Minutes - Conservation Committee

ECIA Conservation Committee Meeting

February 6, 2018

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

  1. 1. Secretary Carol Beidleman: Carol took over as recording secretary.
  1. 2. Minutes: Accepted for January 2, 2018 meeting (with addition of John Parker in attendance). (John Reynolds, Motion; Jerry Gulseth, Second)
  1. 3. Guests: John “Obie” Oberhausen brought a request to CC from the Cactus Rescue Project. He asked a couple years ago if he could plant 400 of the endangered Santa Fe Cholla (not the common one in Eldorado) in the Eldorado Community Preserve, with the State Biologist, and they had an 83% success rate. They had done two other colonies the year before, with a 15% success rate. They would like to restore more, probably another 200-250 plants, larger ones, at the end of T105 where it reaches T101, just before that on the uphill side. They will put cages on about 100 for the first two years for protection, so people will notice these, but it is far enough away from the trail (at least 30 feet). There will be GPS markers in the center; the plots are a 40 foot circle, with 20 plants in the circle. They will put up a plaque saying it is a Santa Fe Cholla test spot. Obie is thinking of planting these in May. John Reynolds mentioned this is a bad area due to drainage (per Jim Daniel, an area of triple ruts), so we will need to know where these plants will be, and he asked if a buffer zone was necessary to protect them. Pam Henline suggested that if there was any problem with the location, could someone meet Obie there before planting, so he’ll let Jim Daniel know. Jim Daniel suggested John Parker could meet Obie at the location, if needed. The CC voted unanimously (John Reynolds, Motion; Paul Butt, Second) to approve Obie’s proposal to plant 200 additional Santa Fe cholla on the Preserve. John Reynolds asked what sensitive areas of the greenbelts to avoid if we get goats back on, related to this cactus species, but Obie stated that there are no places on the greenbelts where the goats could do harm.  
  1. 4. Timely distribution of minutes and agendas to website: The final minutes, once approved at the next meeting, should go to Courtney Handy so she can put them up right away. Courtney’s email is on the list Jim Daniel sends out. Pam said Courtney is a paid member of the Information Committee, so she will send it out and will also update the website, John Reynolds said it would be good to get the work days on the event calendar. He also said we should plan articles for Vistas for the year, and Jim Daniel said they should be seen by the CC first.
  1. 5. Review and amend annual report: The CC reviewed the draft annual report by Jim Daniel and suggested the following edits. Paul Butt didn’t think the Gallina Park trail was constructed, which John Reynolds confirmed. The name of the report should be at the top, and the goals should say 2018. Carol Beidleman needs to added to the CC for 2017 (October). Jim asked to send any additional edits to him. The report is due February 13th.
  1. 6. Review CC charter: The following edits were suggested: 2.0-AMREP should be spelled out, American Realty and Petroleum Corporation (Carol Beidleman). 3.0- “shall meet quarterly” should be monthly (Paul Butt); monthly as announced (Pam Henline); we don’t have 12 meetings (Jim Daniel). 4.0-question re whether we do hikes (Carol Beidleman); suggestion to change hikes to “educational events” (Paul Butt); Kurt Kempter led geology hike (Jim Daniel); “historic” is good enough, avoid “archeological” (Tom Bredenberg); remove “General Manager” form that reference, CC will “design and execute work products” (Paul Butt). 5.0-keep as is (Pam Henline); with budget we get a deadline (August), with charter there is no reminder (Jim Daniel); charter should be ad hoc (Paul Butt); charter should be left as internal annual review (Pam Henline); should be submitted if we change the charter (Paul Butt, John Reynolds). 6.0-reason need to know members is that they are automatically brought under liability insurance (Pam Henline); re number of meetings need to attend was question re 3 within a 12 month period (Pam Henline), if they don’t are they no longer a member? (Jim Daniel), wording is “unexcused” so always let Chair know (John Reynolds), decided way written is fine; ask Cecil if he still wants to be involved (Jim Daniel); we do have Alternate Liaison (Pam Henline). 7.0-keep as edited by Carol Beidleman re storage room. Put revised charter on agenda for March for approval (Jim Daniel).
  1. 7. The goats may be back: John Reynolds has been working on this with John Henriksen, who asked Mark Young about goats on Sunday. Mark said the goat lady, Amanita Thorp (name of company is Horned Locusts), who was reached via Facebook, will be delighted to come. John Henriksen will figure out the liability. There are 67 goats. Comment on how they had stayed in some areas too long. This is now in the hands of Mark Young, Isabel Ugarte, and John Henriksen, with an insurance agent. The money is from 10K for fire prevention. Pam Henline said local insurance guy, Steve Crawford, was a little askance, but that Mark Young thought he found an agent today. The Board is committed to paying for it, but may have to pay her up front.
