked if we want to mow or trim along the pilot trail. His concern is that with all the rain, the trail will get overgrown and revert to a single track. Some of the weeds are moving into the trailbed itself; we decided to look at the issue next week during the work day. Greg feels that if we put something on the marquees announcing the mowing that we will have given adequate notice to residents. It would fall under our 2-year maintenance permit with the County.

 

b. Tom noted that the 403 trail needs some work in places.

 

c. Purchase of wildlife cameras: We budgeted $600 for cameras this year. We can get a decent one for about $200 that includes night vision, has an SD card, can be hooked up to a solar panel or a 12 v battery. John Cannella has done some work with these before. He suggests weekly maintenance is required. He also noted that there can be risk of theft putting them out. He said we will need a couple of SD cards so that they can be swapped out. Tom will pick out a couple of options and send suggestions to the committee.

John P. moved that we get a camera for under $200, Jim seconded, it passed unanimously.

d. Mark reported that the cattleman he met asked about the fence line along the Preserve’s eastern boundary, by Trails 401/403. Mark is looking for volunteers to hike it. We suggested that Tom lead a hike and invite every one—he will come up with a date.

e. Greg brought up the issue of cholla abatement in sections of the trail where there are hundreds of cacti that are invading the trail. We will look over the trail in the fall and decide what to do then.

f. Mike O’Farrell has resigned from the committee. Cherry moved that we formally thank him in the minutes. It was seconded by Jim. The committee unanimously agreed to express their appreciation to Mike in the minutes. Thank you, Mike!

14.       Adjournment: Meeting was adjourned at 9:00 pm.

 

Next Meeting: August 4th at 7:00 pm


 

Conservation Committee Minutes—June 2, 2015  FINAL

Attendees: Jim Daniel,Mark Young, John Parker, Cherry Payne, John Cannella, Mary Clark, Jerry Gulseth, Rob Egemeier,Tom Brimacombe, Greg Colello (Board Liaison)

1.         Guests: Obie Oberhausen, Cactus Rescue Project.

2.         May minutes: Minutes were amended to identify Claudia Daigle as person who questioned the committee’s budget. A motion was made, seconded and unanimously approved. John moved to accept the amended minutes, it was seconded and they were unanimously approved.

3.         Status of Greenbelt Work-VGPL to Rail trail: Tom, John, Steve, Greg, and Jim worked on this trail and assessed the work to be done. The area between the school, ball field, and community garden is the area where the most intense work needs to be done. It has been proposed that two parallel trails, which are badly rutted, be abandoned and a new ridgeline trail between the two former trails be established. There was a discussion about the termini of the trails. Tom raised a question about where the county line boundaries are.

John made a motion to request permission from the Board to use the Kubota to establish a new trail between the two established trails, provided the proposed trail is on ECIA property. The old trails would be rehabilitated and closed. Greg noted that the surrounding neighbors, including the school, library and senior center need to be notified and those neighbors be given an opportunity to comment on the proposed work. He also suggested that they be invited to participate. Tom seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

In the meantime, Mark looked at the original plat maps and it looks like the area of proposed work is on school or county property. Steve Griego will be tasked to approach the county and we will withhold approaching the board.

There has also been a proposal to put dirt just off of Monte Alto Road to ease the grade, but many in the committee felt that the dirt would simply wash away. Rather, a trail redesign might be a better approach.

4.         Report on May 29th Work Day: About eight committee members worked on various projects, along with Jan-Willem. All tasks were completed.

5.         Crossvane Repair: We are awaiting Craig Sponholz to let us know his availability. However, all other administrative planning and tasks have been completed. Jim noted that there is another crossvane just upstream from the problem one that might need attention. Jan-Willem will have Craig look at it.

6.         Quivera Coalition Grant (Trail 401): The proposal looks good, but there are some questions about trail alignment and who has responsibility for the ROW. One proposal is to construct a new trail parallel to the ROW, but it seems that hikers and bikers will use the ROW. The Board has approved the items that ECIA needed to provide as a match for the grant. Greg noted that there is an esthetic aspect to the trail that needs to be considered.

7.         Endangered Cholla Cactus project idea (Obie Oberhausen): Obie proposed a colony of endangered Santa Fe cholla be established in the Preserve. This is a native cholla and will establishing it will have no effect on the preserve or wildlife. Advantages: a feather in the Conservation Committee’s cap. The state botanist will monitor how well it is doing periodically. Obie would have a corps of volunteers to do the work, which will take 2-3 hours. He proposes July 11th as the workday. The fact that the cactus are endangered does not preclude ECIA from doing anything in the area in the future. The proposed area is at the east end of Trail 105. About 400 plants would be introduced; all would be little starts. Cherry raised the issue of preliminary work having been discussed in the area of Trail 105 in the future. Obie indicated that they were thinking of placing the closest plants west of the trail. The committee suggested they be located a minimum of 50-100 feet to the west of the trail itself.

Mark asked if it was ever indigenous to Eldorado itself. It was only known to be located in the area of Old Fort Marcy.

A motion was made by Rob to allow Cactus Rescue Project to plant Santa Fe Cholla at the east end of Trail 105 on the west side of the trail, provided that the planting is greater than 50’from the trail. John Parker seconded. It passed unanimously.

8.         Rock in place near start of Greenbelt Pilot project and ready to be used: Tomorrow morning is the Greenbelt work. Everyone is invited to come: meet at the Vista Grande/Rail Trail parking lot at 8:30 am. Work will last about 2 hours. Jim has let Arnold Atkins know.

9.         COLTPAC: John attended their cactus walk and did a hike up Placer Peak in the Ortiz Mountains sponsored by the county. The county is trying to determine the future of the area. The Botanical Garden was managing the area, but dropped it due to liability concerns.

The county is still working on the Rail Trail armoring drainages. Phase 3, between Vista Grande and Ave. Eldorado should begin soon. The county also hopes to buy a specialized Bobcat called a “Trail Cat” with specialized attachments.

10.       Report on Progress of Installation of remaining Trail Signs: We have not received the proofs for the four small trail junction signs; they have been promised by Friday. We were billed for the 5 large signs which came to $1496.

11.       Status of budget expenditures YTD: Year to date we have spent $4208.25. We have a balance of $3591.75 for the rest of the year.

12.       June 6th Herpetology Talk: This is scheduled, John Parker will introduce the speaker. It will be at the Railroad building at 10:00. The speaker will be Ted Brown and he is supposed to be very entertaining.

          

13.       Other Business: An Eagle Scout candidate was invited but had not responded by meeting time. Mark will follow up with him.

The National Park Service has a call for project from their RTCA program. The committee felt that we did not want to take this on at this time.

Greg has been working with the US 285 Corridor rezoning project. The county has offered to initiate a separate process to zone the entire Preserve since only a small part of the Preserve falls within the 285 corridor. The committee accepted the invitation. The corridor is defined as 2000’ on each side of the centerline of 285, so this entails part of the Preserve. One question is if we would consider a solar array within that corridor (with screening). If there was a desire to do that, we would need to state so now. Mark noted that another use (e.g., a solar farm) would be in violation of our deed. The other question is that the county would like to have a special process with ECIA to discuss the protection of the Preserve that would provide enhanced protections of the whole Preserve (i.e., a larger area than just the 285 corridor). This would become part of an ordinance.

Claudia Daigle had sent a letter that made its way to the committee asking why the County was doing work in the Preserve. We responded that the Roads Dept. is not working on Preserve trails; they cleaned their bar ditches that were affecting the Preserve trails.

Mark has raised the question if the committee should replace the signage in the Greenbelt that is now in bad shape. Cherry suggested that we defer until we see how we expend our budget or defer to next year.

John asked if staff could remove the “No Bicycles” sign that is at Trailhead 2. Committee members tried to remove it but could not do so. There is also a small piece of a sign post that needs to be removed. Mark was asked to see if staff could go out with an angle grinder to remove them.

14.       Adjournment: Meeting was adjourned at 9:00 pm.

 

Next Meeting: July 7th at 7:00 pm

 

 

Conservation Committee Minutes—June 2, 2015 - 

Attendees: Jim Daniel,Mark Young, John Parker, Cherry Payne, John Cannella, Mary Clark, Jerry Gulseth, Rob Egemeier,Tom Brimacombe, Greg Colello (Board Liaison)

1.         Guests: Obie Oberhausen, Cactus Rescue Project.

2.         May minutes: Minutes were amended to identify Claudia Daigle as person who questioned the committee’s budget. A motion was made, seconded and unanimously approved. John moved to accept the amended minutes, it was seconded and they were unanimously approved.

3.         Status of Greenbelt Work-VGPL to Rail trail: Tom, John, Steve, Greg, and Jim worked on this trail and assessed the work to be done. The area between the school, ball field, and community garden is the area where the most intense work needs to be done. It has been proposed that two parallel trails, which are badly rutted, be abandoned and a new ridgeline trail between the two former trails be established. There was a discussion about the termini of the trails. Tom raised a question about where the county line boundaries are.

John made a motion to request permission from the Board to use the Kubota to establish a new trail between the two established trails, provided the proposed trail is on ECIA property. The old trails would be rehabilitated and closed. Greg noted that the surrounding neighbors, including the school, library and senior center need to be notified and those neighbors be given an opportunity to comment on the proposed work. He also suggested that they be invited to participate. Tom seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

In the meantime, Mark looked at the original plat maps and it looks like the area of proposed work is on school or county property. Steve Griego will be tasked to approach the county and we will withhold approaching the board.

There has also been a proposal to put dirt just off of Monte Alto Road to ease the grade, but many in the committee felt that the dirt would simply wash away. Rather, a trail redesign might be a better approach.

4.         Report on May 29th Work Day: About eight committee members worked on various projects, along with Jan-Willem. All tasks were completed.

5.         Crossvane Repair: We are awaiting Craig Sponholz to let us know his availability. However, all other administrative planning and tasks have been completed. Jim noted that there is another crossvane just upstream from the problem one that might need attention. Jan-Willem will have Craig look at it.

6.         Quivera Coalition Grant (Trail 401): The proposal looks good, but there are some questions about trail alignment and who has responsibility for the ROW. One proposal is to construct a new trail parallel to the ROW, but it seems that hikers and bikers will use the ROW. The Board has approved the items that ECIA needed to provide as a match for the grant. Greg noted that there is an esthetic aspect to the trail that needs to be considered.

7.         Endangered Cholla Cactus project idea (Obie Oberhausen): Obie proposed a colony of endangered Santa Fe cholla be established in the Preserve. This is a native cholla and will establishing it will have no effect on the preserve or wildlife. Advantages: a feather in the Conservation Committee’s cap. The state botanist will monitor how well it is doing periodically. Obie would have a corps of volunteers to do the work, which will take 2-3 hours. He proposes July 11th as the workday. The fact that the cactus are endangered does not preclude ECIA from doing anything in the area in the future. The proposed area is at the east end of Trail 105. About 400 plants would be introduced; all would be little starts. Cherry raised the issue of preliminary work having been discussed in the area of Trail 105 in the future. Obie indicated that they were thinking of placing the closest plants west of the trail. The committee suggested they be located a minimum of 50-100 feet to the west of the trail itself.

Mark asked if it was ever indigenous to Eldorado itself. It was only known to be located in the area of Old Fort Marcy.

