Natural Resources and Eco-Tourism Steering Committee Minutes

Beaver Island Natural Resources and Eco-tourism Steering Committee

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NRESC, March 18, 2015

Beaver Island Natural Resources and Ecotourism Steering Committee

Beaver Island Natural Resources & Ecotourism Steering Committee                                                                                         Peaine Township Hall,                                                                                                                      January 21, 2015 @ 4:00 p.m.
Mission Statement:  The Beaver Island Natural Resources and Ecotourism Steering Committee is committed to understanding and preserving our natural resources and promoting opportunities for their appreciation and enjoyment.
DRAFT of MINUTES
In Attendance: Rob Groesbeck, Cindy Ricksgers, and Pam Grassmick.   Attendance via conference call:   Seamus Norgaard, Noah Jansen, Eric Myers, Jennifer Kleitch and Brian Mastenbrook.  Absent: Shimenetto, Birdsall, McDonough, Markey, Scrotenboer, and Powers.
Acting Chairperson: Cindy Ricksgers called the meeting to order at 4:10 p.m. upon the necessary quorum being met. A draft of the previous minutes was circulated electronically prior to the meeting.

  1. Minutes from last meeting-November 4, 2014-approved.  Motion (Groesbeck/Norgaard) to adopt minutes as written. 7-0.
  2. Invasive Species Update:  (Synopsis of January 14, 2015 SOGL meeting circulated with agenda). Ricksgers updated those present on the 2015 treatment plans and the work that needs to be achieved with property owners for invasive control along easement areas of utility lines and road right-of-ways.  Ricksgers will also be presenting Beaver Island’s non-native Phragmites program on January 24th at the Stewardship Network’s Annual Meeting.
  3. Roundtable Discussion: Groesbeck outlined the BI Community School’s Stewardship Program for their student body.  He has applied to take the science class to the Inland Seas Program to learn about water quality data collection. He expressed a need to have the students exposed to the scientific side of potential college majors.  The HWA student community survey day provided a chance to expose students to natural resources careers and data collection. Jansen (LTBB) discussed tribal involvement with invasive species control efforts.  He has applied for funding under a 2016 CZM grant for invasive species control on Whiskey, High, and Garden. He is also on the newly formed invasive species steering committee for CAKE (Charlevoix, Antrim, Kalkaska, and Emmet counties). They are preparing a Cooperative Weed Agreement for those organizations within this service area. Kleitch discussed her work on updating the forestry compartment reviews for Beaver Island.  She indicated that she has obtained and utilized Shaun Howard’s (TNC) shape files. The DNR Islands’ Planning group meets tomorrow to work on the management plan. Mastenbrook to obtain public comments related to the Beaver Island Archipelago from previous DNR public input surveys for the DNR’s Islands Planning session. Suggested sources include: the Land Consolidation Strategy; Forest Management comments for GL Islands; and the Biodiversity Stewardship Area nominations. Norgaard inquired about the recent communication from Keith Kintigh that defined the direction of the DNR planning and the timeline.  Norgaard stated that he believed the NRESC Recommendations were based on consensus and he did not understand the rationale to begin with clear cuts when it was clearly noted that a landscape ecosystem planning approach was needed for Beaver Island. He also spoke that the timeline limited input from the majority of stakeholders which are off island during the fall and winter. Myers remarked that a piece meal forest approach fails to recognize that we are an island and our forests would benefit from a broader landscape view. Various drawbacks to the present forest compartment reviews were discussed. Whether the island could potentially opt out of Forest Certification was unclear. NRESC’s Goals 1 and 2 referenced visioning at a landscape level and would utilize local interested parties in the development of that plan similar to the Pigeon River Special Management Area. The effects of Beech decline on Beaver Island’s forests needs extensive forest management planning. Approaching MSU’s Deb McCullough who specializes in BBD was suggested. Grassmick reported on the BIBT field trip guides and speakers for the Memorial Weekend festivities. The OGL is still pursuing funding for a GL Islands Fellow.  MSU’s, Kyle Whyte, LTBB staff, and islanders are pursuing an EPA grant for a local environmental education project which builds local capacity for stewardship practices related to preserving native shoreline vegetation. Michigan Dune Alliance (MDA) which is chaired by Shaun Howard, is awarding Beaver Island $20,000 to assist with building local capacity for the control of invasive species. We’re to identify how we want these funds to be used. MDA is applying for a SOGL grant for priority wetlands which include sites on Garden and Hog Islands.  Those priority sites were sent to Jansen and Kleitch.  Peaine Township’s December meeting minutes indicated that trails or a trail coordinator will not be addressed at this time. The township felt trails were too complicated with state and private ownership.  Nathan Ayers with the Archangel Foundation is interested in working with islanders to provide thousands of seedlings from the island’s genetic stock for forest restoration. The Master Plan is about 2 months away from being submitted to the townships boards for their approval.  The NRESC was thanked for their assistance with the DNR T & E gala fund raiser in December.  Beaver Island business sponsors had their contact information given to participants at the dinner-auction event.
  4. Adjournment:   Motion to adjourn meeting was made (Groesbeck/Jansen) at 5:15 p.m.  Motion carried 7-0. Next meeting is scheduled for March 18th at 4 p.m.                                                                                                                                                  

Respectfully submitted,   

Pam Grassmick, Secretary 1/24/2015

Beaver Island Natural Resources & Ecotourism Steering Committee                                                                                         Peaine Township Hall-September 16, 2014-4:30 p.m.
Mission Statement:  The Beaver Island Natural Resources and Ecotourism Steering Committee is committed to understanding and preserving our natural resources and promoting opportunities for their appreciation and enjoyment.
DRAFT of MINUTES
Acting Chairperson, Sandy Birdsall, called the meeting to order at 4:40 p.m. upon the necessary quorum being met. A draft of the minutes was circulated electronically prior to the meeting.
In attendance: Cindy Ricksgers, Marie Shimenetto, Sandy Birdsall, and Pam Grassmick.   Attendance via conference call:  Bill Parsons, Eric Myers, Seamus Norgaard, and Craig Schroenboer.   Absent:  Bill Markey, Doug Tilly, Brian Mastenbrook, Jeff Powers, and Linda McDonough.  Guests:  Rob Groesbeck, BICS Science Teacher.

  1. Adoption of July 8 , 2014 meeting minutes.  Motion by Ricksgers/Norgaard to approve the minutes as written. Adopted 8-0.
  2. Election of Officers.  Motion by Ricksgers/Birdsall to appoint Marie Shimenetto as Chairperson of the NRESC. Approved 8-0. Motion by Birdsall/Ricksgers to appoint Jeff Powers as Vice-Chair of NRESC.  Approved 8-0.  With no individuals interested in the secretarial position, Pam Grassmick will act as Secretary for one year.  Motion by Ricksgers/Norgaard to appoint Grassmick for one year. Approved 8-0.  The NRESC’s mission and goals of the NRESC Recommendation Plan were reviewed and Rob Groesbeck agreed to join the NRESC as the BICS representative.  Motion by Birdsall/Norgaard to accept Rob Groesbeck as the BICS representative was unanimously approved.
  3. Meeting Dates. November 4, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. is the last scheduled 2014 meeting for the NRESC.  Meeting schedule for 2015:  Meetings to take place at 4 p.m. at Peaine Township Hall on the 3rd Wednesday- January 21st, March 18th,  May 20th, September 16th, October 21st, and November 18th.  Motion by Groesbeck/Grassmick to accept the 2015 meeting schedule and to post accordingly.  Accepted 9-0.
  4. Phragmites and Invasive Species Treatment Update.  Ricksgers reported that Phragmites treatment is moving along on High, Garden, and Whiskey Islands by Pam’s Invasive Plant Services from Charlevoix.  The shoreline of Beaver Island and two interior stands of invasive Phragmites are expected to be treated before the end of the month by Wildlife and Wetland Solutions from Traverse City. The SOGL grant will assist with funding treatment of priority invasive species based on TNC’s 2013 invasive survey. Treatment is planned along roadways, GLE right-of-ways, LTC property and private land holdings.  It is hoped that required DNR paperwork will be in place to allow treatment of state lands in 2015.
  5. Roundtable Discussion of Natural Resource Projects/Programs.  Parsons (LTBB) reported on work related to assessing past Walleye stocking efforts at Lake Geneserath and Fox Lake.  The LTBB did not stock this year due to rearing pond issues.  The Wildlife Club stocked both lakes with 900 fry.  The LTBB biologists will complete a Deer Spot-Light Survey the last week in October.  Schrotenboer (BIA) discussed the current invasive species initiative through collaboration with TNC and CRA.  Work plans were reviewed and Grassmick was requested to send work plans and other recent invasive species documents to the NRESC members.  Hog Island’s shoreline survey was completed in August for Phragmites and other invasive species. TNC has also been notified that they have been awarded a SOGL grant funding to continue building capacity of the island to control or eradicate invasive species through 2016 along with control of other invasives along the eastern Lake Michigan shoreline.  Norgaard will be meeting on Beaver Island next week with faculty and grad students from MSU’s Environmental Philosophy Department.  This exploratory meeting is intended to review the NRESC’s Recommendation Plan and collaborate with NMCC to involve grad students with environmental projects and policies. Grassmick commented on the success of the BIBT, upcoming NW Regional Birding Trail meeting, and the Stewardship Network’s request for Phragmites panel participation at the annual January Lansing meeting. Ricksgers will attend the Stewardship meeting and represent the islands’ Phragmites efforts. On October 7th,  from 9-3 p.m., the BICS will be the site of a Forest Health Community Workshop that will include LTBB, LTC, students, and private property owners.  A team from the Forestry Division of the DNR and the MD Agriculture and Rural Development will speak on various forest diseases, careers in natural resources, a new forestry reporting app, and a survey specific to Beaver Island.  Discussion followed on EAB and recent reports of firewood arriving on private aircraft and cars. Shimenetto, as Chairperson, will send a letter to BIBCO, townships, Chamber, and Airport Committee regarding the MDARD Internal Quarantine for the islands and the need for vigilance. Grassmick will contact the MDARD to inquire about the quarantine being placed on an aviation map. Shimenetto (St. James Representative) spoke of the MNRTF application for the St. James Fishing Pier/Boat Launch. She would also like to incorporate a waterways trail into the proposal.  Carol Burton and Mark Engelsman will be approached about their interest in joining a proposed waterways trail subcommittee. Birdsall (Peaine Township Representative) expressed her sincere hope that the NRESC will assist with the new museum expansion plans which will include natural resources as the main theme. Cost for that segment is $145,000. The BIHS has also recently been added to the Fisheries Heritage Trail as a founding member. Peaine Township is in the final stages of acquiring the Fox Lake property through funding from the MNRTF. 
  6. NRESC Natural Resource Planning.  In an effort to save time, NRESC members are requested to send Grassmick a list of proposed projects that the NRESC members can review prior to the next meeting.  Members are to come ready, in November, to discuss which projects should be our focus for 2015.
  7. Adjournment:  A motion to adjourn the meeting by Ricksgers. Unanimous. Meeting adjourned at 5:45 p.m.                                                                                                                                                     

Respectfully submitted,   

Pam Grassmick, Secretary  09/22/14

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 4:30 p.m.

Peaine Township Hall.

Mission Statement:  The Beaver Island Natural Resources and Eco-tourism Steering Committee is committed to understanding and preserving our natural resources and promoting opportunities for their appreciation and enjoyment.

Call in #: 1-415-464-6800

Passcode: 49782

DRAFT AGENDA

1.    Adoption of Minutes from Previous Meetings. See draft of minutes from July 8, 2014.

2.  Election of Officers

3.  Setting 2015 Meeting Dates.

4.  Phragmites and invasive species treatment-Cindy Ricksgers

5.  Roundtable Discussion of Natural Resource's Projects.

6.   Natural Resource Management PlanningRefocusing on the NRESC Recommendations and setting conservation priorities into action.  How to continue the process?

7.  Adjournment

Beaver Island Natural Resources and Ecotourism Steering Committee                                                                                                                                               Peaine Township Hall    July 8, 2014-4 p.m.
Mission Statement:  The Beaver Island Natural Resources and Ecotourism Steering Committee is committed to understanding and preserving our natural resources and promoting opportunities for their appreciation and enjoyment.
DRAFT of MINUTES
Acting Chairman, Doug Tilly, called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. upon the necessary quorum being met. A draft of the minutes was circulated electronically prior to the meeting.
In attendance: Doug Tilly, Cindy Ricksgers, Bill Markey, Sandra Birdsall, Seamus Norgaard (4:35 p.m.), Marie Shimenetto (5:20 p.m.) and Pam Grassmick.   Attendance via conference call:  Bill Parsons, Noah Jansen, and Kevin Hanes.   Absent:  Craig Schrotenboer, Brian Mastenbrook, Jeff Powers, and Linda McDonough.  Guests:  Eric Myers.

  1. Adoption of March 18, 2014 meeting minutes:  Motion (Birdsall/Markey) to approve the minutes with an amendment to #4 which is to include:  Mastenbrook indicated that $14,000 is being allocated to Beaver Island for priority projects this year. Adopted 7-0.
  2. Discussion of St. James Township’s December Minutes.  Ricksgers read the December 2013-St. James minutes related to the NRESC Amendment approval.  Amendment reviewed and no further action required.
  3. 2014 Meeting Dates:  Motion (Grassmick/Markey) to establish September 16, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. and November 4, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. as meeting dates. Election of officers to take place at September meeting.

Adopted 7-0.

  1. Invasive Species Update:  Ricksgers gave an overview of the SOGL grant status, challenges, and discussions with Amy Beyer.  She stated that she will be submitting bid requests shortly for work on the outer islands.  CRA will submit for Beaver Island.  Private contributions for Beaver Island treatment is currently around $8000.00.  Expanding control/treatment of invasive species was the #1 priority of island property owners in the Recreation Plan surveys.
  2. Most Urgent Needs Priority Funding:  Treatment of invasive species within the archipelago and survey of Hog Island’s current Phragmites infestation was discussed and identified as a priority action item for the NRESC.  Discussion followed about approaching Mastenbrook to allocate 1/3 of the DNR proposed funding for shoreline habitat maintenance for migratory birds, property owner education, a shoreline survey of Hog Island, and treatment/control of invasive species.  Other most urgent needs identified by those present but left to Mastenbrook to decide on priority funding included:   a)Campgrounds/Parks/Recreation:  fire rings, beach access, Iron Ore Creek rock glazing, interpretive signage, and a water trail initiative for Beaver Island. b) Sensitive Natural Features inventory and map for the Beaver Island Planning Commissions. c)  Health, safety, and future visioning of Beaver Island forests. Motion (Birdsall/Norgaard) to approach Mastenbrook regarding the above urgent needs and potential funding support.
  3. Appointment to fill Member-at-Large vacancy:  Motion (Birdsall/Ricksgers) to appoint Eric Myers to fill Bill Cashman’s open position.  Adopted 8-0.
  4. Round table Discussion:  Jansen discussed his position within the LTBB.  He offered $5,000 of GLRI funding to be used toward invasive species treatment of Garden and High.  Parsons discussed the GLRI Biodiversity grant.  Marsh bird, MNFI plant and herpetology surveys have been completed and the final report will be forth coming. He is offering assistance to the WC for a spot light indexing to document deer abundance.  He recounted fisheries works and plans for restocking Lake G with more walleye.  The two nests of PP are being monitored with the breeding bird bands indicating that the PP were from US 2 and Cathead Bay.  He also spoke of the eagle transmitters program (2 adults and 2 young fitted). Parsons also offered transportation assistance with a Hog Island survey and/or potentially outer island treatment.  Birdsall discussed the BI Print Shop Museum expansion with the natural resource exhibit being the center piece of the exhibit and encouraged NRESC involvement. Tilly discussed his presentation on gold panning which attracted 194 attendees.  Grassmick reported on the success of the BIBT with a group of visually impaired teens and support staff to arrive next week for a birding experience.  CCCF arrives July 9th to view the Swift tower and BIBT. EAB trapping is being scheduled for 2015.  Markey updated those present on the status of the Master Plan.  They are currently on hold awaiting census data from the county.  When the package is complete, it will go to the townships for their approval prior to being distributed to the public and other organizations.
  5. Natural Resource Management Planning:  Motion (Norgaard/Ricksgers) to table this topic for next meeting due to the meeting length. Adopted 8-0.
  6. Adjournment:   Next meeting September 16, 2014. Meeting was adjourned at 5:30 p.m. (Parsons/Norgaard) Motion carried 8-0.                                                                                                                                                    

Respectfully submitted,   

Pam Grassmick, Acting Secretary 07/10/14

Beaver Island Natural Resources & Ecotourism Steering Committee                                                                                         Peaine Township Hall-March 18, 2014-7 p.m.
Mission Statement:  The Beaver Island Natural Resources and Ecotourism Steering Committee is committed to understanding and preserving our natural resources and promoting opportunities for their appreciation and enjoyment.
DRAFT of MINUTES
Acting Chairman, Doug Tilly, called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m. upon the necessary quorum being met. A draft of the minutes was circulated electronically prior to the meeting.
In Attendance: Doug Tilly, Bill Markey, and Pam Grassmick.   Attendance via conference call:  Bill Parsons, Sandy Birdsall, Seamus Norgaard, and Brian Mastenbrook.   Absent:  Craig Schrotenboer, Jeff Powers, and Linda McDonough.  Guests:  Peaine Supervisor Kohls and Cindy Ricksgers.

  1. Discussion on continuing the momentum of NRESC and Implementation of the Recommendation Plan:   Following Mastenbrook’s comments on the NRESC Recommendation Plan, he introduced the new DNR planning process for the Wildlife Research Islands in Lake Michigan.  The islands’ use will be redefined since no research is taking place and a new airport is in development on N. Fox Island.  It is anticipated to take 6 months to 1 year.  Further discussion proceeded on the adopted DNR Land Consolidation Strategy and how the potential land disposal criteria may influence the archipelago’s land holdings.  According to Mastenbrook, defining why to keep island property will be part of their discussions.
  2.  Master Plan discussion:  The Joint Townships’ Planning Commissions are soliciting input into the updated Master Plan (MP) by April 15th.  Grassmick to provide members with the link to the MP for their review. Motion (Birdsall/Markey) to approve authorization of Grassmick to collect Master Plan comments from the NRESC members by April 4th, members to receive those comments, and finally submitted to the joint Planning Commissions by April 15th. All MP questions are to be directed to the entire NRESC membership. Adopted 7-0.
  3. Cindy Ricksgers’ nomination to NRESC: Motion (Tilly/Markey) to accept Cindy Ricksgers as a member of the NRESC.  Adopted 7-0 pending both townships’ approval.
  4. Mastenbrook’s discussion on grant opportunities and current funding:  Mastenbrook discussed how he intends to build capacity and get action on the NRESC Recommendation Plan. Suggested projects were discussed and he encouraged the use of Wildlife Habitat grants.  He requested that members focus on their top 3 most urgent projects and the top 3 “big picture projects” related to the Recommendations.  Projects are to be submitted by May 1st and will be compiled by Mastenbrook for future use at a June meeting.
  5. Minutes from last meeting 10/14/13 approved.  Motion (Birdsall/Norgaard) to adopt minutes as written. 7-0.
  6. Adjournment:  Kohls suggested that the NRESC continue to operate under previous resolution/by-laws until he successfully resolves Ed Wojan’s concerns.  Meeting was adjourned at 8:14 p.m. (Markey/Norgaard) Motion carried 7-0.                                                                                                                                                    

Respectfully submitted,   

Pam Grassmick, Acting Secretary 03/19/14

 

 

Exhibit A

          Natural Resources and Ecotourism Steering Committee
                       Amended and Restated Bylaws 

Purpose:

  1. The Natural Resources and Ecotourism Steering Committee has been reorganized by the Townships for the purpose of:  a. monitoring the plan adopted by the NRESC and Townships entitled “Recommendations for Natural Resource Management in the Beaver Archipelago” (the Plan); b. working with other agencies, entities,  and groups to promote actions supporting the goals and objectives set forth in the plan.
  2. In addition the NRESC with approval of its Members may also take responsibility for completing an action that is supportive of the goals and objectives in the Plan.
  3. All actions taken by the NRESC shall conform to the Plan.

NRESC  Members:

      l.   The NRESC shall an individual  Member  of the NRESC appointed by and  representing Peaine Township  and an individual Member of the N  representing the St. James Township Planning Commission.

2.  The NRESC shall have Members who are appointed by local organizations and other organizations interested in the Natural Resources   who have appointed a representative and submitted a letter to the NRESC confirming their participation.

3. The NRESC may appoint individuals as Members who have expertise in the  Natural Resources or Ecotourism and who desire to become a member or who are already been a Member and wish to continue.

4. The NRESC shall keep an updated list of all Members and shall submit this list to the Townships and shall inform the Townships of any changes.

Governance:

  1. Executive Committee:  An Executive Committee  shall consist of the two NRESC Members appointed by the Townships, the two NRESC members appointed by the  Planning Commissions and three other Members of the NRESC selected by the Members of the NRESC. The Executive Committee  will meet a minimum of quarterly to review progress on the purposes set forth above, to appoint committees of members of the NRESC to carry out actions in furtherance of the Plan, and to receive reports from organizations, plan the annual meeting apply for grants with Township approval, and report to the Townships. Notice of meetings and minutes of the executive committee will be sent to all Members and will be posted for the public. The Executive Committee members will rotate the offices of Chair, Vice-chair, and Secretary. All funds obtained by the NRESC shall be deposited with the Peaine Township Clerk for submittal to the Peaine Township Treasurer who shall keep a record of the NRESC funds. A quorum of the Executive Board shall consist of 4 Members. An  Executive Committee meeting may be called by any three members of the Executive Committee.
  1. General Membership Meetings:  General Membership meetings of all Members will be held twice a year One of the meetings shall be a formal Annual Meeting for reporting all progress regarding actions supporting the plan for submission to the Townships.  Additional meetings can be called by the Executive Board or by request of one-third of the Members. A quorum of general membership meetings shall be 5l% of the Members.
  1. NRESC Meetings:   All NRESC meetings  shall be held at the Peaine Township Hall, shall conform  to the requirements of the Open Meetings Act and the Freedom of Information Act.
  1. Voting:   A simple majority of Members present at a meeting shall be required for all actions except matters where a Member requests a Majority vote for any item which has  been added to the agenda at a meeting and not presented in advance. After these bylaws have been approved, further amendments shall require a 2/3 vote.
  1. Correspondence: Correspondence NRESC letterhead or by an officer or Executive Board Member or  by a Member representing the NRESC shall require prior approval of the Executive Board.
  1. Effective Date of the Bylaws: After approval by the majority of the NRESC, these bylaws shall be effective and shall be submitted to both Township Clerks.

Amended to conform to the Amended and Restated Resolution Dated _________________
And approved by the NRESC  Dated ______________

AMENDED AND RESTATED
            RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING THE BEAVER ISLAND
NATURAL RESOURCES AND ECOTOURISM STEERING COMMITTEE

 

Whereas, the Townships of St. James and Peaine established the Beaver Island Natural Resources and Ecotourism Steering Committee (NRESC), and

Whereas,  as directed by the Townships, the NRESC has completed a plan entitled “Recommendations for Natural Resource Management in the Beaver
Archipelago” (the Plan) which  has been approved and adopted by both Townships, and

Whereas, the Plan contains a Vision, three Goals and Objectives and Strategies and Objectives for each of the three Goals, and

Whereas it is the desire of the NRESC and the Townships to actively pursue
action plans to achieve the strategies and objectives, and

Whereas, the NRESC may work on some projects as an organization, most of the actions to realize the objectives will need to be completed by other organizations, both members of the NRESC and non-members.

Now therefore, it is hereby resolved by the Townships of St. James and Peaine that the Resolution established the NRESC is hereby amended and restated and shall serve as the sole governing Resolution as follows:

  1. The NRESC is now charged with monitoring the Plan and working with other agencies, entities, and groups to promote actions supporting the goals and objectives set forth in the Plan. 
  2. The NRESC with approval of its members may also take responsibility for completing an action that is supportive of the goals and objectives in the Plan.
  3. Each Township shall continue to appoint an individual NRESC Member who will represent the township on the NRESC. Each Township planning Commission shall also continue to appoint a representative to the NRESC.
  4. Local organizations  and other organizations interested in the Natural Resources of the Island who are interested in having a representative on the NRESC may do so by appointing a representative and submitting a letter to the NRESC confirming their participation. Individuals who have expertise in the Natural Resources or Ecotourism may also be appointed by the NRESC as an individual member.  

In engaging in its activities the NRESC shall:

  1. Act as a committee of the Townships, and comply with the Open Meetings Act and Freedom of Information Act. 
  2. Report annually to the Townships.
  3. Incur no contractual or grant liability for the NRESC without approval of the Townships.
  4. Keep the public informed regarding the progress of the NRESC.
  5. Be governed by the Bylaws adopted by the NRESC and attached hereto as exhibit A.
  6. Upon adoption of the Resolution, the NRESC shall submit to the Township a list of all Members and shall update the list for the Township when any changes are made to the list of Members.

 

Approved this ___day of _____, 2013
By the Peaine Township Board

By _________________________               Attest:_____________________
      William Kohls, Supervisor                                  Colleen Martin, Clerk

Approved this ___day of _______, 2013
By the St. James Township Board

By _________________________               Attest:_____________________
     Bill Haggard, Supervisor                                     Jean Wierenga, Clerk

 

Beaver Island Natural Resources & Ecotourism Committee     

           Peaine Township Hall-October 12, 2013-1 p.m.
Mission Statement:  The Beaver Island Natural Resources and Ecotourism Steering Committee is committed to understanding and preserving our natural resources and promoting opportunities for their appreciation and enjoyment.
DRAFT of MINUTES


Acting Chairman Sandra Birdsall called the meeting to order at 1:15 p.m upon the arrival of Jeff Powers providing the necessary quorum. Draft of Resolution and Bylaws circulated electronically before meeting.
In Attendance: Sandy Birdsall, Linda McDonough, Bill Markey, Jeff Powers, and Pam Grassmick.   Attendance via conference call:  Bill Parsons and Craig Schrotenboer.   Absent:  Seamus Norgaard, Brian Mastenbrook, and Doug Tilly.

