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Mid-Atlantic Council Trout Unlimited

October 6, 2013 Meeting Minutes

Beaver Creek Fly Shop, Hagerstown, MD

ACTION ITEMS:

The Communications Committee will be appointed by George. Don, Mamie, Stan, Bob O, & Jim Gracie indicated a willingness to serve.

Communications Committee report.


Conservation issues:

Update of status of coordination with DNR concerning maintenance and use of wader stations in Savage Watershed by Jay, Mamie & Jim Gracie.

Report on appropriate monitoring activities for Paint Branch after consulting with SHA by representative of PPTU.
Website demonstration by Don assisted by administrators Mamie and Stan. [Wifi access, digital projector, screen & and laptop feed needed.] Facebook demonstration.
Banquet update by Banquet Committee - Mamie, Jim & George.
Regional meeting update by George.
Chapters reminded to submit electronic reports prior to meeting
Future meetings:

Sunday, January 5, Aquatic Resources Education Center, Anacostia National Park,

1900 Anacostia Drive SE, hosted by NCCTU

Saturday April 5, location TBD, hosted by PPTU

Saturday, July 12, Big Run Pavilion, SRSP, hosted by Nemacolin Chapter
Attendees: [lack sign in sheet…needs to be confirmed!!!]

Maryland: Jay Boynton, Jim Gracie, Don Haynes, Norma Haynes, Tom Starrs

National Capital: George Gaines, Mamie Sheen

Potomac-Patuxent: Bruce Eberle, Jim Greene, Patti Nicholson , Bob O’Donnell,

Lou Reichel, Jay Sheppard, Carl Smoka, Nick Weber

Seneca Valley: Noel Gollehan, Stan Oaks

The meeting was called to order when a quorum was present at 10:20.
The Agenda was amended to include additional items: Paint Branch and Slade Run conservation concerns, 2014 Banquet, a Eastern Regional meeting, and Embrace-a-Stream applications.
Jay requested that the Acting Secretary/note taker be identified in the future. Bruce, who took the minutes for both the July 13 and October 6 meetings, apologized for not including all attachments with the minutes. The new format with Action Items and list of future meetings at the beginning was agreed upon.

Motion was made by Jay Sheppard to approve the minutes as amended. The Minutes of July 13, 2013 were approved as amended.


Treasurer’s Report: Jay Boynton reported that as of September 30 the Checking Account is $26,828.95.

There followed a discussion concerning the need to spend funds effectively in developing the new budget. In previous years the budget committee has sent the proposed budget to all chapters to solicit ideas for the budget. This year the budget committee did not meet and did not create a proposed budget for prior consideration. Noel made a motion to suspend regular bylaws of the MAC in order to have the delegates present to function as the budget committee with authority to approve the budget today. The motion was seconded and passed. There followed an open discussion on the budget:


INCOME :

Due to a glitch in handling EarthShare paperwork, Bruce explained that MAC will not be involved in 2014 fundraising; he asked that estimated income from EarthShare should be revised down from $1000 to $500.

MAC will retain part of the funds from TU National based on TU membership [TU National provides $1.50 for each active member on our rolls – normally, MAC returns $1.00 to chapters.]

EXPENSES:

Website Domain - MAC will renew/keep the current domain name for $100
Tri-State Conservation & Fishing Camp - funding cut a few years ago – George indicated that this will be the 10th yr and the Camp is doing well. Camp Executive Board is planning to bring back Campers from previous 10 yrs. George anticipates grants for $7.5k from Dominion Energy this year, and hopefully for next year. Bruce pointed out that Camper fees have risen to $800 each. As Chapters are asked to contribute one or more fee amount and MAC contributes a match, more money would be helpful. Noel moved to increase outreach to $2400 (doubling). Seconded and passed.
Trout-In-the Classroom Jim Greene explained that the success of the program has increased the number of schools from 60 schools to an anticipated number of 74. Jim would like some funds to provide for recognition awards for schools and teachers, cover increased training costs for new program participates and requested an increase to $3500. Mamie asked about videotaping parts of the 4 hour workshop for placement on YouTube workshop and/or the MAC web site. She works with a production company that might be willing to donate the taping. Jim acknowledged that a sattellite training may be needed. He also mentioned that TU National is offering free online access to Stream Explorer [a quarterly newsletter for kids] in an effort to capture a future mailing list. Noel moved to increase TIC funding to $4000. Seconded and passed.
Bruce discussed and showed a DVD developed by an NLC workgroup entitled Headwaters: Stream of Engagement. One section presents and encourages activities with youth beyond TIC, and another offers a train the trainer casting lesson to assist grassroots members to use an easy, proven procedure to introduce casting to young people.