A motion was made by Rob to allow Cactus Rescue Project to plant Santa Fe Cholla at the east end of Trail 105 on the west side of the trail, provided that the planting is greater than 50’from the trail. John Parker seconded. It passed unanimously.

8.         Rock in place near start of Greenbelt Pilot project and ready to be used: Tomorrow morning is the Greenbelt work. Everyone is invited to come: meet at the Vista Grande/Rail Trail parking lot at 8:30 am. Work will last about 2 hours. Jim has let Arnold Atkins know.

9.         COLTPAC: John attended their cactus walk and did a hike up Placer Peak in the Ortiz Mountains sponsored by the county. The county is trying to determine the future of the area. The Botanical Garden was managing the area, but dropped it due to liability concerns.

The county is still working on the Rail Trail armoring drainages. Phase 3, between Vista Grande and Ave. Eldorado should begin soon. The county also hopes to buy a specialized Bobcat called a “Trail Cat” with specialized attachments.

10.       Report on Progress of Installation of remaining Trail Signs: We have not received the proofs for the four small trail junction signs; they have been promised by Friday. We were billed for the 5 large signs which came to $1496.

11.       Status of budget expenditures YTD: Year to date we have spent $4208.25. We have a balance of $3591.75 for the rest of the year.

12.       June 6th Herpetology Talk: This is scheduled, John Parker will introduce the speaker. It will be at the Railroad building at 10:00. The speaker will be Ted Brown and he is supposed to be very entertaining.

          

13.       Other Business: An Eagle Scout candidate was invited but had not responded by meeting time. Mark will follow up with him.

The National Park Service has a call for project from their RTCA program. The committee felt that we did not want to take this on at this time.

Greg has been working with the US 285 Corridor rezoning project. The county has offered to initiate a separate process to zone the entire Preserve since only a small part of the Preserve falls within the 285 corridor. The committee accepted the invitation. The corridor is defined as 2000’ on each side of the centerline of 285, so this entails part of the Preserve. One question is if we would consider a solar array within that corridor (with screening). If there was a desire to do that, we would need to state so now. Mark noted that another use (e.g., a solar farm) would be in violation of our deed. The other question is that the county would like to have a special process with ECIA to discuss the protection of the Preserve that would provide enhanced protections of the whole Preserve (i.e., a larger area than just the 285 corridor). This would become part of an ordinance.

Claudia Daigle had sent a letter that made its way to the committee asking why the County was doing work in the Preserve. We responded that the Roads Dept. is not working on Preserve trails; they cleaned their bar ditches that were affecting the Preserve trails.

Mark has raised the question if the committee should replace the signage in the Greenbelt that is now in bad shape. Cherry suggested that we defer until we see how we expend our budget or defer to next year.

John asked if staff could remove the “No Bicycles” sign that is at Trailhead 2. Committee members tried to remove it but could not do so. There is also a small piece of a sign post that needs to be removed. Mark was asked to see if staff could go out with an angle grinder to remove them.

14.       Adjournment: Meeting was adjourned at 9:00 pm.

 

Next Meeting: July 7th at 7:00 pm

 

 

Conservation Committee Minutes—May 5, 2015 -FINAL

Attendees: Jim Daniel,Mark Young, John Parker, Cherry Payne, Rob Egemeier, Mary Clark, Jerry Gulseth, Tom Brimacombe, Greg Colello (Board Liaison)

1.         Guests: Arnold Atkins, Bob Blanchet, Jan-Willem Jansens (Ecotone)

2.         April minutes: reviewed, corrected and approved unanimously. COLPEC changed to COLPAC

3.         Status of Greenbelt Work-VGPL to Rail trail: Jim contacted Steve Griego about this trail and its status. The committee has determined that we will not use the Kubota on this segment and that the trail will be 2 feet wide. There will be a work day on May 13th. Jim Daniel will send an email to committee members with the time and location. The committee agreed that only the worst locations would be addressed.

4.         Report on April 25th Work Day: 18 people helped with the work day at Trailhead 3 and the arroyo crossing. There was also a Scout in attendance. There were several groups: a tamarisk removal team; a group that armored a berm with wood; and another that built a large rock structure to stabilize a slope. Another group re-routed the trail between 2E and 2D. Some more work needs to be done to better define the new trail.

The county has cleared out the Bar Ditches according to Tom who was out there today. There is still a place where water is running toward the trail. This issue could be put on the back burner.

5.         Crossvane Repair: Jim went to the ECIA board to appeal for funds to repair the cross vane damaged in the monsoon last September. The board approved an additional $5000 for this work. One board member suggested we build a bridge across the arroyo. Because the funding level was $5000, the project falls just below the level requiring the project be bid out as Greg noted when reviewing ECIA’s procurement policy ($1-$5000 do not require bids). Craig Sponholz, who did the work originally, will need to provide some documentation to ECIA regarding his business status and insurance, but we plan to proceed with him completing the reconstruction.

6.         Quivera Coalition Grant (Trail 401): Jan-Willem recently became aware of in-kind support offered by this organization to landowners to help them achieve greater land health. Eldorado Preserve would be eligible for their support. They have partnered with another organization to offer workshops for technical assistance on projects. The 401/403 trail, which is eroding out, requires planning and design and engineering to complete a rehabilitation/repair due to some existing structures. Quivera can help with permitting, mapping, etc. We will propose that Jan-Willem be a part of their team which would take care of planning and design, logistics and a workshop. PNM does have a ROW through this area.

The workshop would be open to the public. There is an informal constituency on the Canoncito Mesa that uses trail 401, and some of these folks might be interested in participating in the workshop. The deadline for the grant application is June 15. Jan-Willem is willing to put together an application on behalf of ECIA for the project. The CC would need to contribute about 10 tons of rock, in-kind work, and the use of the ECIA’s Kubota and crew as a match.

It was moved by John that Jan-Willem volunteer to write the grant to the Quivera Coalition on behalf of the ECIA; it was seconded by Cherry and unanimously approved by the committee. Mark will let Dag Ryen know that the committee is pursuing this.

Jan-Willem noted that if the trail became public, the Trails Alliance would be interested in assisting with the project. [That led to an informal discussion as to whether or not the deed to the Preserve directs that its use be restricted to ECIA members only; Jon Parker has a copy of the deed and noted that the only restriction is that the area remain undeveloped.]

7.         June Work Day, Trail 101: It was suggested that we postpone this work until the fall. There had been some discussion about making this an Eagle Scout project; however, John got some feedback that several of the Eagle Scout candidates have helped with other Eagle Scout projects in the Preserve and would prefer a new challenge for their projects. We can appeal to the many residents that helped with the April workday for this effort in the fall. It was agreed to defer the work until then.

8.         Rock in place near start of Greenbelt Pilot project and ready to be used (See #11): The rock has been staged at the work site by ECIA staff adjacent to the Greenbelt Pilot Trail. There is some runoff that would come straight across the trail tread. The construction of some one-rock dams would slow the erosion. In addition, we need to harden some areas. Mark will put something on the website to let people know of the upcoming work. We tentatively scheduled a workday at 8:30 on Wed., June 3rd. We estimate it will take about 2 hours. We will rendezvous at the Rail Trail Parking area on Ave. Vista Grande. ECIA will bring shovels, McClouds, steel rakes. Others should bring gloves, water, sunscreen, etc.

9.         COLTPAC: John reports that Phase 4 of the Rail Trail will start relatively soon. This is the section that will come through Eldorado. This Saturday is the Arroyo Hondo Cactus Hike which is a part of the County’s Get Outside initiative. The County has budgeted quite a bit for repairs of the Rail Trail following damage to phase 1 from last summer’s storms.

10.       Installation of remaining Trail Signs: All new trailhead signs have been installed. However, the old plexiglass was put back up at Trail head #3 which has trail junction stickers on it. Mark volunteered to remove the stickers this week.

Jim looked at the marsh area and it appears that it has been cleared out by the rains. There is still more work to be done farther south of that location.

We still await three locator signs for 1J and 1G, and another at 3F. Mark will follow up with Lee, the sign vendor.

11.       Update by Arnold Atkins re. erosion control near greenbelt trail (see #8): Mr. Atkins had come to the January CC meeting and talked about the increased erosion in the greenbelt west of the Rail Trail. In April, about 3 yards of rock, purchased by the CC, was delivered to Mr. Atkins’ property. He has built 3 small dams along a drainage by Vista Grande Dr. to slow down water flow. He feels that he can put all of the rock to good use and regrets his “slow start.” He brought photos of his work to show the committee. He has also built some grade reversals to disperse water. He has notified all of his adjacent neighbors of his work. His efforts will help to protect the Greenbelt Pilot Project trail and the committee is thankful for his interest and efforts on behalf of us all.

Mr. Atkins was commended for his efforts. There is still a load of rock in place upstream from Mr. Atkins’ location. John suggested we let Mr. Atkins know when we do that work. (See #8).

12.       May 23rd-Obie Oberhausen will be doing a Cactus Talk at the ECIA building at 10:00.

13.       June 6th-Jim will contact Ted Brown about giving a herpetology talk here on that day.

14.       Other Business: Steve Griego, who is the Rail Trail steward, is making recommendations to the county regarding the Rail Trail improvements. John feels that ECIA and the CC should have a voice in this as well.

Mark reported that cattle are getting onto ECIA property near the meadows at Trail 401. He did not find the break in the fence.

The annual homeowners’ meeting was last night. Cherry presented a report on last year’s activities and planned events for this year. During the question and answer period, Claudia Daigle asked why the CC was spending $15,000 in the Preserve (it is not nearly that much) and suggested that money be used to repair the monuments at the first entrance. She said that “no one” went to or cared about the Preserve.” Fred Raznik countered that statement by noting the appeal that the 4000 ac. Preserve has with prospective home buyers.

Jan Willem talked about the possibility of another workday in the Canoncito wetlands. Some rock needs to be removed to better channel the water. Also a small rock dam in the area of an S curve that was built a couple of years ago needs work, including the removal of a tree. This work could be done by a smaller team and completed in a couple of hours. May 29th was selected. We will gather at ECIA at 8:30.

Jan-Willem submitted a partial bill for his some of his work.

Greg brought up a question about placing a picnic table in one area of the Los Alamos Greenbelt trail. We deferred to next year.

The ECIA Board will be making liaison assignments to committees. Cherry and Jim will send a request to Dag asking Greg continue to be our liaison.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 pm.

Next meeting: June 2 at 7:00 p.m.

Upcoming workdays: May 13th-Rail Trail to Library Trail work; Jim Daniel to send info to committee

May 29th: Trailhead 2 and Canoncito arroyo work, meet at 8:30 at ECIA

June 3rd, 8:30 am, Vista Grande Rail Trail parking area


 

Conservation Committee meeting of April 7, 2015  

Attendees: Jim Daniel, Jerry Gulseth, Tom Bredenberg, Tom Brimacombe, Mark Young, John Parker, Rob Egemeier

  1. Guests - Jan-Willem Jansens of Ecotone.

2) March Minutes - approved with 2 corrections

3) There will be a CC-sponsored birding talk by Roger Clark 0n Saturday 4/11 at 10 AM in the railroad room.

4. JWJ updated us on the meeting with Santa Fe County Staff at trailhead #3. The County’s easement for Route 51 does not extend beyond the bar ditches on either side of the road. JWJ is working with the county to get the bar ditches cleaned out so that rain water does not run off the road onto our trails. JWJ is willing to be our representative with the county to see that this work gets done.