  1. Discussion of Amended and Restated Resolution of the NRESC:  Birdsall began with a reading of the proposed draft document. 6th paragraph to read:  Now therefore, it is hereby resolved by the Townships of St. James and Peaine that the Resolution establishing the NRESC is hereby amended and restated and shall serve as the sole governing Resolution as follows:  The resolution was approved with minor changes and the final document will be distributed with the minutes.

Motion (Powers/Grassmick) to adopt the Amended and Restated Resolution of the NRESC and present to the township boards at their next scheduled meeting in November. Adopted 7-0.

  1.  Discussion on Exhibit A-Amended and Restated Bylaws:  Birdsall reviewed the proposed draft.  Question was raised about the need for a Treasurer position. It was decided that the only funds obtained to this point was through the Driving and Trail Guides and those funds were deposited in the general fund. As a township entity, the township would provide the means for tracking any grants and other funding sources. The Bylaws were approved with minor changes and the final document will be distributed with the minutes.  Motion (Grassmick/Markey) to approve the Amended and Restated Bylaws and present to the township boards at their next scheduled meeting in November. Adopted 7-0.
  2. Election of Officers:  Placed on hold until Resolution and Bylaws are approved by the two township boards.  Next NRESC scheduled meeting will occur following the township board meetings-on Tuesday, November 19 at 7 p.m.
  3. Solicitation of New Members: All organizations/individuals interested in NRESC participation are requested to provide a letter to the NRESC by November 29th. Birdsall to follow-up with school regarding participation.  Eric Myers submitted an interest in serving. Birdsall and Grassmick will post public notices to solicit interested organizations and/or individuals.
  4. Adjournment:  Until township boards review and adopt resolution and bylaws, it was felt that no further business should be conducted.  Meeting was adjourned at 1:45 p.m. (McDonough/Grassmick) Motion carried 7-0.                                                                                                                                                    

Respectfully submitted,    Pam Grassmick, Acting Secretary 10/14/13

 

October 12, 2013 at 1 p.m. at Peaine Township Hall
Call in #: 1-415-464-6800
Passcode: 49782 followed by the # sign

Mission Statement:  The Beaver Island Natural Resources and Ecotourism Steering Committee is committed to understanding and preserving our natural resources and promoting opportunities for their appreciation and enjoyment.

DRAFT AGENDA

  1. Call to Order, welcome, and announcements of changes to agenda

2. Adopt minutes:  September 14th meeting.

3. Presentation, discussion, and adoption of By-laws.

4. Presentation, discussion, and adoption of Resolution to the Townships.

5. Election of officers.

6. Round table discussion on projects/updates since last meeting.

7. Discussion on participation of Master Plan updates for January NRESC meeting.

8. Adjourn-next meeting-Tuesday, January 21 at 7 p.m.

Beaver Island Natural Resources & Ecotourism Committee
Peaine Township Hall-September 14, 2013-10 a.m
DRAFT of MINUTES
Acting Chairman Doug Tilly called the meeting to order at 10:20 a.m. upon the arrival of Jeff Powers providing the necessary quorum.
In Attendance: Sandy Birdsall, Linda McDonough, Bill Markey, Doug Tilly Seamus Norgaard,  Jeff Powers, and Pam Grassmick.  Absent:  Bill Parsons, Brian Mastenbrook, and Craig Schrotenboer.  Public attendance via conference call:  Eric Myers

  1. Adoption of Minutes from  June 29th.  A motion by Birdsall/Powers to adopt the June minutes  which were submitted electronically with today’s agenda.  Adopted 7-0.
  2. Discussion resumed on NRESC’s Natural Resources Recommendations:   Peaine Township has adopted the Recommendations Plan and St. James Township has indicated that they will adopt on September 18, 2013 without restrictions.  At the Peaine Planning Commission’s-September 10th meeting- the members indicated that the Recreation Plans and NRESC’s Natural Resources Recommendations Plan will be placed as appendices in the revised Master Plan expected to be completed in May 2014.
  3. Discussion on the future of the NRESC :  Parsons/LTBB  and Mastenbrook/MIDNR indicated via e-mail their preference to continue as members of the NRESC.  6 member positions remain open-St. James, Chamber, Realtors and Builders, BICS, and 2 at-large: Cashman and Gillingham. Tilly, Powers, Birdall, Norgaard, Markey, and McDonough agreeing to continue on the NRESC.  Cindy Ricksgers, the Phragmites Administrator, should be invited for inclusion as an NRESC member.  Markey suggested that other interested persons may step forward for specific projects.  Motion by Grassmick/Norgaard to revise by-laws and resolution to reflect a smaller committee and schedule quarterly meetings.  Adopted 7-0.  Subcommittee to revise resolution and by-laws:  Birdsall, Tilly, and Grassmick and submit to members prior to next meeting.  Powers asked that the BICS be contacted for their interest in continuing on the NRESC. 
  4. Election of officers:  Recommendation made to hold election until after by-laws and resolution are adopted.  Tilly will remain as chair until that time.  Motion by Grassmick/Birdsall to establish October 12 at 1 p.m. for our next scheduled meeting with quarterly meetings on the 3rd Tuesday of those months: January 21, April 22, July 15, and October 21st, 2014 at 7 p.m.  Adopted 7-0.
  5. Round table discussion:  Powers discussed the Wildlife Club’s deer driving surveys, APRs and deer check program.  WC working with the DNR to make a separate unit for turkey hunting-“too many turkeys.”  In addition, the WC would like to place artificial reefs to benefit the fisheries program.  Markey commented that an island wide trail’s system needed visioning and development.  Tilly discussed the boat ramp proposal for Lake Geneserath and Fox Lakes.  He mentioned the St. James Fishing Pier and boat launch is under site design review and grants will be pursued this winter.  Grassmick provided information on Michigan’s Beaver Island Birding Trail (MBIBT) proposal, organizational assistance, site selection, eBird, brochure, and web site development.  This program addresses each of the goals found in the NRESC Recommendations Plan -public education, resource appreciation, economic growth, habitat management, capability for game and non-game specie survey and trends. Motion Birdsall/McDonough for the NRESC to endorse BIBT.  Adopted 7-0.  Birdsall to present at the next Peaine Township board meeting-the need to support the BIBT from the NRESC’s budget.  Motion Birdsall/Norgaard to fund $1000.00 from the NRESC budget to assist with payment of travel expenses for speakers and bird guides for BIBT dedication.  Payment will occur through invoices to Peaine Township. Adopted 7-0.

Birdsall discussed the need for printed and bound copies of the NRESC’s Natural Resources Recommendation Plan.  She will report back at the October meeting on the cost of producing copies.  Birdsall updated those present on the work of the BI Historical Society.  A new addition to the Mormon Print Shop is being pursued which will house the key stories of the island.  Those 5 key stories include:  1) formation of the island:  geology, flora, and fauna.  2)  First inhabitants 3)  Strang/Morman rule  4)Irish immigration, and 5)  20th century and now-air service, ferry, mail, electric, cell and economic changes.  Birdsall noted that everything here-past and present-revolves around our natural resources and would like the NRESC to participate in the development of the natural history section.  Markey commented on the need for more natural resource surveys and provide that information to the public.  Grassmick reviewed CRA’s involvement last summer and next year with herp, birds, and botany surveys.  EAB, invasives, and BBD contacts were related.  Powers noted the DNRs fisheries work this summer and the LTBB walleye efforts.  Reports are still forth coming.  Additionally, during the Birding Trail dedication, we may be able to offer poster presentations on recent avian work by Nancy Seefelt on remote sensing of songbird populations, the U of Chicago researcher on Spotted sandpipers, and others.  Markey discussed the work of the Planning Commissions related to Critical Dunes, Special Use, and blight.  He felt the need to re-frame the issue from one of blight to one of metal recycling.  Collection, shipping, and illegal dumping remain an on-going issue and asked for NRESC support in protecting the beauty and environment.  Myers offered his assistance as a community member for specific projects-trails, birding trail work, and BIHS’s natural history. 

  1.   Adjournment:   Motion by Birdsall/Powers to adjourn at 11:30 a.m.  Motion carried 7-0.

Respectfully submitted,

Pam Grassmick
Acting Secretary  09/14/13

Natural Resources and Ecotourism Steering Committee

Draft minutes of the 3-23-2013 meeting

The meeting was called to order at the Peaine Hall at 10:00 a.m. Pete Plastrik, Jim Gillingham, Pam Grassmick, Brian Mastenbrook, Seamus Norgaard, and Bill Cashman were present, and Bill Parsons was on the phone. Joe Moore and Angel Welke were in the audience.

The agenda was modified to include 6), private land stewardship, and 7) an update on the emerald ash borer program.

Authorization was proposed for issuing an NRESC letter supporting Peaine Township's acquisition of land at Fox Lake. It was so moved by Cashman and seconded by Grassmick, and then unanimously approved. Plastrik agreed to draft the letter.

A voluntary program to educate shoreline property owners in Charlevoix County was discussed. There were ~633 on Beaver Island and ~400 on the mainland. The program, backed by the Coastal Zone Management and the Charlevoix Conservation District, would send an informative booklet to shoreline owners, ask for their cooperation, and support a Michigan Natural Features survey of rare and endangered species, creating a data base of information accessible by shoreline owners. So far the Little Traverse Conservancy, the Beaver Island Association, the Preservation Association, the City of Charlevoix, the Little Traverse Band, and other groups had given their support. Gillingham moved NRESC do the same, Norgaard seconded, and unanimous approval was given.

The progress of the three subcommittees was discussed.

The Resource Management subcommittee had begun to flesh out its list of key species and their habitats, hoping to identify a limited number and prioritize them. It gave examples that had already been studied—white-tailed deer, phragmites , and bald eagles—and suggested it could pick an example illustrating each criterion, such as the threatened woodcock, as an illustration of the economic criteria. It discussed the importance of building feedback into a plan by incorporating adaptive management principles. It talked about the chimney swift program, and about how the location of key species might be mapped.

It circulated a paper outlining its approach. The paper began with an overview, and gave three strategies. The first listed five criteria for identifying key species; the second listed eight considerations to apply when determining priorities; and the fourth reiterated the adaptive management approach. The paper also added seven terms to the previously submitted glossary.

The Economic Growth subcommittee distributed an in-depth analysis of its nineteen strategies, arranged under four objectives. They were replete with specific suggestions, several of which were discussed. The paper called for quality publications extolling our natural resources, expanding ecotourism, adding nature events to Museum Week, considering ORV trails, increasing conservation easements, improving access, expanding trails, increasing research, and encouraging more outlets for local-grown produce. Methods of accomplishing these and other strategies were discussed.

The Nature Education subcommittee circulated a briefer report in which it stated its uncertainty about the means for accomplishing its earlier suggested strategies—many would require extended periods of time. But it did propose six particular strategies it thought could be accomplished this year or next, and passed out copies of a colorful draft brochure identifying seventy-seven sites on two maps of Beaver Island, encouraging residents and visitors to take greater advantage of our great natural bounty. Prices were supplied for printing (such as $740 for 5,000 11 x 17 color-both-sides copies).

This brochure prompted Welke to show brochures she had acquired in Gaylord which extolled that area's birding, hunting, fishing, and outdoor adventures. She suggested Beaver Island could do something similar—which was within the purview of this subcommittee's stated goals. The circulated brochure was lauded, but thought to be better suited to private enterprise sponsorship.

The possibility of reviving the original Fourth Goal, the creation of partnerships, was discussed. The group felt it was unnecessary, that each strategy under the other goals would seek out whatever partnerships would be helpful. It was thought that a recommendation to do this should be part of a one- to two-page preamble attached to the final document. Plastrik agreed to draft such a preamble.

The next steps were discussed and a calendar established. The three subcommittees will prepare papers for inclusion in the plan, summarizing their thought and recommendations. They will be sent to Plastrik before April 11. He will take a few days to put them together with a preamble, a glossary, and an appendix listing resources, and then send the assembled draft document to all NRESC members. The subcommittees will study the complete draft document and respond within a few days. Then on April 27 the NRESC will meet to discuss all aspects of the assembled document. If only minor modifications are required they may be made quickly so the draft document can be sent to the Township Boards and Planning Commissions before their May meetings. If more significant changes are required, or if the 4-27 discussion is not complete, another meeting will be called; in that case, a completed draft document might be sent to the Boards and Planning Commissions later in May but in time for their June meetings, and at the same time distributed to the community.

NRESC would hope to get from the Boards and Planning Commissions not final approval but a response indicating their reaction in great detail. It will likely hold some community forums to obtain additional feedback. NRESC meetings will have to be held to evaluate this response and possibly modify the document and then submit a Final Document to the Townships for their approval.

It was not thought necessary to seek additional facilitating services from the MSU professors.

Grassmick discussed the emerald ash borer tests which will be conducted with sixteen purple boxes this summer.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:45.

Bill Cashman

NRESC secretary

Beaver Island Natural Resources and Ecotourism Commission

draft minutes for meeting of 3-4-2013

The NRESC meeting of 3-4-2013 was called to order at 10:05 a.m., with Jim Gillingham, Dan Martell, Brian Mastenbrook, Seamus Norgaard, Bill Parsons, Pete Plastrik, Doug Tilly, and Bill Cashman present, and Craig Schrotenboer on the phone. Jeff Powers arrived a short while later. In the audience were Bill Haggard, Eric Hodgson, Bill Kohls, Pete LoDico, Kitty McNamara, Bill McDonough, Bob Tidmore, Angel and Paul Welke, and Ed Wojan. Elaine West was there but left early. Joe Moore was present to live-stream the meeting. The facilitators were not present; they had not been needed and so were not asked to come.

The minutes of the 1-21-2013 meeting were unanimously adapted after a motion by Gillingham, seconded by Tilly.

The annual report to the townships was unanimously approved after a motion by Martell, seconded by Tilly.

After a discussion of schedules, the 3-18 meeting was postponed to 3-23-2013.

Plastrik gave an overview of NRESC's progress, mentioning that eleven organizations were involved and that there had been nine meetings. He said some people felt insufficient progress had been made, and cited reasons why more work had not been accomplished: all the members were volunteers who had other things to do; there was a strong emphasis on consensus; the topics were difficult; each member had to check with his or her organization for clearance; community outreach was required at every stage; and there were a lot of people involved. Yet a vision statement had been approved, goals formed, and objectives stated.

Reports from the three planning subcommittees followed, led off by three speakers representing the Resource Management Group: Jim Gillingham, Brian Mastenbrook, and Bill Parsons.

Jim Gillingham presented his thoughts using PowerPoint to project diagrams onto a wall. He took up the idea of “adaptive management” in which a policy could be conceptualized, planned, and implemented; the results could be observed and measured; and then results shared and discussed, and modifications could be made. Criteria should include economic value, ecological stability, human health potential, and aesthetic and social values. He talked about the great diversity of our natural resources; the range was too broad for everything to be managed. Consequently key species and habitats would have to be determined or selected to make management possible.

Brian Mastenbrook agreed with Gillingham's ideas, adding social reasons as a criteria. He talked about whitetail deer as an example of a species that it was feasible to monitor, evaluate, and communicate information about, citing such tasks as browse evaluation, driving count, and food plot measurements. In this instance he thought issuing an annual one-page report would help keep everyone on the same page, remove misinformation, and reduce distrust.

Bill Parsons talked about the Little Traverse Band's monitoring of bald eagles in their reservation land as another example. This has been going on for nine years and currently involves 34 nests, 12 of which are on the Archipelago. Checks from airplanes are done through the year, particularly after a big snow. Nests don't last forever, and some are not occupied even before they collapse. In some cases the young birds are banded and tracked. The program tried to determine the land's carrying capacity and set numerical goals while being aware of cultural, economic, and social factors.

A well-phrased Overview was circulated in which these ideas were used to expand the NRESC's vision. It called for a coordinated, well-informed, and funded natural resources management approach, and asked for suggestions toward developing a list of key species on which management might concentrate. Help will be needed, it said, but some help is available through expanded or new partnerships with other agencies.

A glossary was also distributed, and comments requested.

Pete Plastrik recognized the economic value of our natural resources, which could be expanded by tapping into a larger customer base for products and visitors. He talked about nineteen strategies his group had postulated for accomplishing four listed objectives. They included strengthening ordinances, expanding ecotourism events, considering ORV areas, creating a manual to guide land development, improving collaborations to encourage conservation easements, marketing Island-made crafts, bringing in more researchers, developing a Conservation Corps, and managing our forests.

Bill Cashman distributed a list of possible actions which could strengthen the understanding of residents and visitors about the importance of our natural resources. Forty-four ideas were distributed into categories such as media, events, improvements, business, education, contests, and games. He said there were far too many to ever undertake all at once, and suggested they be considered as possible components of a ten-year plan, with perhaps a few selected for immediate implementation.

He was uncertain what agency might be called on to undertake these actions, and thought it likely that individual proponents or small groups might have to be organized under the umbrella of a new committee, possibly a non-profit which might obtain independent funding from donations and grants.

An agenda of the 3-23 meeting was discussed in general terms.

There was a positive 45-minute interchange among the NRESC members and the audience.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:55.

—Bill Cashman

Beaver Island NRESC Meeting – Planning Process

March 2, 2013

10 a.m., Peaine Township Hall

Call in #: 1-415-464-6800

Passcode: 49782

Draft Agenda

•  Adopt minutes from January 21, 2013 meeting (see below, previously distributed & on Web site)

•  Review/adopt Annual Report to Townships (see below, previously circulated, )

•  Review schedule of upcoming meetings:

•  March 18, regular bimonthly meeting of NRESC

•  Reports from 3 Planning Subcommittees—for discussion/feedback

•  Natural Resource Management

•  Economic Growth

•  Informed Public

•  Determine next steps in planning process

Beaver Island's Natural Resources and Ecotourism Steering Committee

draft minutes for the meeting of 1-12-2013

Members present: Pete Plastrik, Jim Gillingham, Dan Martel, Craig Schroetenboer, Brian Mastenbrook, Bill Markey, Pam Grassmick, Sandy Birdsall, Bill Parsons, Doug Tilly, and Bill Cashman. Jeff Powers arrived for the second session of the day.

There were nine people in the audience, including three township Board members.

The meeting began with some news. The Chamber of Commerce representative Paul Johnson had resigned a month earlier, and the Contractors and Realtors representative Ed Wojan tendered his resignation in a letter presented at the meeting. Chamber of Commerce president Rachel Teague wrote that it was trying to find a replacement for Johnson.

The minutes of the previous meeting (on November 19—no quorum was present in December) were adopted.

The meeting began with some statements about where the group was in the process it had adopted—the formulation of a vision, goals, objectives, and strategies. It was pointed out that the effort had begun when the DNR suggested that the townships create a committee to formulate a natural resources plan and offered to hire two experienced MSU professors to facilitate its efforts.

Because of recent resignations, it was deemed appropriate to list all the concerns there might be about the NRESC without commenting on them, and then to go back and discuss each one. So the members and the audience voiced concerns—either their own, or those they had heard:

The lack of speed was frustrating;

A tighter time line for the stages of the process would be helpful;

There seemed to be a lack of trust, both by and of members;

The loss of representatives from the business community was considered unfortunate;

Communication about NRESC progress was considered insufficient;

The lack of progress threatened the possibility of securing outside assistance, including financial;

The postponing of discussing strategies had raised concerns and reduced interest; and

Some important issues had not achieved sufficient attention by NRESC.

After this list was written on flip charts, there was an extensive general discussion. It was said that the economic regression of the Island had increased frustration because the NRESC had not made this its primary imperative. The process of gradually forming a consensus was taking a lot longer than anyone had anticipated. Another factor slowing down the effort was that such additional requirements as developing a glossary had arisen after the process began. The polarized confrontational national mood might be having repercussions here, in that an inadequate attempt at understanding other points of view has been made. There has always been tension between those who have to make a living here, which is becoming ever more difficult, and those who are retired or are seasonal residents, and that too may be a factor.

Some comments indicated there was a fear that the NRESC was not sufficiently concerned with the Island's current problems, and that the NRESC might have its own agenda. It was pointed out that NRESC has no power to act and that it only hoped to present recommendations to the townships, which would be able to implement those it approved, if any. The fate of the NRESC effort will determine the degree of grant opportunities, personnel hours, and line-item budget distributions to the Island. It was stated that other external agencies might also temper the assistance they offer to the Island.

After a half-hour break for lunch a four step ongoing procedure was proposed:

1) Finalize goals and objectives;

2) Get community feedback and develop strategies;

3) Draft a plan containing the NRESC vision, its goals, their objectives, suggested strategies, and a time line for accomplishment; and

4) Present this plan to the townships.

 

This was deemed inadequate. Because of the prevalent criticism of what had been done so far, a request was considered to ask the township boards for some kind of vote of confidence, possibly a reaffirmation of the original mandate. It was thought that NRESC members should be stronger advocates for the group's work in their interactions with the community. A summary of the pros and cons of NRESC continuing might be assembled. An introduction to the plan stressing its potential positive impact should be developed. A comprehensive interim report to the township boards should be prepared, and supporters should be in attendance when it is presented.

A motion was made ( by Sandy Birdsall and seconded by accord) and passed unanimously to go forward with developing a plan containing the NRESC vision, its goals, their objectives, suggested strategies, and a time line for accomplishment.

The meeting was adjourned.

The next meeting was set for January 21 at 7:00 p.m. at the Peaine Hall.

—Bill Cashman

Beaver Island Natural Resources & Eco-tourism Steering Committee

January 21, 2013, 7 p.m., Peaine Township Hall

Draft Meeting Agenda

Call in #: 1-415-464-6800

Passcode: 49782

•  Review/Adopt Minutes of January 12, 2013.

•  Accept resignations of Paul Johnson and Ed Wojan

•  Determine next steps and timeline for natural resources management planning process.

•  Discuss response to Chamber of Commerce letter

•  Discuss contents of Annual Report to the Township Boards

•  Roundtable Sharing by Members

•  Public Comments

•  Additional Business

Beaver Island's

Natural Resources and Ecotourism Steering Committee

approved minutes for the meeting of 1-12-2013

Members present: Pete Plastrik, Jim Gillingham, Dan Martell , Craig Schroetenboer, Brian Mastenbrook, Bill Markey, Pam Grassmick, Sandy Birdsall, Bill Parsons, Doug Tilly, and Bill Cashman. Jeff Powers arrived for the second session of the day.

There were nine people in the audience, including three township Board members.

The meeting began with some news. The Chamber of Commerce representative Paul Johnson had resigned a month earlier, and the Contractors and Realtors representative Ed Wojan tendered his resignation in a letter presented at the meeting. Chamber of Commerce president Rachel Teague wrote that it was trying to find a replacement for Johnson.

The minutes of the previous meeting (on November 19—no quorum was present in December) were adopted.

The meeting began with some statements about where the group was in the process it had adopted—the attempt to formulate a vision, goals, objectives, and strategies, which has not yet been achieved. It was pointed out that the effort had begun when the DNR suggested that the townships create a committee to formulate a natural resources plan and offered to hire two experienced MSU professors to facilitate its efforts.

Because of recent resignations, it was deemed appropriate to list all the concerns there might be about the NRESC without commenting on them, and then to go back and discuss each one. So the members and the audience voiced concerns—either their own, or those they had heard:

The lack of speed was frustrating;

A tighter time line for the stages of the process would be helpful;

There seemed to be a lack of trust, both by and of members;

The loss of representatives from the business community was unfortunate;

Communication about NRESC progress was considered insufficient;

The lack of progress threatened the possibility of securing outside assistance, including financial;

The postponing of discussing strategies had raised concerns and reduced interest; and

Some important issues had not achieved sufficient attention by NRESC.

After this list was written on flip charts, there was an extensive general discussion. It was said that the economic regression of the Island had increased frustration because the NRESC had not made combating this its primary imperative. The process of gradually forming a consensus was taking a lot longer than anyone had anticipated. One factor slowing down the effort was that additional requirements had arisen after the process began. The polarized confrontational national mood might be having repercussions here, in that an inadequate attempt at understanding other points of view had been made. There has sometimes been tension between those who have to make a living here, which is becoming ever more difficult, and those who are retired or are seasonal residents, and that too may be a factor.

Some comments indicated there was a fear that the NRESC was not sufficiently concerned with the Island's current problems, and that the NRESC might have its own agenda. It was pointed out that NRESC has no power to act and that it only hoped to present recommendations to the townships, which would be able to implement those it approved, if any. The fate of the NRESC effort could determine the degree of grant opportunities, personnel hours, and line-item budget distributions to the Island. It was stated that other external agencies might also temper the assistance they offer to the Island.

After a half-hour break for lunch a four step ongoing procedure was proposed:

1) Finalize goals and objectives;

2) Get community feedback and develop strategies;

3) Draft a plan containing the NRESC vision, its goals, their objectives, suggested strategies, and a time line for accomplishment; and

4) Present this plan to the townships.

This was deemed insufficient. Because of the prevalent criticism of what had been done so far, a request was considered to ask the township boards for some kind of vote of confidence, possibly a reaffirmation of the original mandate. It was thought that NRESC members should be stronger advocates for the group's work in their interactions with the community. A summary of the pros and cons of NRESC continuing might be assembled. An introduction to the plan stressing its potential positive impact should be developed. A comprehensive interim report to the township boards should be prepared, and supporters should be in attendance when it is presented. It was also suggested that a prologue to whatever plan is developed should be created to state how its only purpose is to fulfill the mandate NRESC was given by the townships.

