Minutes - Conservation Committee

ECIA Conservation Committee Minutes

January 7, 2020

Attending: Thom Bredenberg (Chair), Tom Brimacombe (Vice Chair), Carol Beidleman, Paul Butt, John Parker, Carol Sanguinetti (ECIA Board Liaison), Nancy Sulzberg (ECIA Board  President), Mike Rogers (representative of HOAMCO)

  1. Approval of Agenda - As amended, by consensus
  2. Appointment of Recording Secretary - Paul Butt volunteered to take minutes
  3. Approval of November Minutes - motion to approve by Paul Butt, John Parker second
  4. Excused Absences and introduction of guests: member Mary Clark excused. Debra Denker, Paul Fink and Jürgen Lehmann attended as guests.
  5. Report from the Board Liaison -Carol Sanguinetti introduced herself to the Committee. Board chair Nancy Sulzberg led a brief discussion of the ongoing need for educational effort and effective communication in a number of forums (e.g. Vistas, NextDoor) to address worry, fear and uncivil dialog about a number of issues which touch upon the mission of the Conservation Committee.

          2020 budget - Paul Butt stated that the 2020 ECIA budget has been approved by the Board and a copy posted on the website. The Committee received $19,200 from a request of $21,200. The Committee will budget will need to be revised. Paul agreed to present a draft update at the February meeting, for Committee review.

  1. HOAMCO report - Mike Rogers was asked to thank HOAMCO maintenance staff for installing the Dog Sanitation Stations at Trailheads 2,3 and 4 quickly & capably in response to a request from the Conservation Committee. Wastebaskets were not included in the installation. Committee consensus is that dog owners should abide by existing Preserve guidelines, and pack out everything they bring into the preserve.

          This issue led to a brief discussion of the need to continue the educational effort so that residents new and old are aware of and encouraged to abide by Preserve etiquette. Mike offered to circulate an article on the subject he had written previously, that could be tailored for our needs. The Committee plan is to publish the article in the March Vistas, to be accompanied by an eBlast on the topic.

          The tools ordered at the end of 2019 have been received and placed in the Committee storage room.

          There was a brief discussion of the mud bog that forms in the Rail Trail parking area off of Ave. Vista Grande. Foremost was the observation that when the parking lots are very muddy, the trails will be too. It should be a hint for people to do their walking elsewhere. Additionally, the parking area lies in part on the County road easement, in part on private property, and possibly in part on the NM DOT railway easement, none of which are within the purview of the Committee. Consensus was not to take action on the matter.

          Mike Rogers reported on his conversation with Rick Cheney, County Roads staff supervisor, who stated that he was not willing to replace the culvert adjacent to the 400 Trailhead parking lot, because previous replacements were promptly destroyed by heavy equipment using the parking lot as a turnaround. Alternatives were discussed, with Mike offering to meet with County staff to do a site evaluation and make alternative recommendations.

  1. New Business

Educational effort regarding Fire Risk, Fire Risk Mitigation and related subjects. The Committee was assigned this project by Nancy Sulzberg at the ECIA Board Working Meeting in December. Some preliminary work has been done in the interim, including Thom Bredenberg's meeting with the Eldorado Fire & Rescue Service (EFRS) Assistant Chief Glen Saums in December. Committee members have also begun searching for people with recognized expertise in these areas of concern.

          There was a discussion of how to develop a project plan for an educational symposium to be held this spring. Consensus was to proceed with the intent of fulfilling the mission stated in the Committee charter, beginning with definition of the objectives for the educational event, and development of a statement of the desired outcomes. These include contributing to public education regarding the ecology of the Piñon Juniper Savanna, the role of fire in maintaining a healthy ecosystem in the Savanna, and the effects of various interventions in the ecosystem, including different methods of fire risk mitigation.

          Nancy Sulzberg asked for a statement summarizing the Committee's actions to date, for presentation to the ECIA Board. A copy is attached, " action status RE: Wildland Fire Risk & Fire Risk Mitigation." She also asked the Committee to draft an article about the project to present the symposium, for publication in the March Vistas.

Remaining work on the 404 Meadow project - due to the amount of time spent on the preceding matter, discussion was tabled until the next meeting.

401 Gully project - Thom Bredenberg reported on the unexpectedly high cost of the proposal received for phase 1 of the project (San Isidro Permaculture, for $6,800 + tax). Paul Butt agreed to draft a question to the Finance Committee to see how to re-work the project plan into smaller phases and to try to get a limited phase 1 project completed this year, while remaining within the requirements of the ECIA Procurement code.

Library trail - Paul Butt reported that he is soliciting bids for survey services, with a goal of having the rest of the trail area surveyed by the third week of February.

101-104 braided trail segment - Thom Bredenberg recapped the initial survey made on November 6. Jan Willem-Jansen's first approximation of the cost to do remediation was in excess of $15,000. This is well outside previous estimates, and consensus is to defer this project.

Other projects for 2020 - discussion was tabled until the next meeting

  1. Old Business

          Signage and Map Updates - Tom Brimacombe's updates to the Preserve map were discussed briefly and some minor points about trail and waypoint identification were resolved.

          Neighborhood residents in the Pueblo Canyon trail area made some complaints about cholla encroaching on the trail near marker 3. Thom Bredenberg coordinated a small group of volunteers, who went out and cleared the cholla.

          Thom Bredenberg spoke briefly about his desire to step down as Committee Chair. Election of a new Chair will be on the February agenda

  1. Open Forum

          Comments from guests were accepted during the course of the meeting.

  1. Adjournment - Meeting adjourned at 9:10 PM.