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Rocky Mountain Flycasters - Board Meetings

Board Meeting Minutes:
May 10, 2017

Meeting called to order at 7:05 PM by President Coy Wylie.
In attendance: Coy Wylie, Mickey McGuire (minutes), Tom Culbertson, Linda Jefferies, Domingo Rodriguez, Wil Huett, Dick Jefferies, Guy Turenne, Dennis Cook, Ruthie Ketola, Dave Piske, Paul Wehr

  1. Board Business

    1. President’s comments, introductions
      Ruthie Ketola, our new Secretary elect nominee was introduced and she gave a quick update on her background with Chapter activities and the Women’s fly fishing group.
    2. Review Agenda Approved as is
    3. April Minutes Approved as submitted
    4. Consent Agenda: Treasurer’s Report, Conservation Report, Youth Report, Community Outreach Report, Membership Report Approved as submitted, minus youth report (submitted a few days later). Dennis Cook verbally reported the youth camp is close to finalized. Four youth have enrolled. May 17 is the last Children’s Water Festival; contact Jerry Pellis if you can help.The CSU Five Rivers Chapter has 48 members and the president of that chapter has been recognized nationally as a Costa Ambassador for the CSU Club’s rapid progress.
    5. Pulled Consent Items None
  2. Old Business

    1. Update from the nominating committee
      • Lee (presented by Dennis Cook due to Lee’s absence)
      • No change from last month. The two people that had expressed an interest in being treasurer have declined, Tom Culbertson will continue until a replacement is found.
    2. Chapter Recognition Awards – Coy
      This work has been completed; Dennis offered to share information for the awards store they have used in the past.
    3. Volgistics Update – Linda
      Dennis, Linda and Mickey met the previous evening to work with the Volgistics Program. Linda asked for upcoming volunteer activities to enter into the program with the goal of releasing the program to the membership so they can sign up. The program has a nice feature that highlights opportunities that people can identify, including the Let’s Go Fishing program. This list will appear in the RMF web page. Links will be provided by a blast email to the members. Paul was asked to update the calendar on the website removing last year’s projects.
    4. Update from Project Healing Waters– Dave Morse and Domingo
      Domingo presented the report. Fly tying and rod building are done for the season and fishing trips for the veterans are being planned. The first trip will be held Saturday May 13 at the CYO ponds and trips to the Frying Pan and San Juan are on the calendar. They are looking for volunteers. Their fund raiser netted approximately $50,000. Ruthie offered to mention the opportunity to the Women’s Fly Fishing group.
    5. Embrace a Stream update timeline Dave Piske
      Dave met the first deadline and is working with Tracy Wendt (BTWC) to complete the draft in time to send it for review. The proposal is for an educational display to be built in the vicinity of the new handicap pier on the Big Thompson River. Alpine Anglers, in Estes Park has pledged $500 matching funds should the proposal be funded. Post meeting note: The proposal was sent for pre review on time.
    6. Report from CTU Rendezvous – Mickey, Dick and Linda (please read attachment)
      Mickey summarized the attachment with help from Dick and Linda. Highlights were some presentations and videos from west slope farmers and ranchers who worked with CTU to develop some win-win partnerships with regard to irrigation efficiency and river restoration. In addition, Chris Wood, TU CEO gave the keynote address at the Banquet. He is an excellent speaker.
    7. Report from water meetings (please read attachment)
      1. Poudre (04/26) – Mickey (and others who were there)
        Nothing to add beyond the report
      2. Big Thompson (05/03) – Mickey (and others who were there)
        David Piske reported that the meeting was spearheaded by David Jessup, co owner of Sylvan Dale. The idea was to get a few people together to determine the needs of the river following federal funding termination in June 2018. Approximately 65 people from very diverse segments of users registered and the meeting was deemed a success. There was consensus that additional meetings should be held.
    8. Statewide efforts on Greenback restoration – Dick and Phil
      People were going to the Agency meeting the following day.
    9. Long Draw agreement – Dick (Please read attachment)
      There is a possibility for volunteers in 2018. Dick Jefferies will the point of contact for both CTU and RMF. CTU will be the fund holder. Dick Suggested that Matt Fairchild, USFS regional fisheries biologist could be an excellent speaker at one of the fall meetings.
    10. CPW Bill and actions – Dick (Please read attachment)
      Died in committee with plans to reintroduce next year
    11. New Business