A motion was made ( by Sandy Birdsall and seconded by accord) and passed unanimously to go forward with developing a plan containing the NRESC vision, its goals, their objectives, suggested strategies, and a time line for accomplishment.

The meeting was adjourned.

The next meeting was set for January 21 at 7:00 p.m. at the Peaine Hall.

—Bill Cashman

Beaver Island Natural Resources and Ecotourism Steering Committee

Draft Minutes for October 13, 2012 Meeting

Natural Resources Management Planning with MSU Facilitation

Members in attendance: Sandy Birdsall, Bill Cashman, Jim Gillingham, Pam Grassmick, Paul Johnson, Bill Markey, Dan Martell, Seamus Norgaard, Peter Plastrik, Doug Tilly, Ed Wojan

Also attending: Jim Jones, Julie Brockman (MSU)

Chairman Plastrik called the meeting to order at 10:09 a.m.

•  Setting NRESC Meeting Schedule . A motion by Birdsall, seconded by Cashman, to set the NRESC regular meeting schedule as follows: November 19, 2012, January 21, 2013, March 18, 2013, May 20, 2013, July 15, 2013, September 16, 2013, with all meetings to be held at Peaine Township Hall, starting at 7 p.m. Motion adopted 11-0.

•  Chamber of Commerce letter concerning ORVs. Paul Johnson, the chamber's representative on the NRESC, said he'd like this item discussed at a future meeting of the NRESC.

•  Approving Press Release . A motion by Birdsall, seconded by Grassmick, to approve release of a press release drafted by Cashman and Plastrik as presented to the NRESC. The release (attached) discusses the natural resource management planning process. NRESC members not present would be contacted to see if they did not want their names/organizations included in the release. Motion adopted 11-0.

MSU - Facilitated Planning Process . Brockman led the NRESC through several exercises to brainstorm about key goals and objectives for the natural resource management plan. At the end of these processes, Cashman and Plastrik were asked to consolidate the many ideas that had been discussed into a smaller set of draft goals and objectives that could be considered at the next planning session.

•  Next Planning Session . Motion by Cashman, seconded by Wojan, to set the date for the next planning session: October 27, 2012, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. This would be a public session and a phone-in line will be available. Purpose of the meeting will be to reach agreement on draft goals and objectives that would be shared with the Beaver Island community and stakeholders, and to design the community outreach process. Motion adopted 11-0.

•  Adjournment . The meeting was adjourned at 3:48 p.m.

Beaver Island Natural Resources and Eco-Tourism Steering Committee

Draft of Minutes

September 17, 2012 @7 p.m. at the Peaine Township Hall

Archived information on: www.binresc.org and www.peaine.org

Mission Statement: The Beaver Island Natural Resources and Eco-tourism Steering Committee is committed to understanding and preserving our natural resources and promoting opportunities for their appreciation and enjoyment.

Members In attendance : Sandy Birdsall, William Cashman, Pam Grassmick, Pete Plastrik, Doug Tilly, and Ed Wojan. On phone : Brian Mastenbrook. Others: Linda McDonough.

•  Call to order: The meeting was called to order by Chair Plastrik at 7:15 p.m.

•  Adoption of Minutes: Minutes for the NRESC Meetings of the July 16, 2012; August 2, 2012 (with MSU) and the September 8, 2012 (with MSU) were circulated to members via electronic mail. Motion by Grassmick/Birdsall to accept the minutes as written. Adopted 7-0. Grassmick asked that the Planning Process be added to the agenda under Other Business.

•  Recommendations for NRESC appointment by Township Boards:

•  Birdsall has been re-appointed by Peaine Township as their representative. The following members agreed to continue:

•  At Large Community Members: Bill Cashman and Pam Grassmick

•  Peaine Trails Committee: Doug Tilly

•  DNR Representative: Brian Mastenbrook

•  Linda McDonough was designated by St. James Planning Commission to represent it.

•  Selection of Executive NRESC Officers:

•  Chairman, Pete Plastrik

•  Vice Chair, Ed Wojan

•  Secretary, Bill Cashman

•  Treasurer, Sandy Birdsall

Motion (Tilly/Mastenbrook) to accept slate of members and Executive Officers and forward the member appointments for approval by both township boards. Adopted 7-0.

•  Round Table Discussion from Members: Grassmick reported for the Beaver Island Association on the July meeting with Scott Hicks, representative of the USFWS. LTC held an Island Preserve Guided Field Trip today at LSB. Participants remarked at how special the island would be to host a botany/bird festival. In communications with the USDA and the MDA, Beaver Island will be included in the 2013 Emerald Ash Borer trapping season. Grassmick will be attending the 2012 Update on Forest Health given by the DNR and the MDA on October 24. Phragmites treatment is complete for the archipelago. The $8500.00 DNR LIP grant will be passed through the township to pay for Phragmites treatment. More grant funding will be available this winter through CRA for developing pollinator gardens, Swift towers, and conservation work on private and public lands. The Charlevoix County Leadership participants held their first meeting on Beaver Island and were introduced to the community, the archipelago's unique natural communities, and collaborative efforts on preserving them. Mastenbrook relayed information on the status of Beech and Ash trees in Michigan. Birdsall discussed the presentation to Peaine Township by LTC and the offer by Prudential Real Estate agents and landowner to pursue acquiring a 23 acre parcel on Fox Lake that includes 2250 ft of the east/SE shoreline. The Peaine Township board will explore the proposal. The need for an updated Recreation Plan for Peaine Township was noted in order to pursue funding through the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. Birdsall inquired about the reprinting of the popular Driving Guide. Cashman will follow-up on reproducing 500 copies. Tilly commented on his time on High Island recently and the extensive Phargmites infestations on the eastern shoreline.

•  Other Business: Planning Process: Grassmick requested that the members consider answering for the community, “why we need a natural resources plan” and offer a concise explanation to the public. Members agreed that Plastrik and Cashman should draft and e-mail a brief press release to all NRESC members for their input prior to submission to the Beaver Beacon , News on the Net , and the Northern Islander , and for approval at the next NRESC meeting. The article is expected to be released for publication in November.

•  Adjournment: With no further business, a motion (Tilly/Wojan) to adjourn was unanimously accepted at 8:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted as my last secretarial duty,

Pam Grassmick, Secretary 9/23/12

September 18, 2012

To: Jack Gallagher, Rick Speck

From: Peter Plastrik

Re: NRESC Appointments

The terms of six NRESC members expire this month. Last night the NRESC voted unanimously to ask the township boards to make the following appointments to three-year terms on the NRESC:

•  Linda McDonough, as the St. James Planning Commission representative. (Replaces Jayne Bailey)

•  Doug Tilly, as the Peaine Trails Committee representative. (Reappointment)

•  Brian Mastenbrook, as the DNR representative. (Reappointment)

•  Sandra Birdsall, as the Peaine Township representative. (Reappointment)

•  William Cashman and Pam Grassmick, as at-large appointments. (Reappointments)

The NRESC requests that the Peaine and St. James Township boards approve this request at the earliest possible opportunity. If you have any questions, please let me know.

FYI: The NRESC also appointed officers for the NRESC, with some changes from the previous year. These are not subject to township board approval, but I thought your boards would be interested:

•  Chairman, Peter Plastrik

•  Vice-Chairman, Ed Wojan

•  Secretary, William Cashman

•  Treasurer, Sandy Birdsall

........................................................................................................

NRESC – September 17, 2012 – MEETING AGENDA – Peaine Township Hall, 7 pm

1. Call to Order

2. Adoption of Minutes for NRESC Meetings of July 16, 2012; August 2, 2012 (with MSU); and September 8, 2012 (with MSU)

3. Action Items:

a. Recommendations for NRESC appointment by Township Boards (see below)

b. Selection of NRESC Officers (Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer) (see below)

4. Roundtable Sharing

5. Other Business

Appointments

Under the NRESC authorizing resolution, the Township Boards must approve appointments to the NRESC. Some appointments are at-large, while others are representatives of organizations specified in the authorizing resolution. Six 2011 appointments expire this month:

· At large: Bill Cashman and Pam Grassmick

· Peaine Township appointee: Sandy Birdsall

· Peaine Trails Committee: Doug Tilly

· St James Planning Commission: Jayne Bailey

· DNR: Brian Mastenbrook

Cashman, Grassmick, and Mastenbrook have asked to be reappointed. Peaine Township posted its slot.

Officers

The current officers are:

· Chairman, Peter Plastrik

· Vice Chairman, Bill Cashman

· Secretary, Pam Grassmick

· Treasurer, Sandy Birdsall

 

Beaver Island Natural Resources and Ecotourism Steering Committee

Draft Meeting Minutes – September 8, 2012

At 10:08 a.m., Chairman Peter Plastrik called the meeting to order.

Present: Sandy Birdsall, Bill Cashman, Jim Gillingham, Pam Grassmick, Paul Johnson, Brian Mastenbrook, Seamus Norgaard, Pete Plastrik, Doug Tilly, Ed Wojan. Also attending: MSU facilitators Julie Brockman and John Beck.

Plastrik explained that the meeting would be the next brainstorming retreat with the MSU facilitators for development of an Island natural resources management plan. There was some discussion of the process, before Beck and Brockman began to facilitate the meeting process.

Participants conducted brainstorming exercises about potential Goals and Objectives for the natural resources management plan, with a break for lunch. No decisions were made. The next NRESC meeting with the MSU facilitators was scheduled for (Saturday) October 13 at 10 a.m.

The meeting adjourned at 3:49 p.m.

BEAVER ISLAND NATURAL RESOURCES AND ECOTOURISM STEERING COMMITTEE

DRAFT MINUTES OF AUGUST 2, 2012 MEETING –

MSU-FACILITATED NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLANNING 

Chairman Peter Plastrik called the meeting to order at 6:15 p.m.

Present: Birdsall, Cashman, Gillingham, Grassmick, Johnson, Mastenbrook, Norgaard, Plastrik, Wojan, and John Beck (MSU)

•  Set NRESC Schedule in September . Sandy Birdsall moved, and Jim Gillingham seconded, that the NRESC hold a natural resource management planning meeting on September 8, from 10-4, at Peaine Township Hall, and a regular NRESC meeting on September 17, at 7 p.m., at Peaine Township Hall. The motion was adopted 9-0.

•  Executive Committee meetings . Bill Cashman moved, and Pam Grassmick seconded, that the Executive Committee should meet as needed with legally required public notice, rather than posting an advance schedule with a meeting every month. The motion was adopted 9-0.

The rest of the meeting was led by John Beck, who continued the process of leading the NRESC members in brainstorming potential Goals, Objectives, and Strategies for a natural resource management plan for Beaver Island. The process will continue at the September 8 th meeting.

At 8:59 p.m. the meeting was adjourned by unanimous vote.

Beaver Island Natural Resources & Ecotourism Committee

July 16, 2012 Meeting

DRAFT MINUTES

Chairman Peter Plastrik called the meeting to order at 7:20 p.m.

In Attendance: Sandy Birdsall, Jim Gillingham, Paul Johnson, Archie Kiogima, Bill Parsons, Pete Plastrik, Jeff Powers, Ed Wojan.

•  Adoption of Minutes for May 21, June 2, and June 27 meetings. A motion by Gillingham, seconded by Wojan, to adopt the minutes as presented was adopted 7-0.

•  Discussion about expiring terms. Plastrik noted that terms for 6 NRESC members will expire at the end of September. He will communicate with the organizations whose members' terms are expiring (St James Planning Commission, Peaine Trails Committee, DNR). A number of members said it was essential that the DNR's Brian Mastenbrook continue to serve on the Committee. Plastrik will also ask the expiring at-large members (Bill Cashman and Pam Grassmick) if they want to be reappointed to the NRESC. He said he would publicly post to see if there are any candidates for at-large positions. Sandy Birdsall, the expiring appointee of Peaine Township, said that the township board will post her position and then make a decision about an appointment.

•  Discussion of the NRESC's first year of work. There was a general discussion about the MSU-facilitated planning process and several other aspects of the NRESC's activities to date.

•  Feasibility Study for BI Bird Festival. Discussion about the report, previously circulated and posted on the NRESC web site, focused on the need to have someone, or a small group of people, step up to organize a festival. Johnson noted that the BI Chamber of Commerce has offered resources to support a festival. Plastrik said that a number of birders have said they would help, but no one has offered to play the role of lead organizer, and staging a festival would be a complicated, labor-intensive activity. The possibility of paying someone to play this role was discussed. Members agreed that the NRESC should wait until around September 1 to see if anyone steps up, and if no one has by then a festival should not be attempted until 2014. Several members said they would be interested in attending the 2013 Leelanau festival to learn more about how such an event works.

•  Conservation Easements Subcommittee. Plastrik and Wojan announced that the subcommittee will meet August 2 from 3-5 pm to discuss strategy. All NRESC members are welcome to participate.

•  Report on Deer Management on Beaver Island. Powers described the 10-15 year history of herd management on the Island and the more recent Quality Deer Management effort. He said that the Wildlife Club is starting to conduct “driving surveys” of the herd. Parsons suggested that the NRESC could work with the Wildlife Club and DNR to figure out how to conduct a more accurate count of the herd size; volunteers and funding would probably be needed.

•  Fisheries. Powers said that at the Wildlife Club's recent meeting with DNR Fisheries there was discussion about the potential to obtain grants from the Great Lakes Fisheries Trust to develop artificial structures in the harbor to support fishery development. He asked if this was something that the NRESC should work on with the Wildlife Club. The possibility was enthusiastically supported by members, including the Odawa Tribe.

•  Preparation for August 1-2 Community Forums. Birdsall said that planning for the sessions is proceeding.

At 8:45 pm the meeting was adjourned by unanimous vote.

Prepared by Pete Plastrick 7/16/12

NRESC meeting July 16. 2012 th at 7 pm at Peaine Township Hall.

The Executive Committee meeting scheduled for July 16th at 6 pm is cancelled.

 

Meeting agenda

1. Call to Order

2. Adoption of draft minutes for May 21, June 2, and June 27 meetings.

3. Updates/Roundtable

4. Discussion: We're nearing the 1-year anniversary of NRESC start-up. Time to take stock. What's our assessment of how the NRESC is doing? What are our ideas for improvement?

5. Recommendation to township boards concerning expiring terms:

a. Bailey (St James Planning Commission), Birdsall, Cashman, Grassmick, Mastenbrook, Tilly – all expire in Sept 2012.

6. Subcommittee reports:

a. Feasibility report re Bird Festival – report to be circulated separately on July 10 (Plastrik)

b. Easements subcommittee: strategy meeting planned for August 2 (Wojan/Plastrik)

c. Island-wide Recreation Plan (Birdsall)

7. Report on Deer Management on Island (Powers, Mastenbrook)

8. Preparation for August 2 MSU-facilitated community forums & next NRESC planning session

9. New Business

 

Natural Resources and Ecotourism Steering Committee

Beaver Island, MI

June 2, 2012

DRAFT Meeting Minutes 

Attending: Sandy Birdsall, Bill Cashman, Pam Grassmick, Brian Mastenbrook, Seamus Norgaard, Peter Plastrik, Ed Wojan

Chairman Peter Plastrik called the meeting to order at 10:06 a.m. and after introductory remarks turned the meeting over to MSU facilitators John Beck and Julie Brockman. (The meeting notes below were drafted by Julie Brockman.)

Reconnect

Date

Activity

April 14

NRESC meeting to discuss vision and goals

May 21

NRESC meeting-other business

June 2

NRESC meeting to discuss goals and objectives

June 2

Focus group interview at 7pm

June 19/22

Individual interviews with off-island stakeholders

June 27

Brian Mastenbrook to conduct presentation for community (3-5p)

June 27

NRESC meeting to discuss vision, goals, objectives (5:30p-?)

August 1/2

Focus group interviews (John to conduct/Sandy to coordinate

August 2

NRESC meeting to discuss objectives with John facilitating (6pm)

September 8

NRESC meeting to finalize goals/objectives and prepare for community forum

October

Community forums to develop draft strategies

December?

Complete draft plan

 

Discussion and practice writing goals/objectives and their relationship with strategies (J/J to lead this learning lesson) 

Present four “strawman” goal development practice exercise (J/J will prepare the goals)

•  Goal: Increase the ability to deal with BI's natural resource threats and problems

•  O1: identify immediate and longterm T/Ps

•  O2: monitor BI, looking for T/Ps

•  O3: response, create ongoing methods

•  O4: communication and partnering:draw closer to other BI organizations (or off-island w/relevance)

•  O5:educate property owners (private/public)

•  To increase willingness to cooperate

•  O6: improve methods and times of response

•  Goal: Increase utilization of BI's natural resources

•  O1: Promote BI as a site for academic research

•  S1: inventory high quality sites

•  S2: hold conferences

•  O2: Develop island events where people can experience natural resources

•  S1: Create a birding festival

•  S2: Create botany events

•  S3: Fishing Tournaments

•  O3: Promote consumptive use of resources in a manner that is both sustainable and causes no degradation

•  S1: monitor uses

•  S2:collect and create inventories

•  S3: create standards and management plan for each use

•  O4: Increase individual opportunities to access and enjoy the natural resources in a quiet, low impact and non-degrading manner

•  S1: develop a safe trail system

•  S2: develop interpretive and directional signage

•  S3: increase connectivity

•  S4: develop bike paths

•  S5: increase viewing areas for birds, bogs, and wetlands

•  S6: Kayak- water trail

•  Goal: High community awareness about conservation and best practices of BI natural resources

•  O1: Have at least ¾ of BI residents agreeing with NRESC final plan for BI natural resources within one year of its passage

•  O2:High community participation in the implementation of NRESC final plan in accordance with timelines in the plan

•  O3: Have at least ¾ of property owners who have invasive species on their land activtly participate in their eradication

•  O4: have high community awareness or T/E species and participation by at least ¾ of PO's with said species-helping to preserve them.

Lunch

Develop 3-5 objectives (small group activity) per goal

•  See above

Plan for August 1-2 summer residents community forum

•  See next steps 

Next steps NRESC will take in the process

•  Pete P. and Bill C. to work together to draft vision statement and goals, using NRESC member vision/goal statements, master plan language, focus group feedback, NRESC mission, etc.

•  June 27 NRESC review session

•  August 1 and 2 focus groups (Sandy to coordinate-all members need to promote)

•  August 2 NRESC meeting at 6pm

Evaluate

•  Pluses

•  Clarified expectations with regard to developing goals and objectives

•  Lunch together

•  Process is adaptive and keep “inventing” the path forward

•  Small groups

Adjourn at 3:45 pm.

Beaver Island Natural Resources and Eco-Tourism Steering Committee

Draft of Minutes

May 21, 2012 @7 p.m. at the Peaine Township Hall

Archived information on: www.binresc.org and www.peaine.org

Mission Statement: The Beaver Island Natural Resources and Eco-tourism Steering Committee is committed to understanding and preserving our natural resources and promoting opportunities for their appreciation and enjoyment.

Executive Committee meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. was canceled.

In attendance : Sandy Birdsall, Pam Grassmick, Bill Markey, Dan Martell (until 8 p.m.), Brian Mastenbrook, Pete Plastrik, Jeff Powers (7:30), and Ed Wojan.

•  Call to order: The meeting was called to order by Chair, Plastrik at 7:04 p.m.

•  Presentations: a) Brian Mastenbrook presented mute swans as an invasive species with information related to the threat they pose to humans, endangering native wildlife, and the destruction to wetland habitat. The DNR's control objectives were reviewed and management techniques discussed. The mute swans have long term effects on native waterfowl populations such as the loons, tundra and trumpeter swans. Q & A followed with Islanders presenting many anecdotal experiences.

b) John Kurtz from the Top of Michigan Trails Council addressed the NRESC and audience on their organization's mission which promotes bike trails through 8 northern Michigan counties. The Council is interested in pursuing a partnership with Beaver Island for the purpose of non-motorized trail improvement on Beaver Island and marketing. Islanders were encouraged to attend their June 27 th Annual meeting at the Harbor Springs Airport. Additional information can be found at www.trailscouncil.org

c) Lee Boisvert from the non-profit, Miniss Kitgan Drum, founded by Keewaydinoquay, discussed their organizational objectives as it relates to Garden Island's Indian Cemetery. The Cemetery was purchased from the Catholic Church in the 70's. Their organization focuses on environmental and science education. Boisvert presented the cultural heritage of burial practices, mis-use of the site, and encouraged respectful use of Garden Island. She thanked the NREC for previous clean-up efforts of Garden Island and asked for assistance in discouraging the visitation of site.

•  Adoption of Minutes: Minutes of the March NRESC meeting and April MSU facilitated meeting were circulated to members via electronic mail. Motion by Powers/Wojan to accept the minutes as written. Adopted 7-0.

•  Round Table Discussion from Members: Grassmick reported for the Beaver Island Association on the status of June 14 th Invasive Species Summit, the award of $8500 from the DNR Private Lands Incentive Grant, The Nature Conservancy's 5/21 Pre-season Invasive Species Meeting with representatives from JF New, the Odawa tribe, various organizations, and governmental entities. Lisa Welke was hired as the Phragmites Administrator for both townships. Wagner Campground and the Iron Ore Creek dunes restoration project are completed. Kay Charter's bird watching event with Beaver Island Community School was well received. Mastenbrook will follow-up on the request by Birdsall to receive public notices from the Forest Division's planner. Birdsall invited members of the NRESC and the community to attend the May 23 rd joint townships' meeting from 2-4 p.m. with a private practice attorney regarding the Freedom of Information and Open Meetings Acts. Birdsall commented that the Island-wide Recreation Planning Sub-Committee will meet on May 26 th . The current members are Birdsall, Plastrik, and Markey. Individuals are invited to join. Powers discussed Belize's eco-park recovery for lobster and fisheries. The Wildlife Club met with Mark Monroe, Wildlife Biologist, for setting 2012 deer quota permits. Doe permits were increased due to the increase in the deer population. Food plots for habitat improvement have been initiated on Hunting's property. The Walleye fingerlings have been placed in Mastell's pond due to water issues on the old pond site. On June 6 th , the Wildlife Club has invited Heather Hettinger, DNR Fisheries Biologist, to attend their meeting for discussion of fisheries issues. Powers will confirm date and Plastrik to post on website. Wojan relayed a recent phone conversation with Sally Ackerly, Peaine Township's Assessor, concerning the law which rules the uncapping of private property on transfer to heirs and the potential benefit of conservation easements. Wojan and Plastrik proposed a meeting with the Little Traverse Conservancy, Ackerly, and the NRESC to explore the benefits of conservation easements. Markey commented that the Planning Commission's Planned Development Units has incentives for development in a smaller area of a larger lot. Wojan explained the problems associated with the uncapping of property for families and the advantages of conservation easements. Mastenbrook commented that some townships perceive conservation easements as reducing the tax base.

•  Update from Subcommittees: a) The Conservation Easement Subcommittee presented a draft of the letter to the Little Traverse Conservancy (see attachment). Wojan and Plastrik proposed a meeting with the Little Traverse Conservancy, Ackerly, and the NRESC to explore the benefits of conservation easements. b) Island Wide Recreation Planning: Birdsall updated the committee during the Roundtable Sharing regarding the first scheduled meeting on May 26 th .

•  Bird Festival Feasibility Subcommittee: Plastrik distributed a proposal for a feasibility analysis of the Island pursuing a Bird Watching Festival in 2013 or 2014. A list of recommendations made by Kay Charter, Executive Director of Saving Birds Thru Habitat, on several bird festivals that she helped to organize was also submitted. (See attachments) Motion by Birdsall/Powers to accept the proposal of exploring the feasibility of a bird festival. Adopted 7-0.

•  MSU facilitated June 2 nd Meeting Agenda: (attached agenda) The Beaver Island Association and Central Michigan faculty will meet on the evening of June 2. Plastrik reviewed the MSU June 2 nd agenda with the members present. The NRESC is to meet from 10-4. Beck and Brockman are to supply draft goals as a tool for teaching the Island planning group. Mastenbrook interjected that the facilitators intend for the Island to learn from their process to formulate our own specific goals, objectives and strategies. A working meeting for the purpose of formation of goals/objectives/strategies will take place on 6/27 at Peaine Township Hall from 6:00-9:00 p.m. Mastenbrook will present to the public the Wildlife Division's policies and information as it relates to Beaver Island on 6/27 from 3-5 p.m.

August 2nd MSU facilitated public meeting: Port of St. James, BIA, and the public will be invited via the forum and news media. The date will be confirmed by Plastik with Beck and Brockman.

•  Driving Guides: A motion from Wojan/Powers to re-print the Driving Guides ASAP and the Trail's Guide be submitted to the Island-wide Recreation Planning Subcommittee for further development as part of their initiative. Adopted 7-0. Future digitization of the guides was discussed for distribution on the NRESC, townships and Chamber site.

•  Additional Business: Mastenbrook suggested that CMU's facilities could be utilized by other educational institutions during off seasons to provide for natural resource course work. Additionally, alignment of MEAP Grade School and High School performance objectives for teacher development could also be built around our natural resources. Plastrik to follow-up with Powers/Wildlife Club to schedule a presentation on their QDM objectives and the deer herd management to NRESC members.

•  Adjournment: With no further business, a motion by Wojan/Powers to adjourn was unanimously accepted at 9:22 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Pam Grassmick, Secretary 5/25/12

Proposal to Establish an NRESC Subcommittee: Bird Watching Festival

Date: May 21, 2012

Proposed By : Peter Plastrik

Purpose and Goals: Determine the feasibility and develop a plan for holding a bird watching festival on Beaver Island in the spring of 2013—an event that would support both the economy and environment of the Island. A feasibility study would be completed and then, depending on the results, a plan for holding an event would be developed.

