WILD & SCENIC RIVER COMMITTEE

Minutes of the 12/11/02 Meeting held at the Raynham Town Hall

Present: Bill Taylor, Francis Pereira, Rosemarie Correia – Middleborough

Maryan Nowak, Aria Brissette – Taunton

Burke Fountain, Jim Ross – Raynham

Jack Traynor – Halifax

Jamie Fosburgh – NPS

Joan Kimball – Riverways

Pat Rogers – EOEA

Bill Napolitano – SRPEDD

Approval of Minutes of 11/13 meeting –

Francis requested a change in wording to read: "In the spring, mature herring were taken to other rivers to restock their fisheries, including, the Concord River in MA as well as rivers in several other states. Fingerling herring have been observed in the Taunton River and several tributaries."

Jamie asked for a change of wording to read: "NPS does not yet have a budget, but when passed, Jamie expects a flat issue (similar funding)."

Joan asked for an addition to her statement to read: "Speakers will be asked to a working session. We should ask them to (1) describe why the resource is outstanding, (2) what are the problems, and (3) what are some possible solutions."

Minutes approved with changes.

Community/ NPS/State/Staff Reports –

Taunton – "Designing Our River Heritage" presented at the Parker Middle School;

staff worked with teachers and students on this multidisciplinary environmental

design project focusing on the use of public land on the Upper Taunton River in

the City of Taunton; photos and text were developed for the education section on

the website;

Raynham – each selectman received a copy of the website brochure; the

other town boards also received copies (Jim noted that the Conservation Commission had posted a copy on their bulletin board in Town Hall)

EOEA – (Pat) Article 97 land proposal given to the legislature that would allow the

transfer of 450 acres of land along the river, still owned by the Dept. of Corrections; there was an open house at the Aquaria desalinization plant on the Taunton (at Princess House); while this facility is seen by some as an additional source of drinking water, others are concerned that it will reduce flows and harm fisheries and fisheries habitat.

GIS Sub-committee – Maisy and Aria met and prepared a hand-out for the Committee on proposed GIS work for the coming year;

Committee members suggested that future versions of the study area map/poster also include bullets stating our goals (as opposed to the present text version);

Maps will also be developed for each of the outstanding resource values within the study area and could be used at the public outreach events

Outreach

The Outreach Committee reported on its meeting (that immediately preceded the full Committee meeting); before the Outreach Committee goes to the towns, it wants to confirm (1) the purpose(s) of the study, (2) the outstandingly remarkable values of the river

Consensus on goals

(1) to facilitate the preservation of the Upper Taunton River Corridor as an intact

ecosystem resource;

(2) to encourage comprehensive intercommunity planning

(3) seek Wild & Scenic designation if feasible

Consensus on five (5) Outstanding Resource values –

(1) agriculture/farming

(2) archaeological/historical

(3) natural/biological resources

(4) fisheries

(5) recreational/scenic

The Outreach Committee will use this information to help create an informed citizenry and partnerships to help protect the river; the Outreach Committee will contact several boards in each community and hold general public sessions using a power point presentation and hand-outs, as well as referring people to the website; the use of community cable TV via selectmens’ meetings or special programming; at each point, ask for public input to take back to full Committee

Bill displayed a new map of the study area, developed by Maisy at the Committee’s request, in a poster format with the four season photos and text; these could be posted in town/city halls and used for public information purposes (this is only a DRAFT and can be revised as required by Committee vote); SRPEDD staff spoke on the study to the Parker Middle School (Taunton) and the Taunton Rotary Club; Bill brought approximately 1000 website brochures for those Committee members in attendance to distribute in their respective communities; it was suggested that Committee members keep track of where brochures are placed and to whom they are given (Committee agreed that this first batch of brochures should be given to municipal boards, town/city halls, libraries, fisheries/wildlife groups and local press)

Tributary Analysis – Joan was asked to revisit the tributary analysis funding proposal that had been presented to the Committee several months ago;

Joan will be looking for a local coordinator to work with her staff to organize volunteers and data;

A local coordinator could be funded through SRPEDD; Joan and Bill will work on a local coordinator’s job description in January to present to the full Committee;

The Committee entertained a motion to accept Joan’s proposal for funding; Francis pointed out that people had had the agenda and tributary proposal for less than the previously agreed upon "one week prior to taking a vote;" Aria thought that because this was a vote on a proposal that Committee members had had in their possession for a long time, and the document was unchanged, that the one week provision could be waived;

All agreed to waive the provision; motion to fund the proposal carried with one abstention (Joan)

Website – Jim asked if the website was still doing what we wanted it to do to further our study?

Committee members were pleased with the appearance and information; Bill said that the number of hits was increasing and that we should watch closely to gauge the impact of the brochure;

The Outreach Committee agreed to review the website content and suggest any changes necessary to promote public awareness

Jamie gave the Committee an overview of "Section 7" – This deals with federal regulatory ability; Section 7 is the only protection Wild & Scenic provides beside the management plan developed by the locals;

Under Section 7, the NPS can review any activity on water including projects that involve:

a) flow alteration

b) federal permits

c) federal licenses

d) federal funding

e) other activities that would be on or directly affecting the river/segment

Joan said that on the SuAsCo, Jamie has been able to review reconstruction projects;

Jamie said that we should identify all of the historical bridges that we would want to comment on; Jamie will provide a more in-depth discussion of Section 7 at the January meeting

The Committee decided that the January meeting should focus on the Management Plan for one hour and the Outreach Plan for one hour

Joan said that the Outreach Committee would again meet at 6:00pm, on the night of the next scheduled W&S Committee meeting (either SRPEDD or Bridgewater);

Tentative date for next meeting: Jan. 8, with a Jan. 15 back-up (because there are 5 Wednesdays in Jan., the regular would not be thrown off)

Meeting adjourned at 9:15pm

Respectfully Submitted

Joan Kimball/Bill Napolitano