  1. 8. The access to the Library Trail from Cuesta Lane: John Reynolds said the Board had a surveyor go out and survey the encroachment of the “church of the singing stones.” John Reynolds and John Henriksen went out this past weekend to look at it; showed us map. Mark Young is drafting a letter for the owner, who is encroaching on neighbors also. Our residents will walk on the gravel driveway, and when we do the library extension we will make this part of that project. The message will be that to project your privacy and your rights and your neighbors’ rights, we will mark the boundaries. Pam Henline reminded us that any correspondence will have to go through the office. John Reynolds proposes that we will put signage up. On the library trail there are three access points we need to mark.
  1. 9. Shed Tool Sharpening – All McClouds, Mattocks, and Rogue Hoes: Jim Daniel asked if there were any needs. Tom Bredenberg volunteered to do an inventory of what we have, since we don’t know. Jim Daniel offered to come with Tom to help with the inventory, and also suggested Mike. Jim Daniel said we will sharpen all our tools after the inventory.   
  1. 10. Schedule - treatment and/or removal Salt Cedar in Canoncito wetland area: Jim Daniel said we had been on this for a year. Paul Butt understood that the use of herbicides was deferred because of new community group, pending the result of that committee’s actions. Pam Henline suggested we can take a specific problem to them. Paul Butt said on the Santa Fe River they will not use herbicides because the aquifer is for consumption, and there is no difference here. You can cut them but they will sprout sooner or later, and he suggested we should get 3 pulaskis. There are some at the NE end of 201/202 which can just be cut back. John Reynolds thinks we should empower folks to go out and do maintenance and conservation work, and not wait for formal trail days (on both the greenbelts and preserve). Pam Henline thinks we probably won’t get approval for herbicides. Tom Bredenberg said where there is salt cedar it has gotten worse. Paul Butt said there are larger ones on 201at the northern most crossing, which had been removed prior. Jim Daniel made a motion, per wording by Paul Butt, “to not use herbicides in the Eldorado Community Preserve for tamarisk control because the area is part of the Galisteo basin and feeds into the aquifer that is used by Eldorado and surrounding communities for drinking water.” Tom Bredenberg amended that: “We recognize tamarisk is a problem but we need to pursue control through mechanical means.” John Reynolds seconded the motion, and the vote was unanimous in favor. Paul Butt suggested we set a time to survey the salt cedar (he was under misperception that it was at the southern end of the 200 series), or when we have trail days. The suggestion was to survey the work we did and include a tamarisk survey and flag these trees (aluminum tags). John Reynolds thought this should go into the educational program, and the report; he said we were starting to get more of Scottish thistle and need to mark where they are too. The SF National Forest has posters on trails about invasive plants.  Rob Egemeier said we have lopers to cut them down; Paul suggested using pulaskis to cut them down to the ground.  Carol Beidleman said inventorying invasive/noxious weeds along trails is important.    
  1. 11. Status of signs for TH’s 2 and 3; Schedule posting these signs: Paul Butt said the signs and hardware are in a cardboard box, and suggested we meet at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, February 21, at ECIA Community Center to do tool inventory, get signs for TH 2 and 3, do signs on TH 200, and do tamarisk on 200 series. David Tiemeyer has power drill. Jim Daniel brought up thinking about cardboard/manure/straw project, but Paul Butt thinks we should wait another year to say yea or nay. Carol Beidleman cautioned about use of hay not certified as weed-free.
  1. 12. Report on Library trail project. Schedule Flagging of Library trail in preparation of sending notices to neighboring houses: Jim Daniel bought 400 flags; can get at Home Depot/Lowe’s. John Reynolds said we will have to put more in before Mike mows, and we will need to send out letters. We have identified a lot of the lot markers for the library trail but should find more, rebar and 8’ long PVC poles, when we do our final flagging. John Reynolds, Jim Daniel, Rob Egemeier, and Paul Fink came out and did some preliminary flagging. We’re encroaching with the greenbelt trail, so have to do more work. John Reynold’s idea is that we should rent a metal detector to find pins; he’ll check on borrowing from Tom. Those fences are the property line, 82 foot wide; we should do our trail on southern side of the drainage (remember the center of the greenbelt is the drainage). We need to look at where existing social trails intersect; most will walk to the school and we can’t control that. The existing trail is infringing on private land, so in our announcement we’ll say we’re rerouting it because of that, and ask owners and tell them what we recommend. We should make an effort to mark the access point at Monte Alto and Valencia Court, where there are no markers. For property rights, these should be marked.