Newsletter – the newsletter is budgeted for $3600 and is not usually spent – no newsletter for past two years. Jay recommended that the amount be cut to $1800 and more use be made of electronic communication. Significant discussion followed. The Communication Committee was charged to make recommendations concerning number and form of newsletter for future action by MAC. The Committee will be appointed by George. Don, Mamie, Stan, Bob O, & Jim Gracie indicated a willingness to serve.

Motion to reduce the expense of a newsletter to $1800 was made, seconded and with one abstention was passed.

**In spite of prior vote to approve the amended budget, the budget and newsletter matter was subsequently opened up for further discussion and consideration to accommodate a late arrival. Mamie moved to return to the amount of $3600 as originally proposed. Seconded and passed.


Embrace a Stream – Bruce, who is the regional representative on the EAS Committee, made a motion for MAC to contribute $500 to TU’s EAS fund. The EAS helps to fund projects of small chapters around the nation. Noel spoke against the proposal because the Beaver Creek EAS application was not fully funded and required his chapter to request MAC to make up the short coming years ago. The Beaver Creek proposal did not address TU’s national conservation focus on native trout. The motion passed with two votes against and one abstention.
Casting for Recovery – Patti made a motion to contribute $1000, the amount needed to support one participant. Motion passed.
Project Healing Waters – Discussed support chapters provide. As our chapters are actively involved and visible in the program, no funding motion was made.
Banquet – Brief discussion on how to account for Banquet income and expenses. In the future only the net figure will be published on the web/newsletter.
The difference between the budgeted income ($16,270) and expenses ($20,875) was acknowledged and discussed. Noel made motion to add $5k to a reserve account to avoid having MAC needing to scramble for funds to cover expenditures later in the fiscal year. Some wanted to spend available funds for conservation and not have a reserve fund. Motion was defeated.
Bruce moved to table further discussion and vote to approve the amended budget until later in the meeting.
Conservation Report: Jay Sheppard Vice Chair Resources Report - see attachment

Jay is following developments on the Columbia Gas Line.

Brighton Dam – PPTU is working with WSSC to get the lower gate replaced to obtain cold water releases. Ways to encourage quicker response were discussed.

Baltimore City water – MDTU is working to get minimal flow of 25 cfs for trout on the Gunpowder.

Wind Power - Wind turbines need to be on ridges, only if the foot print from turbines are over one acre and effect wetlands are permits needed, projects producing less than 10 megawatts are exempt from permits.

Jennings Randolph – Following this, more activity next year.

Hoyes Run - excellent hatch of all three trout species

Invasive species (didyimo) – Wading boot wash stations in the Lower Savage River are not being maintained. A discussion on what MAC could do to reduce the problem although we are not sure how to determine usage. Jay pointed out that didyimo needs tail waters to become established. He encouraged anglers to clean even rubber boots to minimize the spread.

Savage River currently does not have a Riverkeeper. Jay, Mamie & Jim Gracie will work with DNR to get them more visibly involved.
Jim Gracie discussed the status of monitoring of the ICC mitigation agreements on Paint Brach. Jim understands at this stage only photographs are being taken. He suggested that MAC look into providing more comprehensive stream monitoring activities – cross section measurements, pebble counts, macroinvertebrate inventory & fish shocking. PPTU has been active on the Paint Branch and Bob offered to contact the SHA and report back. A resolution that MAC support efforts determined to be appropriate by PPTU after consulting with SHA on Paint Branch was proposed and passed.
Slade Run – The outflow from this 3 acre pond in Baltimore County has been found to raise the temperature downstream. The MDTU is working on a demonstration project to pipe some inflow around the pond which should result in temperatures low enough to extend the habitat for Brook Trout. This project could lead to improve the thermal problems in over 60 private ponds in the area. Funding sources (CBT & NOAA) have not come through and the project does not qualify for WHIP funding. Jim made a motion that MAC provide $5000 to match MDTU’s $5000 to allow the project to be completed and to verify success of the project.

