Taunton River Wild and Scenic Meeting

October 18, 2004


Present:  Rachel Calabro, SRPEDD, Jim Ross, Rayham, presiding; Nancy Durfey, SRPEDD and Somerset;  Bob Davis, Raynham and TRWA;  Bill Taylor, Middleboro;  Maryon Nowak, Taunton;  Alex Houtzager, Berkley, John Torgan, Save the Bay;  Joan Kimball, Riverways; Jamie Forsburgh, National Park Service;  Ray Brierly, Raynham;  Burke Fountain, Raynham;  Richard Ashcroft, Somerset; Louis Bousquet, Raynham; Bill Napolitano, SRPEDD.


I.                    Review of the Stewardship Plan

a.       At the last meeting suggestions were made to amend the Stewardship Plan.   All the things have been added except for the interstate compact that Steve will write.  Bill filled in with a piece on the Somerset Trail, on projects we funded and the Ag commissions.  Burke suggested that we remove the wording referring to bylaws and overlay district on the page across from the barn. Jamie’s changes in the introduction have been made.

b.      Jim is most interested in having the plan be in shape for town meetings and City Council.  These governing bodies will be approving the plan.  The draft plan should be sufficiently complete so that there will be no big surprises in the final.  We want it to look good for the outreach tool.   Bill and Rachel feel that the text is complete.  Maisie will be back the last week in October to help with the formatting including the picture captions. Once we get it web ready, we can print out hard copies.  For the TRWA meeting on the 27th, Rachel can print out a nice copy with a color cover, but the captions will not be ready.  Each section should have a roman numeral heading.

c.       Jim feels that we should work to get the plan ready in black and white with a color cover.  At the town meeting, there could be some maps on easels—inside display. 

d.      Each section will be four pages so there will be no blanks.

e.       Jamie suggested that people read the plans and make sure there are no red flags, just as Burke was concerned with overlay district.  Jim said that questions came out about landowners’ rights when he met with the planning board.

f.        Jim said that the Heritage River map would be included.  It could be an 11X17.  The key will have to be included.

g.       We should have one plan for each board.  There also should be a one page summary, brochure, and fact sheet.

h.       Jamie will update the Q&A with the outstanding values and other information from the study.  The Q&A is longer than the small description on the new fact sheet and anticipates landowners questions.  Nancy, Bill, Nancy and Jim will work with Jamie.

i.         Rachel asked people to check out the maps and make corrections.  Some maps do not have pictures.  Agriculture will have photos, some, such as the landscape inventory, won’t have pictures.

II.                Report on Outreach Meeting prior to this meeting

With Jim’s great planning and outreach, the Raynham selectmen are submitting--and speaking to--Warrant Article 33 at Town Meeting on November 15. The selectmen agreed to put Wild and Scenic Article first after the money articles to ensure that there would be good attendance.  Jim also met with the Conservation Commission and Planning Board and will be meeting on November 2 with the Park and Recreation Committee. Jim thanked Burke for paving the way with the Planning Board where good questions were asked.   Jim has written letters to Historical Commission and Society.  (Warrant article language and sample letter will be included as appendix with these minutes.) Jim’s work will be a great pilot for the spring town meetings. Jim did great outreach with Rayham Pride Day, and plans to continue with information on the Forge River Kiosk and TRWA’s Annual Meeting on October 27th . 


Before the Town Meeting, Jim wants a completed plan (1 per board) and fact sheets tailored for Raynham.  The generic Fact Sheet presented at this meeting could easily be tailored for Raynham by adding words such as “Vote yes on Article 33, Raynham Town Meeting” and by adding Raynham pictures. The Raynham Fact sheet can placed on the kiosk, given to the press and town. The main purpose for the Fact Sheet will be at Town Meeting.  Jim suggested that  Stream Team members will hand out the fact sheets before Town Meeting.  Burke suggested that there be a cable TV show.  Lou will approach Cable TV.



The committee hopes that both Taunton and Fall River city Councils will pass a motion supporting designation this fall.  The committee recommended that we work with both cities and aim for November 23 to double the impact.

Taunton City Council:  Maryon  is working with Taunton City Council on ACEC and he and Bill will be working with Charlie Crowley.  Bill is working with Priscilla Chapman on Fall River.  Priscilla will work with Mayor who wants to make the motion.


Save the Bay will put in a press release about the Taunton River and designation before these votes.  John hopes to get an article in the Brocton Enterprise, Taunton Daily Gazette, Raynham Call, Silver Lining in Attleboro, Somerset Spectator, Middleboro Gazette, Fall River Herald, Providence Journal, Standard times and SE Weekly Globe.


So that it is clear that designation will be wanted by the lower communities, it would be great if the Somerset Selectmen agree to endorse this for spring town meeting. 