  1. 13. Report on status of Greenbelt Trails project (John Reynolds), Jim Oliver -Gallina Park, Lois Owens - Southern Los Alamos: John Reynolds has been in communication with people who really want to improve their greenbelts, i.e. Gallina Park, and suggested we come up with an SOP like for the Preserve trails. We can’t do all this work, so we want passionate neighbors to help plan with our oversight. We should establish open space stewards, volunteers, where people come to our training and get certified, and are empowered to routine maintenance. There should be a procedure, governed, so they take ownership of the greenbelts. Pam Henline reminded us that the reality is that people turn over quickly. John Reynolds thinks for the Preserve we should have an advocate for each of the trails (100, 200, 300, 400), and that we should do the same for the greenbelts, perhaps through subcommittees. Pam Henline suggested we call them stewards, and Carol Beidleman mentioned the “adopt a trail” concept. Jim Daniel will send out the SOP document(s) again, which we need to work on.
  1. 14. Pruning Trails – Tom Brimacombe: Not present today; put on agenda for next month.
  1. 15. Marking the Greenbelt access points: John Reynolds said previously in the meeting that the goal is to do 20% of the greenbelt access points a year. We need to find the right and left of each access point, so it’s clear what the chute boundaries are.
  1. 16. Discuss workdays for trail 404: John Parker and Tom Brimacombe were not present. Flagging is finished, so next is to arrange for the archeology survey. We need to go through Jan-Willem (JW) Jansens; John Parker has talked to him and has a name. JW said the cost would not be exorbitant. John Reynolds said that the 404 that has been flagged is 2.5 miles long; he thinks 90% is gorgeous (and is confident re the first mile) but it is a little odd/boring in stretches and brings you back to the 401 which is destroyed. Jim Daniel said an idea would be to go up to the ridge and then go down; John Reynolds said we could go on the contour. Jim Daniel said the 404 is the priority for the beginning of the year. John Reynolds said the portion Tom/John flagged is about the length of what we did the last work day, so he suggested we do a work day to extend the trail another mile and a half, which we could do in February; he wants to get to the beautiful ponderosas. Rob Egemeier and Paul Butt want to get the UNM group again (UNM’s spring break is March 11-18). Paul Butt agreed this should be the first trail day of the year, then we should schedule the second work day for the 300s and the third work day for the 400s. John Reynolds reminded us that early March is the opportunity to use staff to work on library trail, which would take two days, so a 404 work day could be for later in March or early April. John Reynolds recommends we schedule a community meeting/night to talk about trail projects (“your greenbelts”; slides of what a good/bad trail looks like, John Parker could do), to give the broad masterplan…and to let them know the goats are coming back…and to publicize this meeting on the board; it is a good education opportunity. The tree pruning workshop by Tom Dominguez was very well attended.


  1. 17. Defer assignment of other projects until second half of the year. [no discussion]
  1. 18. COLTPAC [John Parker was not present.]
  1. 19. Old Business – The chair – Whose hat is in the ring?: Jim Daniel asked if anyone wants to be chair-John Reynolds? John Reynolds is interested. We must put it on the agenda to vote on at the March meeting. We need at least six for a quorum.
  1. 20. New Business: Do we wish to sponsor an Earth Day roads and trails clean up? Jim Daniel said we have done it before. Tom Bredenberg said we agreed to participate in the past. John Reynolds suggested we schedule a work day on Earth Day, April 21st. Pam Henline said it would be nice to have one box for the trails in each issue of Vistas.