Rationale: The possibility of a Beaver Island bird watching festival has been discussed by many people for several years, including the Chamber of Commerce. There are reasons to believe that such an event could be successful: the Island has a significant endowment of sought-after birds and a substantial number of public bird-viewing locations, and has attracted the interest of bird experts. An ongoing festival would be a shoulder-season event (probably in May), a boost at a time when economic activity on the Island is relatively low. It would also increase Islander awareness of the bird endowment and encourage Island residents and property owners to manage habitat in bird-friendly ways.

Activities: The subcommittee will:

•  Consult with experts who have established bird watching festivals and related events in the Great Lakes area, to identify factors for success and “must do” requirements of such events, and to determine how much lead time and what resources (e.g., budget, volunteers) are required to conduct an initial event.

•  Complete feasibility analysis and share recommendations with the NRESC by August 1, 2012.

•  If feasibility is established, develop a detailed plan for holding the first event in spring of 2013 and how to sustain an annual event.

Membership: Peter Plastrik, Eric Myers, Angel Welke, Cathy Dewey (BIBCO)

Funding: No funding is required for the subcommittee's work.

Notes from conversation with Kay Charters (May 14, 2012)

Kay started the Leelanau Peninsula Bird Festival ( http://www.mibirdfest.com/ ), now in its 2nd year, and a Rio Grande bird festival. From the festival Web site:

Choose from eleven different field trips, including a trip on a tall ship to see nesting Caspian terns. Stop to see Kirtland's Warbler on your way and then hear Jerry Weinrich, "Godfather of the Kirtland's Warbler," review more than two decades of work on recovery for the bird. Attend our last evening event with keynoter Greg Butcher, Director of Conservation for National Audubon. Greg will talk about the most recent State of the Birds reports.

Included in the $35.00 registration fee are eight different field trips; among them the bird-rich Otter Creek area and our popular Birding by Ear at Fulton Park. Also included is a Leelanau County Birding Trail Map, information about our 15 wineries, where to stay and where to eat in our beautiful county, and a 2 oz. package of specially packaged bird friendly coffee, locally roasted and ground by Higher Grounds.

The festival model that Kay has used:

•  A Friday-Sunday weekend with a variety of guided field trips Saturday and Sunday mornings and afternoons and guest speakers Friday and Saturday night, and maybe Saturday afternoon, and a banquet dinner Saturday night. Participants make their own lodging arrangements, connected through the festival Web site, and their own food arrangements, except for the banquet dinner and maybe lunch served on a field trip. Guides must be expert birders.

•  Festival organizers charge a registration fee ($35) and raise sponsorships and other funds to cover costs. The first year, there was no fee, and when a fee was charged the second year, people complained. Kay recommends starting with a fee, because it's the only way to sustainably cover costs.

•  Marketing is done through festival partners (e.g., Audubon), word of mouth and social networking sites, especially Facebook. Buying ads in birding magazines is a waste of money.

•  The first year the festival aimed for 50 participants and got 108 participants.

•  The average birder is 50-60 years old, male, college educated, with good disposable income. Many older couples. Some might know each other.

•  Good, known speakers an important component. Some will come if their travel expenses are covered, others charge a fee in addition to their expenses, ranging from $350-$1,000. The best known speakers are booked many months ahead of time.

Applications to Beaver Island:

•  Hold the BI festival the 1 st or 2 nd weekend after Mother's Day, because it is typically the height of bird migration.

•  Identify and market BI's bird assets: An island, specific birds that have been seen, multiple habitats, lots of public access sites, an outer (deserted) island visiting opportunity (e.g., High Island, Gull Island), etc.

•  Must have a good Web site for the festival and must have a Birding Trail map (Leelanau contracts out registration to a company in Traverse City.)

•  At Leelanau participants make their own transportation arrangements (i.e., they drive around in their cars), but that would have to be different on Beaver.

•  Potential partners for BI: Little Traverse Conservancy, Petoskey chapter of Audubon.

•  Ways to include BI students in the festival.

Beaver Island Natural Resources and Ecotourism Committee

May 21, 2012 Meeting

Peaine Township Hall, 7 pm

Call in: 1-415-464-6800 Passcode: 49782

AGENDA

1. Public Presentations:

· Invasive Swans, DNR's Brian Mastenbrook

· Top of Michigan Trails Council

· Garden Island and Indian Cemetery, Lee Boisvert

2. Adoption of Minutes from March NRESC meeting and April meeting with MSU facilitators

3. Roundtable Sharing

4. Update from Subcommittees

a. Conservation Easements

b. Island-wide Recreation Planning

5. Proposal to Establish a Subcommittee to explore feasibility of a Beaver Island Bird Watching Festival (Plastrik)

6. Review of Agenda for June 2 nd meeting with MSU Facilitators

7. Schedule for Next Community Forums

a. BIA & CMU focus groups: June 2

b. DNR presentation: June 25-28 (which date doesn't conflict with other community events?)

c. MSU-facilitated community forum for summer residents: August 1-2 (John Beck)

8. Discussion: Use of hiking and driving tour guidebooks?

9. Additional Business

NRESC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING – PEAINE TOWNSHIP HALL-April 16, 2012

Chairman Peter Plastrik convened the meeting at 6:22 p.m.

EX. Committee members present: Sandy Birdsall, Bill, Cashman, Pam Grassmick, and Peter Plastrik

Steering Committee members present: Ed Wojan

Grassmick sent the previous call-in phone instructions and when the error was identified, an e-mail was sent out to the steering committee at 6:12 p.m. with the new telephone instructions . Please note the new correct conference numbers: 1-415-464-6800 Conference ID: 49782#.

•  Adoption of the Minutes from the Executive Committee meeting on February 20, 2012. (March EC meeting was cancelled). Motion by Cashman/Birdsall. Adopted 4-0

•  Brian Mastenbrook's DNR presentation to the public: The EC suggested that the same presentation that was given at previous NRESC natural resource planning be scheduled for the last of June for the public in the evening. Plastrik will communicate with Mastenbrook. The EC discussed additional DNR division presentations to assist us with the planning process such as from the Forestry, Fisheries, DEQ and MNFI. Note: May 21st during our regularly scheduled meeting is the DNR's mute swans presentation which is also open to the public.

•  Schedule of MSU facilitated process:

•  June focus group meetings with CMU and BIA will be scheduled with Beck and Brockman. June 2 nd is the Steering Committee's next scheduled meeting to frame up goals and objectives.

•  The EC suggested the MSU facilitators schedule the summer community forum meeting for the first week of August in the afternoon for additional public input. BIA will be contacted to encourage participation and points of entry of travel will be posted.

•  By September, the NRESC could be asking for feedback from the community on vision, goals, objectives and possibly strategies. The EC discussed that the pace of the process seems appropriate and we do not want to rush the process. The need for continual communication with the public of the planning process was discussed. A mechanism for feedback on the plan will be developed for the fall for on and off island resident participation. Grassmick expressed the need of webinar capability as important to our island community for integrating technology for larger audience input. The Nature Conservancy provided the first webinar with Beaver Island for planning. Cashman is to follow-up on potential development of webinar capabilities. Birdsall suggested that multiple feedback methods be employed for public input.

•  EC expected the plan to be completed early in 2013 with public hearings scheduled prior to adoption by the township boards.

Plastrik to follow-up with Brockman and Beck on the above schedule.

•  Additional business: Wojan discussed the need and support for a birding festival. Discussion on past and future interest in such a festival took place. May has been identified as the best time for such a festival. Kay Charter's May visit with the BICS students will also provide for another opportunity to provide her insights into establishing the Leelanau Birding Festival.

Donna Hardenburg and Matt McDonald were identified as other resources.

Plastrik requested that the two NRESC sub-committees (Recreation and Conservation Easements) meet prior to the May 21 st meeting to pull together membership and activity. Birdsall, Plastrik, and Wojan will follow-up with e-mails to sub-committees.

Plastrik will follow-up with Steve West, Director of the Chamber, on his requests for additional budget information and planning comments with the Chamber's NRESC representative, Paul Johnson.

Adjournment: With no further business, motion by Cashman/Birdsall to adjourn at 7:31 p.m. (4-0)

Respectfully submitted, Pam Grassmick 4/20/12

Beaver Island Natural Resources & Ecotourism Steering Committee

Draft Minutes of April 14, 2012 Meeting

Members in Attendance: Sandy Birdsall, Bill Cashman, Jim Gillingham, Pam Grassmick (11:30), Paul Johnson, Bill Markey, Brian Mastenbrook, Pete Plastrik, Jeff Powers, Craig Schrotenboer, and Ed Wojan. Also Participating: John Beck, Julie Brockman, Don Cole.

Chairman Plastrik convened the meeting at 10:06 a.m. Main purpose of the meeting was to work with MSU facilitators Beck and Brockman on natural resources management planning.

•  A motion by Gillingham, seconded by Cashman to approve the minutes of the NRESC March 19 meeting was unanimously approved.

•  Beck and Brockman then led the NRESC through the planning agenda:

•  Presentation of Focus Group Report and discussion

•  Discussion of additional questions that need to be answered in the planning process

•  Starting to draft a practical vision for natural resources management with associated goals and objectives

•  Development of a communications plan

•  Next steps

•  Focus Group Report . Beck and Brockman walked through their final report on the interviews conducted with 122 Islanders. (The full report is available at http://binresc.org/?p=146 .) NRESC members expressed satisfaction with the results—and agreed that additional community input should be organized. Specifically, there will be a forum, probably in July, for summer residents of the Island.

•  Additional questions . NRESC members said it would be useful to know more about the current condition of the Island's natural resources—and CMU Biological Station and the Michigan DNR, as well as The Nature Conservancy appear to have substantial information to share about this.

•  Practical Vision . MSU facilitators led the group through an exercise to begin writing down a vision and goals for natural resources management. This was a first step in a process that will involve a number of additional meetings over the month, and will benefit from additional community input.

•  Communications Plan . Plastrik volunteered to send an NRESC press release about the Focus Group report to the Island media and Chamber of Commerce. He said the report has already been posted at the NRESC Web site at http://binresc.org/?p=146 .

•  Next Steps . The NRESC agreed to hold the next MSU-facilitated planning meeting on Saturday, June 2, from 10 am – 4 pm. This will be a public meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 4:06 pm.

When MSU's notes from meeting flip charts are available they will be appended to these minutes.

Natural Resources and Ecotourism Steering Committee

Peaine Township Hall, Beaver Island, MI

April 14, 2011

Agenda

10am-4pm 

Welcome and Reconnect

Presentation of Focus Group Report 

Determine additional questions that need to be answered at this point in the planning process and how those questions will be addressed.

Lunch

Start to draft a practical vision with associated goals and objectives

Develop Communications Plan

Next Steps

Evaluate the Meeting

Adjourn

Beaver Island Natural Resources and Eco-Tourism Steering Committee

Draft of Minutes

March 19, 2012 @7 p.m. at the Beaver Island Rural Health Center

Archived information on: www.peaine.org

Mission Statement: The Beaver Island Natural Resources and Eco-tourism Steering Committee is committed to understanding and preserving our natural resources and promoting opportunities for their appreciation and enjoyment.

In attendance : Sandy Birdsall, Bill Cashman, Jim Gillingham, Pam Grassmick, Bill Markey (7:30), Dan Martell, Pete Plastrik, Jeff Powers, and Ed Wojan (7:35). On conference call : Brian Mastenbrook, Seamus Norgaard, and Craig Schrotenboer

•  Call to order: The meeting was called to order by Chair, Plastrik at 7:04 p.m.

•  Changes to the agenda: There were no changes to agenda.

•  Adoption of Minutes: Minutes of the January and February 2012 were circulated to members via electronic mail. Motion by Powers/Cashman to accept the minutes as written. Adopted 10-0.

•  Round Table Discussion from Members: Cashman introduced the topic of birding and the involvement of Matt McDonald with Birding Cities who felt Beaver Island would be a good candidate for such a program. The group suggested that Cashman schedule a meeting with McDonald to explore this designation and develop birding opportunities. Gillingham is developing a list of key species that would be relevant to our island's planning process. One key plant species to consider is cedar. He intends to collaborate on the list with Dave Ewert from TNC. Mastenbrook discussed the selection of the Featured Species list and how that list was developed. At present the DNR has not used a keystone species analysis. The DNR's Management Area draft is finished and will be released in June for public review. Lake Michigan islands have a section in the State Forest Management Plan. Schrotenboer expressed his appreciation for Mastenbrook's assistance in providing the opportunity for various organizations to meet in January in which many significant invasive initiatives evolved for the archipelago. He outlined BIA's invasive and threatened species initiative and collaboration with outside resources. TNC will provide assistance with early detection along with fine and course scale surveys by the field crews on public lands this summer. The June 14 th Invasive Species Summit has been expanded to 2-5 p.m. and features a great list of speakers. An invitation was extended to all NRESC members and their organizations. BIA has secured with the help of a grant awarded from the Charlevoix County Community Foundation, a GPS unit and software. The Conservation Resource Alliance's, Sustain Our Great Lakes grant, was also presented in detail. Norgaard suggested that in addition to the Featured Species list, the NRESC examine forest species such as hemlock and yellow birch for our planning purposes which do not quickly regenerate under present conditions. Powers described the Wildlife Club's plan to have DNR Fisheries Biologist, Heather Hettinger, provide a detailed fish survey for Lake Geneserath. The Club is also promoting a turkey hunt. Grassmick reported that she has updated the township boards on the TNC initiative and provided a comprehensive Phragmites manual for the new Phragmites Administrator who should be in place by the first of May. Two contractor bids have been received by TNC for the archipelago's invasive species work. Tangora from the DNR sent an invasive species video, Defending Favorite Places , which was given to the Wildlife Club and available for circulation. Kay Charter is to arrive mid-May to offer a bird watching opportunity for students at the BIC School. During Museum Week, Gillingham and Seefelt will offer a field trip and a bird watching event. A knapweed work bee is scheduled for July at the LSB Preserve. Markey discussed the Peaine Planning Commission's work on two critical dune issues and has the Island-wide recreation plan on their agenda. The Planning Commission was thanked for moving their meeting to accommodate the Community Forums. Birdsall commented on the posting for the Phragmites Administrator position and was commended for her efforts coordinating the Community Forums. Wojan remarked on the effectiveness of the MSU facilitators during the forums. Plastrik announced that the new NRESC website was active and will be continually updated. All information placed on that site will be formally approved. Members were encouraged to submit information of interest to the NRESC and community to Plastrik and Cashman. Plastrik also acknowledged the resignation of Jane Bailey from the St. James Township Planning Commission and anticipates that they will address the vacancy to the NRESC committee. Wojan described the importance of Planning Commission participation in NRESC activities. Wojan intends to meet with Plastrik to work on the proposal to promote conservation easements and acquisitions. He discussed the challenges of engaging the group of realtors and contractors which he represents in the natural resource forums. The status of our island's economy appears to be overwhelmingly the topic of discussion and the group felt that finding an avenue to balance and enhance economic development with responsible conservation practices needed further discussion.

•  Executive Committee Update: Plastrik reported that the Executive Committee authorized a budget request be submitted to both township boards. St. James has budgeted $7500.00 for recreation which is a new line item.

•  Action Item: The development of an Island-wide recreation plan was discussed with acknowledgement that the recently completed St. James Recreation Plan will be embedded in the proposed new document. Birdsall read her proposal to establish a subcommittee for the purpose of developing an Island-wide recreation plan which will be offered for adoption by both township boards. The subcommittee will be made up of Birdsall, Plastrik, Tilly, Markey, a St. James Planning representative, a Chamber representative and any other interested individuals. Markey commented that all the various planning initiatives have specific functions and he intends to pursue updating the Master Plan this summer and allocate resources. He values any assistance with various jobs and encourages participation by the public. Plastrik remarked that it is difficult to plan without knowing what the economic development plan is for the island. Specifically, balancing natural resource assets and using those resources as an economic driver. Markey would prefer to see two members from each of the Planning Commission boards to be on the recreation planning subcommittee. Coordination was identified as key to all the planning efforts being pursued this year. Mastenbrook requested that he be advised of any proposals regarding state lands as the recreation plan is being developed. Powers suggested that a Wildlife Club, non-member of the NRESC, may want to be on the recreation plan subcommittee. All interested NRESC or non-NRESC individuals are encouraged to contact Plastrik or Birdsall. The recreation planning chair will be a member of the NRESC chosen from the subcommittee. Birdsall/Cashman made the motion to create an NRESC subcommittee for an Island wide recreation plan. Adopted unanimously.

•  April 14 Meeting with the MSU facilitators: It is anticipated that the April 14 th meeting will be from 10-4 and held at Peaine Township Hall. Grassmick questioned the members' interest in reviewing examples of management plans for ideas related to vision, goals, objectives, strategies and outcome measures. Wojan suggested placing examples on the web site to review. Plastrik reminded the members that the MSU facilitators are process people and have no expertise in the specific elements or science of a natural resource plan. The committee expressed our trust in the process and understood that we are only in the beginning stages. Norgaard suggested that we are not reinventing the “planning” wheel in some areas and that by reviewing plans it may spur creative ideas to more unique island situations. Plastrik will work with Grassmick to review examples for framing our natural resource plan and place on the NRESC website. Plastrik will discuss the agenda development for the April 14 meeting with John and Julie.

•  Adjournment: With no further business, a motion by Martell and seconded by Wojan to adjourn was unanimously accepted at 8:22 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Pam Grassmick, Secretary 3/23/12

NRESC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING – PEAINE TOWNSHIP HALL- February 20, 2012

Chairman Peter Plastrik convened the meeting at 6:03 p.m.

Committee members present: Sandy Birdsall, Bill Cashman, Pam Grassmick, and Peter Plastrik

•  Adoption to add the minutes to the meeting agenda approved 4-0 and the adoption of the Minutes for Executive Committee meeting on January 18, 2012 EC minutes. Motion by Cashman/Birdsall. Adopted 4-0

•  Follow-up on MSU facilitated planning session: Discussion centered on development of focus groups over 2 days to obtain public input into the natural resources planning process. Consensus from the EC on terminology of the state held lands as Wildlife Research Area. Motion from Cashman/Plastrik to move the March 17 th NRESC meeting to the Community Center to facilitate small group discussion at the Peaine Township Hall. Cashman to confirm availability of the Community Center. Adopted 4-0

•  Budget to Townships: Birdsall discussed the need for the NRESC to propose to the townships a budget for the purpose of printing publications and providing for public speakers. Motion by Birdsall/Cashman to request a budget of $2000.00 from each township for the purpose of publication development and speakers. Adopted 4-0

•  Island Wide Recreation Plan: Bill Markey and Doug Tilly have expressed a desire to work with the NRESC on an island wide recreation plan. Motion by Cashman/Plastrik to propose the concept to the Steering Committee based on Birdsall's proposal of an island wide recreation plan at the March NRESC meeting. Adopted 4-0

•  The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Conservation Resource Alliance (CRA) Update: Grassmick electronically circulated the Beaver Island Archipelago Invasive Species Meeting minutes held in Gaylord January 27, 2012 to the EC. She updated the EC on the proposal by TNC on their invasive species initiative. A multi-organizational meeting will take place on the island during the first week in May. State lands will be targeted the first year and an analysis around road way/trials will be conducted. The island has the potential this first year to target private property, if requested by owner. The recommendation is to begin at the south end, contact and obtain interest from a few of the large property owners in that area. TNC is developing a permission slip through their legal department. TNC to coordinate survey with Great Lakes Energy's invasive work scheduled this spring/summer. TNC will also complete the Phragmites shoreline inventory without charge to the island. The Conservation Resource Alliance SOGL pre-proposal grant has been submitted and was electronically submitted to the EC and supervisors. We should hear back the end of March. Both CRA and TNC's proposals complement each other and will provide unique opportunities to protect and monitor our natural resources. The Grand Traverse Conservation District's, Plant Week will run May 5-12. The Island will be participating with a work bee at Iron Ore Creek and an invasive display in the library. BIA's Invasive Species Summit scheduled for June 14 th will host tribal, CRA, GTCD, and other speakers. Tribal and CRA speakers will focus on aquatic and terrestrial invasive species as an issue for sportsman. Mastenbrook has agreed to a swan presentation at the May 21, 2012 NRESC meeting. The public will be invited.

•  Adjournment: With no further business, motion by Cashman/Birdsall to adjourn at 6:53 p.m. Submitted by, Pam Grassmick 2/24/12

Beaver Island Natural Resource and Ecotourism Steering Committee

MSU facilitated natural resource planning meeting

February 18, 2012 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Beaver Island Community Center

Present: Archie Kiogima, Jr., Bill Markey, Bill Parsons, Bob Tidmore, Pete Plastrik, Dan Martell, Sandy Birdsall, Ed Wojan, Jeff Powers, Paul Johnson, Jack Gallagher, Jim Gillingham, Pam Grassmick, Seamus Norgaard, Bill Cashman, Brian Mastenbrook, Julie Brockman, John Beck, Dawn George, Tina Walker

Attached Featured Species List

1)        10 am Special Meeting of NRESC – 2 nd   meeting with MSU facilitators Beck & Brockman

2)        Presentation by DNR's Brian Mastenbrook that covered history/structure of DNR and programs/policies concerning Beaver Island

3)        Agreement on a framework for a natural resources plan: Mission, Goals, Objectives, Strategies, etc.

4)        Discussions about outreach to Stakeholders & agreement to schedule meetings in March for community input. Sandy Birdsall appointed to organize the input process with support from NRESC members.

5)        4 pm adjourned.

MSU-prepared notes from meeting:

Natural Resources and Ecotourism Steering Committee

Beaver Island, MI

February 18, 2012

Main Meeting Objectives:

•  Learn about and discuss DNR activities/plans for Beaver Island

•  Create next steps for answering questions raised by NRESC members

•  Articulate a plan for the creation of a resource library

•  Crystallize the timeline and steps in the upcoming planning process

Agenda

10:00am- 4:00pm

Welcome/Groundrules/Overview

Presentation (Brian Mastenbrook, DNR)

Q/A re: Brian's presentation

Lunch

Review the status of and interest in the creation of a resource library

•  Continue to use the Dropbox with plans to migrate the information to the website.

Create next steps for answering the multiple questions raised by NRESC members

•  NRESC members to send unresolved questions from current list to Julie ( brockma4@msu.edu )

Agree on the framework for the creation of practical vision, goal, objectives, strategies, tasks

Develop plan for Stakeholder Outreach and Considerations

•  NRESC would like input from the following stakeholder groups:

•  Schools kids

•  Locals

•  BI year-round residents

•  Non-residents that own more than 40 acres

•  Non-residents that own less than 40 acres

•  Summer residents

•  Business owners, both public and private

•  Top officials

•  Sportspersons

•  Other wildlife enthusiasts

•  Resource users

•  Resource managers (county)

•  Non-consumptive resource users

•  NRESC member organizations they represent

•  All tribes

•  Tourists/visitors

•  Resource experts (eg. Nature conservancy, MNFI, CMU/NMU, etc)

•  Young families

•  Retirees

•  NGO's

•  Old BI families

 

Develop Communications Plan

Listing of who we will want to communicate TO:

•  Community thru Beacon articles

•  Media

•  County officials

•  Township officials

•  State agencies

•  Organized sporting associations

•  State reps

•  US Fish and Wildlife Service

•  DOT/Pure MI

 

Next Steps (who, what, when, how)

•  J/J send draft protocol(s) to NRESC members to review

•  NRESC members to send unresolved questions from current list to Julie ( brockma4@msu.edu )

•  Plan for community forums, focus groups, 7-12 graders. Sandy to be the point person.

•  Purpose of the April 14 th NRESC meeting is to sift through the information gathered in the community forums, focus groups, 7-12 graders.

Evaluate the Day

•  Positives:

•  Good overall

•  Great level of participation

•  Good lunch

•  Productive

•  Brian's presentation

•  For future meetings:

•  Would like Brian, Bill and Archie present to the community

Adjourn

Submitted, Pam Grassmick

Natural Resources and Ecotourism Steering Committee

Beaver Island, MI

February 18, 2012

 

Main Meeting Objectives:

•  Learn about and discuss DNR activities/plans for Beaver Island

•  Create next steps for answering questions raised by NRESC members

•  Articulate a plan for the creation of a resource library

•  Crystallize the timeline and steps in the upcoming planning process

Agenda

10:00am- 4:00pm

Welcome/Groundrules/Overview

Presentation (Brian Mastenbrook, DNR)

Q/A re: Brian's presentation

Lunch

Review the status of and interest in the creation of a resource library

Create next steps for answering the multiple questions raised by NRESC members

Agree on the framework for the creation of practical vision, goal, objectives, strategies, tasks

Develop plan for Stakeholder Outreach and Considerations

Develop Communications Plan

Next Steps (who, what, when, how)

Evaluate the Day

Adjourn

January 16, 2012 Documents

Easement and Acquisition Committee

NRESC.org Website

NRESC Executive Committee Meeting January 16, 2012

NRESC Meeeting Minutes January 16, 2012

Powers' Support Letter

 

MEETING AGENDA – Jan 16, 2012

7 pm, Peaine Township Hall

Call In Instructions: Dial 1-415-464-6800, then Passcode 49782#

•  Review/Revise Agenda

•  Adoption of Minutes for NRESC Meetings on November 21, 2011 and December 10, 2011

•  Around the Table Updates (2 minutes each)

•  Action Items:

•  Discussion with MSU facilitators to set up planning process and schedule for 2012 – see attached draft of next steps and possible timetable.

•  Opportunity at May NRESC meeting for Learning Session on Waterfowl, especially swans (DNR specialist)

•  Review of Executive Committee actions/discussions.  