5) JWJ presented a plan to mitigate the erosion issue caused by runoff from the road. This included moving a berm to block the water flow preventing it from reaching the trail. It also included construction of rock structures including One-rock dams and Zuni bowls to slow water down before it reached the area of the trails. This work was not budgeted and will cost about $2000. There is a possibility of getting some funds from the county since this water impinges on the trail because of the presence of the road.

6) Jim discussed this application to the board justifying an increase of $5000 John Parker suggested some changes to the petition and it was agreed by the committee with these changes we submit the petition to the board.

7) The April 25th workday was discussed and April 14th was chosen as a day to do preparation and to move the berm using the Kubota tractor.

8) Tom Brimacombe reported on the Greenbelt work. Lately the work has concentrated on cactus removal. There only a few areas left that require more work. Tom estimated this could be done in three more good work days.

9) COLPAC - John Parker reported that phases 3 and 4 of the rail trail work would be complete by the end of April. However, finishing touches will delay the opening until the end of June. In contrast to previous reports, Phase 4 extending the trail to Avenida Eldorado is budgeted and scheduled. Colpec will be publicizing events to promote county Trails. A series of hikes are scheduled this spring. John will send us a copy of the schedule.

10) John Talked to the Scout Leader about the possibility of one of our trail projects being used as an Eagle Scout project.

11) All large trail signs are in place in the preserve, Three of the smaller signs have not been made. Mark will follow up.

12) Mark will contact Mr. Atkins about having rock delivered for trail work. The rest of the rock will be put near the entrance of the greenbelt trail.

13) We have scheduled a cactus talk to be given by Obie in May.

14) John Parker is working on getting a herpetologist to give a talk this summer.

Meeting was adjourned at 9:02 PM

 

 

 

Conservation Committee Minutes— March 3, 2015  FINAL

Attendees: Jim Daniel,Michael O’Farrell, Mary Clark, Greg Colelo, Jerry Gulseth, Tom Bredenberg, Tom Brimacombe , Mark Young, John Cannella, John Parker

Guests: Jan-Willem Jansen,

February minutes: reviewed and approved unanimously

Candidate Rob Egemeir: Mark shared that the board has formally approved Mark Egemeir’s nomination to the Conservation Committee.

New Business: No new business brought before the committee.

Bluebird Houses: Mark has been in discussion with Jim Olsen regarding placement of the Bluebird Boxes he has made. The committee discussed pros and cons of various placement options. No strong preferences were identified other than that they should be placed at the margin of forested areas allowing for open space which the birds need to forage. Placement in proximity to trees would help blend the houses into the landscape. Mr. Olsen is said to prefer placement in the greenbelts rather than the preserve. The committee was ok with that. Mark agreed to accompany Mr. Olsen in the field and place the bird houses accordingly.

Bird Talk: John Cannella reported that Roger Clark has agreed to give a talk on birds at the Railroad Room on Saturday April 11 from 9AM to 12 PM. John will get Mark information needed to submit an announcement in the April Vistas.

Jan-Willem Jansens Work Prioritization: JWJ said that he had contacted Diana Cummings of the Army Corps. Of Engineers about the report he had submitted on behalf of ECIA regarding the wetland. She committed to get back to him regarding the reports sufficiency,

The committee discussed with JWJ the prioritized list of the work that Jim distributed a summary table of. All agreed that the fourth item in the table, the Canoncito Wetland cleanup, should be the first project undertaken this spring. The project is slated for April 25th @ 8:30. It will be the committee’s Earth Day project.

The project to reroute/rehabilitate Trail 101, between 1E and 1F was tentatively scheduled for June 06th , with June 20th as a back-up. JWJ suggested that the project could take three days if there were about 12 people working. John Parker mentioned that he had attended Jarrett Saums Eagle Scout ceremony. John met the new Troop Leader, Dennis Ritschel who said there were a number of young men in the troop who would be looking for a project to complete their Eagle Scout requirements this year. All agreed this would be an excellent Eagle Scout project. Rock for the project will be delivered by pickup instead of larger dump truck to avoid impacts to the preserve. Mark, Jim & JWJ will hike to site and flag locations for rock tob be stock-piled.

The wetland crossing below Trailhead 3 was discussed. This work requires a high level of expertise in repairing the rock cross-vane structure that was damaged by a major downpour and resulting flood last summer. Craig Sponholtz is the best resource for this work in our area. He has indicated his willingness to do this work. It is estimated that he would charge between $3,500 & $5,000. This will be brought before the board for their consideration.

Mark will contact Offices of the SF Co. BCC regarding work on the bar ditch along CR 51 near Trail head 3.

Status of New Preserve Trailhead Signs: Mark reported that he had received 4 of the five large trailhead maps and that staff had placed one of the signs at Trailhead 1 behind the gas station. It was noted that one of the signs delivered had large “bubbles” in the lamination. He said that he would talk to Lee about having them repaired or replaced. Plans are underway to emplace the small signs in the preserve.

Greenbelt Trail Work: Tom, Jim and Steve Griego have continued working on the project in February. Much work remains to be done. Due to the fact that the work is all by hand, progress is slow. The committee discussed options, reaching a consensus to only treat those areas of the trail in greatest need as opposed to the entire length. Jim will share the committee’s desire to adopt this new approach with Steve Griego.

COLTPAC: John Parker reported that the COLTPAC is currently developing some outreach initiatives for the coming spring/summer season. One of the outreach efforts will involve a commemoration of the completion of the rail trail improvements extending to Avenida Vista Grande. Date of event is expected to be early-midsummer. Committee members were encouraged to attend.

Update on Windmills and Dream: Jim sent language concerning the Conservation Committee and the Preserve to Pam Henline who is putting together revised edition .

Cactus “Class”: John “Obie” Oberhausen has been scheduled for Late May or early June to present a class on cactus and cactus gardening. Final date to be established.

Other Classes: Mark asked whether there were other classes we could sponsor. A suggestion was made to do a class on herpetology as there were often questions about snakes. John Parker agreed to contact UNM zoology department to see if one could be arranged.

Next meeting: April 7, 2015 at 7:00 pm.

 

Conservation Committee Minutes— March 3, 2015

Attendees:  Jim Daniel,Michael O’Farrell, Mary Clark, Greg Colelo, Jerry Gulseth, Tom Bredenberg, Tom Brimacombe , Mark Young, John Cannella, John Parker

Guests:  Jan-Willem Jansen,

February minutes: reviewed and approved unanimously

Candidate Rob Egemeir:  Mark shared that the board has formally approved Mark Egemeir’s nomination to the Conservation Committee.

New Business: No new business brought before the committee.

Bluebird Houses: Mark has been in discussion with Jim Olsen regarding placement of the Bluebird Boxes he has made. The committee discussed pros and cons of various placement options.  No strong preferences were identified other than that they should be placed at the margin of forested areas allowing for open space which the birds need to forage. Placement in proximity to trees would help blend the houses into the landscape. Mr. Olsen is said to prefer placement in the greenbelts rather than the preserve. The committee was ok with that. Mark agreed to accompany Mr. Olsen in the field and place the bird houses accordingly.

Bird Talk: John Cannella reported that Roger Clark has agreed to give a talk on birds at the Railroad Room on Saturday April 11 from 9AM to 12 PM. John will get Mark information needed to submit an announcement in the April Vistas.

Jan-Willem Jansens Work Prioritization: JWJ said that he had contacted Diana Cummings of the Army Corps. Of Engineers about the report he had submitted on behalf of ECIA regarding the wetland. She committed to get back to him regarding the reports sufficiency,

The committee discussed with JWJ the prioritized list of the work that  Jim distributed a summary table of.  All agreed that the fourth item in the table, the Canoncito Wetland cleanup, should be the first project undertaken this spring. The project is slated for April 25th @ 8:30. It will be the committee’s Earth Day project.

The project to reroute/rehabilitate Trail 101, between 1E and 1F was tentatively scheduled for June 06th , with June 20th as a back-up.  JWJ suggested that the project could take three days if there were about 12 people working. John Parker mentioned that he had attended Jarrett Saums Eagle Scout ceremony. John met the new Troop Leader, Dennis Ritschel who said there were a number of young men in the troop who would be looking for a project to complete their Eagle Scout requirements this year. All agreed this would be an excellent Eagle Scout project. Rock for the project will be delivered by pickup instead of larger dump truck to avoid impacts to the preserve. Mark, Jim & JWJ will hike to site and flag locations for rock tob be stock-piled.

The wetland crossing below Trailhead 3 was discussed. This work requires a high level of expertise in repairing the rock cross-vane structure that was damaged by a major downpour and resulting flood last summer. Craig Sponholtz is the best resource for this work in our area. He has indicated his willingness to do this work.  It is estimated that he would charge between $3,500 & $5,000. This will be brought before the board for their consideration.

Mark will contact Offices of the SF Co. BCC regarding work on the bar ditch along CR 51 near Trail head 3.

 

Status of New Preserve Trailhead Signs:  Mark reported that he had received 4 of the five large trailhead maps and that staff had placed one of the signs at Trailhead 1 behind the gas station. It was noted that one of the signs delivered had large bubbles in the lamination. He said that he would talk to Lee about having them repaired or replaced. Plans are underway to emplace the small signs in the preserve.

Greenbelt Trail Work: Tom, Jim and Steve Griego have continued working on the project in February. Much work remains to be done. Due to the fact that the work is all by hand, progress is slow. The committee discussed options, reaching a consensus to only treat those areas of the trail in greatest need as opposed to the entire length. Jim will share the committee’s desire to adopt this new approach with Steve Griego.

COLTPAC:  John Parker reported that the COLTPAC is currently developing some outreach initiatives for the coming spring/summer season. One of the outreach efforts will involve a commemoration of the completion of the rail trail improvements extending to Avenida Vista Grande. Date of event is expected to be early-midsummer. Committee members were encouraged to attend. 

Update on Windmills and Dream:  Jim sent language concerning the Conservation Committee and the Preserve to Pam Henline who is putting together revised edition .

Cactus “Class”:  John “Obie” Oberhausen has been scheduled for ?????offered to present a class on cactus and cactus gardening.

 

Other Classes:  Mark asked whether there were other classes we could sponsor. A suggestion was made to do a class on herpetology as there were often questions about snakes. John Parker agreed to contact UNM zoology department to see if one could be arranged.

Next meeting:  April 7, 2015 at 7:00 pm.

 

Conservation Committee Minutes— February 3, 2015

Attendees: Jim Daniel, Michael O’Farrell, Mary Clark, Gershon Siegel (standing in for David Yard), Jerry Gulseth, Tom Bredenberg, Tom Brimacombe , Mark Young, John Cannella, John Parker

Guests: Rob Egemeier (membership pending board action), Jim Olsen

January minutes: reviewed and approved unanimously

New Business:.Jim Olsen asked the committee if there were any interest in placing Blue-bird nest boxes in the preserve? He explained that he had materials to make bird boxes and wanted to place them where wild birds could use them. He stated that he makes them in such a manner that they can be easily cleaned. Previous efforts were discussed as well as opposition from some residents. The committee unanimously decided that it would be ok as there were only 5 or 6 boxes to be made. Placement decisions, including possibly the greenbelt, will be made later.