      1. Visioning - Led by Coy
        1. Coy has been talking with external stakeholders (fly shops, Odells, etc) and reported there is strong interest in a regional fly show. The first one would likely be in Fall 2018. A preliminary planning/exploratory committee was agreed to by consent and consists of Coy, Domingo, Lee, and Ruthie.
        2. Coy also brought up the possibility of a one fly fishing tournament. Discussion ensued but nothing was resolved.
        3. Dick mentioned the Flyathlon http://flyathlon.com/ and that the program organizer would be interested in organizing one in Northern Colorado.
      2. Upcoming conservation projects.
        Our efforts with WRV will be very limited this year due to road closures. WRV has many projects in the St. Vrain watershed and other drainages to the south.
        • Poudre River
        • Big Thompson
      3. Marketing Idea – Mickey (if time allows)
        Mickey reported reading a TU Forum article on shirt purchases through Columbia. He was given the go ahead to investigate.
    12. Future Meetings

      1. Poudre River Water Fest June 3, Fort Collins
        Dennis Cook will lead these efforts. Looking for volunteers
      2. USFS’s annual Kids Free Fishing Day at Red Feather, June 3
        Lee needs five more volunteers
      3. Fly Fishing Show 2018, Denver
      4. Dennis brought up two additional items
        When Bass Pro Shops opened in Denver, the Cherry Creek Chapter was able to work with them to sell hot dogs at the grand opening and subsequent fishing promotional weekends as a chapter fundraiser and to promote TU. Dennis thinks the opening of Scheels in Johnstown may provide similar opportunities. Mickey will follow up.

*Embrace a Stream timeline

  • April 15, 2017: Deadline for chapter/council to make initial contact with EAS Committee Representative about proposed project Done
  • May 15, 2017: Deadline for draft application to be sent to EAS Committee Representative. This step is intended to help chapters address shortcomings in and improve their applications prior to the final submission deadline.
  • July 15, 2017: Final deadline for applications (e-mail date)
  • September 29, 2017: Embrace-A-Stream Committee grant selection meeting October 2017: Grant announcement letters are mailed
  • October 2017: Grant checks will be deposited in the chapter or council bank account. Please ensure that your bank routing information is on file with TU. Contact Kyle Smith (ksmith@tu.org) to update your information, if needed.

Summary of CTU Rendezvous

With financial support from CTU and RMF, I attended the Rendezvous at Keystone resort April 21-23. Also attending from RMF were Linda Jefferies, Dick Jefferies and Steve.

Twenty-one of the twenty-four chapters were represented with the largest contingent from West Denver.

The meeting started with a review of best practices and challenges from Chapters. Everyone was asked to enter information onto posted papers around the room. It was interesting that most chapters struggle with recruiting members to volunteer for conservation activities. Another common theme was member retention. Dan Omasta promised to capture the ideas and send them around to chapters.

Linda participated in the next two panels; one on Women’s initiatives and the other on Membership Engagement and Retention. The panels went well and, in my opinion, RMF is doing well with repect to the other chapters.

On Saturday, the Board meeting was held. There was a lot of information presented, which I won’t attempt to summatrize here. I did obligate RMF to a $1,000 gift to CTU; I noticed this was one of the lower amounts provided to CTU. Dick Jefferies was elected as the Vice President to the Board of CTU; Cam Chandler is the new president.

On Saturday afternoon a series of presentations and breakouts were held. I attended interesting presentations on ag partnerships and water law (if you ever have the chance to attend a water law class, do so.)

Saturday evening, Chris Wood, CEO of TU National was the keynote speaker. Gave an uplifting presentation with the take home message that we are in the ideal position to grow our chapters.

Sunday morning, I attended the regional breakout led by Larry Quilling. Our region includes RMF, Estes Park, Boulder and Longmont. It was nice to compare notes locally and meet the other folks.

Upcoming events include:

  1. CTU Board Meetings
    1. October 21, 2017 Estes Park;
    2. First or second week of January in Denver
  2. Colorado Public Lands Day: May 20; CTU asks that we send a picture of a fish caught on public waters. Colorado has approximately 22 million acres or 1/3rd of the state in public lands
  3. Federal Public Lands Day: September 30. There was a lot of concern expressed about transfer of Federal lands to states. The track record of western states selling off their lands is not good for retention of lands in public trust.

Summary of recent watershed meetings

Is the Poudre River Ecologically Sustainable: What does the Science Say?