Marcellus Shale Report: Nick Weber reported that MAC submitted 9 pages of comments on MDE/DNR Best Practices report. The report’s biggest flaw was not having completed risk analyses. MAC commented that setbacks of only 300 feet from resources are unacceptable. He mentioned that inclusion of a Comprehensive Gas Development Plan (CGDP) process to be a prerequisite for drilling permits is a positive step because single wells cannot be put in place until the plan is completed. However, the CGDP does not involve public scrutiny. Nick indicated that knowledgeable MAC members Scott Scarfone & Harold Harsh will be involved in the CGDP process.


Nick reported that Harold Harsh is being considered for membership on the Garrett County Marcellus Shale Advisory Committee. This group reports to the Governor’s Advisory Committee.
Nick reported that the Savage River Watershed Association is being nominated for the Carl S. Weber Award from the Maryland Water Monitoring Council. Nick made a motion that Jay provide a letter of support for the SRWA. Motion passed.
NLC Report: Bruce circulated copy of the 2013 TU Award booklet – Jim Greene and George Gaines received significant national awards.

On the business side TU is alive and well – revenue close to $40 million and a staff of almost 200.

MAC and all chapters are rechartered. Some still need to upload their Bylaws and their Strategic Plan to the TU website.

The NLC draft energy policy was discussed over two days. Concern was raised about it adversarial tone regarding the industry that provides what we all use. The meeting ended with the NLC passing a resolution that the TU Board of Trustees continue the work of the NLC and develop an energy policy. Two grassroots members are on that ad hoc group.

The NLC has formed a ‘Climate Change’ Workgroup and it is open to any TU member.

The NLC Access Workgroup is also open for volunteers.

Noel has taken over as MAC’s NLC representative.
As the Embrace-a-Stream representative, Bruce discussed the EAS program and application process. MAC and chapters are encouraged to donate to the program as the program only receives funds from the grassroots. Chapters and the MAC are encouraged to apply for grants for watershed assessments, habitat studies, stream improvements, cleanups, AMD remediation, leadership training (capacity building) and TIC. Start planning an application now.

Website : Don presented an overview of his work to set up MAC’s website which is connected with TU’s new site. He provided some handouts introducing the site and access. At the next meeting he will have more time to provide a demonstration. Each chapter has an internal page on the site and these pages can link to other groups.

Don encouraged delegates to register and check out the site thus far. All pages need to be updated and this involves ‘administrators’ to post items. Don assured us that IT experience/education is NOT required.

Mamie, Don and Stan are registered administrators for MAC. Contact them if you have material to post. Send material as ‘word documents’ not pdf’s.

MAC also has a Facebook page.
TIC 2014: Jim Greene reminded delegates that the growth of the TIC program across Maryland and DC has increased the need for more volunteer help in delivering eggs in early January and working periodically with classroom teachers. Jim, Chuck Dinkle and Tom Gamper will conduct teacher/volunteer TIC training at the Robinson Nature Center on November 23. Contact Jim for more information.
Chapter Reports: George requested that Chapter reports/information be sent to him and the Secretary in the future to make meetings flow more smoothly.
MAC Banquet: George and Mamie presented plans for 2014 Banquet. The Banquet will be held on Saturday, March 29 from 6-10. Ticket price is expected to be $100. The target is 20 tables of ten persons. Profit sharing will continue to be based on each chapter’s participation in obtaining sponsors, selling tables, and selling raffle tickets prior to the event. The location and menu were discussed. Contact George to join the Banquet Committee.
Local Regional Meeting: George reported that discussions with nearby TU Councils to conduct a regional meeting closer to us than new England or the southeast have been successful. The meeting is scheduled for May 30 – June 1, 2014 at State College, PA. These meetings are ably assisted by TU staff and are informative and enjoyable, and the fishing around State College should be superb!
Amended Budget: Motion was made by Bruce that the amended budget be taken off the table and approved. The motion was seconded by Jim Greene, discussed and the amended budget was approved.