•  Update: Posting of At-Large Member Vacancy

•  Learning Session: Exploring “Biodiversity”

•  Preparation for Townships' Annual Joint Meeting

Beaver Island, MI

NRESC Planning Initiative

Proposed Plan Development Process

Activity

Meeting with NRESC

Interim activity

•  SWOT Analysis

•  Stakeholder Interests

DEC 10, 2011

 

•  Build a “Resource Library”*

 

ONGOING

•  Build knowledge and understanding about current state of BI natural resources and ecotourism.

FEBRUARY 18 (10-4)

ONGOING

•  Plan for creation of practical vision, goals, objectives, strategies and tasks

•  Develop a communication plan

 

•  Stakeholder/community forum(s) to build a practical vision of the desired future state of BI natural resources and ecotourism.

 

MARCH - JULY

•  NRESC to build a practical vision, goals and objectives based upon the stakeholder/community forum(s)

•  Identify outcome measures

APRIL 14 (10-4)

 

•  NRESC and stakeholder/community forum(s) to build strategies

 

MAY - AUGUST

•  Stakeholder/community forum(s) to build specific tasks to support the strategies

 

•  Draft NRE Plan (vision, goals, objectives, strategies) for township approval

SEPTEMBER 8 (10-4)

 

•  NRESC plans implementation of NRE plan

OCTOBER 27 (10-4)

 

•  Resource library consists of documentation related to BI natural resources and ecotourism. This documentation may consist of items such as inventory of current initiatives taking place, past initiatives and their outcomes, frequently asked questions/answers, community survey results, established partnerships, maps, etc.

Dear NRESC members,

It was a pleasure meeting with all of you on Saturday, December 10. Your passion and enthusiasm for carrying forward this planning initiative is inspiring and we are excited to be working with you.

Toward the end of our meeting together, it was agreed that various pieces of information needed to be shared with all NRESC members in order for the group to build a common knowledge-base with which to move forward. It was suggested that John and I be the collection point for that information, creating a so-called “resource library”.

Therefore, if each of you would reply to this message with the following information, we can begin building the library of resources for the purpose of increasing knowledge and understand about BI natural resources and ecotourism.

•  What questions do you need answered about BI's natural resources and ecotourism?

•  What specific information would you like to have included in the “resource library”?

•  What information do you have to share with others?

•  What information would you like to hear in presentation format (either face-to-face or through a webinar)?

If you have any questions, concerns, input to this request, please feel free to contact John Beck at (517) 432-3982, beckj@msu.edu or Julie Brockman (517) 432-4772, brockma4@msu.edu

 

NRESC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING – PEAINE TOWNSHIP HALL- DECEMBER 19, 2011

Chairman Peter Plastrik convened the meeting at 6:08 p.m.

Committee members present: Bill, Cashman, Pam Grassmick (phone), Peter Plastrik

Steering Committee members present: Bill Parsons (phone), Archie Kiogima (phone), Bill Markey, Ed Wojan

•  Adoption of the Minutes for Executive Committee meeting on November 27, 2011. Motion by Cashman, seconded by Grassmick. Adopted 3-0.

•  Acceptance of Resignation by Frank Solle. Plastrik said he had received a letter from Solle resigning from the NRESC. Motion to accept Solle's resignation by Grassmick, seconded by Cashman. Adopted 3-0.

•  Decision to post vacancy caused by Solle resignation. There was a discussion about the process the NRESC should use to fill the at-large seat formerly held by Solle, and about the need for the NRESC membership to become more diverse in representing the Island community. It was noted that moving quickly would make it possible for a new NRESC member to participate at the beginning of the MSU planning process. Motion by Cashman, seconded by Grassmick to authorize Plastrik to publicly post the vacancy and for the Executive Committee to recommend a new appointment to the Steering Committee at the January 16 meeting of the NRESC. Adopted 3-0.

•  Discussion of an NRESC “learning session” about biodiversity . After discussion, it was agreed to use the NRESC meeting on January 16 to learn more about the term biodiversity. Grassmick will circulate some background reading material. Plastrik said he would work with NRESC member Dan Martell to prepare a discussion. One purpose is to help the NRESC decide what questions it has that should be addressed to experts. Grassmick mentioned several ecologists—Keith Kintigh and Amy Clark Eagle—who are knowledgeable about the Island and could be asked for assistance. Parsons and Kiogima said they were very interested in participating in the discussion.

•  Decision to authorize Plastrik to serve as NRESC liaison to the MSU facilitators for the Beaver Island natural resource management planning process. Plastrik said that he is scheduled to talk with the MSU facilitators later in the week and will report to the NRESC about the conversation. He suggested that the NRESC formally appoint someone to serve as liaison to MSU. Motion by Cashman, seconded by Grassmick to authorize Plastrik to serve as liaison to MSU facilitators. Adopted 3-0.

•  Briefing on grant proposals. Grassmick reported that the Little Traverse Conservancy has decided to allow the use of its land acquisition funding as a match in the proposed CRA grant. She also said that The Nature Conservancy hopes to put together a meeting with the DNR and the tribes to discuss invasive species efforts on the outer islands. Parsons said the Little Traverse Bay Band would participate in a meeting.

There being no other business for the Executive Committee, there was a motion by Cashman, supported by Grassmick, to adjourn at 6:41 p.m. Adopted 3-0.

Beaver Island Natural Resources and Eco-Tourism Steering Committee Executive Committee and Steering Committee Minutes

The NRESC Executive Committee will meet tonight (12/19/11) at 6 pm at Peaine Township Hall.

Call-in Instructions: (these have changed from previous call-in)

Dial-in Number:

1-415-464-6800

Conference ID:

49782

Agenda Items:

1. Accept resignation of Frank Solle from NRESC

2. Develop recommendation for NRESC process to select new At-Large members

3. Discuss ideas about conducting a learning session on Biodiversity at the January NRESC meeting

4. Follow-up on the MSU/NRESC meeting on December 10, 2011

Also attached is draft of minutes from the MSU/NRESC meeting.

Peter Plastrik

Draft

NRESC Meeting with MSU Faciliators 12/10/11

November 21, 2011 at 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Peaine Township Hall

Archived information on: www.peaine.org

Mission Statement: The Beaver Island Natural Resources and Eco-tourism Committee is committed to understanding and preserving our natural resources and promoting opportunities for their appreciation and enjoyment.

Executive Committee Board Minutes

In attendance: Sandy Birdsall, Bill Cashman, Pete Plastrik, Pam Grassmick, and Jeff Powers.

•  Call to order: The meeting was called to order at 16:34 by Chair, Pete Plastrik.

•  Approval of the minutes: A motion (Birdsall/Cashman) to accept the October 27th EC and November 1, 2011 Special Meeting minutes as written was unanimously approved.

•  New Business: Grassmick requested a change to the Steering Committee agenda to facilitate discussion of two proposals that require immediate action . Unanimous support to move the two initiatives from the CRA and The Nature Conservancy to New Business (see attached Exhibit B). A protocol to deal with short notice of grant cycles may require a special meeting being called and posted 48 hours in advance.

•  Subcommittee formation: EC consensus was reached on the recommendation for all sub-committees to be advisory to the entire board. This recommendation will be presented to the entire board for their input tonight. It is further recommended that all organizations submit, through their representative's, proposals for activities and subcommittees.

•  Mandate Discussion: Since the mandates are described in more detail under the Townships' Resolution establishing the NRESC, it was determined that all members be asked to review the document and confirm that they support the mandates put forth by the townships. Documents can be found on the Peaine website listed above.

•  Website Development: Following approval by the townships, the EC directs Cashman and Platrik to develop an NRESC website. Associated policies will be developed and circulated to all members early in 2012 pertaining to the documents and use of the official site by members.

•  MSU/DNR Natural Resource Planning Proposal: After discussion, it was agreed that Plastrik will send out a notice to all NRESC members to confirm their attendance at a 6 hour meeting on December 10 th with MSU/DNR and also invite the township officials. The meeting will be open to the public as required by the OMA. The NRESC Steering Committee will determine, after the next scheduled session with MSU, the best method of interfacing with MSU.

•  NRESC Member Terms: Plastrik assigned terms randomly and will be presented to the members tonight for adoption. (See attached Exhibit A)

•  EC Meeting permanent time change: A motion (Birdsall/Powers) to change the EC meeting time from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. every month carried unanimously. Grassmick to change all postings.

•  Adjourment : A motion (Cashman/Powers) to adjourn carried at 5:25 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Pam Grassmick

Steering Committee Minutes

In attendance : Sandy Birdsall, Bill Cashman, Jim Gillingham, Pam Grassmick, Paul Johnson, Bill Markey, Pete Plastrik, Jeff Powers, and Ed Wojan. On conference call : The conference calling equipment was working on the island end but unable to connect with the conference calling server.

•  Call to order: The meeting was called to order by Plastrik at 7:20 p.m. after it was determined that the conference calling capability was out of order.

•  Changes to the agenda: A motion by (Cashman/Wojan) to move the discussion of biodiversity to a future meeting and add the review of two proposals from the Conservation Resource Alliance and The Nature Conservancy to New Business. Both changes were unanimously accepted.

•  Approval of the minutes: A motion (Gillingham/Birdsall) ) to accept the October 27th EC and November 1, 2011 Special Meeting minutes as written was unanimously approved.

•  Roundtable Sharing: Markey expressed his interest as the Peaine Planning Chairperson to work and assist NRESC with planning issues. Johnson remarked that he was pleased with this hunting season and he was congratulated on his 10 point buck. Johnson and Wojan have made repeated attempts to engage the Beaver Island Conservation Club. They recommended that the NRESC accept BICC's lack of response as declining membership/interest. They also recommended that Powers as the Wildlife Club President update BICC as Jeff feels necessary. Grassmick updated the group on the Charlevoix County Community Foundation grant from BIA and the townships for a GPS unit, software, equipment, and herbicides for invasive species treatment for 2012. Notification of awards should be within the next few weeks. Plastrik spoke of a recent conversation with Steve West from the Chamber of Commerce for birding activity and possibly a festival. While the Chamber does not have any capacity for “work on the ground”, they are offering funding assistance. Plastrik commented on the ongoing St. James Township's Recreation Planning initiative. He has received 245 on-line responses to the survey with half of the total participants identifying themselves as year round residents. Many of those on-line have requested updates on the planning process. Powers and Johnson discussed the Wildlife Club's assistance with deer checks, deer camp surveys, and development of power line right of way food plots. Powers went on to state that he will be in Lansing for hearings on Cormorant control on November 29 and a Senate hearing on December 6.

•  Staggered Terms of NRESC members: Plastrik proposed acceptance of the terms by his method of randomly assigning a year using first names to NRESC members (attached Exhibit A). Those members with 2012 terms will be up for renewal in September. Motion (Cashman/Gillingham) to accept the terms as presented was unanimously accepted.

•  Update MSU/DNR Natural Resource Planning Proposal: MSU/DNR proposal and the recommendation of the NRESC to accept the proposal has been presented to both township boards. Both township boards indicated their support. A motion (Birdsall/Wojan) to proceed with the recommendation to enter into an agreement between the NRESC membership and MSU/DNR for the purpose of producing a Beaver Island Natural Resource Plan was approved unanimously. Plastrik was authorized to communicate our acceptance with MSU/DNR and confirm the availability of December 10 with members for a possible 6 hour meeting at which time the scope of the process and conditions will be further developed.

•  a) Subcommittee Formation: The proposed subcommittee formation template was submitted electronically to members and copies provided at the meeting. The steering committee agreed that 1) no subcommittee would have more than 6 NRESC members since 7 NRESC members would constitute a quorum under NRESC by-laws, 2) be advisory in nature, 3) comply with the OMA, 4) provide for updates to the NRESC Steering Committee 5) provide a written report 2 weeks before the townships' annual meeting. 6) Subcommittees will require annual renewal by the Steering Committee. 7) A subcommittee proposal should address the questions submitted in the template. A motion (Birdsall/Wojan) to accept the template for proposing the formation of a subcommittee to include the amendment that the chair of the subcommittee be a member of the NRESC and chosen from the majority of that subcommittee carried unanimously.

b) Protocol for using NRESC name: The proposed protocol for the use of the NRESC name was submitted electronically to members and copies provided at the meeting. Motion (Cashman/Birdsall) to accept the draft as presented was unanimously approved.

c) Mandate language : The townships' updated mandate to the NRESC was submitted electronically to members and copies provided at the meeting. Cashman spoke of the 14 directives of the mandate, in addition to the townships' resolution, as our guide for collective efforts. All members are reminded to review documents which can also be found on the Peaine Township website.

d) Letterhead: The proposed letterhead was submitted electronically to members and copies provided at the meeting. Cashman was thanked for his creative work and patience through 8 drafts. Motion (Markey/Wojan) to accept the letterhead as presented was unanimously accepted.

e) Development of NRESC Website: Plastrik and Cashman presented their ideas for a specific NRESC website. A motion (Gillingham/Birdsall) for Plastrik and Cashman to pursue the development of an independent website was unanimously supported. Associated policies will be presented to the entire Steering Committee, prior to adoption, early in 2012. In the future, the LTB presentation and Gillingham's review of SOLEC proceedings will be available on line.

8. New Business: a) CRA/TNC Proposal: The proposal (see attached, Exhibit B) to the NRESC members for a CRA grant and TNC's inventory was presented by Grassmick. Wojan commented that he owns 85% of the headwaters on his 330+ acres and after a private discussion with Grassmick where she explained the voluntary nature of the Iron Ore Creek Management Plan initiative; he was in agreement to proceed. Wojan discussed the need to protect the creek and that the Charlevoix Public School owns the vast majority of the creek bed. Wojan identified that logging activity is currently proceeding by the Charlevoix County Schools. Motion (Powers/Wojan) to accept the two proposals as presented was unanimously supported.

b) 5 Year Phragmites Plan: Peaine Township is requesting assistance to develop a comprehensive 5 year Phragmites Plan for the island's private and public lands. A motion (Plastrik/Cashman) for Grassmick to develop a proposal for the January NRESC meeting to provide for integration of the Beaver Island Association's(BIA) invasive species work with the townships' 5 year invasive Phargmites plan. Members present were given copies of MNFI Invasive Species ED/RR booklet from the Grand Traverse Invasive Species Regional Meeting which Grassmick attended mid-November for BIA. Members were reminded of BIA's upcoming Invasive Species Summit scheduled at the Community Center on June 14 th .

•  Reports: a) Plastrik reported that the LTB of Odawa's presentation was appreciated and the NRESC looks forward to the information being presented to a broad audience at another time during the summer such as during Museum Week.

b) Jim Gillingham gave an overview of the State Of the Lakes Eco-system Conference (SOLEC) held in Erie, Pennsylvania. He said that there were approximately 300 GL policy makers and researchers who participated. The keynote address was done by Robert Glenna (?sp) on “Unquenchable: America's Water Crisis and What to Do About It.” Plenary presentations included the State of the GL's Water Quality, Aquatic Dependent Life, State of Landscapes and Natural Processes. Effects of ethanol production were discussed. Increasing algae such as Cladophora and mycosystis, invasive species, land transformations, global warming, and changes to the food web are all serious threats to the GLs. Coastal wetland fluctuations were identified as important to the ecological cycle of the GLs but we have had a disruption with an extended decrease in the lake levels. An overview of GL islands addressed status, trends, and issues with case studies using Georgian Bay, Beaver Island, and western Lake Erie. Gillingham circulated copies of TNC's latest report, Islands of Life. According to Gillingham, many of the issues presented at SOLEC are relevant to the discussions that the NRESC is currently addressing. Island strategies identified for preservation and protection of rare species included eradication of invasive species, improvement of breeding bird habitat, land acquisition, development of specific management plans, and tracking status and indicators.

Adjournment: Motion (Plastrik/Wojan) to adjourn was unanimously accepted. Meeting adjourned at 9:12 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Pam Grassmick, Secretary 11/26/11

Proposal to the NRESC of initiatives from the Conservation Resource Alliance and The Nature Conservancy:

CRA Initiative:

Mandates: Develop a balanced plan for promoting preservation and achieving sustainable economic growth and development for the Island, working with state, county, federal, and local governments and private agencies engaged in preservation. Identify threats to the Island's ecosystem and plan ways to manage those threats. Foster improved understanding of our sensitive natural resources and habitat by Islanders and visitors. Advocate for preservation of areas where our natural resources should be preserved to enhance our ecotourism opportunities and to maintain the unique beauty of Beaver Island. With approval of the Townships seek grant funding to promote preservation, ecotourism, recreation, and academic research

Requesting the NRESC membership to support a motion to allow the Executive Committee to partner, plan, and coordinate with the Conservation Resource Alliance for the purpose of grant funding to develop a management plan for Iron Ore Creek which could be a template to other stream conservation on the Beaver Island. In addition to the Iron Ore Creek plan, the grant will provide for upland bird habitat work on private lands, specifically dealing with old alder. There will also be an invasive species component for both aquatic and terrestrial plants. Grant proposals will be to the 2012 Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act and/or the Sustain Our Great Lakes and are due in December and January. The grant, if awarded, may be in excess of $150,000 with matching grants provided by recent land acquisition of the Little Traverse Conservancy. I further propose that if this initiative is supported by the NRESC membership that the Executive Committee via the township NRESC representatives present this proposal for the Townships' board support.

Nature Conservancy Initiative:

Mandates : Obtain an inventory of needs and assets assessment for Island resources. Identify threats to the Island's ecosystem and plan ways to manage those threats.
Foster improved understanding of our sensitive natural resources and habitat by Islanders and visitors. Advocate for preservation of areas where our natural resources should be preserved to enhance our ecotourism opportunities and to maintain the unique beauty of Beaver Island.
Provide opportunities to appreciate the ecology of wetlands

Beaver Island is identified as one of the highest ranked islands for its biological value of the 32,000 islands in the Great Lakes. It has never had a fine inventory of plant species or an inventory of invasives. The NC has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars studying GL islands and producing many bi-national reports. The NC is proposing to send a 3+ person team to Beaver Island for the months of June and July to provide for this inventory on both state and private lands. As of discussions on 11/18/11, TNC is lacking $8,000.00 to complete a full island inventory and invasive treatment of all the outer islands. TNC continues work toward securing the additional funding through interested parties. Requesting a motion to accept the NC Conservancy proposal, assist them with access to private property, and coordinate their inventory activity on Beaver Island. I would also like a motion from the NRESC body to instruct the Executive Board to present this initiative to the townships' board for a motion of support and request that the fire hall housing be provided free of charge as a token of Beaver Island's support and appreciation of their inventory work and invasive species control for all islands within our archipelago.

Both of these initiatives will fall under the direction of the Executive Committee until such time as appropriate sub-committees are established i.e. Grant Committee or an Invasive Species Committee

Pam Grassmick, Member-At-Large

11/20/11

 

Roster and Terms

Adopted members by St. James Township at regularly scheduled meeting 9/7/2011.

Adopted members on 9/14/2011 by Peaine Township

Adopted terms 11/21/11 by the NRESC

 

1) Peaine Township's appointee to the Commission ( Sandra Birdsall -2012;

2) St. James Township's appointee to the Commission ( Pete Plastrik- 2014);

 

3) the Peaine Township Planning Commission's appointee ( Bill Markey -2013);

4) the St. James Township Planning Commission's appointee ( Jayne Bailey -2012);

 

5) the Beaver Island Association's appointee ( Craig Schrotenboer- 2013);

6) the Beaver Island Chamber of Commerce's appointee ( Paul Johnson- 2013);

7) the Beaver Island Community Schools appointee ( Dan Martel- 2014);

8) the Beaver Island Contractors and Realtors Group's appointee ( Ed Wojan- 2013);

9) the Beaver Island Wildlife Club's appointee ( Jeff Powers- 2013);

10) the Michigan Department of Natural Resources' appointee ( Brian Mastenbrook- 2012);

11) Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians ( Bill Parsons and Archie Kiogima, Jr.- 2014);

12) the Peaine Township Trails Committee's appointee ( Doug Tilly- 2012);

 

And five at-large members:

 

13) Bill Cashman- 2012

14) Jim Gillingham- 2014

15) Pam Grassmick- 2012

16) Seamus Norgaard- 2013

17) Frank Solle- 2014

 

Awaiting response from GT Band of Chippewa and Ottawa Indians

Natural Resources and Ecotourism Steering Committee

November 21, 2011 – 7 pm, Peaine Township Hall

AGENDA

•  Call to Order

•  Review/Revision of meeting agenda

•  Approval of draft minutes for meeting on September 19, 2011

•  Roundtable Sharing (2 minute updates by members)

•  Adoption of staggered terms for Steering Committee members (random drawing)

•  Update/Discussion/Decision on DNR/MSU proposed process for natural resource management planning

•  Recommendations from Executive Committee:

•  Adoption of a template for proposing formation of subcommittees

•  Adoption of protocol for using NRESC name

•  Adoption of NRESC “mandate” language

•  Letterhead for NRESC

•  Development of NRESC Web site

•  Reports:

•  Little Traverse Bay Ban presentation (10.27.11)

•  Dr. Jim Gillingham: Update on SOLEC (State of the Lakes Ecosystem Conference) Islands presentation

•  Discussion: Interest in setting up an NRESC learning session on “biodiversity”

•  New business

•  Adjournment

NRESC Executive Committee Special Meeting

unapproved draft of minutes

November 1, 2011 4-6 p.m. at the Peaine Township Hall

The meeting of the NRESC Executive Committee was called to order at 4:07 p.m. by Pete Plastrik, at the request of Brian Mastenbrook, with two professors from MSU, John Beck and Julie Breckman, to learn about their offer to facilitate a Beaver Island natural resources management planning process. All five Executive Committee members were present. Three other Steering Committee members attended the meeting: Paul Johnson, Bill Parsons, and Ed Wojan. (Elaine West/ Northern Islander  also attended, as did the DNR's Rex Ainslie.) The offer of MSU resources had been communicated by Mastenbrook in September to both townships and there had been a meeting with the township supervisors, who said that the offer should be presented to the NRESC.

At the outset of the Tuesday meeting, Plastrik made it clear that the Executive Committee was only there to learn about the possibility, that it would let the Steering Committee know what it learned at the scheduled 11/21 meeting of the Steering Committee, and that the Steering Committee would be the decision maker about whether or not to accept the offer and under what conditions.

The offer proposed: MSU facilitators led by Beck and Breckman would work with the NRESC, and whoever else we want to have involved in the planning process, to design and then facilitate/support a process for developing a natural resources management plan for the Island. MSU's work/expenses would be paid for by the DNR. The process would be our process, period. Not the MSU process, not the DNR process. The goals, scope and activities of the planning process would be decided by us. The process would include, down the road, activities to gain broad public input. The process would take as long as we want/need it to take, although if we want to include seasonal residents, it would have to last into summer. (It seemed likely that the process could take 12-18 months). The DNR would be a stakeholder/participant in the process, but would not have any other role. This sort of community/stakeholder-driven process is a very different style of planning than the DNR has traditionally engaged in; Beaver Island is one of the first places they want to try it.

During the conversation, many of the SC members expressed strong interest in pursuing the process and real appreciation of the DNR/MSU offer. After the discussion, the Executive Committee members agreed to recommend the following: (a) Plastrik should send to the Steering Committee a short note describing the meeting; (b) the Township boards would be briefed about the meeting; and (c) The Executive Committee would recommend to the Steering Committee that the offer be accepted.

The MSU facilitators said that if the Steering Committee decides to go forward, it would probably make sense to schedule a kick-off meeting with them for a Saturday in December or January, at which the goals, scope, initial activities, and timeline could be established.

Respectfully submitted, Pam Grassmick

11/8/2011

Beaver Island Natural Resources and Eco-Tourism Steering Committee Executive Committee Minutes

Draft

October 27, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. at the Peaine Township Hall

Archived information on: www.peaine.org

Mission Statement: The Beaver Island Natural Resources and Eco-tourism Commission is committed to understanding and preserving our natural resources and promoting opportunities for their appreciation and enjoyment.

In attendance : Sandy Birdsall, Bill Cashman, Pam Grassmick, Paul Johnson, Archie Kiogima, Dan Martell, Bill Parsons, Pete Plastrik, Jeff Powers, and Ed Wojan. On conference call : Seamus Norgaard and Craig Schrotenboer

Guest : Bill McDonough, Odawa staff: Kevin Haines, and Max

1. Call to Order:

The meeting was called to order by Chair, Pete Plastrik at 7:06 p.m.

2. Presentation: The meeting began with a presentation by Bill Parsons representing the Odawa tribe describing their mission, natural resource departments and programs, decrees, extent of reservation lands, and state/federal treaties. Tribal members number 4,400 and their lands cover 336 square miles in the counties of Emmett and Charlevoix. Their NR budget is $3,818,213. Tribal hunting license holders are presently 12-13% of tribal population. Parsons' Power Point covered game animals, fishing data, and associated regulations. In addition, he discussed their work with Bald Eagle research conducted with the University of Maryland and shared nesting site maps. All of the islands have one or more eagle nests with the exception of Squaw. Lake Geneserath walleye information was shared as well as their interest in management of the resource. Parsons presented the initial findings of the biodiversity inventories on Garden and High islands that were conducted last year with MNFI. This information will be used to develop conservation targets and threats. Documented on Garden Island was the highest quality fen in the state, 3 carnivorous plants, Hines Emerald dragonfly, and the Lake Huron Locust. The final biodiversity report on High and Garden is anticipated to be completed in the summer of 2012. The audience all expressed gratitude to the Odawa tribe for their continued work and willingness to share information with the Beaver Island community. It was suggested that a summer presentation be explored to share the tribal information with a wider audience. Following the presentation, comments concerning the need for additional clean-up efforts of dump sites on Garden Island were exchanged.

