Minutes - Conservation Committee

Meeting of the ECIA Conservation Committee, held by Zoom

Minutes, 05 05-2020 7:00 PM

Committee Members Attending: Chair, Paul Butt, Vice Chair, Tom Brimacombe, Members Carol Beidelman, Thomas Bredenberg, Mary Clark, John Parker, John Reynolds

ECIA Board Members Attending: Nancy Sulzberg (President) Carol Sanguinetti (Committee Board Liaison) Melicent D’Amore

Guests Attending: Andra Nyman and Paul Fink, Gregory Hart, Susan and Ed Munson, Jurgen Lehmann, Eddie Dry, Darrel Owen, Carol Maclennan,

HOAMCO Representative: Mike Rogers, Technical support, Jessica Collins

  1. 1. Thomas Bredenberg accepted appointment as recording secretary.
  2. 2. Motion to approve agenda: Bredenberg, 2nd Reynolds
  3. 3. Motion to approve minutes of last meeting, 03 03 2020, Reynolds, 2nd Parker
  4. 4. Board Liaison Report, Carol Sanguinetti: Election results: David Sorkin elected to Board, bylaw revisions passed.
  5. 5. HOAMCO report: Mike Rogers made a brief report on the Ranger program at Ken-Caryl Ranch Open Space. He was one of four rangers brought on to be stewards of a 5,000-acre open space. Ranger duties included trails, maintenance, resident wildlife education, biological surveys. The benefits of daily ranger patrols in the Eldorado Community Preserve are worth considering. The Chair will make a drop box of relevant documents and will send the link to members and volunteers for review. Ref https://ken-carylranch.org/open-space/.   Update on Cattle in the 400: No live cattle there currently.  Last incursion was from Miller property on the western boundary. Gaps in the fence had been spotted there previously. Cattle were also on the railroad property further west.
  6. 6. Project status updates:

Community trail day to complete remaining work on 404 meadow deferred due to social distancing restrictions.

Consensus to proceed with Revised Phase I of 401 gully repair. Consensus for Chair to proceed with bidding process for contactors. ECIA will insist on compliance with all PPE and social distancing regulations for contractors while on site. Chair will then contact Jan Willem to verify flags and markers. Consensus to defer contacting PNM for cost sharing until the 2021 phase and meantime investigate access to the 400 through PNM’s southern gate.

 Library Trail article will appear in next Vistas.

 Solo or groups of two practicing social distancing such as the recent horse damage repair on the 404 and Melado trails are appropriate with adequate notification to the Chair. Tom Brimacombe has a list of small, 2-4-man hour projects, Chair suggests moving rock to repair the 404 rock structure washout area. Discussion of future greenbelt trail projects, surveying of paramount importance. Importance of notification to Chair stressed.

  1. 7. New Business:

Rock Climber damage: Summary, Thomas Bredenberg:  On April 8 Merlin Emrys, an Eldorado resident, reported belaying bolts and chalk damage on cliffs south of the 402 trail with supporting photographs.  After speaking to Mr. Emrys several times, Thomas verified the location close to a rock shelter and later verified another area with more extensive chalk damaged further east. This is the area where the video posted on Mountain Project was filmed 5 years ago referred to as “Cactus Heaven”. He verified that location as well and went there with John Parker on April 22.  We verified and photographed chalk damage in close association to apparent petroglyphs and rare fern plants. Mr. Emrys has reported people at this location and more chalk damage recently. Discussion of top roping/belaying v. bouldering.

 Chair, first contact the office of the State Archeologist for information regarding legal protection of archeological resources on private land and clean up guidance. Chair will cc Board President and Liaison, rather than Board attorney on any responses. Mark Young and James Mason may have additional information or resources. Discussion of policy v. amelioration. The Committee needs to make a recommendation to the Board for the protection of archeological resources. Conveying message to climbers to police themselves.

 No response from REI to take down request. Motion to recommend Board ask their attorney Lynn Krupnik to send cease and desist or similar action to compel take down.  Motion, Thom Bredenberg, 2nd. John Parker. Nancy, provide enough information, Chair will prepare evidence to submit to Nancy. 

Carol Beidelman, Joshua Tree during the shutdown similar to present situation. Reynolds, recent tire tracks opposite TH4.  Notice to be posted to report problems to conservationchair@gmail.

Chair will submit committee’s recommendations to the board.

Restoration: removal of all permanent fixtures, bolts, ladders and chalk. Closing social trails to site.  Prohibit all climbing pending formulation of a formal policy. Discussion on involving the climbing community in developing an appropriate policy. Discussion of fines for resident violators, report of trespass to law enforcement as enforcement options. 

Consensus to recommend the Board move to close the Preserve to all rock-climbing activities pending damage assessment and remediation and the reasons in support of this action.  Chair will prepare a motion for the Board meeting of 05-18-2020.  Signage to be posted at trailhead 4 and appropriate sites. Discussion of possibility of formalizing social trail to the Cactus Heaven site in the future.

Ad hoc parking opposite TH4:    TH4 parking inadequate. Consensus we build a fence to corral cars for parking and cut of access to the jeep trail leading up the mesa and replace the gate and fencing on top.

Livestock in the Preserve/Fence line Patrol: Consensus for Chair to contact Amelia Adair to organize an equestrian fence line patrol to identify and report gaps in the western fence in need of repair.

Discussion on closing Preserve entirely during pandemic. At this time education and communication are preferable.

  1. 8. Old Business

Annual Report: submitted timely, on page 11 of published report

Map and signage update report, Tom Brimacombe: Map and trailhead signs in 4th revision, 6 new junctions, 11 x 17 junction signs needed. Ready to go to bid. Nancy will get back to Chair whether Finance Committee needs to be involved in bidding process. Discussion regarding vendors, Paper Tiger, Pinyon, Fast Signs. Tom will get final copy to Chair. Discussion whether we recommend joining junior membership of Leave No Trace to use their logo in the future.

Discussion on “maintained by volunteers” sign, John Reynolds will follow up.

Spring and Early Summer work day scheduling on hold pending pandemic restrictions.

  1. 9. Open forum: Jurgen Lehmann, suggestion to move TH4 PNM gate further west. Eddie Dry, Carol S., Committee orientation for new residents.
  2. 10. Adjournment: Motion, Tom Brimacombe, 2nd, John Parker