Status of New Preserve Trailhead Signs: Mark stated that he had received the small directional signs and that ECIA staff had placed them at the desired locations in the Preserve. Five large signs are still not received, pending minor changes requested after reviewing latest draft.

Update on Goat Remediation Dispute: Committee was given an update regarding claim by Thorpe’s of unpaid work for ECIA. Dag Ryan will address any concerns or claims brought by the Thorpes. John Parker stated that it really wasn’t a Cons. Committee issue at this point so we shouldn’t keep it on the agenda. Mike O’Farrell agreed.

Jan-Willem Jansens Work Prioritization: Jim noted that we have insufficient budget for all the work listed in JWJ’s proposed workplan. Jim shared a prioritized list of the work for the committee to discuss. He lumped together all the Trail 101 and 105 projects as priority 1. Other work that received high priority status included the maintenance in the Canoncito Wetland and Trail work at Trail Head 3 & 4. Work on Trail 401 will be deferred to next year. Mark will invite JWJ to our next meeting to discuss and finalize plan.

A related discussion transpired regarding trail work in general, including Tom Brimacombe’s suggested new trail connecting 101 & 105. Jim stated that we needed to get out with Tom and evaluate the proposed new trail routing. Jim will follow-up with scheduling an outing.

Greenbelt Trail Work: Mark has sent letters to homeowners along the section of greenbelt trail between the railway and Vista Grande Public Library. None of the homeowners reported any opposition to the proposed trail work. Tom, Jim and Steve Griego began working on the project the last Wednesday of January. The work is all by hand, and thus is progressing slowly.

COLTPAC: John Parker reported that the COLTPAC was currently giving feedback to County on plans to upgrade their internet site. Maria Lohmann, SFC Open Space and Parks planner is studying Arc Info to halp facilitate the county’s inclusion of interactive maps on the webpage. John reported that the rail trail work was suspended for the winter in December of last year and will re-commence in the spring.

Update on Windmills and Dream: Jim sent out new language for us to review concerning the Conservation Committee and the Preserve. He requested feedback at our earliest convenience and in any case no later than the end-of-the-month.


Jared Saums Eagle Scout Ceremony: Committee members were all invited to Jared Saums ceremony to be held at 1:30 PM, Sunday, March 1st at the Fire Station. A number of members remarked that Jared had done a very good job on his trail project in the preserve.

Candidate Rob Egemeir: Mark shared that the board has yet to act on formally approving Mark Egemeir’s nomination to the Conservation Committee. Delay due to some technicality regarding the manner in which Rob’s property is owned. Vote is slated for February Board meeting.

Cactus “Class”: John “Obie” Oberhausen has offered to present a class on cactus and cactus gardening. Some discussion ensued regarding committee’s appreciation of Obie’s work as well as concerns about possible collection of cactus from the preserve. While this practice was approved in relation to cacti removed as part of trail construction, committee members expressed concern regarding collection of cactus from the preserve exclusive of specific circumstances where approval has been given. The committee agreed to sponsor the proposed class possibly in May. Mark will get back to Obie with go-ahead for class and collecting concerns.

Annual Report: Jim sent out a draft for members review and comment. Tom Brimacombe suggested a few revisions. Committee members expressed their agreement with the proposed changes. Jim will revise and re-distribute before finalization.

Other Business: Mark reported that he had met with Arnold Atkins to evaluate proposed erosion control measures and materials placement locations. Jim and John Parker were present at the meeting in the field. Materials will be delivered sometime later in the winter or spring.

Jim reminded us that work will be happening on the green-belt trail every Wednesday and all members are invited.

The meeting adjourned at 8:50, with all members unanimously voting to do so.

Next meeting: March 3, 2015 at 7:00 pm.

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Conservation Committee Minutes—Jan. 7, 2015 FINAL

Attendees: Jim Daniel,Mark Young, John Cannella, John Parker, Cherry Payne, Tom Bredenberg, Tom Brimacombe, Greg Coehlo (Board liaison)

Guests: Rob Egemeier (third meeting); Arnold Atkins

November minutes: reviewed, corrected and approved unanimously.

Status of New Preserve Trailhead Signs: Mark reported on the history of the project. Before the holidays proofs of the smaller signs and the large sign were received from the fabricator. The large sign was incomplete; the smaller signs looked okay. Mark has tried to contact the vendor several times with no success. If we do not finalize this soon, Mark suggests we move to another vendor. It was decided to give him until March 1 to produce the signs. It was suggested we research other vendors.

Status of Goat Remediation: The goats were not mobilized last year because of an issue with liability insurance from the vendor. In November, the vendor was contacted again. On January 7, an email was received from the vendor that states that ECIA was in arrears in payments. John discussed the burden of liability on small operations such as the goat mitigation operation, and suggested that ECIA decide if goats are a useful tool and try to work things out with the vendor. This issue was redirected via Mark Young to the Board to address. Looking through minutes, some details were provided to Greg to take to the Board.

2015 Budget: The committee received $7800 for 2015. This is great, but will not cover the costs of rebuilding some of the water calming structures in Galisteo Creek that were damaged in September in a big storm, because heavy equipment would be required. The work would probably require a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers; Jan-Willem Jansens of Ecotone may know of some grant monies that we could apply for.

Ecotone: we found ourselves without Jan-Willem’s prioritized list and decided to defer consideration of the Ecotone-proposed projects until February.

Tom Brimacombe offered the following:

Trail 301: there are some prolonged, steep grades (30-31%). It would be easy to reroute this to make it easier to climb.

Trail 401: again, there are some very steep grades that could be mitigated with re-routing the trail.

Trail 203 through the middle of the 200 loop is rutting badly. There is a beautiful rock formation that parallels it that we might be able to incorporate into a new trail alignment.

Trail 201, east side: the substrate is soft and it is getting rutted.

Trail 105: there is an unofficial connector that comes down from 101. There is a social trail there (“Doug’s Trail”). This has come up several times. It was suggested we prioritize this along with other projects.

John suggested we consider a master plan for the Trail 400 series, and noted that it could be connected to the 300 trails.

Materials will be sent to all committee members who are asked to be prepared to prioritize projects at next month’s meeting.

Trail 401 between the trailhead and 403: the trail is rutting more and more and is becoming more and more of a problem. The solution is to re-route the trail as a hiking trail. John noted that because PNM wants to maintain this as an easement, we should consult with them. This would be the kind of thing that the former GM would have done, but John noted that the committee could take this on.

Greenbelt work between Rail Trail and Vista Grande Public Library: the Board has approved work improving this section of trail. All work will be accomplished with a volunteer using hand tools. In November it was approved in concept by the committee and advanced to the Board; Jim Daniel will send an email to Dag to make sure that the Board has approved this project. Greg noted that the neighbors may need to be notified. Jim will follow up with Dag.

COLPAC (John Parker): John went with them to Petroglyph Hill (600 ac) to determine how to manage some newly acquired property on Thorton Ranch, a property of 2000 ac. There was a public meeting in November. Because of the sensitive archeology, John feels that a trail needs to be installed. There are several multi-year management and transportation plans in the works related to trails in the county.

The Rail Trail is moving along between Avenida Vista Grande and Rabbit Road and the Spur trail to the community college. John reports that they are closing in on completing the project.

Windmills and Dreams: Pam Henline sent the committee chairs an email about an effort to update Windmills and Dreams which is a history of the Eldorado area. There is a section on the Conservation Committee and she is requesting that we expand that from 1996-2014. It was suggested that we look at annual reports to see what committee highlights were for those years.

Review of 2014 CC Annual Report and 2015 Goals: Goals for 2014 were reviewed and edited for 2015, along with a draft committee report of accomplishments. Mark will see if Marilyn can find them back to 1996; John has materials back to about 2000. Greg stated that it is important that the corporate memory of the community remain intact, and noted that understanding controversial issues can be especially helpful. If committee members from the late 1990s are not local, we should be trying to track them down in other locales. It is very helpful to include “lessons learned.”

Other Business:

A). Greg Colello brought up the issue of access to the greenbelts, in that some of the trails are eroding and steep between the road and the main trails in the greenbelts. One thought is to review and prioritize work needed on access points to the greenbelts.

B). Steve Griego sent an email requesting a project in Gallena Park. John Parker moved we vote as to whether we consider a trail project in Gallena Park this year; it was seconded by Tom Bredenberg. The committee unanimously voted not to consider this project this year.

C). Arnold Atkins raised the issue of worsening erosion between the Rail Trail and Enebro Road. He discussed the Pilot Project and said he was initially a little skeptical of the project, but now believes it turned out well. However, since 1998, he has seen a dramatic change in the greenbelts, particularly with the drought. The trail ruts are deepening and are changing the watershed and the vegetation character. Mr. Atkins is involved with Trout Unlimited and has experience in trail work and other landscape restoration project. He has been doing some rock work to help manage water drainage in some of the trail/ruts. He is asking for some materials to continue to do some work, and wondering if he could volunteer to do work in the greenbelt. There is plenty of woody material to use. There is some rock staged at Gavilan Road.

John noted that there is concern about people who are not trained in trail maintenance working independently is worrisome. However, in cases like Mr. Atkin’s offer, we can get some good work accomplished.

The committee agreed to endorse Mr. Atkins to do the work. John suggested we let Carol and Steve know that the committee will order 3 yards of rock to be dropped at the bottom of Vista Grande Drive at a location in the Greenbelt: 1.5 yards at the bottom of Vista Grande and staff could move 1.5 yards to the north leg of the Pilot Project Trail just west of the greenbelt where other erosion mitigation needs to be done. Mark will order the rock, and John will help with the location of the staging.

D). As this was Rob’s third meeting. Cherry moved to nominate Rob to the Conservation Committee, seconded by Tom Bredenberg and John Parker and unanimously approved.

E). There was some discussion about the new management company. A contact is close to being signed with Homeco. The interim GM will start Feb. 1 and will be here until a permanent GM is hired. It is not anticipated that much will change in terms of operations. There will be some changes in financial management. The ECIA Board will be directing the company, and current ECIA staff will be working for the Board, at least initially. Eldorado will be their largest client in New Mexico, though Greg noted that there are some larger homeowner associations in the works in New Mexico.

Next meeting: Feb. 3 at 7:00 p.m.

There was no December 2014 Meeting of the Conservation Committee

______________________________________________________________________________

Conservation Committee Minutes—Nov 4, 2014 FINAL

Attendees: Jim Daniel,Michael O’Farrell, Mary Clark, Cherry Payne, Pam Henline (standing in for David Yard), Jerry Gulseth, Tom Bredenberg, Tom Brimacombe

 

Guests: Rob Egemeier (2nd meeting), Steve Griego, Jan-Willem Jansens

 

October minutes: reviewed, corrected and approved unanimously.

 

Recap of Greenbelt Pilot Project: Tom Brimacombe gave a report on the trail noting that we are about 95% complete; there are a few minor drainage issues, but the trail is open and useable. He suggests we monitor over the next few months and wait until next spring to consider other projects. John discussed work needed to address some of the potential erosion issues in the area. Maintenance will be needed as we move through the year with (hopefully) precipitation. John is happy about how well the trail is holding up and does not see any urgent issues at this point. Jim brought up the head cut that desperately needs attention and it has been brought to the attention of the county trails head Carol Branch. John said that the Roads Committee should be made aware of the head cut and might be tasked with approaching the county about it. Jim will contact the Roads Committee and let them know of the problem. Pam asked that the email be cc’d to Dag Ryen and David Yard.

