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BACk to Public Outreach

TAUNTON RIVER WILD AND SCENIC RIVER STUDY COMMITTEE

MINUTES FOR MEETING OF 10/16/02

Meeting Location: Halifax Town Hall

Meeting Chair Jim Ross called the meeting to order at 7:05 PM, and welcomed a new committee member from Raynham, Lou Bosquet. Other committee members in attendance:

Jack Traynor, Halifax

Rose Correia, Francis Pereira, Bill Taylor, Middleboro

Burke Fountain, Jim Ross, Raynham

Jasmine Tanguay, Taunton

Jamies Fosburgh, National Park Service

Pat Rogers, EOEA Taunton River Basin Team

Bill Napolitano, SRPEDD

Scott MacFaden, Wildlands Trust

Also attending was Tricia Cassady, Middleboro resident and former Bridgewater committee member.

Review of Agenda Items

(2) Approval of Minutes: The minutes for the previous committee meeting on 9/25/02 were approved unanimously. Bill N. also distributed a financial report and provided a brief synopsis of its contents. This report, which henceforth shall be provided to committee members at each full committee meeting, also was approved unanimously.

(3) Town, State, NPS Reports: In his capacity as TR Basin Team Leader, Pat Rogers reported on his site visits to 11 existing or potential canoe access sites on the upper Taunton River with Public Access Board representative Jen Wright. The site visits revealed both the opportunities and the challenges inherent in enhancing access to the river.

Halifax offered no report, and as no Bridgewater committee members were present, Tricia Cassidy stood in and noted the ongoing effort to improve Bridgewater’s municipal park system. The Natural Resources Trust of Bridgewater has been coordinating efforts to create management plans for each park in the system, and also has been engaged in attempting to enhance public awareness of the parks, most specifically by hosting a bus tour of the parks scheduled for the upcoming weekend.

Several committee members noted the sporadic attendance of Bridgewater committee representatives in recent months, and it appears that the town’s delegation is down two members.

On behalf of Raynham, Jim R. again welcomed new Raynham committee member Lou Bosquet, and also reported on his efforts to distribute Wild and Scenic brochures and other informational materials during celebrations of the recent Raynham Pride Days.

On behalf of Taunton, Jasmine Tanguay reminded all that the Taunton River Watershed Alliance’s annual meeting would be held next week at the Boyden Refuge.

Jamie Fosburgh of the National Park Service addressed several topics of note, including:

(4) Officers and Staff Committee Report—Bill Napolitano: Bill provided a summary of items discussed at the most recent "Between the Meetings" meeting (formerly known as the so-called Executive Committee Meeting). Recall that the primary purpose of these meetings is to allow committee members to assist study staff with the preparation of meeting agendas. Topics receiving attention included Jim Ross’ proposal to establish criteria for authorizing expenditure of study funds, the timeline for the remainder of the study, and the need to establish a management plan subcommittee. Several of these topics would receive consideration as formal proposals subject to a full committee vote, and are discussed in more detail below.

(5) Proposal to Establish Funding Criteria: This proposal to establish criteria for funding study expenditures received unanimous approval, subject to two amendments as follows: Insert "as determined relevant by public outreach subcommittee" into Paragraph 1(b) of the proposal. Add a Paragraph 6 to read as follows: "For Funding Requests of $500 or below, study staff will make decisions".

(6)(a) Proposal to Establish Management Plan Subcommittee: The proposal to establish a management plan subcommittee received unanimous approval. Joan Pierce has been asked to serve as the chair for this subcommittee, and has yet to decide about serving in that capacity. Jamie F. indicated that one of this subcommittee’s primary tasks would consist of assembling existing information about the river and including it in a draft management plan, which shall then be utilized in the public outreach effort to help define what is remarkable and noteworthy about the upper Taunton.

At Chairman Ross’ behest, Bill N. solicited volunteers to serve on the management plan subcommittee, and those indicating an interest included Pat Rogers, Jasmine Tanguay, Bob Davis, Francis Pereira (if the subcommittee meets at night), and Chairman Ross himself. Bill Taylor may participate as well to offer the benefit of his archeological expertise, and there is also the possibility of engaging the participation of several members of the long-running Taunton River Stewardship Program, primarily local planning officials who possess substantial stores of knowledge about the river and the issues impacting it. In order to allow for maximum participation, this subcommittee may meet prior to full committee meetings.

(6)(b) Proposal to Establish Public Outreach Subcommittee: The proposal to create a public outreach subcommittee received unanimous approval. The primary purpose of this subcommittee is to generate public support in the five study communities for the Wild and Scenic effort. There must exist demonstrable public support for the Wild and Scenic effort for the river to ultimately receive Wild and Scenic designation.

Jamie F. articulated Joan Kimball’s vision of how to structure the subcommittee’s efforts, which involves a committee member from each community serving as the lead for local public outreach, assisted by Joan K. The local committee member would have the benefit of a standard "stump speech" and set of presentation tools for the outreach effort in their community. Jamie also suggested establishing a time within the next full committee meeting for this subcommittee to meet.

(7) Eligibility Issues: Jamie F. discussed how several previous Wild and Scenic Study efforts, including the Lamprey and the SuAsCo, approached the preparation of their eligibility reports. The key question posed during the determination of a river’s eligibility for designation demands that proponents adequately define what is outstanding about their river, and support their claims with hard data.

Also briefly discussed was the issue of classifying river segments into the three categories of wild, scenic, or recreational. The primary determinant of which classification a segment of river fits into is the scope of development along that particular segment. Presumably, much of the upper Taunton will qualify as scenic, with some stretches likely falling into the recreational classification.

(8) Tributaries Proposal/Other Business: This proposal’s sponsor, Joan Kimball, was not in attendance, and therefore it was tabled.

Bill announced that the Wild and Scenic brochures would be available for distribution on October 22nd.

(9) Next Meeting/Adjournment: The next full committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, November 13th, place and time TBA. This meeting was adjourned at approximately 9 PM.

 

 

Submitted by Scott MacFaden