  • April 26, 2017
  • Attending from RMF: Mickey McGuire, Dennis Cook, Dave Piske, Phil Wright
    See Email from Mickey dated April 25, for the list of panelists and program

Takeaway: While I expected some disagreement among the panelists and a bit of confrontation, the panelists all basically agreed on one subject. The ecological sustainability of the Poudre, especially through town would be severely weakened without the high flows that occur during runoff. A lot of data were presented about timing of flows and floods but few data were presented on how often the highest flows that are necessary currently occur. I wasn’t sure if this was a deliberate omission but it would have helped me to know what NISP activities will do to curtail these high spring flows.

Future of the Big Thompson: A Watershed Moment

  • May 3, 2017
  • Attending from RMF: Coy Wylie, Mickey McGuire and Dave Piske

This meeting brought together approximately 65 stakeholders who have an interest in the future of the Big T. These stakeholders represented a very diverse set of interests including conservation groups, irrigators, agriculture and municipalities. The broad reason for holding the workshop was to determine if there is a need to develop a partnership similar to “The Poudre Runs Through It” that is sponsored and managed by the Colorado Water Institute; the workshop was led by MarLou Smith, with CWI. The BTWC was also heavily involved.

Some of my takeaways:

  • There are numerous entities who, to me, seemed to have overlapping interests. For example, there are three coalitions for the Big T; two programs in forest health, etc. In addition, the acronyms are out of control!
  • There has been some forest health efforts around Estes Park and there are plans to map the forest where possible and do the work necessary to limit wildfires.
  • Scheels has a local donation program and intends to give back to the community. Contact is: Mark Knudson. This new store could be a source of donations for our February auction.

Long Draw Greenback Restoration - Dick Jefferies

By now most of you have seen the press release that the settlement action regarding the Long Draw project is complete. David Nickum and I met with Matt Fairchild (USFS), Kyle Battige and Ken Kehmeier (CPW) to begin some early discussions regarding the project. The following is a recap of discussion topics at that meeting.

  • It is estimated that even with the 1.2 million payment, in trust from Water Storage and Supply, the project is underfunded by ~500,000 dollars. CTU is already actively working with individual donors and various State and National foundations or other interests to backstop the funding gap. There is an opportunity, should RMF decide so decide, to engage a local fund development campaign dedicated to the Long Draw project. If that is of interest to the Board, I would suggest RMF form a small work group that could work together with CTU to create a managed development plan and process.
  • While currently not of one-hundred percent certainty it is conceptually perceived that the first phase of the restoration project would be from Long Draw reservoir upstream within connected drainages and include Grand Ditch. Long Draw dam provides a ready-in-place barrier for the downstream section of this area. Other barriers upstream, both temporary and permanent, would need to be designed and constructed or improved. Additional stream/fish data will also need to be completed for purposes of fish inventory, flow rate profiles, topography mapping etc.

Volunteer opportunities will be available throughout the term of the restoration project. The specifics of those opportunities will be assed and determined as more planning is completed. However, and only for example, volunteers could be used early-on to help with data collection. Once barrier construction is started, additional volunteer opportunities could be available. Keep in mind that almost all barrier sites are back country, wilderness or USPS land. There is little or no road access. Equipment and resources will be flown in in most cases. Additionally, almost all physical work would be conducted at elevations exceeding 10,000 feet. That said, I can see where volunteer work could involve, if not direct construction, assistance with reclamation of completed work sites, pre-staging of equipment and supplies via human mules, etc.

As the project continues through completion, including post-project monitoring, numerous volunteer opportunities could be available.

In conclusion for this report, I would suggest that Matt Fairchild be invited as the featured speaker to a 2017 fall general meeting. If so determined, his presentation could be the “kick-off” to a comprehensive Long Draw Campaign. Again, this idea would need thorough development prior to initiation but, if marketed to the public correctly, could be quite a community event.

Additionally, it is suggested that in concert with CTU, USFS and CPW, response to public information requests be handled with care. To date there has been little public response to the project. However, once more information becomes available to the public, it could be wise assume concerns will be raised about environmental impacts, use of piscicides (as a method of removing non-native species and human related water quality issues). It would be best if responses to any raised concerns were well-informed and parallel with all agencies and organizations involved. RMF may want to consider whether questions/concerns raised to RMF, be singled-sourced through a “Chapter Project Spokesperson.” Again, all for consideration by the Trustees.

Submitted by Mickey McGuire, Vice President

Previous Meetings

Previous meeting reports will be here as they are superceded by newer reports.

Last updated on 23 May, 2019