 

Steve reported that the trail has compacted nicely and that the drainage nicks are filling up and sustaining new vegetation beautifully. The whole trail is blending into the terrain as anticipated. There are a couple of old trail sections of 2-3 meters that need to be scarified and rehabilitated to make them less obvious. Steve rode it at dawn and said it is one of the best trails he’s worked on. He has a friend who will film the trail for the committee to use. If we have any grass, this might be a good time to sow. Tom Brimacombe has some wildflower seeds that he has collected this summer that he will sow to see what might happen.

 

Some of the dead wood that was used to help define the trail can be removed and dispersed.

 

Status of New Preserve Trailhead Signs: Cherry presented draft signs that have been put together. John is suggesting that a connector be built between 105-101. The issue is that to add more trails will immediately make all of our brochures and maps inaccurate. John noted that the downside is that bisecting too many trails limits opportunities for wildlife. He withdrew the suggestion.

 

Steve Griego observed that the trails are not rated. He offered to send the IMBA rating system to the committee. John said that most of the Preserve trails are probably black diamond rated. We will add a bullet under the Safety column that trails are recommended for advanced riders only.

 

Ecotone: Jan-Willem put together the annual report for the US Army Corps of Engineers that was very well done. The wetland saw a huge storm Sept. 23. Over the last few years there has been significant aggradation. The structures in the river have held up and worked as planned. Jan Willem has asked the US Army Corps of Engineers to relieve us of next year’s reporting requirement as we have reported for 3 years. We should know by next summer.

 

The area of the junction of 101 and 105 needs a lot of work. The area was probably originally a jeep trail that got too deep, so users have moved to the side, creating a series of parallel trails. This might be a big job. The area gets a lot of equestrian use and John suggests we engage that community to plan and help with the work. This could be an Eagle Scout project. Mary asked about using manure to help promote growth. Jan Willem discussed some of the pros and cons of that, and John mentioned the issue of noxious weeds that manure can introduce.

 

Trail 101 between 1E and 1F is a high priority project that will take about 1/2 day of work.

 

There are some sections of trail 101 that are very cupped and that need maintenance. There is also a section that needs to be rerouted.

 

Jan Willem then went into a discussion of the wetland and talked about how effective the work there has been. The area is holding water. There is a water mark that is 2 feet high, giving an estimated amount of 150-200 cfs during the Sept. 23rd storm. The heavy rains took care of much of the needed work that remained by filling in the area with sediment and dispersing moisture. A side arroyo was very rutted. A storage tank by I-25, not on ECIA property, was full and apparently overtopped during the storm.

 

The 105 trail has a large head cut. Last year Jan Willem installed some flagging that is now gone. The head cut may have advanced 1-2 feet. There is a 10 year window before this becomes a major issue. A one day project building one-rock dams, a luna, some branches and 3 yards of rock could stabalize the advancement. To address the head cut would require design and planning. A series of rock bowls and run downs could address the head cut.

 

At trail head 3 there is a problem adjacent to the county road where there is a drop of 15’with a lot of sheet flow off the road. There are some berm structures that hold water back and dump it onto the trail (201). Jim noted that the county may need to be involved as there is an area where the road could be undermined. Jan Willem suggested getting Adam Levant and other county officials there to look at the problems.

 

In the Canoncito arroyo the storm made some major changes. A lot of debris was put down. There was major disturbance by sediment—perhaps 2 feet of sediment and cobbles deposited. There was not major erosion within the stream bed itself. In one or two years there should be much beautiful vegetation. The rock can be collected to be used for erosion control structures.

 

All the structures held and worked as intended.

 

There is a section of trail 201 at the 202 junction that needs trail world due to rutting and erosion.

 

The structures that were built in September on Trail 201 held beautifully. There is some needed trail maintenance on Trail 202.

 

On Trail 302 there is a “meadow”that has a head cut that is eroding and being lost. Jan Willem suggests we stabilize the head cut to improve habitat. There is also a dense dead wood area that needs to be cleaned up. This project would require rock to be brought in. The project needs 6-7 yards of rock. There is some rock nearby that could be gathered, but it would increase labor significantly. This is a project that could be done in 2017 or later.

 

Trail 401 has an old dam that has created a major rut in the trail. The spillway has totally blown out. There is a deep arroyo that has formed on the trail; people walk parallel to it and now another arroyo is forming. In a matter of 1-2 years this will be pretty much inaccessible. Jan Willem suggests rerouting the trail through the piñon juniper. The old road may be historic and we might need to consult with the State Historic Preservation Officer to address the issue. This is a major project that will require design and significant work. PNM has a right of way on the old road.

 

The parking lot is also getting a lot of water runoff from the trail area. By scarifying and rerouting the trail this issue could be addressed. It, too, is a project that requires design work.

 

 

Budget Status, 2014: We estimate that we have about $7000 of $8000 committed. Tom has suggested we get more McClouds (4) which would be about $300. Better shovels are needed as the ones that ECIA has are not in good shape. Another foldable tree saw would be handy as well as an adze (full sized). The ECIA staff has the means to maintain tools; we could talk with the new management when they come on board. Steve has volunteered to do sharpening on a regular basis. John, Cherry and Jim will meet with Mark to finalize the 2014 budget.

 

Budget and Project Needs, 2015: Cherry, Jim and Mark will meet to put a budget together ASAP. Pam indicated that the budget is due very soon. Jim suggests we look into wildlife monitoring using remote cameras in the wetlands. (If there is enough money this year, we can purchase it with 2014 monies). Photos would be good to post on the web site so that residents can see what wildlife is traveling through the area.

 

Goat Remediation: Pam suggested that we use some good reasoning on where the goats will work. The committee is not prepared tonight to give priorities at this time. Two residents have asked for goats to graze in the greenbelt in the area of their properties (Pueblo Canyon south of Balsa Rd and the two sides of the greenbelt around Jornada Loop). We only have $500 to contribute. Pam noted that there is a board workshop this week and suggests that it be discussed there. John Parker moved we defer to next year, seconded by Michael, unanimously passed.

 

Other business: Steve Griego brought some suggestions for new trail projects. He suggests a new Gallina Park trail between the rail trail and the Clubhouse. There are no nearby houses. The work would require realignment of the existing trail and Kubota work. The rail trail will be completed all the way through Eldorado this winter. John suggests that if we do another project like the Pilot Project trail we get some funding.

 

Starting immediately, Steve Griego is offering to fix the little trail from the library to the rail trail. Steve would not need help and is willing to do this by himself. It would be all hand work. It would be between 18-24”wide and the existing trail alignment would remain. Steve would bring it to a class 3 standard. The total length is about 1/2 mile. This is the trail that we allowed to be mowed for the school race; to our knowledge there were no complaints but Pam will follow up on that. Pam suggested that we don’t do anything until the board considers it. John moved that the committee vote on Steve’s proposal and to pass the project’s consideration on to the board for their approval. Mike seconded. The proposal passed unanimously. If the board approves it, Steve would start immediately.

 

John Parker is attending the COLPAC meeting tomorrow night. They are looking for contacts so that they can do outreach and planning throughout the county. They will be reaching out to Mark to participate. He also suggests that the co-chair’s names be passed on as well to participate in their efforts.

 

Pam reported that a management company is being considered for the manager’s job (Homeco). They have lots of expertise with web sites and can revamp the ECIA web site. There was a question about the earlier information that there were some finalists that the board hoped to hire. Pam explained that the management company brings a full suite of expertise that most candidates did not have. Nothing is set in concrete at this point. There was a general discussion about the inadequacies of the web site.

 

Tom Brimacombe brought up the idea of a small badge to wear when working on the trails so that residents will know who we are. Steve suggested a vest. John suggested we look into possibilities to develop a more refined suggestion.

 

There will be no meeting in December.

 

The meeting adjourned at 9:15, with all members unanimously voting to do so.

 

Next meeting: January 6, 2015 at 7:00 pm.

 

The meeting adjourned at 9:15, with all members unanimously voting to do so.

 

Next meeting: January 6, 2015 at 7:00 pm.

______________________________________________________________________


Conservation Committee Minutes—October 7, 2014 FINAL

 

Attendees: Jim Daniel,Tom Bredenberg, Michael O’Farrell, Mary Clark, Cherry Payne, John Parker, Mark Young, Tom Brimacombe, David Yard.

 

September minutes: reviewed, corrected and approved unanimously.

 

Pilot Project: Mark Young caught everyone up on this project’s current status; two weeks ago the final section of trail was put in with the Kubota, and last week more hand work was done. We will finalize the hand work tomorrow. Steve Griego has raised some questions about trailhead signage, but at this point, the committee does not plan to install any. During the cutting in of the last section of the trail, committee members were greeted by two community members who were unhappy to see the work being completed. One of them sent an email to a county commissioner, but that commissioner does not represent Eldorado. John Parker suggested that we send an email to Liz Stephanics in case something comes up at a County Commission meeting. Mark will follow up with Ms. Stepanic’s assistant. The mileage marker posts are installed and more readable than they were initially. Mark will email the Fire Department to ask for the final inspection.

 

There was a discussion about the tentatively scheduled trail tour on Oct. 11. It has not been publicized in the Vistas, so we will not offer it. David suggested that the fact that the trail is open can be put on the web site now, and suggests a guided hike next year sometime. Tom Brimacombe suggests that we put something into next month’s Vistas to let people know that the trail is complete. The committee agreed to these decisions unanimously.

 

Status of New Preserve Trailhead Signs: the new trailhead signs are still in the works with the sign maker. The larger map has lost resolution and is pixelated. There was some technical discussion about the source documents that may have caused the problems. Mark will ask Lee for the CD of the original files that were given to him. Cherry knows someone who can do this kind of work and will get an estimate from her as to how much it will cost to create a production-ready version.

 

Ecotone: The committee needs to complete the annual report to the US Army Corps of Engineers, a requirement that came with the wetlands restoration work that was completed on Galisteo Creek a few years ago. Jan-Willem Jansens, the project’s leader, can complete it for $400; if it is accepted by the Corps of Engineers, we will have no more requirements to do reports in future years. While we did not include a line-item for this report in the 2014 budget, we have funds available from other projects. It was unanimously agreed that we will ask Jan-Willem to complete the report.

 

Trail 201 Workday, September 20: we used up all the rock (8-10 tons) and almost completed all of structures that we needed to build before we ran out of rock. There was a HUGE storm two days after the work was done, but the hillside held up. There is some work on the trail that crosses the arroyo that needs to be redone because of the amount of sheet flow that came off the road and down the trail. John noted that there is a large pile of dirt that we could use to create a dam to redirect the water into the arroyo in the future. It was estimated that there was 3-4 feet of water in the arroyo during and immediately after the storm. It was suggested that we consult with Jan-Willem about the approach to take to ensure that there is no further degradation.

 

Jim noted that the upstream wetland held together and functioned as it should in the storm.

 

Mark will contact Jan-Willem; we can consider doing this work this year if there is money, or we can defray the work to next year and next year’s budget. Mark and John will take the lead on this.

 

Budget Status, 2014: We have spent $4810 year to date of our $8000 budget. Another $1300 has been committed. We will purchase and install Horse/Trail etiquette and safety signs using the yellow triangle that we have adopted on our printed materials. Mark will research the web to see if they are available ready-made.

