BWC June 10, 2008 Meeting Minutes

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TO:          Beaverhead Watershed Committee and interested parties

FROM:    Katie Tackett, Coordinator 988-0191- k_tackett@bresnan.net

RE:          June 10, 2008 Full Meeting Minutes

                 July 15, 2008 7 p.m. Upcoming meeting

June 10, 2008 Meeting

Present:  Carl Malesich, Nick Hoyrup, Stephanie Hellekson, John Osborne, Nick Hoyrup, Russ Kipp, Tom Rice, Dick Oswald, Kyle Tackett, Mike McLane, Steve Armiger, Rob Vandern

The keynote speakers for the June 10, 2008 regular meeting were Steve Armiger, Hydrologist for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and Kyle Tackett, District Conservationist for the Natural Resource Conservation Service. 

Steve Armiger’s presented “An Introduction to the National Wetland Inventory.”  His presentation was to inform the BWC about the wetland inventory maps and discuss the maps usefulness as tools for determining wetland locations and types.  He brought examples of the National Wetland Inventory Maps to the meeting and explained how to use the maps.

Kyle Tackett’s presented information about the 2008 Farm Bill and related programs.  Key points include:

  • 2002 Farm Bill up for renewal in 2007, passed by Congress in May of 2008
    • Continued strong commitment to conservation by Congress
    • Increased level of support and funding even though it was $4 billon less than administrations proposal
  • Did not remove or add any programs; however, the CSP program was renamed from the Conservation Security Program to the Conservation Stewardship Program
  • Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
    • Purpose of program expanded to include forest management and energy conservation benefits
    • Advance payments available to limited resource producers
    • Payments available to engage in or transition to organic production
    • Funding ramps from $1.2 billion to $1.75 billion in 2012
  • Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)
    • To assist producers in implementing conservation activities and reward stewardship on working lands
    • Change from watershed signups to nationwide
    • No more tiers
    • Contracts are now capped at 5 years instead of 10
    • Applicants must be at a certain level of stewardship already and agree to increase that level over the contract period
    • Limit of $200, 000 per contract
  • No sign up deadlines, however there is a July 1 application deadline for 2008 funding.

Grant and Project Updates:

  • The path forward for the USBOR/MFWP MOU coordination effort was discussed and future actions were suggested. Mike McLane of Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks handed out a rough draft of the “Letter of Introduction” for key stakeholders.  He also handed out a proposed draft schedule and agendas for a series of meetings to explore water related issues uses, concerns and perspectives from various watershed community and community sectors.   Committee members were asked to come to the next meeting with two project ideas each to explore. 
  • The Spring Creek Restoration Project, funded under a DNRC Renewable Resource Grant, is scheduled for a technical meeting late June with potential design firms.  The firms will be bidding for the final design of the Stream/Riparian Restoration.  The landowners have signed letters of agreement.
  • Title II funding which provided the Resource Advisory Committee funds for Blacktail Ridge Weed project has been extended through September 2008.  This extension has allowed the inclusion of an additional weed day on Blacktail Ridge and three at Clark Canyon Reservoir in 2008 listed as follows:
    • Clark Canyon Reservoir – June 18, July 12, and August 2
    • Blacktail Ridge – June 24
  • The Beaverhead TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) project remains on hold due to manpower shortfalls at MDEQ.  Attention is expected to come back to the Beaverhead project in the summer of 2008.
  • An extension request has been made for DNRC WPA Grant 2008 (awarded in July 2007) to extend operational funding through the end of 2008.
  • Final report forthcoming on the Future Fisheries Grant for Spring Creek Culvert Replacement. 

Other Business

  • The BWC continues to seek good improvement projects both on and off-stream across the watershed. Per the 2007 work plan, funding will actively be pursued for several new projects.  Any interested person with a concept or plan for 2008 or beyond is encouraged to contact the BWC.
  • At the April 28 meeting, Nick Hoyrup, BWC coordinator since 2003 announced his resignation.  Katie Tackett has been chosen as his replacement.  Please contact her with any questions and concerns regarding the BWC, phone 988-0191 or email k_tackett@bresnan.net
  • The next full meeting will be held at 7 p.m., Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at the Search and Rescue Building in Dillon.  This will be a working meeting to discuss current projects and upcoming possible projects. 

As always the public is invited.