Minutes - Conservation Committee

ECIA Conservation Committee Minutes

January 2, 2018

Attendees: Jim Daniel (Chair), Carol Beidleman, Tom Bredenberg (recording secretary), Tom Brimacombe, Paul Butt, Jerry Gulseth,  John Reynolds, Pan Henline (ECIA Board Liaison)

Guests: None

  1. Minutes Accepted for November 7, 2017 meeting. (John Parker, Motion, Jerry Gulseth, Second)
  1. The Committee welcomes Pam Henline as our new ECIA Board liaison.
  1. Cattle in the lower meadow off the 401 trail: On December 20, a resident reported 5 cows in the lower meadow. Jim will follow up if there are any photos of the cattle brand. Tom Bredenberg will investigate if the fence has been cut there again and look for possible camera locations.  John Reynolds reported dried old manure in meadows near the southern border fence indicating cattle used to go in there but the ranchers have built a high-quality fence that now keeps them out. Break-ins at the trailhead 4 and possible surveillance were discussed, Jim will contact Isabel regarding cameras.
  1. The Budget Committee added $10,000 to the CC budget for fire mitigation without our knowledge raising our budget on paper from $8K to $18K. This gave an impression that we had raised our budget unreasonably and there was a very negative reaction from residents. This resulted in some otherwise unnecessary damage control. Pam Henline will look into this.
  1. Flagging for the remainder of the 404 corridor is scheduled for Tuesday, January 9 at 9:30. Tom Brimacombe estimated two work days are needed to compete the loop. We will contact Jan Willem Jensens for a referral for an archeological survey once the corridor has been planned and before any work days or publicity are scheduled. 
  1. The trails in the 200 were damaged last winter when used in muddy conditions. This prompted us to install the gates, etc.  at trailheads 2 and 3.  Muddy trails are not yet an issue this winter.  We already have the muddy trails signs which we will look to installing at the new gates on 01-09-2018 when we do the flagging for 404.  Pam Henline and Paul Butt will follow up with Isabel Ugarte on the other signs previously requested.  Locks for the gates and closing dates are deferred in favor of signage at this time.
  1. Completion of the Library trail: John Reynolds presented the status of this project. Pam will place this item on the agenda for the Board’s working session scheduled for 01-18-2018. Jim will attend to inform the Board of the ongoing project including whether county permission is required or desirable for maintenance and restoration of a previously established trail on ECIA property. Then we will proceed with flagging. Lot marker surveys will be needed in narrow parts of the greenbelt to prevent encroaching on private property. Then notification to adjacent property owners, publicity, mowing the corridor, blading and a day of hand work.
  1. SOP for New Trails: This document and the greenbelt trail standards and SOP documents will be circulated and reviewed by members of the committee prior to next month’s meeting.  We will submit it to the Board when we agree on a final draft. We agree that this document, as well as the trail standards and SOP for greenbelts, our charter, and other important documents need to be posted on the proposed re-designed ECIA web site.  Courtney Handy is the new community liaison and communication coordinator.  She also serves on the information committee and will be our contact for web issues and Vistas publicity.
  1. COLTPAC: John Parker is now Vice Chair of COLTPAC and reports they are finalizing management plans for Thornton Ranch and other county open space properties. Rancho Viejo is willing to donate a parcel between the north and south bound lanes of I-25 north of 285 which would be desirable but there are environmental concerns given the history of gas stations and leaking underground storage tank plumes in the area.
  1. Other business: Pam Henline brought up that fire protection and prevention in the greenbelts and preserve should be a priority for the committee given the current dry conditions and recent events in California. We agree that mitigation in the preserve is beyond our capabilities and education by a responsible instructor would be our best approach given our past experiences with fire officials and the limited options in mitigation in the greenbelts. John Parker brought up air curtain incinerators as a possible approach for the county to use on the rail trail. If goats are the best solution but cannot be used without liability coverage we could research the cost of a liability policy for such a project.

Jim Daniel indicated he will remain chair no longer than June 2018.

Jerry Gulseth reported the next meeting of the pesticide committee will be January 19, 2018.

Adjournment: next meeting Tuesday February 6, 2018, Carol Beidleman agrees to act as recording secretary.