 

Budget and Project Needs, 2015: We need to begin planning our budget for next year. Ideas included:

-a recorded nature hike that we post on the web or Youtube

-game trail cameras, especially in the wetlands.

-Trail 301

-mitigate the large erosional ditch on the old road along Trail 401.

-marsh work on Trail 101 needs to be completed. There is a lot of overburden that requires a plan and safety considerations before work continues here. There are some big rock structures -Galisteo Creek needs the repair of some rock structures and requires a tractor and operator

-Meadow restoration near Trail 302

 

Tom Brimacombe suggests that next year we have a few small workdays on the existing trails; John suggested we might offer monthly trail workdays. If we develop a list of projects and appoint a work leader, it could work. Having a standing work day might be effective. It is also good to have some “hip pocket” Scout projects on hand. Tom will develop a list of places he has seen that need work.

 

John Parker suggested that we make sure that we send thank yous to volunteers who turn out to help us work. Also, when we complete the pilot project, we should send a thank you to Steve Griego to acknowledge his good efforts. Mark has been sending emails, but John says that letters probably will mean more to people. John will send his existing letters to Jim Daniel, who will finalize the letters and send to Mark for signature.

 

New CPEC Committee and role relative to the Conservation Committee: the Sustainable Planning and Education Committee (SPEC) was disbanded by the Board. There is now a group that wants to reactivate some of the SPEC committee functions. Their draft charter says that they are going to do education, information services, etc. However, the charter seems to be very obtuse and there is a lot of confusion as to what they would do. David Yard noted that other committees have said that there is a lot of overlap with them; others felt the committee vision might be over-ambitious. However, whether or not this committee will fly is unsure.

John Parker offered that in the past the Conservation Committee offered educational programs about solar, water harvesting, xeriscaping, and similar topics.

 

Cherry suggested that until the mission of this committee is clarified, the Conservation Committee cannot respond adequately to the proposal. The other committee members agreed—unanimously.

 

Other business: Steve Griego is suggesting that we implement a mountain bike patrol, which is a group of people with first aid training who assist trail users. The committee unanimously agreed not to implement this.

 

Steve has also suggested that we appoint a trail steward who would work with a written maintenance and inspection plan. The committee will appreciate regular reports from Steve, if he wishes to be a steward, but we do not want a written maintenance plan. Mark noted that we do need to attend to problems in a timely manner if they arise.

 

There was a discussion about asking residents to report problems with their greenbelts to the Board. However, there was fear that it might overwhelm the committee’s ability to respond. Tom Bredenberg suggests that if we decide to do more greenbelt work, we reach out to the community before commencing any projects.

 

David Yard also expressed concerns about burdening the Conservation Committee with greenbelt maintenance. John Parker noted that the greenbelts are under the committee’s charter. Mike O’Farrell suggested we offer some guidance to residents who may wish to take on greenbelt work on their own. The committee agreed to wait through next year before considering or moving on to new projects.

 

David Yard and Dag Ryen feel pretty strongly that there are some trails in the greenbelt that need to be attended to. The board can make a motion and there will be more neighborhood involvement in these efforts. There is one area where some one-rock dams need to be installed, but they are on private land. Jim will send GPS coordinates of problem areas to David.

 

New General Manager: the process is continuing. David noted that it is worth taking the time to find the right person for the community.

 

Rail Trail Closure: John Parker, who is a member of the County Open Lands, Trails, and Parks Advisory Committee (COLPAC), said that the Rail Trail is closed from the Spur trail to Avenida Vista Grande until May. Pieces of trails can be ridden on the west side of the tracks, but it would take a lot of effort to do so.

 

Mark noted that we received a public notice from the county about a public meeting concerning a utility building to be erected on a property that is adjacent to the Preserve.

 

The meeting adjourned at 8:45, with all members unanimously voting to do so.

 

Next meeting: November 4, 7:00 pm.

 

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Conservation Committee Minutes

September 2, 2014 FINAL

Attendees: Tom Bredenberg, Tom Brimacombe, Mary Clark, Cherry Payne, John Cannella, Jerry Gulseth, John Parker, Mark Young

Guests: Paul Drumright, Mike Schneider (Eldorado PTA), Rob Egemeier

August minutes were reviewed, corrected and approved.

Guests:

a) Eldorado Fun Run: Mike Schneider, representing the Eldorado PTA, requested the first 1/4 mile greenbelt trail segment that will be used for the Fun Run (Sept. 27) be mowed, as weeds and vegetation are growing so tall that the trail is almost obliterated. ECIA will do the mowing. The day of the race, the trail will be marked so that runners know the route to follow, but these will be removed after the race. John Cannella moved to allow this, seconded by Tom Brimacombe; it passed unanimously.

b) Paul Drumright attended the meeting to find out more about the Pilot project and to express his great displeasure that the project was done in the wrong place—it should have been built in HIS greenbelt. He used to hike the greenbelt trails all the time, but stopped due to leash law changes; he notes that the trails have deteriorated and enjoyed walking the Pilot trail. He is concerned about the lack of pedestrian access, especially in conjunction with road improvements. He is a member of the Roads Committee and would like to see more collaboration between that committee and the Conservation Committee. John Parker noted that the Facilities and Grounds committee should join into that collaboration, as they oversee the bike paths. John is a member of the COLPAC (County Open Lands, Trails, and Parks Advisory Committee). Tom Bredenberg noted that the county’s involvement has complicated issues.

Pilot Project:

a) Mark presented a trail marker prototype, which is a latilla cut with an angled top and a number painted on it. The ECIA staff experimented with different marking methods (burning in the number) which turned out to be time consuming and not very visible. It was agreed that the numbers would be painted with a darker (i.e., black) paint, and then the tops would be sealed. There was a discussion as to how to install the posts to make them more tamper-resistant.

b) Public notification and involvement: notifications were sent several weeks ago to all homeowners whose homes are on the section of the greenbelt where the trail was or is being built.

c) Fall tours of the project: Steve offered to conduct tours but no one showed up. On Oct. 11, the committee will again offer a tour of the new trail and would like for the Board to be there. It would be good for the Board to see the trail and/or for the committee to get their okay before we continue with grading the last section. It was also decided to postpone any Kubota work until after the community forum.

d) The county permit was approved on Sept. 2 and will be picked up on the 3rd.

e) Work days are continuing on Wednesdays, generally meeting at 8:45 am at the Vista Grande parking area.

Status of New Greenbelt Trail Map: The draft is complete and an estimate has been received ($962.32 + $84.12 tax). Mark will contact the printer to give them the go-ahead. A notification about the availability of the maps will be put onto the web site as well as a PDF of the brochure.

The Town Hall Open Forum will be held on Sept. 8: there was a discussion as to whether or not the committee needs to make a statement there. If so, Cherry will do it.

Trail 201 Workday: it is scheduled for Sept. 20. The rock has been delivered and staged. Jan-Willem Jansens will lead the work day. Mark will solicit more volunteers from the community.

Trespass issue: some Preserve users have been trespassing onto private land to access the Preserve rather than using established trailheads. At an earlier meeting, it was decided that ECIA should advise that landowner to post their land; we never heard back from them. A notice will be put onto the ECIA website advising residents that accessing the Preserve through this person’s property constitutes trespass. Dag is the lead on this.

Other business: On Sat, Sept. 13 there will be International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) Land Manager training at the Ski Basin; Tom Brimacombe is signed up to participate.

On Sept. 27 in Galisteo Basin there will be a work day to build a new trail on the west side of the Basin. Those interested in helping should meet at the Cottonwood Trailhead (the southern-most one).

John Parker will be attending the COLPAC meeting tomorrow night.

There was a discussion of the Rail Trail from Rabbit Road to the Spur Trail. Every twenty feet there is a ditch across the trail about 10”deep. The base course and pea gravel that have been applied to the trail makes it not conducive to mountain biking.

Mark brought up the issue of a hike/bike trail along Azul Road.

The meeting adjourned at 8:30.

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Conservation Committee Minutes

August 6, 2013

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Mark Young

Attendees: Cherry Payne, Mark Young (acting chair), Bob Sweeney, John Cannella, Jerry Gulseth, Mary Clark, Jim Daniel

Guests: Jan-Willem Jansens (Ecotone)

Minutes from July were reviewed and approved.

Wetlands Work Day: a work day was held on July 12 with much accomplished. Jan Willem returned to finish up some of the work that we did not complete. Water calming structures were enlarged on a curve and all the tamarask we could find was removed. Other locations were also identified that need work. Trail 201 along the lower trail crossing is “unraveling.” Jan-Willem did some flagging to identify locations of the most urgently needed work. One section of the trail tread is in very poor repair due to concentration of water funneling into one point and causing erosion. Within one to two years the trail will be completely undermined. Jan-Willem suggests we construct a series of rock structures—it would be a multi-day project with a lot of rock. Because of the scope of the project, he suggests it be done in stages (50-60% of the needed work in phase one) and then we reassess in a year or so. He recommends water bars, zuni dams, etc. Jan-Willem also recommends a relocation of the trail in one spot. The project would need an estimated $1000 in rock (17 yards). There is also a need for labor only to address some rills with extant rock available. This work is scheduled for August 16; meet at 8:30 at ECIA. We will do a site visit on Monday, August 19 at 8:30, meet at ECIA.

Trailmap Printing: Mark received bids from Allegra. We can print 2000 for $808, 3000 for $912, 4000 for $1072 in 100-weight paper with matte finish. It was decided to print 4000 matte finish 100-weight maps.

New Trail Signage: Mark received quotes for new trailhead signs. The signs will be 42” x 26.5” printed on Summa Thermal Transfer Print with Scratch Guard, except for the sign at Trailhead #2 with the multiple panels which is 35” x 23”. Each panel is roughly $250 each. We need 4 of the larger signs and one of the smaller ones. They should fit into existing frames. Because of budget constraints, it was suggested we approach the Board to see if this project could fall under Capital Improvements and therefore not fall within the committee’s budget. Otherwise, this project may be delayed until 2014.

Eldorado School Collaboration: no update

Bat Event, Aug. 16: this will be held at the ECIA at 7:00 p.m. It was announced in the Vistas, and Mark will get it on the marquees. He will also check to see if it is on the web site.

1998 Plant Survey: Over 200 species were identified inthe Preserve during this study It was suggested that the study narrative and plant list be scanned and converted to PDF (Jim will do this) and posted on the web as well as publicized in Vistas. There is also a plant collection from the same effort.

ECIA Manager’s Report: Leroy and Nick (ECIA) helped us with rock on the last work day, July 12.. Once the pool closes, they will have more time. With the rain, they are busy mowing.

Goats: arrived Aug. 5 and are working near Monte Alto Place in Pueblo Canyon Park. Because of the heavy rain on July 12 and subsequent flooding, it is hard to assess Gallena Park, which was grazed last year.

Flooding in Greenbelts: Mark has received calls that there is trash and inorganic debris in the greenbelts due to flooding, with requests for ECIA to clean it up. It really is outside the purview of the committee. Homeowners are encouraged to clean up areas as they can.

John noted that there is some large trash dumped into an arroyo off the 101 trail between 1C and 1D that has a lawnmower and tires. This might be a cleanup project for the future. However, we need to determine if the debris is on the private property of one of the adjacent homes or in the Preserve.