Meeting adjourned at 2:20


Future meetings:

Sunday, January 5, location TBD, hosted by NCCTU

Saturday April 5, location TBD, hosted by PPTU

Saturday, July 12, Big Run Pavilion, SRSP, hosted by Nemacolin Chapter


Attachments


Conservation Report, MAC MTG, October 6, 2013

Jay Sheppard



Vice-Chair, Resources

Invasive Species Update: No significant news to report on changes in distribution of any aquatic invasives of interest to the MAC since our last council meeting.

Marcellus Shale fracking in MD: For any background, I refer readers to previous Conservation Reports. This remains a major issue for the foreseeable future for MAC-TU and other like-minded conservationists of our region. It is not going away.

Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission: Nick Weber will provide a separate update at this meeting on the progress of the Governor’s commission on Marcellus Shale. For background information on this commission, see previous Conservation Reports.

Brighton Dam tailwater: This is the uppermost dam on the Patuxent River. In December 2012 an inspection was made of the control structure tower by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and showed that the trash screens are maybe 95% clogged. On July 25, a dive team went down to clean several small areas to allow some deeper, colder water to pass through the screens. They discovered that the screens were actually rusted and could not be cleaned by any hand tools. Only a very small fraction of the water is passing through these rusted screens. During this dive, a flood gate was opened to allow flows downstream, but the water was 80–82º for the 8-hr operation. Shocking surveys on September 26 found good numbers of trout survived the summer, incl. that one hot spell. Some fingerlings stocked in late spring were up to 9" and very fat. It does not look promising that WSSC will replace these screens for at least a year. PPTU is looking for possible remedies, but they may cost at least $5,000 or more to implement; PPTU has spent $4650 to date on the inspection and attempted cleaning of the dam.

Columbia Gas Line in Baltimore Co: The MB extension gas line that Columbia Gas is proposing is a ~21 mile added pipeline that will cross a dozen or so tier II trout streams in upper Baltimore Co. that include the Gunpowder main stem. Columbia Gas filed their application with FERC on November 1. No decision has yet been reported. Columbia Gas has asked that they be allowed to select their crossing method for each crossing on a case-by-case basis and give the public notice of the method a brief time before each crossing. MAC sent a letter to MDE that all trout waters be crossed only by horizontal boring under the channel and not by trenching. We still (as of October 1) have not seen any input on this project from Baltimore City Water, who should have a lot of interest in the crossings of not just the Gunpowder River but many other tributaries to Lock Raven Reservoir. I find this most distressing–biggest user of the Gunpowder water and no reactions??

Wind Power in MD: MAC requested on June 18 that MDE hold a public hearing on the permit application for the proposed 4-mile Ridge Wind Turbine project in the upper Savage River watershed. No reply has been received to date.

Baltimore Water-Prettyboy/Gunpowder agreement renewal: The agreement expired in 2011. MDTU is organizing a process to renegotiate the agreement in more favorable terms for trout. I have no recent status updates on this renewal process to report.

Jennings Randolph Hydro Project: The hydro company is still actively pursuing permits and approvals. They received a 1-year extension to start construction; they hope they will be able to start construction before the end of 2014, but that still depends upon all the permits and approvals they still need. MAC still supports this project.

Hoyes Run: The restoration of the old quarry continues. Surveys by DNR this year show an excellent hatch of all three trout species. Water temperatures and flows have been very favorable. The permit application by Wisp to withdraw water from the upper watershed has been withdrawn.