Jamie said that several of us met with the Congressional Delegation.  They were very interested that towns are voting on designation this fall and spring.  They will begin to write the legislation once the new Congress meets in January.  Thus they will be ready to go as the towns vote in the Spring Town Meetings.  We said that we would have our report ready to go to Congress when spring town meetings occur.  Jamie said that it would take 6 months to get through the process—so we will hope that we are ready to go in a year.


III.             Stream Team updates

Nancy showed us the upper Taunton River Mainstem from Cherry St. to the Weir.  This was written based on data taken during the TRWA Annual Wild and Scenic River Run.  Nancy has been so impressed with stream team participation. Jim asked that a copy be sent to Francis, who spear-headed the motion to cover the mainstem.


 Nancy will be giving a presentation to the Tribal Council.  Hopefully at that meeting, they will make the decision about joining the council.  On October 27, Nancy and Bill will be making a presentation to the Somerset Garden Club.  Alex asked Nancy, Bill and Jamie to go to the SOB (Save Our Bridge) Committee and Bill and Nancy to the Berkley Garden Club to make presentations.  The Three Mile Shoreline Survey is almost done. We congratulated Nancy and the Stream Teams. Bill said we have done it all! With the exception of a section along Freetown, Berkley Dighton.  This is a great success for the Stream Team Program and to Nancy.  Rachel and Nancy have been a great team.  Rachel kicked off River Continuity Surveys with TRWA—looking at culverts to see where they are blocking fish and wildlife passage and to identify problem dams.  Rachel hopes to get surveys both fall and spring.  Rachel did the Raynham training for the River Continuity survey this week.  Rachel said that there is potentially some restoration money for the Taunton River Watershed.  Nancy suggested there be a meeting on November 11 for Stream Teams to come together to determine projects using Wild and Scenic money. 

IV.              Other business

a.       Forge River Kiosk: 

Nancy said that the Kiosk is beautiful.  We were given a handout of all the work that Doug did to get it up.  He got the town board approval.  Jim was invited to put information up—and put information out about Wild and Scenic. He did a great job.  Jim would love to have a section of the topo with an “you are here” tag. 

b.      Updates on funded projects

Rotating Tributary Study: Bob Davis reported that Kevin has reported on his previous work monitoring the watershed using funds from TU.  The Rotating Tributary Study is 95% complete; this is the study that is funded by Wild and Scenic.

Synthesizing Data:  Bob has been looking for a candidate to work on the synthesizing of existing data.  He has found someone who can do this.  Brian Brodeur recommended candidate highly.  She has an excellent background.  Jamie strongly suggested that it be formatted so data can be entered as it is gathered.

Macroinvertebrate:  Fred St. Ours and Tim Watts are writing up reports.  They found a new species of Dragonflies.  This report should be in the appendices.  Fred will be going to Wheaton College and getting volunteers from there.

Small Grants:  Chris Wordell would like signage on brooks and streams in Somerset.  Almost every stream team has asked for Stream signs and we should help all find funds for this.  Jim would like to see signs “Labor in Vain Brook, tributary to Wild and Scenic River”.   

Heritage Landscape Inventories:  Jessica Rowcroft from DCR will be meeting with towns in fall and plan surveys in the spring.

V.                 Next Meeting will be Tuesday, November 16.

VI.              Adjourned at 8:25


Joan Kimball






Warrant Article 33 for Rayham Town Meeting, November 15, 2004.


To see if the Town will endorse the Taunton River Stewardship Plan developed by the Taunton River Wild and Scenic River Study Committee, together with its recommendation to seek Wild and Scenic River Designation through act of the United States Congress.”



Sample letter to town Boards sent by Jim Ross


“As you may know, Raynham and 9 other riverside communities have been working together for more than 3 years now as the Taunton River Wild and Scenic Committee. Funding through the National Park Service has enabled us to research and draft a “stewardship Plan” for the entire 40+ mile taunton River corridor as well as some of its key tributaries, including the Forge River in Rayham.  We have identified six outstanding resoursces on and along the Taunton River, inclding fishesries, ecology & biodiversity, recreation, agriculture, history & culture and the estuary near Mt. Hope Bay.


The following article, Warrant Article 33, submitted by our Selectmen will appear on the warrant for Raynham’s November 15, 2004 Town Meeting:


“To see if the Town will endorse the Taunton River Stewardship Plan developed by the Taunton River Wild and Scenic River Study Committee, together with its recommendation to seek Wild and Scenic River Designation through act of the United States Congress.”


I hope that you will endorse the work of the Taunton River Wild & Scenic Study Committee by voting your support of the article prior to the November 15, 2004 Town Meeting.  I would be happy to speak at one of your upcoming meetings if you would like.




Jim Ross