Committee Chair: John Parker is stepping down as chair, but will remain on the committee. Jim Daniel and Cherry Payne will serve as Co-C hairs. Cherry will also take minutes each month. Mark will continue to put together the agenda.

New Business: Obie Oberhauser spent $750 to purchase fill for the median near the traffic light at Ave. Vista Grande and US 285. Is there some way to reimburse him? Mark will check with Dag.

Mary met with the county on Hwy 51 at the trail 301 crossing re. traffic speeds. The county is agreeable to putting up equestrian crossing signs.

She also met with a landowner in the Ridges who is amenable to equestrians to crossing his property to the Big Valley.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:50.

Next meeting: Tues., Sept. 3 at 7:00 p.m. at the ECIA Foyer.

 

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Conservation Committee Minutes, July 1, 2014 Final

Attendees: Jim Daniel, Cherry Payne, John Parker, Mike O’Farrell, Mary Clark, Tom Brimacombe, John Cannella, Dag Ryen (for board liaison David Yard), and toward the end, David Yard.

Guests: Charles Smith, Joyce Hamner, Stuart Castle

June minutes were reviewed and approved. Motion made to accept and seconded, all voted aye.

Charles Smith noted minutes posted on the web are incorrect as the ones on the web are from May. The confusion and issue of a one-month lag time was explained. Mr. Smith also had questions about the agenda. In general, there seem to be some delays related to the web. Mr. Smith asked about the status of the pilot trail project. He disagrees that work should be done in the greenbelts and noted that the trails are random and not built. He maintains that when AMREP developed Eldorado, the greenbelts were to carry water. Therefore, he does not feel that work should be done in the greenbelts; he stated that there are ample bike trails and also the rail trail for community members to use. He said the term “pilot project” implies that more will be built, which he disagrees with. He also noted that due to the proximity to the rail trail, the new trail will invite non-Eldorado residents to enter the greenbelt, which is private property. He reiterated that the greenbelt should be off-limits to any kind of development be it by hand tools or machines. He says that because the involved area has been disrupted and when it rains, the trail area will turn into big eroded areas. He protests any further action there, pilot or not.

Mr. Stuart Castle brought up two issues: the current legal status of the preserve in terms of easements, liability or development beyond current levels. Do trails need to be posted in order to avoid incursions from adjacent property owners or liability if someone is injured, and has the committee had a legal review of the question? John noted that over a period of several years, if people use an area without enforcement, they may acquire legal access.

His other point was that if there was ever an opportunity to acquire more land in the preserve, and if that acquisition involved a special assessment of Eldorado residents, he would happily participate. Tom noted that the preserve is a conservation easement and as such, it is protected. If ECIA tried to develop it, it could be repossessed by the county.

Joyce Hamner stated she agrees with most of what Charles said. There are several miles of developed bike trails and sidewalks and she wonders why people insist on developing the rustic greenbelt. She also pointed out that by taking over those trails and opening them up, ECIA may be opening itself up to liability exposure. She asked about the meeting with the county.

Dag advised her that the ECIA did receive a stop work with mechanized equipment from the county, but that they have no problem with hand work; in order to resume the use of the Kubota, the ECIA would need to obtain a maintenance permit which has a 2-year life.

Joyce stated that the so-called “improvement” of the trail is not; the trails were meant to be what they are. She wondered why some people who spoke at the last Board meeting in favor of the new trail and who don’t live adjacent to the new work would walk over to the pilot project trail when they have plenty of trails adjacent to their own homes.

Joyce also raised the issue of the time lag between meetings and when minutes are posted. She also noted that work in the preserve does not raise questions because those trails are not adjacent to people’s homes.

Charles again raised the issue of communication lags and said it is a systemic problem and not just the Conservation Committee.

The three guests then departed.

Greenbelt Map: Tom has been working on a new preserve map and submitted a draft which was discussed. There was discussion about multi-modal users and who yields to whom. Regarding the bike trails along roads, the county wants them to be called multi-use trails. John Cannella suggested we use the county language regarding yielding hierarchies. Additional photos are needed and it was suggested that Jack Arnold might have some. Jim Daniel will contact him. John C. suggested we consider a contest to get content. The consensus was that we are out of time because we are out of maps and ECIA has to make photocopies when people ask for maps.

New Trail Junction Map in Preserve: we need to add a new map at the 1G intersection that shows Trail 105. Also, Jim noted that we need to install a map at 3F trail junction to give people information on which way to go. John C observed that we need to show the end of the Lamy overlook trail so people won’t keep going down into the drainage and cross the railroad tracks. Dag suggested it say “Lamy Overlook.”

Trail Workdays: there is an area on Trail 401 that needs chainsaw work to remove dead debris. It was suggested we wait until it is less hot and less dry. It was estimated it would take 2 hours plus 30 minutes travel time each way. A workday was tentatively scheduled for July 25 or 26 depending on schedules.

We need to decide when we will finish the Trail 201 rock work. We tentatively scheduled Sept 13 or 20; Cherry will follow up with Jan-Willem and then let Dag know the agreed-upon date. [Note: Sept. 20 was the date selected.]

Pilot Trail Project: Cherry gave an overview of the county’s June 6th stop work order precluding the use of mechanized equipment order until the ECIA gets a two-year maintenance permit and meets the requirements of the fire marshal. Members of the Conservation Committee and the ECIA Board met with the county land manager and the code enforcement manager on June 17, and the Fire Marshall on June 18. The latter requires markers at 1/10 mile intervals so that emergency responders will know where to respond to. Cherry introduced a draft planning document that was put together after these meetings. John then gave his rationale for entering into a formalized planning process. By developing conceptual alternatives, we might get an idea of what people would like for their community. There was concern that by entering into a planning process, it would slow the project down; however, the committee does want to continue doing handwork to mitigate raw edges of the new trail, insert water management structures, and to seed native grasses along the edges, with the goal of developing a finished trail tread of 48”. Regardless of next steps, the committee does agree that the hand work needs to continue. Dag suggested that once a segment is completely finished (graded, seeded, etc.) the committee host a community walk on that section with a description of what the trail will be. At the conclusion, comment forms can be handed out to get input from community members at-large. Dag requested a copy of the document which gives background and options for him to use to brief the board.

Education Day: Dr. Mike O’Farrell will give a Bat Talk on July 31 at the Railroad Room from 7-9 pm. Jim brought up last fall’s educational day with the Eldorado School; generally, the committee consensus is that was not a very successful effort. However, the committee would like to have a program for community members. William Newurth has been contacted, but we have not heard back from him. An alternative would be a walk led by Jan-Willem and Mike O’Farrell when the asters are in bloom.

Board Liaison’s Report: ECIA has advertised for a general manager with applications accepted until July 23. There are 9 applicants so far, several of whom from out of state. It is hoped that 20 applications will be received. There is a review committee of 6 community members who will review and rank applicants, and then collectively select the top candidates.

The only other major project coming up is the reconstruction of the playground at Compadres Park that will start next month. The equipment will be delivered next week, wood chips are staged, but the contractor cannot start until Aug. 1

Other Business: David Yard has received some latillas that might be used for trail markers along the pilot project trail. They are weathered cedar, 6-7 years old, and would fit into the landscape well. If they were stolen or vandalized, they would be easy to replace. It would be nicer than using Carsonite. The price is right, David has a saw and can cut a supply of them. Numbers would need to be carved with a Dremel router.. Twenty three posts would be needed. David also noted that there are other old materials that will be disposed from the old playground that could be repurposed if we decided we needed exclusionary structures at the access points. However, Dag said that the contractor is getting the equipment as a part of his contract. Perhaps where the route joins the rail trail, we might think about some sort of exclusionary structure.

John Parker observed that he is getting chewed on by mosquitoes when he works outside. He guesses it is from ignored rain barrels where the screening has deteriorated. This might be a good item to note in the Vistas or Neighborhood Watch. Dag said if we have an article by next Friday it can go into the August Vistas. He asked John to put together some ideas on summer insects.

David Yard talked about the gentleman who talked about coyotes at the last Board of Directors meeting and the concerns about their domestication and habituation to humans. He wonders if there should be an assessment of local coyote populations, densities and behaviors. No decision was made on the question.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:40 pm.

The next committee meeting will be: August 5, 7:00 pm

Conservation Committee Minutes, June 3, 2014 FINAL

Attendees: Jim Daniel, Cherry Payne, Mark Young, Mary Clark, John Parker, Mike O’Farrell, Jerry Gulseth, Tom Bredenberg, Tom Brimacombe, David Yard (Board liaison), Dag Ryen (Board president and former liaison).

Guests: Steve Griego, John Segell, Kerri Segell, Carol Hawkins, David Johnson, Dick Huelster, Lyn deMartin, Joyce Hamner

May minutes were reviewed and approved.

Update on pilot project: Seven residents attended to discuss this work. John and Kerri Segell expressed their dismay about the greenbelt project directly adjacent to their lot. They feel like there was no discussion with them, but noted they received something on a Tuesday only to have the work commence the next day. Kerri noted that the path is much wider than 48”. She expressed concern that the work was to accommodate one bicyclist. David measured the path and showed photos indicating that in places, the path is 5-7’.

Tom Brimacombe noted that the trail is a work in progress and that the work is being conducted by the committee members. Tom said that what people are seeing now is the preliminary work and it is not haphazard. There will be trail-edge mitigation. In order to grade and fill gullies, fill dirt has to be brought in. The next phase will be hand grooming, some of which has been done on the north side of the arroyo. Tom indicated that the final area will most likely be about 3’ wide, and that by the end of the monsoon season, the trail edges will be softened.

John Parker recapped the background that led the committee to initiate the pilot project. He also emphasized that it is a pilot project and that he also lives in the impacted area. He has observed that the existing trails are in poor shape.

Jim noted that the committee plans to do reseeding along the edges as well.

Carol Hawkins expressed her concerns. Did the committee do an EA or EIS? The wind will blow away any seed. Last year, Boy Scouts delivered a mound of rock that still sits there, so she is concerned about follow up. She said that some paths were created by her and neighbors to avoid mountain bikers. She asked if the committee would have done this in the Preserve? She feels the committee is trying to make the new trails look like those in the Galisteo Preserve. She asserts that there currently is little conflict and the paths do not need to be as wide as they are. She also asked why there was no advance notification.

David Johnson stated he often walks the greenbelt toward the rail trail. It is his opinion that, except in a few places, the trail is in reasonable shape, and suggests the committee only perform moderate maintenance. Again, he expressed his dismay about the scraped width, and that over 1 acre is impacted. He also expressed concerns about invasive plants taking root along the trail edges before the native seeds that will be sown can begin to germinate. He noted that there are lots of hike-bike trails in the community, and that there are areas with no hike bike trails (Azul) that might be considered for work. He urged that the pilot project be terminated and that spot maintenance take place.

Lyn deMartin stated that everyone is accommodated except those who want smaller trails. She wants to know where the permission and funding came from and why residents were not asked about the project? The cactus people should have been on site to rescue disturbed cactus. She expressed disappointment in the lack of communication and consultation.

Joyce Hamner attended last month and came back again, and stated she is appalled and shocked. She is especially concerned that there was little to no advance notice. She called the committee arrogant, and added that many folks are unhappy. Joyce noted that it is lovely to have little paths in the greenbelts.

Mark gave a recap of notification efforts. An article was placed on the web site and has been there since before the project started. As a result of last month’s concerns, notices were placed in the trail work area and letters were delivered to the neighbors who live adjacent to the work area.