3. Resume Executive Meeting after a 5 minute break (8:35 p.m.) : In attendance: Birdsall, Cashman, Grassmick, Plastrik, Powers, and Wojan. Norgaard on the phone. Plastrik complimented the NRESC members with their assistance on agenda items and input into the St. James Recreation Plan questionnaire.

4. * Template for subcommittees: After a brief discussion, the Ex Committee will propose at the November NRESC meeting that each proposed subcommittee be developed along these guidelines: 1) name of subcommittee. 2) State their purpose, goals and how the subcommittee fits into the NRESC's mandate. 3) Identify committees with overlapping objectives, if any. 4) List committee members, and the chair to be a member of the Steering Committee 5) Define necessary funding requirements to achieve goals. 6) Duties to include continued updates to the Ex Committee and submission of a written report 2 weeks prior to the joint Township's Annual Report and notify the Ex. Committee of all membership changes. Subcommittees will require yearly renewal and be open to the public. Whether their subcommittee meetings will require posting, will be explored by Birdsall.

5. * Mandates, goals, principals, and programs : Plastrik asked for a review of the mandates which were embedded in the townships' resolutions. A motion (Birdsall/Powers) requested Cashman to review the latest township resolutions and submit an updated statement on mandates for the November meeting to Grassmick for distribution. The Programs and Principals will be addressed at the November meeting as originally submitted to the entire NRESC. Plastrik suggested that the issue of discussion on the term biodiversity be held for the November 21st meeting due to the time constraints of this meeting.

6. * Postings, Letterhead and Website Development, Guidelines for use of Letterhead:

The letterhead that was circulated by Cashman was presented and there was consensus that the letterhead will include: archipelago design, NRESC name, mailing address, web site, mission statement, participating organizations and members at large without names. The mission statement is to be included under the NRESC contact information with participating organizations and members at large to be placed at the bottom. This letterhead will be submitted for approval at the November meeting and for the members' input. The guidelines as presented for use of the letterhead (included in agenda) were agreed upon by the Executive Committee and will be submitted for approval by the entire membership of the NRESC. The development of an independent website vs. the Peaine Township site was discussed. Plastrik and Cashman will work on a proposal for early next year after consultation with the township boards. The anticipated cost is $100.00/yr. The NRESC will continue to utilize the Peaine Township website until a new website can be developed. Communications between NRESC member organizations and mainland agencies were presented as a need for better coordination of information. The example given was in relation to invasive species work and multiple groups involved with control efforts. It is hoped that all NRESC participating organizations will update each other in an effort to provide for collaborative involvement with grants, agencies, and more effective treatment. Plastrik will propose the use of the agenda for Roundtable discussion at each meeting. The Roundtable presentations should be approximately 2 minutes in length and items requiring more time be submitted as an agenda item. Members are encouraged to contact Plastrik with all agenda items requiring more time for discussion.

7. * DNR Natural Resource Planning: The requested meeting by the DNR and MSU facilitators with the Executive Committee (EC) of the NRESC for November 1st was briefly discussed. Public postings are in place regarding the meeting. Wojan commented on the need to have the planning process island driven and spoke on previous issues with master planning initiatives and outside facilitators. Since we have had no further information submitted by the DNR on the process, the EC will be present to gather information to be presented at the November meeting to the entire NRESC membership. It was suggested that the Executive Committee meet following the meeting to discuss the DNR proposal, formulate questions, and discuss assistance with the natural resource planning process.

8. Agenda Items: Plastrik will request that all NRESC members submit agenda items 1 week prior to the agenda's posting. Any change to the agenda may take place at the beginning of a meeting; however, if an agenda item requires action, it will occur at the following meeting.

9. Adjournment:

A motion to adjourn was made at 9:35 p.m. (Plastrik/Cashman) and unanimously accepted.

Respectfully submitted,

Pam Grassmick, Secretary 11/1 /11

*Action Items:

1) November 1st Executive Committee meeting with the DNR

 

Beaver Island Natural Resources and Ecotourism Steering Committee

Executive Committee Meeting

October 27, 2011, 7:00 pm, Peaine Township Hall

AGENDA

7:00 Presentation – Bill Parsons and Archie Kiogima, Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians

8:00 Executive Committee Business (after a short break)

•  Adopt a Template for proposing formation of a subcommittee

•  Review previous NRESC Mandate, Management Plan Goals, Principles, Programs to decide what, if anything, to propose for Steering Committee adoption in November

•  NRESC Communications:

•  Review/revise draft letterhead (2 versions attached) and use of letterhead guidelines

•  Web site – Do we want an independent site or to use Peaine Township space?

•  Communications with other organizations: What is the protocol, how is this to be coordinated?

8:50 Identify Agenda Items for Next Meetings of EC (11/1, 11/21) and SC (11/21)

9:00 Adjourn

Materials for meeting on next pages

DRAFT TEMPLATE FOR PROPOSING FORMATION OF A SUBCOMMITTEE 

Any NRESC member can propose formation of a subcommittee, which must be approved by a vote of the Steering Committee. A subcommittee's approval must be renewed annually by the Steering Committee. The subcommittee chair will report on subcommittee activities at each meeting of the Steering Committee.

A proposal to form a subcommittee should address the following questions:

•  What are the purpose and goals of the subcommittee? What activities will be undertaken?

•  Will the subcommittee's work fall within the province of any other subcommittee or entity?

•  Who will be the subcommittee's members and chair?

•  If funding will be required, how much, for what purpose, and from what source(s)?

The Commission's mandate:

•  Obtain an inventory and ‘needs and assets' assessment for Island resources.

•  Identify areas for expanded and/or improved trails for nature walks; propose improvements which would enhance the experience in those areas, such as boardwalks, benches, viewing areas, picnic tables, maps, signage, trail markers, brochures, and other such improvements.

•  Identify bird-watching opportunities on the Island, locations where improvements such as viewing stations and viewing equipment could be located, and create informational brochures for distribution.

•  Identify potential forest trails where forest land could be preserved, and identify old growth access sites.

•  Advocate for preservation of areas where our natural resources should be preserved to enhance ecotourism opportunities and maintain the unique beauty of Beaver Island.

•  Provide opportunities to appreciate the ecology of wetlands.

•  Develop a plan for conserving Island biodiversity, working with state, county, federal, and local governments and private agencies engaged in preservation.

•  Develop a plan that incorporates biodiversity for promoting the Island as a unique opportunity for an ecotourism experience; such a plan might include opportunity for guided nature walks, self-guided trips, classroom study, and nature photography; and work with state, federal, and other agencies engaged in the promotion of tourism.

Management Plan goals:

It should enumerate and describe our natural resources;

It should identify current threats to our natural resources and establish procedures for dealing with them;

It should suggest steps that could be taken to protect, improve, or sustain our natural endowment, and would include a schedule for their funding, sponsorship, and implementation;

It should create guidelines for making decisions about natural resource issues by clearly stating accepted principles.

Management Plan principles:

•  The character and natural beauty of the Island should be maintained;

•  All decisions should be based on science;

•  Populations of flora and fauna should be managed to maintain interdependencies and communities;

•  Biodiversity should be conserved and encouraged;

•  Rare and endangered species should be protected, and invasives attacked;

•  Native habitat for natural communities should be restored, protected, and improved;

•  Public enjoyment and use of the Island's natural resources should be supported;

•  Safe and enjoyable hunting and other wildlife-related activities should be provided and promoted;

•  Guidance should be provided for resolving human-wildlife conflicts;

•  Island residents and visitors should be educated about the value of all wildlife and habitat;

•  Partnerships to create and implement programs should be developed;

•  All activities should be performed in a professional manner;

•  Public opinion should be incorporated into the decision-making process;

•  Habitat and all wildlife should be preserved, used, and managed as a public trust; and

•  Social and economic factors should be taken into consideration.

Management Plan programs:

•  defining the current state of and conservation challenges to Beaver Island's natural resources

•  focusing on immediate dangers by protecting the threatened rare and endangered species and identifying, monitoring, and inhibiting invasives

•  protecting, improving, and sustaining Beaver Island's ecosystem

•  promoting responsible and diverse recreation on Beaver Island, including hunting

•  seeking government and academic recognition and funding for the Plan 

DRAFT guidelines for use of name/letterhead of NRESC

•  NRESC letterhead and or  signature blocks  will be used to communicate in matters relating to the Committee and its work.  Principal persons authorized to use these are the Chair and Secretary. 

•  NRESC letterhead and or signature blocks will not be used to take positions on issues or advocate for legislation or administrative action without approval of the majority of the NRESC.

•  If Committee members wish to express personal opinions on issues, yet want to convey that they are members of the Committee while not speaking for the Committee, NRESC letterhead and signature blocks should not be used.

•  When expressing personal opinions or opinions/positions of the organizations they represent, Committee members should be explicit in stating that they are speaking only for themselves or their organization, not for the NRESC.  

Beaver Island Natural Resources and Eco-Tourism Steering Committee Draft

September 19, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. at the Peaine Township Hall

Archived information on: www.peaine.org

Mission Statement: The Beaver Island Natural Resources and Eco-tourism Commission is committed to understanding and preserving our natural resources and promoting opportunities for their appreciation and enjoyment.

In attendance : Sandy Birdsall, Bill Cashman, Jim Gillingham, Pam Grassmick, Paul Johnson, Brian Mastenbrook, Pete Plastrik, Jeff Powers, Craig Schrotenboer, Frank Solle, Doug Tilly, and Ed Wojan. On conference call phone: Archie Kiogima, Seamus Norgaard, and Bill Parsons.

Guest : Rex Ainslie (DNR)

1. Call to Order:

The meeting was called to order by Acting Chair, Bill Cashman at 7 p.m.

2. Review and modifications to the agenda, related to several presentations, were circulated and approved.

3. Introductions : Cashman asked for those present to provide an introduction.

4. Approval of the minutes: The August 12, 2011 preliminary/organizational minutes and revised roster were submitted electronically to the members and copies available at the meeting. A motion (Tilly/Gillingham) to accept the minutes as presented carried unanimously.

5. * Review and Adoption of By-laws: Proposed By-laws were submitted electronically to members and copies provided at the meeting. A motion (Birdsall/Wojan) to accept the by-laws carried unanimously. Cashman requested that Grassmick submit the by-laws to both township boards. Johnson and Wojan suggested that BI Conservation Club be left on the NRESC membership roster until it is determined if BICC will continue as an organization or they have interest in participating with the NRESC. Johnson and Wojan were going to follow up with BICC as they have not responded with a name of their representative.

6. * Election of officiers and Executive Board members: Pete Plastrik was nominated as Chairperson by Cashman/Wojan. Birdsall nominated Bill Cashman as Vice-Chair. Plastrik nominated Pam Grassmick as Secretary. Grassmick nominated Sandra Birdsall for Treasurer. Birdsall nominated Jeff Powers as Member at Large to Executive Board. Norgaard nominated Cashman for Chair and Birdsall for vice chair. They withdrew their names for nomination for those positions. Wojan motioned that the entire slate of officers for the Executive Board be accepted as presented. Motion was unanimously approved. At 7:12 p.m., Pete Plastrik assumed the role of Chairperson for the NRESC. Schrotenboer remarked that the by-laws may need to be amended regarding the Executive Board and the Treasurer position. The membership list needs to be changed to show Jeff Powers' replacement of Ivan Young as the Wildlife Club representative. Plastrik will follow-up on those issues for the next meeting.

7. Round-table discussion of events/activities since the NREC dissolution: Wojan spoke of the need to execute and plan for European Swamp Thistle treatment that he is battling with the assistance of Frank Solle and others. Wojan, Solle, Schrotenboer, and Grassmick will meet to discuss an invasive species strategy. Tilly remarked that better trail maps and trail improvements are needed. Gillingham will attend State of Lake Michigan Conference and the State of the Great Lakes Eco-system Conference (SOLEC) in Erie, Pennsylvania and report back to the NRESC. The Beaver Island archipelago will be presented at SOLEC to researchers and policy makers during a bi-national report of TNC. Schrotenboer presented the various steps and phases to the BIA's Invasive Species Program. An Invasive Species Summit will be held June 14, 2012 at the Community Center dealing with the Island's top 10 terrestrial invasives. Grassmick discussed the need to hire a new Phragmites Administrator and the 2011 effort. Future funding options for the archipelago are being pursued. CRA's interest in a management plan for Iron Ore Creek is high and the MDA's Emerald Ash Borer initiative showed no EAB in the 16 traps set. The MDA will continue the EAB program next year, if funding continues. Mastenbrook stated the APR for this hunting year is in place. Powers discussed the USFWS cormorant control program which will decrease the population to 3,000 pairs. Powers also expressed the Wildlife Club's interest in improving the youth hunting program. Johnson discussed the habitat improvement work for deer and game birds in a joint program with GLE along power line right of ways. He will circulate a list of shrubs and trees being offered to ensure that no invasive species are introduced. Birdsall commented on the re-printed Driving Guide which has been received positively by our visitors and businesses. She also mentioned TNC's webinar that was held last February to look at various planning efforts. Parsons described the Odawa's work and GLRI grant through Indian Affairs for biodiversity inventories on Garden and High with the MNFI. He will continue to do the monitoring of Lake Geneserath's walleye program. Additionally, the tribe is working with the University of Maryland's Bald Eagle telemetry program.

8. Presentations: DNR-Community Driven Natural Resource Plan: The letter from the DNR to Jack Gallagher was available in our packets. Brian Mastenbrook stated that he, Ainsle, and John Beck met with both townships supervisors and agreed to work with the NRESC members for the purpose of developing a Beaver Island community driven natural resource plan. The facilitators are Partners in Ecosystem Resource Management (John Beck and Julie Brockman) with MSU. The timeframe remains undetermined but the process may be 2 years. Ainslie commented that this process is to be one of inclusion and collaboration and the DNR staff is committed to the process. The task force will also include off island groups such as TNC, USFWS, Tribes and others identified with objectives related to the island's natural resources. Mastenbrook is to be the representative of the DNR for this planning endeavor. It was noted that previous work on the C. A. M. P. has many relevant components that will be discussed during the planning process. Over the next 1-2 months, Mastenbrook will send a synopsis of the proposed process to Grassmick for dissemination to this group. The members responded positively to the addition of professional facilitators to the planning process at no cost to the Townships as the program is part of a contract between the DNR and MSU.

* Tribal Presentation: Parsons stated that he would like to schedule a date for an update to the NRESC and community about the biodiversity work and fisheries information that the Odawa tribe has completed. The entire work of the GLRI biodiversity inventory will not be completed for another year. A future date will be selected.

St. James Recreation Planning: Pete Plastrik presented a time table for a draft document that was requested by the St. James Township Board. The previous Recreation Plan was from 2002 and a one page statement in the Master Plan. He intends to have consultations with key organizations and use the forum and media to distribute surveys. The intent is to provide an approved Recreation Plan by the April 1st grant cycle. It will be a temporary document or a precursor to a comprehensive plan. Wojan pointed out the need for both townships to keep Recreation Plans current for potential funding cycles. Jack Kelly's work on the recreation plan was not adopted by either township but will be reviewed. Plastrik recommended that anyone interested in assisting to contact him.

9. * Review of membership, mandates, goals, principals, and programs : Plastrik asked for members to review the mandates, goals, principals, and programs that were attached to the minutes. Discussion of the meaning of biodiversity ensued. Gillingham stated that it should be considered the sum total of species or richness. Biodiversity is measurable in a defined area and effects of various management options can produce various effects. Norgaard also interjected that cultural as well as biological qualities are important to our natural resource planning.

10. Meeting Dates: It was determined that the Steering Committee would meet at 7 p.m., the 3rd Monday of every other month beginning in November. The Executive Board will meet at 4:30 p.m. every 3rd Monday of each month. All are welcome to attend any meetings and all members will receive the monthly agenda in advance and minutes-within the 8 days following a meeting.

11. * Committee Formation: Birdsall suggested an Education Committee; Wojan felt that a task oriented Invasive Species Committee would be useful. Norgaard offered a Forest Management and Habitat Committee. He suggested working with the Wildlife Club, TNC, and Eric Myers. Johnson volunteered to be part of this committee. Tilly offered that a Parks and Trails Committee meets the 2nd Wed. of every month and utilizes the Friends of the Trails for additional assistance. A template for proposing a committee needs development which will state the mission, charge, and members from within the NRESC or other community members. These proposals are to be submitted to the Executive Committee for review.

12. Suggestions for next meeting: Continuing with updates on the BI Natural Resource Management planning efforts, reviewing mandates and guiding principals were identified as priorities.

13. Adjournment:

A motion to adjourn was made at 9:02 p.m. by (Tilly/Wojan)-accepted.

Respectfully submitted,

Pam Grassmick, Secretary 09/26 /11

*Action Items:

1) Potential By-law changes to Treasurer/Ex. Board and forward to township boards.

2) Township Appointment of Jeff Powers as WC rep.

3) Establish date and time for Bill Parson's presentation for the Odawa tribe.

4) Develop Template for committee formation.

5) Define and come to consensus on the term biodiversity.

6) Review and establish goals, revise mandates, and develop guiding principles.

 

Beaver Island Natural Resource and Eco-tourism Steering Committee

Informal Organizational Meeting

August 11, 2011 at 7 p.m. at the Peaine Township Hall

Mission Statement: The Beaver Island Natural Resources and Eco-tourism Commission is committed to understanding and preserving our natural resources and promoting opportunities for their appreciation and enjoyment.

Present: Bill Cashman, Ed Wojan, Seamus Norggard, Doug Tilly, Paul Johnson, and Pam Grassmick

On Phone: Brian Mastenbrook and Pete Plastrik

•  Call to Order : Bill Cashman agreed to chair this meeting and Pam Grassmick will act as recorder. The meeting was called to order at 7:02 p.m.

•  First order of business was to review individuals and organizations who have agreed to return to the NRESC and provide those names to the townships for adoption at their September meetings. The following have been identified as wishing to pursue membership: Beaver Island Community School, Brian Mastenbrook for the DNR, Ed Wojan for Construction and Realty, Paul Johnson for the BI Chamber of Commerce, Jeff Powers for the Wildlife Club, Doug Tilly for Trails Committee, Craig Schrotenboer for the Beaver Island Association, Pete Plastrik as St. James Representative, Sandy Birdsall as Peaine Representative; and Members at Large, Seamus Norrgard, Bill Cashman, and Pam Grassmick. Bill Parsons expressed an interest for the Little Traverse Band of Odawa and both planning commissions are expected to provide a representative. GT Band involvement will also be pursued. Frank Solle, Jim Gillingham, and Don Uzarski will be contacted for their potential involvement. Ed Wojan will follow-up with Frank, and Grassmick is to contact Jim and Don (motion Tilly/Norggard). Paul Johnson will follow-up with BICC as to their involvement. A list of initial members is to be assembled by the Monday before the next St. James Town Board meeting.

•  Discussion centered on an executive committee and an advisory board within the NRESC. It is anticipated that the Executive Board will meet monthly and those meetings will be posted as per the OMA. The Advisory Board and the public are offered the opportunity to be present at any of these meetings. The Advisory Board will meet 6 times a year with the Executive Board. All decisions requiring action will be made by both boards. Plastrik offered that the officers of the Executive Board be selected by the body of the NRESC after the townships have approved the slate of NRESC representatives. All agreed.

•  Doug Tilly is to review community meeting dates and make a recommendation on dates for NRESC meetings and submit a list to Grassmick by the end of next week.

•  The topic of invasive species was discussed. Grassmick commented on the work over the summer by the Beaver Island Association. (Plan attached.) On June 14, 2011, an Invasive Species Summit will be held for the public with the Grand Traverse Invasive Species Network. Craig Schrotenboer is chairing the BIA initiative. A conference call related to this topic will occur later this month with the Nature Conservancy.

•  Brian Mastenbrook suggested that the NRESC members be given a review of the charge of the group. Members are urged to review the points of consensus related to the mandate, goals, principals and programs compiled from the previous NREC meetings. Grassmick is to submit with minutes to the members (see attached at bottom of minutes). It was agreed that a round table discussion at the beginning of the next scheduled meeting from members would be beneficial in updating the committee on projects of interest to the NRESC.

•  Cashman requested that items for the next agenda be submitted to him a week before our next scheduled meeting.

•  Meeting adjourned at 8:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Pam Grassmick

 

Some matters about which the former NREC achieved consensus

The Commission's mandate:

1. Obtain an inventory and ‘needs and assets' assessment for Island resources.

2. Identify areas for expanded and/or improved trails for nature walks; propose improvements which would enhance the experience in those areas, such as boardwalks, benches, viewing areas, picnic tables, maps, signage, trail markers, brochures, and other such improvements.

3. Identify bird-watching opportunities on the Island, locations where improvements such as viewing stations and viewing equipment could be located, and create informational brochures for distribution.

 

4. Identify potential forest trails where forest land could be preserved, and identify old growth access sites.

5. Advocate for preservation of areas where our natural resources should be preserved to enhance ecotourism opportunities and maintain the unique beauty of Beaver Island.

6. Provide opportunities to appreciate the ecology of wetlands.

7. Develop a plan for conserving Island biodiversity, working with state, county, federal, and local governments and private agencies engaged in preservation.

8. Develop a plan that incorporates biodiversity for promoting the Island as a unique opportunity for an ecotourism experience; such a plan might include opportunity for guided nature walks, self-guided trips, classroom study, and nature photography; and work with state, federal, and other agencies engaged in the promotion of tourism.

 

Management Plan goals:

It should enumerate and describe our natural resources;

It should identify current threats to our natural resources and establish procedures for dealing with them;

It should suggest steps that could be taken to protect, improve, or sustain our natural endowment, and would include a schedule for their funding, sponsorship, and implementation;

It should create guidelines for making decisions about natural resource issues by clearly stating accepted principles;

Management Plan principles:

1) The character and natural beauty of the Island should be maintained;

2) All decisions should be based on science;

3) Populations of flora and fauna should be managed to maintain interdependencies and communities;

4) Biodiversity should be conserved and encouraged;

5) Rare and endangered species should be protected, and invasives attacked;

6) Native habitat for natural communities should be restored, protected, and improved;

7) Public enjoyment and use of the Island's natural resources should be supported;

8) Safe and enjoyable hunting and other wildlife-related activities should be provided and promoted;

9) Guidance should be provided for resolving human-wildlife conflicts;

10) Island residents and visitors should be educated about the value of all wildlife and habitat;

11) Partnerships to create and implement programs should be developed;

12) All activities should be performed in a professional manner;

13) Public opinion should be incorporated into the decision-making process;

14) Habitat and all wildlife should be preserved, used, and managed as a public trust; and

15) Social and economic factors should be taken into consideration.

Management Plan programs:

a) defining the current state of and conservation challenges to Beaver Island's natural resources

b) focusing on immediate dangers by protecting the threatened rare and endangered species and identifying, monitoring, and inhibiting invasives

c) protecting, improving, and sustaining Beaver Island's ecosystems

d) promoting responsible and diverse recreation on Beaver Island, including hunting

e) seeking government and academic recognition and funding for the Plan

 

 

 

 

Beaver Island Natural Resources and Eco-Tourism Commission Draft

January 17, 2011 at 4:30 p.m. at the Peaine Township Hall

Archived information on: www.peaine.org

Mission Statement: The Beaver Island Natural Resources and Eco-tourism Commission is committed to understanding and preserving our natural resources and promoting opportunities for their appreciation and enjoyment.

In attendance : Sandy Birdsall, Bill Cashman, Jayne Bailey, Steve West, and Pam Grassmick, Jacque LaFreniere at 4:50. On conference call phone: Dave Schuberg, Brent Pike, Tom Bailey, Brian Mastenbrook, Bill Parsons, Mike Weede, Seamus Norgaard and Jim Jones at 5:00.

Guests: Elaine West, Pete LoDico, and Gavin West on the conference call phone.

1. Call to Order:

The meeting was called to order by Chair, Sandy Birdsall at 4:35 p.m. Sandy welcomed the four new members and the organizations that they represent: Brent Pike from the Beaver Island Conservation Club, Bill Parsons from the Little Traverse Band of Odawa, Jayne Bailey for the St. James Planning Commission, Steve West from the Chamber of Commerce, and Seamus Norgaard. Steve West stated that the Chamber has sent out a request to their membership to identify a permanent representative to the NREC.

2. Approval of the minutes: The November minutes were submitted electronically to the members and copies available at the meeting. A motion (Cashman/Birdsall) to accept the minutes as presented carried unanimously.

3. Old Business: Comprehensive Adaptive Management Plan (C.A.M.P)

Copies of C.A.M.P were sent electronically and available at the meeting.

Cashman opened the discussion with a review of the Principals which are to guide our planning process. The following list is not established by priority and will be used to reinforce the document.

1) The character and natural beauty of the Island should be maintained;

2) All decisions should be based on science;

3) Populations of flora and fauna should be managed to maintain interdependencies and communities;

4) Biodiversity should be conserved and encouraged;

5) Rare and endangered species should be protected, and invasives attacked;

6) Native habitat for natural communities should be restored, protected, and improved;

7) Public enjoyment and use of the Island's natural resources should be supported;

8) Safe and enjoyable hunting and other wildlife-related activities should be provided and promoted;

9) Guidance should be provided for resolving human-wildlife conflicts;

10) Island residents and visitors should be educated about the value of all wildlife and habitat;

11) Partnerships to create and implement programs should be developed;

12) All activities should be performed in a professional manner;

13) Public opinion should be incorporated into the decision-making process;

14) Habitat and all wildlife should be preserved, used, and managed as a public trust

15) Social and economic factors should be taken into consideration.

It was noted that #14 in the list above had been added to the original list of 14 that was circulated.