National Leadership Council (NLC) Representative’s Report

Mid-Atlantic Council October 6, 2013
One of the essential duties as NLC Representative for the Mid-Atlantic Council is to participate in the Annual Meeting of TU. This year the meeting was held in Madison [Middleton], Wisconsin. Unfortunately, due to mechanical problems I was stranded at two New York airports on my way to Madison. I arrived a day late and missed what turned out to be one of the most instructive Conservation Tour in years. One key item of the Tour of the “Driftless” area was that obtaining landowner buy in can and does take time. Persistence at the chapter level does have great potential payoffs. One project took 30 years of nurture to bloom, and has resulted in landowners up and down stream lining up for habitat improvement/restoration projects.

This Annual Meeting had special meaning for me. Two of our own received national volunteer awards. Jim Greene received TU’s Youth Education Award for his hard work and diligent leadership for over a decade in establishing and nurturing the Trout-in-the-Classroom program. Jim’s work has given over 14,000 youth firsthand knowledge of, and experience with the basic values that are necessary for Trout Unlimited to achieve its mission. Jim credited the support and assistance of others, especially his wife, for the success of the program.



George Gaines received TU’s Distinguished Service Award for promoting the mission of Trout Unlimited to the general public, youth and veterans. He has been and continues to provide leadership on behalf of the National Capital Chapter and its annual Angling Show; the Tri State TU Conservation & Fishing Camp; the Mid-Atlantic Council; and, recently, as Regional Coordinator for the National Capital Region of Project Healing Waters.





Bryan Moore, VP Vol Ops & Steve Moyer, VP Gov’t Affairs Chris Wood, President/CEO & Jon Christiansen Chair,BOT

On the business side, TU is reasonably well staffed and funded. New Board of Trustees members were elected including Jim Walker, AZ NLC, and Scott Hood, Indian Nations NLC. The remainder of the meeting was devoted primarily to NLC business meetings and Council Chair session.

Responsible Energy Development Workgroup: The updated power point on hydraulic fracturing [fracing] was shown and is available. The Draft policy developed by the Responsible Energy Development Workgroup, “Protecting Coldwater Fisheries from the Impacts of Oil and Gas Development”, was warmly and intensely discussed over the next two days. TU staff and some NLC members and Council Chairs felt that the Draft policy was too demanding of and adversarial to industry and limited TU’s ability to work collegially together. MAC’s statement in general support of the policy was one of only a few inputs at the council level. Face to face negotiations in the halls resulted in development of a “resolution” that was formally put to the NLC at its business meeting on Saturday. The resolution identified the issues that the RED considered over the past year and asked the Board of Trustees to consider developing a TU policy statement on oil & gas energy development.

The issue was discussed at the Sunday Board of Trustees meeting and a committee of 7 was named to meet electronically and by conference call to develop a national policy. The group, under the leadership of the Chair of the BOT, Jon Christiansen, consists of two BOT members who have expertise in the energy field; TU staff VP and Chris Wood, TU President; and two grassroot members.

Chapter Rechartering: The National Chapter, # 011, and Youghiogheny Chapter #335, were approved as rechartered TU chapters. [Approve and upload Chapter Bylaws!]

Embrace-A-Stream: New representatives were approved. Only $130,000 was available last year, about half of previous years. Chapters and Councils, as well as individuals, are strongly encouraged to support this grassroot driven effort which directly assists local chapters to both improve streams and strengthen chapter growth.

Delaware River Workgroup: The group lacks a representative from Delaware and has not been successful identifying one.

Youth Development Workgroup: The workgroup has focused on developing a “stream of engagement” to continue the enthusiasm generated by TIC into high school and college youth. A short video has been developed. Additionally, the workgroup has offered a short ‘train the trainer – casting’ to assist chapter members working with youth.

Women’s Initiative Workgroup: A women’s retreat was held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting. Suggestions to make new members feel at home in meetings and events were discussed. NJ Council’s Northeast VP & Women’s Initiative Coordinator, Kelly Buchta, has offered to talk with MAC at its next meeting.

NLC established a new workgroup on Climate Change. TU staff is studying what TU can do to augment the work of others. TU chapters’ work on habitat can help reduce stressors on trout. Chapters can take steps to increase citizen science (water quality monitoring) and public awareness of the value of fishing.

Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting: General discussions on hosting a meeting at State college in 2014 have begun.

Submitted by outgoing NLC Rep, Bruce Eberle





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