Dag concurred that we lacked in effective communications. There was an article in Vistas, but there is a 6 week lead time for that publication, so it is difficult to convey up-to-the-minute information.

Dag noted the paths along the roads are in the county right-of-way and they build and maintain them. They will not put a path.

 

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Conservation Committee Minutes, June 3, 2014-

Attendees: Jim Daniel, Cherry Payne, Mark Young, Mary Clark, John Parker, Mike O’Farrell, Jerry Gulseth, Tom Bredenberg, Tom Brimacombe, David Yard (Board liaison), Dag Ryen (Board president and former liaison).

Guests: Steve Griego, John Segell, Kerri Segell, Carol Hawkins, David Johnson, Dick Huelster, Lyn deMartin, Joyce Hamner

May minutes were reviewed and approved.

Update on pilot project: Seven residents attended to discuss this work. John and Kerri Segell expressed their dismay about the greenbelt project directly adjacent to their lot. They feel like there was no discussion with them, but noted they received something on a Tuesday only to have the work commence the next day. Kerri noted that the path is much wider than 48”. She expressed concern that the work was to accommodate one bicyclist. David measured the path and showed photos indicating that in places, the path is 5-7’.

Tom Brimacombe noted that the trail is a work in progress and that the work is being conducted by the committee members. Tom said that what people are seeing now is the preliminary work and it is not haphazard. There will be trail-edge mitigation. In order to grade and fill gullies, fill dirt has to be brought in. The next phase will be hand grooming, some of which has been done on the north side of the arroyo. Tom indicated that the final area will most likely be about 3’ wide, and that by the end of the monsoon season, the trail edges will be softened.

John Parker recapped the background that led the committee to initiate the pilot project. He also emphasized that it is a pilot project and that he also lives in the impacted area. He has observed that the existing trails are in poor shape.

Jim noted that the committee plans to do reseeding along the edges as well.

Carol Hawkins expressed her concerns. Did the committee do an EA or EIS? The wind will blow away any seed. Last year, Boy Scouts delivered a mound of rock that still sits there, so she is concerned about follow up. She said that some paths were created by her and neighbors to avoid mountain bikers. She asked if the committee would have done this in the Preserve? She feels the committee is trying to make the new trails look like those in the Galisteo Preserve. She asserts that there currently is little conflict and the paths do not need to be as wide as they are. She also asked why there was no advance notification.

David Johnson stated he often walks the greenbelt toward the rail trail. It is his opinion that, except in a few places, the trail is in reasonable shape, and suggests the committee only perform moderate maintenance. Again, he expressed his dismay about the scraped width, and that over 1 acre is impacted. He also expressed concerns about invasive plants taking root along the trail edges before the native seeds that will be sown can begin to germinate. He noted that there are lots of hike-bike trails in the community, and that there are areas with no hike bike trails (Azul) that might be considered for work. He urged that the pilot project be terminated and that spot maintenance take place.

Lyn deMartin stated that everyone is accommodated except those who want smaller trails. She wants to know where the permission and funding came from and why residents were not asked about the project? The cactus people should have been on site to rescue disturbed cactus. She expressed disappointment in the lack of communication and consultation.

Joyce Hamner attended last month and came back again, and stated she is appalled and shocked. She is especially concerned that there was little to no advance notice. She called the committee arrogant, and added that many folks are unhappy. Joyce noted that it is lovely to have little paths in the greenbelts.

Mark gave a recap of notification efforts. An article was placed on the web site and has been there since before the project started. As a result of last month’s concerns, notices were placed in the trail work area and letters were delivered to the neighbors who live adjacent to the work area.

Dag concurred that we lacked in effective communications. There was an article in Vistas, but there is a 6 week lead time for that publication, so it is difficult to convey up-to-the-minute information.

Dag noted the paths along the roads are in the county right-of-way and they build and maintain them. They will not put a path on Azul because of a very narrow right-of-way. The county will soon begin work on the Monte Alto bike path.

Dag acknowledged that guests want the project to stop; he asked that they let the committee complete the grooming and get the trails to the way they have been envisioned. There are no plans to ask for or commence other projects of this kind until the committee can assess the effort.

Finally, he said that at 4’, two people can walk together. Also, when passing others, walkers do not have to jump into the cactus to get out of each other’s way. He noted that there is a safety issue that the pilot project will mitigate. He acknowledged that the guests may not see the trails as an improvement.

John Parker brought up the cupping of the Pueblo Canyon greenbelt and dual tracks of that trail. It is that way because it is a fall-line trail in the bottom of the greenbelt. The committee worked on some of the trails to mitigate erosional problems. The pile of rocks is going to be used to try to heal the main scar. That trail was not designed. John begged folks to bear with the effort and that the intent is not to make a 9’ wide trail. He also invited guests to help us and reiterated that committee members as well as those working on the trail are all volunteers.

One guest mentioned concerns about motorized bikers in the trails. John noted that there will be an effort to install exclusionary devices.

Jim stated that the goal is not to invite new users; it is to encourage Eldorado residents to walk and enjoy the trails.

Kerri respectfully requests that we complete what we’ve done to date before continuing any more work. She also noted that the asters were wonderful last summer and now they are gone.

Lyn deMartin observed that there are many trails available for a variety of hiking experiences such as the bike paths, preserve, and greenbelt trails. She feelsthat the pilot project is replicating the kind of trail experience available along the bike paths and that this may not be necessary.

Tom Bredenberg stated he’s lived here 35 years; it is time we gave some good thought to what happens in the greenbelts because the status quo is not sustainable.

David Johnson asked about other communications methods. He suggests a list serv (though he did not have a suggested solution to making that happen).

Six of the seven guests who attended in order to communicate their concerns about this project departed at that time, though they were invited to stay for the committee discussion. Steve Griego stayed.

Discussion: Security has been hand-delivering letters to residents in areas where the work is being undertaken.

Steve is hoping that we can get the trails groomed, but we need more volunteers. One more day on the tractor is needed before grooming commences. He also wanted confirmation that ECIA is responsible for the greenbelt. John confirmed that ECIA has the authority.

The latest greenbelt map and plats may need to be updated. There may have been an incursion onto the property at 9 Frasco (Russ Richardson); the homeowner was appreciative of the committee’s (Steve’s) quick response when he raised the issue. Steve noted that someone is placing rows of rocks across the graded trail and also some sticks. Russ told Steve that there is a resident who installs the rocks. Russ had marked his property with a stake and red ribbon which someone removed, which is why the trail accidently cut a corner of his property. Mark and Steve will follow up with the plat maps to assess if the trail is or is not on his property.

Steve noted that he was lectured by a person who wanted to know what he was doing when he was trimming branches to make the trail safer and to allow adequate site lines. This resident stated that the trail was built by her. Steve has observed that there are 3 trails within 100 yards of each other that come into the arroyo.

Steve suggested that we refer to the trail as multi-user trail. Some of the curves are wider than 48” because there needs to be enough radius for all users to get around the corner. The 48” width is to reduce conflict between multiple users employing different modes of transport (walking and bike-riding). By putting in curves while maintaining line-of-sight for multiple users, safety issues and conflicts are reduced.

Dag suggests no tractor (Kubota) be used before we can create a map to show residents where the work will take place. Only ½k remains to be graded. Cherry suggested we stand down and focus our work on the trail hand work. John said that while there is some vocal opposition, the group expressing concern may not represent most residents.

David noted that people do not like change; he suggests that we develop an arsenal of photos showing initial work, one-year recovery and two-year recovery. Steve is taking photos to document the work. Steve said that a resident who attended an earlier meeting to express his concerns told him just a month later how nice the trail is now.

David offered it might be helpful for people to see the problem areas that may or may not be immediately adjacent to their property. Photos showing the earlier problems may help.

Jim observed that most people who attended tonight’s meeting did not take the committee’s offer to read an explanatory narrative that was provided to them. Cherry said that several questions have been raised about the completion of environmental assessments prior to doing the work. ECIA is a private landowner. Environmental reviews are required by NEPA, which applies to federal action, which this is not. Most states and counties have similar ordinances for local government work. These ordinances normally do not apply to private landowners, (including homeowners in Eldorado), though other permits may be required.

Tom said for $500 we could probably get the seed we need to sow when the monsoons start. Tom will work with Mark to purchase seed.

Preserve Wetlands Restortation & Mitigation: this area near Apache Spring, which is a wetland, was heavily overgrown. On May 28, committee members worked with Jan-Willem Jansens of Ecotone to cut the dead material and place it on headcuts to mitigate erosion. There is still 100 yards to do, but there is a huge pile of dead wood that needs to be addressed with lots of deadfall. This work will clean out the drainage to allow water to flow again. David asked if this was for egress and members explained that it is for wildlife access and to restore natural flow. It was suggested the remaining work be postponed until the fall, and that we recruit a bunch of young, energetic volunteers to help tackle the deadfall pile.

Greenbelt Map: The text is done; Mark and Tom Brimacombe will get together to choose some photos. The committee liked the windmill drawing on the existing map and suggested it be left in. There were some details discussed which Tom will add to the draft.

Educational Program: Mark suggested the committee consider an educational program for the community as it has in years past. Last year we contracted with someone to lead a walk that was not well attended. Tom Bredenberg suggested we video some of our educational programs. Mike said that most people do not understand the resources in the Preserve. He added that last summer he did a talk on the bats of Eldorado; he suggests that if he presents another talk, he expand the program to talk about bat diversity and the ecological niches they fill. He also suggests it be given in the summer when there are bats out and about so that the talk could be followed by field observation. There is $500 in the budget for honoraria. One idea that keeps coming up is one on animal tracks, which we have never done. Mike will work with Mark to set a date for a bat talk, probably in July; Mike will follow up with William Newurth on an animal track/scat program. Another idea suggested was a program on night sky.

Goat mitigation: the goats showed up without permission, but were asked to leave because they did not have liability insurance. Until that happens, they cannot work in Eldorado. Mike noted that there are lots of mustards coming in and goats would really help.

New Trail Signs: the vendor has had medical and family issues and has yet to respond to our comments.

ECIA Manager’s report: Sue Ann Armstrong and her spouse continue to pull the blue posts on the 300-series trails. They are staged and need to be hauled out, which Brian (ECIA) will eventually remove. Some people are illegally pulling posts on the Trail 105, which need to be reinstalled.

The No Bikes and No Horses signs cannot be pulled out because they are cemented in. Jim has the location points on his GPS. We do want to reuse the signs if possible. Some ways to remove them were discussed.

Other Business: Dick Huelster attended to talk about the possibility of his business doing digital maps for ECIA. The committee referred him to Mark to discuss needs and possibilities.

David Yard, as our new board liaison, wanted to know what he can do for the committee. Jim stated that we would like David to ensure we are working within our bounds. David noted that there will be an effort to get individual log-ins for homeowners on the web site and to develop some better means of communication with residents. For instance, they are thinking about setting up on-line dues payment systems. He thinks it would be helpful for people to be able to log in and link to a lecture, or the progression of a project. He would also like to see some educational efforts for young people using the web site and Eldorado open space. He suggested things like game trail cameras. The bigger issue is to make the web site more appealing, fresh, and interesting.

There are two pinon pines across Trail 401 in the open meadow area that needs to be cleared. It probably will require a chainsaw to remove it.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 pm.

The next meeting will be July 1.