Conversation centered on personal interpretations and although our decisions need to be based on science that we should not under value the importance of aesthetics and recreation. The planning process will be complex and developed over time with wide public input. The Commission has been working on a comprehensive adaptive management plan over the past seven months. Eleven drafts of the plan have been circulated to commission members for their organizational review. The latest copy of the CAMP will be sent to the new members. Schuberg stated that 3-4 bio-indicators would not be reliable indicators of evaluating the status of an ecosystem and after further discussion with Uzarski, a suite of species should be monitored within a habitat. Schuberg offered to submit to the entire NREC the proposed indicators. Brent Pike stated that there was room for interpretation within these principals. It was discussed that the programs would be further defined by the members as individual actions are approved. Motion to accept principles as adequate and well written was offered (LaFreniere/Bailey). It was unanimously passed to accept the principals as presented. The next topic to be discussed was the list of Programs. The majority of the discussion centered on the term “natural resources” in (c). Gavin West (BICC) stated his opinion that Beaver Island's public lands were purchased with Pittman-Robertson funding and thus designated for hunting. Additionally, West believed that there are legal constraints and blocks to implementing the program if we did not follow the Game Research Area mandates and therefore BSA has been denied. It was pointed out to Gavin West that the BSA decision has not been made by the DNRE and that the public comment period had ended and we were awaiting their decision. There were brief comments made as to Gavin's interpretation. Comments made on the BSA were deferred to the appropriate place on the agenda. Cashman asked G. West to send him documents that indicate Beaver Island's lands were purchased with PR funding. Norgaard requested more emphasis on habitat restoration. Bailey stated that refinements can be achieved at a later date; it was premature to get into details at this point. Jones commented on the need of managing and monitoring keystone species such as deer, beaver, and birds. Gavin West preferred the DNRE's featured species list which was developed approximately 9 months ago. Other members expressed a need to identify our own set of species to be monitored and developed into a list specific to the Island. Grassmick to e-mail members with DNRE featured species list for their review. Bailey(LTC) and LaFreniere to amend motion to include c) to state protecting, improving, and sustaining Beaver Island's ecosystems. Motion carried unanimously to approve Programs topics with the change from natural resources to ecosystems as listed below.
  Program topics :      
a) defining the current state of and conservation challenges to Beaver Island's natural resources

b) focusing on immediate dangers by protecting the threatened rare and endangered species and identifying, monitoring, and inhibiting invasives

c) protecting, improving, and sustaining Beaver Island's ecosystems ( replaced natural resources)

d) promoting responsible and diverse recreation on Beaver Island, including hunting

e) seeking government and academic recognition and funding for the Plan

Next Steps : Cashman described that he anticipated others to review and approve every aspect of the plan. The commission's review will take place by reviewing the individual program and action plans under each program beginning with Program 1 which will be presented and discussed at the February meeting. This Spring, the updated mid-November a booklet would be submitted to the public with requests to send questions and comments to their representatives. Public meetings will be scheduled with the goal of achieving wide public approval and adoption by the townships. Each Individual programs will be developed at subsequent meetings and will be sent prior to the meeting for members input. Cashman and Jones will update the versions of the programs and associated projects.

5. New Business:

a) Birdsall asked Grassmick to present BSA information to the commission. (DNRE Biodiversity Stewardship Area (BSA) handouts were circulated in the packets at the meeting). Grassmick explained that she saw an article giving dates for public input into BSA designations. Grassmick attended an evening meeting held in Lansing on December 7 th. The DNRE's Core Design Team recommended to include all Beaver Island as a BSA and for the first time became aware of internal DNRE maps showing the extent of the modifications made to their original proposal. A sliver of undetermined size of the shoreline was all that was left of the BSA designation on Beaver Island. At that meeting, she asked why? Mike Donovan from the DNRE stated that only hunting interests were expressed in Lansing. He suggested that letters be written if we wanted a broader focus which Grassmick and other individuals have expressed. Gavin West interjected that he was dismayed with the NREC for not meeting to discuss their position and not keeping the townships aware of their lobbying efforts and speaking for the entire NREC which he has in e-mails from the representatives of the DNRE. Gavin West remarked that he had met in Lansing with Russ Mason and Brent Rudolph and had received similar information. Gavin West also objected to the letter that Jack Gallagher wrote to the DNRE. Grassmick replied that she asked Gallagher to correct facts that were sent to her from Russ Mason, Wildlife Division Chief in an e-mail. Cashman commented that he saw no conflict between our designation of a Game Area and BSA status. Grassmick responded that the Island can indeed have multiple designations. Parsons said the tribe wrote a letter to clarify some confusion concerning management objectives. LoDico (Peaine Township trustee) said there is much confusion over the various state designations and requested that the NREC schedule a meeting similar to the Wildlife Forest Symposium for the purpose of educating the townships and public about what it means to be a Game Area, a Biodiversity Area, or Wildlife Certified. A comment was made that protecting and preserving the Island's biodiversity is one of our commission's goals. Jones interjected that individuals were told at a meeting in November by Tim Reis that “Wildlife Certification for Beaver Island could be anything that we wanted it to be.” Birdsall suggested that Russ Mason address the NREC. Gavin West stated that he was bringing Russ Mason to the Island and would let us know when. Two letters of BSA support were presented at the meeting. Birdsall read excerpts from the letter that she sent for the DNR Living Legacies/BSA program. Grassmick circulated the letter that she and her husband wrote in support as property owners for BSA. Gavin and Steve West criticized the Chair for sending a letter as chair expressing her support for BSA. Steve West (Chamber of Commerce) spoke that BSA and our Game Area were incompatible and would not support the designation. A point was made that due to the short timing of public comment period for BSA over a holiday period and with an unexpected family death that the NREC did not have an opportunity to meet and discuss the BSA status for the Island. Steve West restated that the NREC did not as an organization take an official BSA position. Schuberg(CMU) will send out additional BSA information following the meeting to clarify some of the statements made. The cut off period for BSA/Living Legacies public input was January 14 th .

Bailey(LTC) suggested that a protocol for communications for the NREC be developed and offered his assistance in development.

Birdsall commented that she had a meeting involving Peaine township's attorney for clarifying the FOIA which was presented to the NREC from Elaine West of the NorthernIslander and Gavin West of the Beaver Island Conservation Club. Birdsall stated that private individuals do not need to share their personal communications between members stating their personal opinions and only those correspondences that were submitted directly relating to official NREC business are required. Grassmick's and Birdsall's letters were submitted to the NorthernIslander at the meeting.

2011 Meeting Schedule was unanimously approved with motions by (Cashman/Steve West).

DNRE's MOA re: Michigan Bird Conservation Initiative will be discussed at our next scheduled meeting due to the length of this meeting.

6. Adjournment:

A motion to adjourn was made at 6:30 p.m. by (Jones/Cashman)-accepted.

Respectfully submitted, Pam Grassmick 1/26 /11

 

Beaver Island Natural Resources and Eco-Tourism Commission Draft

November 22, 2010 at 4:30 p.m. at the Peaine Township Hall

Archived information on: www.peaine.org

In attendance : Sandy Birdsall, Bill Cashman, Jacque LaFreniere, and Mike Weede from 4:50-5:02 p.m. On-phone: Jim Jones, Dave Schuberg and Pam Grassmick.

While waiting for a quorum, updates not requiring action were presented. Grassmick updated efforts related to the spring birding survey scheduled for May 21 and June 10. Copies of inventories and lists of specimens collected from Cranbrook have been obtained dating back to 1904. A sample Leelanau birding guide from Kay Charter has been mailed to Eric Myers after copies were circulated to other committee members.

Cashman and Jones presented revisions to the Comprehensive Adaptive Management Plan (CAMP), v. 10 and 11. The plan will be all inclusive of the island's natural resources. Discussions centered on organization and functionality of the plan, in addition to, project program development. Many of the supporting documents have been moved to the appendix. It was suggested that the 21 members of the NREC divide up programs and develop action steps and report back to the commission. Jim reiterated that although we may have identified, developed, and listed the resources necessary to complete the project, priorities may change due to the availability of resources such as materials, funding, or level of expertise. Mike Weede entered at 4:50 p.m.

1. Call to Order:

The meeting was called to order by Chair, Sandy Birdsall at 4:50 p.m. with the arrival of Mike Weede making a quorum. Sandy moved to agenda item 4 to allow for Mike to leave by 5 p.m.

4. Old Business:

A. Sandy began the discussion on the proposed revised township resolution establishing that the NREC commission add the Little Traverse Band of Odawa, BI Conservation Club, Chamber, BI Historical Society, the Little Traverse Conservancy and Seamus Norgaard. The NREC is requesting that the township pass the revised resolution related to adding these new members. The Commission's by-laws have also been revised to conform to the resolution. Sandy presented Exhibit A which includes 16 organizational members and 5 individuals with eco-tourism or natural resource experience. Motion (Cashman/LaFreniere) to accept the revised resolution, by-laws and Exhibit A and submit to St. James and Peaine Township boards for their approval. Motion carried unanimously. Dave Schuberg questioned expectations related to CMU's involvement with the commission. Various members spoke of occasional guidance from CMU related to our natural resources and research. Time and energy expended on projects are at the discretion of individuals and their organizations.

2. Approval of the minutes: The October minutes were submitted by Jacque. A motion (Jackie/Bill) to accept the minutes as presented carried.

4. B . Election of board members: Carol Burton, Eric Myers, and Pam Grassmick were presented for reappointment for a 3 year term. Tom Bailey from the LTC and Brian Mastenbrook from the DNRE are also eligible for a 3 year reappointment. It was suggested that their organizations reappoint them. Motion (Bill/Jacque) to reappoint all previous 1 year NREC members carried unanimously.

5. New Business:

Mike Weede left the meeting (5:02 p.m.) at which time actions requiring a quorum stopped. The meeting continued with open discussions.

Jim returned to his discussion on the development of the CAMP. It was agreed that at the beginning of each meeting, 1-2 sections of the plan be presented and discussed. Responses on the plan have come from Steve West, Don Tritsch and Tom Kludt and we are hopeful that other members will review and comment. It was agreed that public comments be addressed at the beginning of each meeting and be incorporated into the CAMP planning when appropriate. Bill and Sandy will submit a schedule to the CAMP subcommittee. Pam reported on the involvement of the Nature Conservancy with the planning efforts. Next conference call is December 9 at 9 a.m. and we will set Dave Ewert and John Legge's site visit date for later in January.

Sandy asked for a status on the Canada yew propagation program. Pam commented that Doug Tilly is growing cuttings from various islands for spring planting and working with the Leucks and Eric Myers identifying appropriate sites for planting.

•  There will be no change to the time schedule of the NREC meetings.

B. Sandy spoke of the meeting with Erin McDonough (MUCC) and Tim Reis (DNRE) related to the proposed development of the Wildlife Certification Process and our planning efforts. Jim Jones (BIA), Pam and Sandy (NREC), Doug Tilley (Trails/Zoning Administer), and Bill Cashman (Historical Society) were in attendance along with Bill Markey, Chair of Peaine Township Planning Commission. Other members were unavailable due to various commitments. Differing impressions as to the usefulness of the meeting were verbalized. Jim left at 5:20 p.m.

Key indicator species for various habitats were discussed. Dave discussed macro- invertebrates and wetland health. It was acknowledged that all habitats are complex and in need of further investigation. Dave will pursue information on indicator species and how many species should be monitored with CMU faculty.

C. Keeping the public informed and educated with news articles was identified as an action that needed to be addressed. Bill offered to run articles in the Beaver Beacon from CMU related to our natural resources. Topics should provide the islanders with information to improve their understanding of the importance of the island diverse habitats.

Sea Grant recently awarded funding for a Waterways Trail in Lake St. Clair. Ken Bruland has investigated a similar project for our archipelago. Pam will follow up with Sea Grant to inquire about grant cycles and guidelines.

Pam discussed the follow-up phone discussion with Bill Borgeld, USDA NRCS, regarding priority management issues for our area that was sent from Eric Ellis. Mr. Borgeld will send us further information concerning funding opportunities through WHIP, EQIP, and forestry assistance for the private land owner.

6. Adjournment:

The informal meeting was adjourned at 5:37 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Pam Grassmick 11/25/10

 

September 27, 2010, at 4:30 p.m. at the Peaine Township Hall

Archived information on: www.peaine.org

In attendance : Sandy Birdsall, Bill Cashman, Carol Burton, Dan Martell, Jacque LaFreniere, and Jim Jones. On-phone: Tom Bailey and Pam Grassmick. Guest: Seamus Norggard

1. Call to Order:

The meeting was called to order by Chair, Sandy Birdsall at 4:39 p.m. with the arrival of a quorum.

2. Review of the Minutes:

Birdsall related an e-mail from Steve West, Chamber of Commerce, requesting a change to the language in the August minutes regarding the guides that were produced by the NRETC this past summer. The requested change “that the Chamber didn't request that no further guides be printed pending the 2011 release of the Wojan-Cashman map". Motion (Martell/Jones) to approve the August minutes, as presented, was unanimously passed. Following approval of the minutes, a motion (Martell/Burton) to investigate, improve and correct any possible errors in the second edition printing of the guides. Motion carried. Pam inquired of the commission their preference for the minutes being shortened and less descriptive. Cashman stated that more detail is helpful for those not present to give a better sense of the discussion. The consensus was to provide detail in the minutes.

3. Old Business:

Beaver Island Conservation Management Plan Initiative:

Jim Jones, Chair of the planning initiative, presented the first few pages of the draft of the Conservation Management Plan which was e-mailed to members with the agenda. He focused on the Island's Master Plan; approach to ecotourism based on the Michigan's Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, minor changes to actions, and KPIs, noting that goals are subject to change and would require the townships' approval. Further discussion revolved around who is the target audience. The stakeholders were defined as those individuals who make up the Beaver Island community and beyond. Focusing our efforts on profiling individuals, who would become home buyers and community members, was identified as critical to our island's economy and long term survival. The island presents itself with unique research potential which could be used to re-fuel our economy. Those present indicated that the scope of the project seemed daunting. A request was made to develop a condensed overview of the plan to be distributed to island organizations and also be used for attracting funding and interest in our archipelago. Cashman and Grassmick are to work on a tri-fold for that purpose in quantities of 100 or more. The tri-fold would be available on-line and in public locations. Pam gave a brief explanation of the organizations and the agencies that have been sent a draft copy to determine merit of the proposed plan. The rationale was to solicit a critical critic and answer, “are we headed in the right direction?” Initial feedback has been encouraging and we expect to receive further input over the next 3 weeks. Jim suggested that the commission distribute the plan to their organizations for review and areas that they perceive disagreement, adjustments may be made.

Sandy discussed her phone call with Brian Mastenbrook regarding the Wildlife Certification and the DNRE strategic planning process for the islands. Internal departments were talking and he indicated that due to the potential changes in personnel and restructuring implications, the DNRE was not prepared at this time to move forward with planning efforts. Motion (Grassmick/Burton) to develop a short condensed version of the Conservation Management Plan with depth and attractiveness for small group presentations, discussions with the general public, and off island organizations and agencies. Motion carried. This perspective type document would be developed and available before the plan is presented at public meetings to support a better understanding of the conservation management plan. Bailey asked to have the process clarified. Jim answered that adjustments will continue and the plan won't be considered complete until it is taken to the public. He expected the draft to be reviewed by various member and non-member organizations of the NRETC. Following NRETC review, the plan will be presented to the townships and planning commissions for their input, and then going out to the community at large. Broad based input was encouraged from stakeholders with varying natural resources use interests. Bailey remarked that the island has choices both on a social and political level to make concerning the management of natural resources. While science can inform and show us if plans are working related to biodiversity methodology, implementation, and control of criteria; it is important to recognize social decisions in the plan. Multiple social value statements were offered by Bailey and Martell. A motion (Cashman/Martell) that in October, a condensed version of the plan in brochure format be produced for the public and agencies. The full plan is to be distributed to the NRETC members for comments, followed by a report to the Planning Commissions and the Township Boards. Modifications to the plan would take place as needed with the full plan being available for the public in November. Motion carried. It was suggested that the Beaver Island Forum also be utilized for the summary of the plan with directions to go to the township's web site for the full report. In addition to articles in the newspapers and News on the Net, the Forum provides a free source of information sharing used by islanders and those off island.

NRETC Brochure

4. New Business:

Jacque reported that she collected chestnuts from the two American chestnut trees on the island. They were sent to the Gaylord DNRE as requested by Brian Mastenbrook. These will be grown in the DNRE's greenhouses and later transplanted back on the island.

Burton indicated that she was happy with the response to the guides from the public. She stated that a few sponsors failed to understand the rationale behind the cost of each guide being set at $1.00. Sandy will generate a thank you to all sponsors and restate that the $1.00 fee covers all future printing costs.

5. Adjournment:

The meeting was adjourned at 5:58 p.m. Motion (Martell/LaFreniere).

Respectfully submitted,

Pam Grassmick 10/3/10

Draft

August 30, 2010, at 4:30 p.m. at the Peaine Township Hall

Archived information on: www.peaine.org

In attendance : Sandy Birdsall, Bill Cashman (arrived at 5:05), Doug Tilly, Dan Martell, Ken Bruland, John Fiegen, Mike Weede, Jacque LaFreniere, Jim Jones, and Pam Grassmick. On-phone: Tom Bailey. Absent: Brian Mastenbrook, Jim Gillingham, Tribal Representative, and Eric Myers.

1. Call to Order:

The meeting was called to order by Chair, Sandy Birdsall at 4:35 p.m.

2. Review of the Minutes:

Motion (LaFreniere/Martell) to approve the July minutes was passed unanimously.

3. Old Business:

A. Amendments to Bylaws for the addition of the Chamber of Commerce and the BI Conservation Club from 17 members to 19 were on hold until Bill Cashman and Ken Bruland arrived. Discussion centered on the need for an orientation of new members. A motion was made (Tilly/Jones) to approve the amendment to the by-laws to allow for the addition of both the Chamber and the BICC. 7 voted for amending the by-laws, 3 nays, and 2 abstained for a total of 12 votes. According to the by-laws a 2/3 vote is needed to approve changes to the by-laws. Procedures for the NRETCommission related to the Open Meetings Act requirements for voting were reviewed. A letter will go out to the Chamber and the BICC explaining the delay in action at this time. Comments were made about the possibility of decommissioning the NRETC or St. James Township resigning due this perceived delay. The general consensus is that the townships would allow the commission to work through the process. John Fiegen announced his resignation as Chair of the St. James Planning Commission which will alter his position on this board. “Will the commission amend the by-laws for each new interest group that wants a seat?” The size of the commission was discussed and those present felt that perhaps there are some members that should be placed in an advisory role since they have had few interactions with the actual commission, thus controlling the number of members. Community members whose positions expire this fall include Eric Myers, Carol Burton, and Pam Grassmick. Sandy will poll these individuals to determine their commitment to continue with the NRETC.

. B. Planning:

Wildlife /Conservation Management Plan Initiative

Sandy opened the discussion with a draft conservation format from John Legge and Dave Ewert of the Nature Conservancy. In a recent conference call, Sandy and Pam discussed the possible assistance of the NC in our efforts for an island wide conservation management plan. Gaps in knowledge and inventories were discussed. While the conservation planning process to this point has produced draft documents, it was proposed that a hard document be available for commissioner's input. Jim Jones and Tom Bailey suggested that the NRETC begin a database of all the drafts of various planning meetings, publications, inventories, and ideas on paper and give individuals a comprehensive draft document with a subset of priorities to respond to. Jones offered that various plans being presented to the public lack facts and are rather ideologies not science based. Jones agreed to have a document before the NRETC members for their feed-back within 2 weeks. Tilley commented that we could identify professional resource managers to help with expanding various ideas related to the island's natural features including rare and endangered species, migratory birds, lakes, streams and wetlands.

•  Conservation Planning Sub-Committee : Present committee: Jim Jones, Pam Grassmick, and Sandy Birdsall. Any additional members interested in the sub-committee phase should contact Sandy. All drafts will be presented to the entire commission and ultimately go before the public and the townships.

C. Future Symposiums: LaFreniere and Bailey indicated that the Committee members were still looking for a chairperson. Sandy is to send out a request to the NRETC for a volunteer to chair the next event. No further movement has been made. Seamus Norgaard has also offered his assistance on the Symposium Planning sub-committee.

D: Garden Island Clean-up

•  Garden Island: Mike Weede proposed a return visit to Garden Island to the complete the clean-up initiative the end of September. The dates, September 20-25 were suggested. Mike will determine if Pam's Kubota could be used to fill in the old DNR dump site. Commission members should contact Ken or Mike about attendance.

•  Ken Bruland commented that the Garden Island signage is nearing completion and he has been in contact with Brian Mastenbrook.

E. European Swamp Thistle:

Frank Solle was recognized and commended for his work on drawing attention and educating island property owners regarding EST. No further action is required at present other than documenting infested areas since the plant has already gone to seed. An invasive swat team approach was suggested and recruitment will take place this fall and/or winter. Japanese Knotweed has also been identified on the island on the east side.

4. New Business:

A. Driving Guide/Trails Map-Request from the Chamber : Sandy stated that $960.00 has been collected from the sale of the Driving Guide and Trails Map. There are only very few Driving Guides left for distribution. The Chamber requested that no further guides be printed pending the 2011 release of the new Wojan-Cashman map. The Charlevoix GIS Department was contacted over the comments concerning the roads and possible infringement into the copy rights of the Wojan-Cashman map from the Chamber. Kelly indicated that the information was taken from the equalization documents. John Fiegen offered clarification that private roads are roads that are “not maintained by Charlevoix County” when referring to the Little Iron Ore Creek Road which is shown in black. The Chamber/Ed Wojan requested to have information from both the Driving Guide and the Trails Map on the new proposed map. Sandy will discuss with Peaine Township regarding the need for legal advice regarding the maps. A motion was made (Tilly/Jones) to reprint 500 of the Driving/Biking Guide ASAP following a brief re-proof.

B. Birding Guide : Kay Charter and her husband again visited Beaver Island in August to review bird watching sites, various habitat areas, and met with various individuals and gave interviews. She will return in June 2011 to assist with our birding guide.

C. Permaculture Seminar: Discussion was tabled due to lack of time.

5. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 6:00 p.m. (Martell/Jones).

Respectfully submitted, Pam Grassmick 9/2/10

Draft

July 26, 2010, at 4:30 p.m. at the Peaine Township Hall

Archived information on: www.peaine.org

In attendance : Sandy Birdsall, Bill Cashman, Doug Tilly (until 5:50 p.m.), Dan Martell, Carol Burton, Mike Weede, Jacque LaFreniere, Jim Jones, and Pam Grassmick. On-phone: Tom Bailey. Guests present: Pete Lodico, Paul Glendon, and Seamus Norgaard. Absent: John Fiegen, Brian Mastenbrook, Ken Bruland, Jim Gillingham, Tribal Representative, and Eric Myers.

1. Call to Order:

The meeting was called to order by Chair, Sandy Birdsall at 4:30 p.m.

2. Review of the Minutes:

Motion (Jones/LaFreniere) to approve the May minutes was passed unanimously. No meeting was held in June due to lack of quorum.

3. Symposium Review and Wrap Up:

Sandy reviewed the Round Table Discussion reports from the June 28, 2010 Forest Wildlife Symposium. See scanned document attachment. Tom Bailey commented on his perspective as a participant and felt the event was very positive. Eric Myers was acknowledged for the wonderful job of completing the first Symposium. Outstanding survey responses may still be submitted but Sandy felt that the 35 would not give a statistically accurate representation. The commission members who were able to attend had received very favorable comments from both presenters as well as participants.

4. 2nd Symposium:

Sandy asked for volunteers to chair the next Symposium. Seamus Norgaard, Jacque LaFreniere, and Tom Bailey volunteered for the next symposium but no chair was determined. Although various issues were suggested as possible topics (refer to July agenda), the consensus was that to complete the Forest Wildlife information with the 2nd Symposium before moving onto streams and interior lakes which were both identified as most important by the participants of the symposium. Dan Martell commented that if held during the fall season, we may have different participants. Saturday or Sunday was identified as the preferred days. All agreed there was value to the round table discussions. A shorter agenda allowing for a 3-4 hour program would be preferable. Paul Glendon suggested that shorter, more defined questions be focused on 3-4 topics for the round table discussions. Tom Bailey offered the idea of splitting presentations and discussions in two groups, allowing for the rotation of program content in ½ the time. The committee will meet to further develop a plan.

5. Update on:

a. Garden Island : Mike Weede spoke of 8 people going over to help with the clean-up of Garden Island during 1 1/2 days the end of May. A barge load was taken off and the Transfer Station accepted without any fees. Metal was recycled. Mike mentioned that he would like to return in the fall to complete the clean-up task by filling in the trash hole with dirt by the DNR building and work on trails. A few outstanding bills are awaiting payment from the DNRE (Brian Mastenbrook). Mike had no information to share regarding the status of signage that Mastenbrook and Bruland had agreed to work on.

b. Iron Ore Creek : Pam updated the group on the contractors meeting with the Charlevoix County Road Commission, CRA, and community members at Iron Ore Bay. A 60 foot culvert will be installed by October 1, 2010. The bid came in slightly higher than projected by the CCRC. The bid was awarded several weeks ago to Richie Gillespie as the low bid. Funding was obtained from the Charlevoix County Community Foundation and the USFWS. The shortfall will be covered by CRA. Paul Glendon offered the Betsy Smith Trail as an alternative route during the closure of the Iron Ore Bay Road. Paul suggested that signage be placed especially at the west end to identify the road access. Pam will follow-up with the Peaine Township and the CCRC.

c. Driving Guide and Trails Brochure : Pam presented the mark up of the brochures from Frank Solle to Sandy. Frank's suggestions will be reviewed in detail and changes made as indicated before the next printing of each of the guides. Sandy reported that $1900 of sponsorships was sold with many positive comments from businesses and visitors alike. Jim Jones expressed the need for more editing from the NRETC to eliminate any errors in publications and offered his wife's assistance. Both guides were distributed to NRETC members for comment prior to printing and changes were made based on the comments from some members. The Driving Guides are almost gone and the NRETC will work so that future publications receive additional editing. Mike Weede spoke that the Chamber has tabled the discussion of distribution of the Driving Guide and Trails map due to a perceived issue of competition with the larger Wojan map being sold. The NRETC expressed their appreciation of the $200.00 expenditure of the Chamber toward the development of the maps.

d. Recreation Division Visit : Doug Tilley and Pam Grassmick gave an overview of the visit by Keith Cheli and his supervisor Gary Ellenwood from the Parks and Recreation Division of the DNRE. After a foggy start, a tour was given of State of Michigan holdings from St. James to Peaine Township. Keith forwarded information regarding wetlands walkways, fire rings, stairways, Recreation Passport information, and other granting options to ensure access to water and the beaches. Overall, Keith and Gary were impressed with the condition of the island sites visited. The information will be useful as we develop our action plans.

6. Report on Hunting expenditures and LEEDS:

Jim Jones presented the commission with a discussion on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are at odds with the economy and the island's pristine environment. He discussed green construction and decreasing home energy use. He encouraged the NRETC to agree on factual information from peer reviewed articles in their development of an adaptive management plan for deer and the island. Carol Burton emphasized the need for more facts about deer and hunting relating to the island instead of just opinion. Recommendations should be made on facts and authoritative statistics vs. some deer information that has been presented in various island publications. Jim commented on his findings of the island being able to support 10 deer per sq/mile and that the literature suggests that 20 deer/sq mi. would alter bird habitat and 30-40 would lead to starvation. Jim also commented on bow season being 3X longer and would be more beneficial to the island's economy than the 2 week firearm season. Monitoring of human and animal behavior was noted as costly and time consuming. Jim Jones and Dan Martell agreed to produce a researched deer document for the NRETC to better base decisions with information obtained from Eric Ellis, the BIBC, airlines, and DNRE. The document will include specific information about deer and hunting on Beaver Island. Carol Burton will check with the boat company for more information. Sandy will survey the providers of lodging. A brief discussion followed on the interconnectedness of the environment and the e-mails being circulated related to the Island Wide Conservation/Management Plan.

Jim offered to make modifications to the priority actions format sent out from Pam and insert some of the preliminary objectives/goals and resend to the NRETC for their input.

7. Request of the Chamber of Commerce to become a member:

Mike Weede was complimented for his leadership and assistance as a board member of the Chamber and it was hoped that he would continue in that role after the Chamber board has an opportunity to vote on their representative. The size of the NRETC may be growing and the question was raised where do we stop with special interests? Since an amendment to the by-laws is required by vote of 12 members and twelve members were not present, a motion was made by (Martell/LaFreniere) to proceed with an amendment and request all our members for their vote on the amendment regarding the addition of the Chamber to the NRETC. Motion carried.

8. Request of the Beaver Island Conservation Club to become a member:

Letters were read from the BICC to the township requesting that changes be made to the mission, composition of leadership, and goals of the NRETC to allow for sportsmen's interests to be addressed. Despite the Wildlife Club's membership and 40 % of the NRETC either hunting/fishing or both, Dan Martell spoke of the need for the democratic process even though he has been personally offended by comments made by the BICC to the townships toward the NRETC. Pete Lodico stated that the BICC has decided not to work independently from NRETC and wishes to be treated as a member such as the Wildlife Club. He went onto say that the BICC agreed that Brett Pike will be the spokesman to the Commission for BICC and is more moderate in his approach. A suggestion was made to have the BICC, when admitted, attend an orientation program for an exchange of information by identifying their number of constituents, plans, and the NRETC's expectations of members. Seamus Norgaard spoke of the need to have a balanced commission of hunters and non-hunters alike and felt that we achieved that balance already. Since an amendment to the by-laws is required by vote of 12 members and twelve members were not present, a motion was made (Martell/Weede) to proceed with an amendment and request all our members for their vote on the amendment regarding the addition of the BICC to the NRETC. Motion carried.

Sandy pointed out that regarding both the Chamber request and BICC request that our by-laws do not provide for proxy votes and a mail vote would not be allowed by the open meetings act. She will review both and the officers will determine a method of voting without further delaying finalization of these two issues.

9. Wildlife Conservation/Management Plan:

Due to the time spent on the potential admissions of Chamber and the BICC to the NRETC, the Wildlife Conservation/Management Plan initiative and possible time changes for future meetings, were tabled for discussion and will take top priority in the next agenda. Motion by (Burton/Lafreniere), carried.

10. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 6:25 p.m. (Martell/Burton).

Respectfully submitted, Pam Grassmick 8/2/10

Beaver Island Natural Resources and Eco-Tourism Commission

May 24, at 4:30 p.m. at the Peaine Township Hall

Draft of Minutes

In attendance : Jim Jones, Bill Cashman, Mike Weede, Sandy Birdsall, John Fiegan , Carol Burton, and Pam Grassmick On conference call: Tom Bailey and Eric Myers

Absent: Dan Martell, Brian Mastenbrook, Ken Bruland, Jacque LaFreniere, Doug Tilly, and Jim Gillingham

1 . Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by Chair Sandy Birdsall at 4:30 p.m.

2. Review of the minutes: A motion (Fiegen/Cashman) to accept the minutes as written for the April meeting was accepted and approved unanimously.

3. Presentation by Jim Jones on Adaptive Management Planning and the Scientific Method. Prior to the meeting, all members were sent via e-mail several papers discussing a viable long term adaptive plan along with Key Performance Indicators. Jim began his presentation with explaining the 3 stages of the scientific method as it relates to the island and our “near pristine environment”. Jim identified areas for a sustainable island economy where the KPIs are at odds with maintaining the island's pristine habitats. Because of its isolation, Beaver Island would serve as an excellent environment for a socio-ecosystem model and laboratory. Time, analysis, discipline, and extensive monitoring of parameters will be needed. Jim suggested that U of M or MSU be approached to assist with development of a comprehensive adaptive management plan since they have the expertise in this area. Comments were made about past surveys that were inflated, invented, or had erroneous statements attached. Jim encouraged a strong academic alliance. Pam mentioned a recent conversation with Emily Finnell from the Office of Great Lakes who commented that Lake Michigan will be a focus this year and GLRI funding is available in a non competitive manner that may be used for island initiatives. Further discussion with the OGL will take place over the next several weeks. A motion was made (Cashman/Burton) to pursue funding and relationships for the development of a planning process for Beaver Island. BIA will be hosting a LEED design discussion following their Annual Meeting in July and there has been interest from the contractors for this information.

4. Old Business:

A. Mike Weede presented the review of the Garden Island Clean-Up initiative. Earlier in May, Weede, Bruland, and Mastenbrook traveled to Garden Island to view proposed dump site clean-up areas. On May 20-21, 4 sites were inventoried and trash removed with the help of 8 volunteers. The majority of the trash was removed from the “3 Brother's”, behind the DNR building, and another old deer hunting camp site. The steel items were recycled. 25 trash bags, 17 bags containing beer cans and various large items were removed. Mike used his barge and 2 skiffs. The Transfer Station is expected to accept the trash without fees. In addition, Carol and John Runberg also removed 2 boat loads worth of trash from North Cut Bay. Signage will be developed by Ken Bruland and Brian Mastenbrook. Brian Mastenbrook is to provide the signage. Yellow tape (was) will be placed around the DNR dump site. Mike Weede stated that he will watch when transporting deer hunters/others that they pack out their garbage with each trip. Future work will require a bobcat and leveling the DNR dump site. Jeff Cashman from the Beaver Beacon was on hand to document the efforts with photographs. Mike indicated that a future vision be developed for Garden Island related to recreation activities such as mountain biking.

B. Symposium Update and Schedule: Eric Myers updated the commission on the status of speakers for the first of two events related to improving our understanding of forests and wildlife management. All speakers are in place and eager to participate. Brian Mastenbrook will review the past and compartment reviews of our forests. Myers will cover sustainability and adaptive management. Phyllis Higman from the Michigan Natural Features Inventory will discuss Beaver Island's unique natural features. Tom Bailey will cover private land management decisions, logging contracts, and conservation easements. Eric Ellis from the Conservation Resource Alliance who specializes in habitat management for deer, grouse, turkey, woodcock, and other game species will discuss specific land management decisions. To round out the diverse uses of our forests, Kay Charter will cover song birds and eco-tourism. Round table discussion questions have nearly been completed with input from Jim Haveman who has been in contact with Jeff Powers of the Wildlife Club. Table facilitators will be assigned to tables to keep the group on “task with the time constraints.” Eric Myers indicated that publicity notices and flyers are being developed. Personal invites will be encouraged with the county and local planning commissions, township boards, BIA, Chamber, and county representatives. “Public drop in” is being encouraged throughout the day. Funding for this segment of the Forest and Wildlife Symposium has been provided in part by Peaine Township, Island Airways, BIA, and the Wildlife Club.

C. Action Plans: Tom Bailey discussed the proposed Action Plans that were sent out via e-mail to the NRETC. While those plans are being reviewed, Tom encouraged the members to bring forward other ideas and discuss prioritizing the plans in order to make the plans a reality. Additional information from individuals such as Keith Cheli may assist in developing the vision of the proposed action plans further. The Canada yew re-introduction action plan proposal was discussed and tabled; however, Tom Bailey made a motion for proceeding with the development of a pilot Canada yew re-introduction project. Mike Weede seconded and was unanimously passed. Bill Cashman suggested C. yew planting take place around the communication towers.

D. Driving Guide : Sandy Birdsall submitted a revised plan for the proposed Visitor's Driving Guide. The format will be 8 ½ x 11 with business discount coupons available as inserts in the middle. Island Airways has offered to help fund the publishing cost by selling coupons to promote Beaver Island and our natural resources. The driving guide is not intended to compete with actual tours given by the Boat Company. People will need to rent or provide their own vehicles for the Driving Guide. Bill Cashman questioned the cost associated with the advertisement portion of the guide. Sandy suggested that funding will be needed to finish the publications of both the Visitor's Driving Guide and the Trails/Wildlife Guide. Sandy indicated that a 1000 copies be printed for the first run, the front and back be colored, and cost between $2-3.00/each. The charge for the Driving Guide is intended to discourage individuals from picking up several and tossing away.

E . Trails and Wildlife Brochure: Carol Burton supplied a mock up of the Beaver Island Guide to Trails and Wildlife with suggested revisions. The colored coordinated trails map is nearing completion. Room for sponsorship is available along the side of the map. Presently, Carol has McDonough's Market, Beaver Beacon, Beaver Island Historical Society, Whimsy, BI Music Festival and Paradise Dive Shop engaged. Additional business sponsorship will be encouraged. She intends to present a finished copy to both airlines and the BI Boat Company for their consideration for sponsorship. Jeff Cashman has agreed to print 2-11 x 17 inch pages. The price is $450.00 with no set up fees.

F . Trail Markings : Doug was unavailable due to CMU work obligations but has been working on color coordinating the trails with markers.

New Business :

•  Sandy Birdsall updated the NRETC on the purchase of Whiskey Island by St. James Township. Bill Cashman reported that Tom Bailey's letter from the LTC solidified the resolve of the township board's in support of the purchase.

•  Jim Jones, Tom Bailey, and Eric Myers agreed to review the proposed deer management plan being developed by the newly formed BI Conservation Club.

•  Sandy discussed the letter that was sent to the townships regarding on-going work and accomplishments of the NRETC. Specifically mentioned were the two visitor guides, Garden Island, Forest Wildlife Symposium, restoration of Iron Ore Creek for anglers, and natural resource management issues. She further encouraged the townships to not by-pass an island wide planning process which would take into account the many diverse interests of island property owners from hunting and fishing to bird watching.

•  Sandy suggested that the next NRETC meeting be held on June 21 st at 4:30 at the the Peaine Township Hall due to the Symposium scheduled for June 28 th . A dinner gathering for the evening of June 27 th will be planned for members of the NRETC and the invited speakers at Pam's house.

Other Business:

•  Pam informed the NRETC that the Little Traverse Band of Odawa has been awarded the GLRI funding for our archipelago's Hi-Resolution Project. Since the leaves are now on the trees, it will either take place this fall or in the spring. This new data will be useful in various natural resource management decisions for our islands.

Adjournment:

A motion was made to adjourn at 1800 (Jones/Weede).

Respectfully submitted,

Pam Grassmick , Secretary 5/31/10 Revised 6/210 underlined.

Beaver Island Natural Resources and Eco-Tourism Commission Draft

April 26, 2010, at 4:30 p.m. at the Peaine Township Hall

In attendance : Sandy Birdsall, Bill Cashman, Doug Tilly, Dan Martell, Carol Burton and Pam Grassmick. Jacque LaFreniere arrived at 4:57. Guest on-phone: Seamus Norgaard. Absent: John Fiegen, Brian Mastenbrook, Mike Weede, Ken Bruland, Jim Gillingham, Eric Myers, and Tom Bailey.

1. Call to Order:

The meeting was called to order by Chair, Sandy Birdsall at 4:30 p.m. While awaiting quorum, it was decided to alter the agenda schedule to begin with committee reports, 3b and 3c of posted agenda.

2. Committee Reports:

The Forest Wildlife Symposium scheduled for June 28 th was presented by Pam from e-mails/conversations with Eric Myers. Brian Mastenbrook or a member of the DNRE will present “Our Beaver Island Forests Today”. Eric Myers will introduce “Our Forests of the Future” with emphasis on forest succession and sustainability. The Little Traverse Conservancy will provide information on private land management concerning logging contracts and conservation considerations. Eric Ellis from the Conservation Resource Alliance will discuss wildlife management as it pertains to our forests. Funding for Eric Ellis' presentation has been secured from donations by the Beaver Island Association, the Wildlife Club, and Peaine Township. Kay Charter from Saving Birds through Habitat will follow-up with the importance of forests and bird species along with relevant eco-tourism considerations. Roundtable discussions will take place following lunch and time allowed for dissemination of table survey results. The conclusion of the program will be a panel discussion by the experts. The NRETC will prepare invites to state, county, and local agencies and individuals. Articles have been submitted to the island's media for publication. The possibility of taping the event or providing for a webinar experience will be explored.

3. Carol Burton discussed the alterations to the proposed visitors guide and map. The map will be an 11 x 17 tri-fold which is intended to enhance visitors' enjoyment of our trails and natural resources. It is to be compact and cost effective with a target date of mid-May for distribution. Jeff Cashman has agreed to do the printing. Pam will forward a completed pdf file of a map to Jeff with the specific input requested by Carol and Doug. Doug Tilly reported that he has met with the Trail's Committee and identified a color for each trail and obtained matching trail markers. 60-70 trail marker posts have been cut with more needed. Doug had concerns about placing the markers for the trails on trees since the trees may be damaged and fall down. The discussion of map sponsorship proceeded with the suggestion that 6 logos be available at $150.00 each and 16 names be added for a cost of $25.00. 1000 copies are planned for the first run. Carol will complete the wording on the brochure and Sandy agreed with input from commission to write a description of the trails. An additional driving guide has been developed by Sandy and will also include trail information. Jacque arrived at 4:57. Carol stated that it will be easier to solicit sponsorship for the map if we have a completed product. Multiple sponsors have already been approached and secured. Communication with Steve West indicated that he and the Chamber were concerned with duplication of maps and competing with the Wojan-Cashman map but the consensus of those present felt that they addressed two different audiences and were two very different maps.

4. Review of the minutes:

Upon Jacque's arrival, a quorum was reached. A motion was made (Jacque/Carol) to accept the minutes of the March meeting as written. Unanimously passed. Sandy reviewed the comments made regarding the special meeting held regarding the Peaine Township's proposed deer management resolution presented by Pete LoDico. The decision was to let the minutes stand as written.

5. Driving Guide: Sandy reported that she had received input and suggestions on the proposed driving guide by Eric, Jacque, Ken, and Pam. She requested that historical and natural resource information be reviewed for accuracy. Forest types and geological information were suggestions to be added. Pam will forward driving guide to Seamus Norgaard for his review. This guide is intended to be a downloadable document that can easily be adapted to any web site. Ken suggested no public buildings be listed but to indicate information such as no gas station after the 4 corners. Doug Tilly suggested that the legend include public areas and restroom locations. Additional comments included a phrase for leaving headlights on for safety during dusty road days and comments about sharing the road with motorized, non-motorized, and animals should be included. Tour I will be driven by Pam and include the millage and time spent walking and driving the route. Sandy will complete Tour II, noting millage and time spent walking as well as driving the route. Bill Cashman agreed to do the same for Tour III, and Jacque volunteered for Tour IV.

6. Additional Forest Symposium comments: Jacque stated that due to the Community Center allowing the Forest Symposium to take place without a fee, she felt that we should encourage participants to purchase their food at the Community Center. All present were in favor. Discussion regarding attendee numbers will be passed along to Eric. 80 individuals can be seated at tables and 120 can sit in the auditorium seating. The tables would lend to an ease with serving lunch and the round table discussions. Ann Partridge from the Community Center will be approached by Jacque to develop a menu, cost, ordering deadline and an e-mail contact for ordering that will be sent to participants.

7. Garden Island Clean-up Initiative:

Sandy gave a report from Ken Bruland on the Garden Island Clean-up Initiative. Mike Weede is expected back around May 2 nd . Ken, Mike, and Brian Mastenbrook will go over and photograph sites and develop a plan. Ken and Mike would like to take a 6 person clean-up crew over to Garden camping the 3 rd week in May, dates May 20 and 21st.

8. New Business:

Phragmites subcommittee: Sandy appointed Jacque, Dan, and Pam to committee. Jacque is expected to be hired as the 2010 Phragmites Administrator for both townships. Jacque will chair the subcommittee.

9. Old Business: Sandy updated the members present on the March 23rd antlerless deer quota meeting between Brian Mastenbrook, representing the DNRE, Gavin West(Todd Ireland and Jared Pike on conference call) for the Beaver Island Conservation Club, Jeff Powers, Mark LaFreniere, and Doug Tilley for the Wildlife Club, and board members from the NRETC included Sandy, Jacque, and Pam. Consensus was reached for 300 antlerless deer permits to be issued for the fall of 2010. Additional information was relayed concerning the proposed development of a Wildlife Certification status for the island. All present agreed that the planning process should not be sped through but be based on a quality product allowing for adequate input from all island stakeholders.

Short term goals: Carol will submit the short term goals developed by Ken, Doug and herself to Tom Bailey. Keith Cheli, DNRE Parks and Recreation, is still pursuing a date to do a site visit on the island to discuss potential plans identified by this commission. Bill Cashman agreed to contact the Hodges who are the owners of the Brother Place to secure permission for the public to use the private trail. It was noted that the Beaver Island Community School had received a grant for the development of the trail with identification markers for plants. John Fiegen was involved and Jacque will review her files for information.

Iron Ore Culvert Restoration Project Update: Pam relayed a recent discussion with Jim Vanek, Engineer for the Charlevoix County Road Commission. Pat Harmon and Jim have been over to the island to meet with 2 island contractors (Jim Wojan being one). They are awaiting the DEQ permit and will immediately award the contract. He believes that the CCRC should be working on the project by mid-June and acknowledged the need to use the funding from the CCCF by the end of June. (Summer 2008-first work started on grants).

Hi-Resolution Aerial Imaging Grant Status: In a phone call today, Pam updated the commission members that the Stewardship Network has not yet received word from the GLRI on our grant. According to the Stewardship Network, many other groups who have applied for the same funding have already received rejection notices, “so no news is good news at this point.”

Closing remarks: Prior to adjourning Doug Tilly commented that we had not discussed 2 items on the agenda and suggested that Jim Jones' report and the Action Plans be placed on hold until the next meeting. Miller's Marsh is in need of informational brochures. Sandy commented on the confusing forms at the Bill Wagner Campground and wanted to know who was in charge of the campground. Glen LaFreniere deals with the physical condition but would not be involved in the forms. It has been repeatedly identified that our campgrounds could benefit from a reservation system such as Reserve America. No decisions were developed to address the need for a reservation system.

7. Adjourn

The meeting was adjourned at 6:15 p.m. (Jacque/Doug).

Respectfully submitted, Pam Grassmick 5/2/10

Beaver Island Natural Resources and Eco-Tourism Commission

January 22, 2010, at 4:30 p.m. at the Peaine Township Hall

Draft of Minutes

In attendance : Sandy Birdsall, Bill Cashman, Pam Grassmick, Doug Tilly, and Carol Burton. Jacque LaFreniere and Ken Bruland arrived at 5:00 and 5:10. On conference call: Mike Weede and Tom Bailey. Guests: Elaine West, NorthernIslander until 5:35 p.m.

Absent: Eric Myers, Dan Martell, Krys Lyle, Brian Mastenbrook, John Fiegen, Jim Jones, and Jim Gillingham

•  Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by Chair Sandy Birdsall at 4:45 p.m. due to technical difficulties with the conference call.

•  Presentation by Gavin West : Gavin West presented a power point presentation to those present on the proposed QDM plan from the Beaver Island Conservation Club. He discussed the mission of his organization which is incorporated in Michigan and awaiting their 501 (c) 3 designation. He commented on a Wisconsin hunter survey that indicated that 28% were from another state and felt that the State of Michigan can do a better job at attracting hunters. His goals include an endowment, QDM, improvement of Small Mouth Bass and native fisheries, improvement to upland bird habitat, turkeys, and to work with state and federal agencies to develop the island into hunting and fishing destination. He estimates that there are 400-700 deer at present on the island with a 1:8-10 buck/doe ratio. He discussed the 4 pillars of QDM management: herd management, 1:1 buck/doe ratio, habitat management, food plots and forest management, hunter management, and herd monitoring. He pointed out the satisfaction with the QDM program on the Leelanau. He plans to go to the townships to obtain their endorsement of QDM. He also would like to see the island obtain a State Wildlife Certification which is being developed by the DNRE. Although some island property owners are doing QDM, Gavin feels that it would better attract hunters in addition to providing for a better hunting experience if the entire island was managed in this manner. He pointed to the economic benefits of trophy management vs. our present traditional method.

3. Review of the minutes: A motion (Jacque/Carol) to accept the minutes of the January meeting and was approved unanimously.

4. Wildlife Club meeting with Russ Mason. Jacque reported that Russ Mason was not attending the March 5-6 meeting but representatives from the DNRE would attend the QDM meeting on March 6. She anticipates that in the spring, the Wildlife Club will meet with him to discuss cormorant, fishery, and forestry issues. The topics to be discussed with Russ Mason from the NRETC were tabled for a later date.

4. Committee Reports: Carol Burton, Chair of Maps/Brochure Committee, submitted a revised brochure to the commission. Lake depth and fish species will be added. Dan Martell has agreed to do the bird watching section. A statement concerning the trail use for bikes and walkers was suggested along with a statement that these are not for motorized use. The Eagle Trail and Oliver's Point Trail were suggested additional trails to add. Sandy will check with Port St. James regarding the status of the public using the Hidden Valley Trail. Carol has had positive reviews from McDonough's Market concerning the brochure.

Changes from agenda: It was agreed due to the late start of the meeting and Gavin's presentation to cut from the agenda the updates on the grant requests and information on the selective cutting and permitting.

5. Forestry Management Symposium: The following statement was read by Sandy: “Recognizing the diverse interests on the Island and the recently expressed, numerous opinions regarding forest and wildlife habitat management, the Beaver Island NRETC has identified the need for an opportunity for everyone to study and participate in decisions regarding forest and wildlife habitat management. To provide this opportunity, the NRETC will sponsor an island wide day of study and dialog on stewardship management of the island. We have formed a steering committee to put together a symposium on Beaver Island on Monday, June 28. The goal is to use the Island's public and private resources for economic benefit, but in a sustainable manner, not just for the present but also for future generations.” Eric Myers has consented to chair. Doug Tilley and Jacque LaFreniere have agreed to be on the committee. Seamus Norgaard is also a potential candidate for the committee. Dean Solomon will assist. Pam made the motion to proceed with the Symposium; it was seconded by Jacque and unanimously accepted. All interested parties are to send their thoughts regarding the development of this program to Eric Myers.

6. 2010 Phragmites Program: Sandy has met with both township supervisors who were supportive of the NRETC assuming responsibility for the program. The program outline was presented to those present. Beaver Island will be using volunteers under the direction of DNRE and the township's Phragmites Administrator. The DNRE has committed $28,000 for the treatment of Hog Island which will require Argos to be transported. Ken and Carol expressed a desire to know the boundaries of the commission. Pam pointed out that the commission seemed like the logical spot since the island has no natural resource manager and by the program being administered by the commission, it was hoped that it would provide for continuity despite changes to the township board. A motion by Doug/Jacque to administer the Phragmites Program through the NRETC was approved.

7. DNR QDM plan: Jacque offered to review and provide comment to the commission on the DNRE's plan. Eric Myers agreed to review.

8. Development of Action Plan: Tom Bailey consented to chair the subcommittee for the development of short and long term action plans of the NRETC. Tom is soliciting committee members to assist. He submitted electronically to the commission a sample of the format. He will assemble and catalog all proposed ideas. The commission will then decide to prioritize and accept or disagree with recommendations. Bill, Carol, Ken, and Krys will specifically work on eco-tourism actions. Carol and Ken agreed to co-chair. All members are encouraged to submit to Tom their vision list. How far can we go and how do we get there? The answers to these questions will be developed.

9. Draft of the Report to the Townships: All members of the commission should have received an e-mail from Sandy with the proposed report to the townships. She included a short bio on each member. The motion (Sandy/Ken) to submit the report was unanimously passed.

10. Adjourn

The meeting was adjourned at 6:30 p.m. (Tilly/Carol).

Respectfully submitted,

Pam Grassmick