Wednesday, February 13, 2013

January 15, 2013 Meeting Minutes

Minnesota River Watershed Alliance meeting notes

Jan. 15, 2013, Southwest Minnesota Initiative Foundation office
Facilitator: Cathi Fouchi

Recorder: Forrest Peterson


Cathi Fouchi, DNR; Loran Kaardal, Green Corridor; Lee Sundmark, DNR; Gary Lenz, CURE; Forrest Peterson, MPCA; John Hickman, Friends of the Minnesota Valley; Mike Lein, Carver Co. Env. Services; Kim Olson, CCMR; Mark Schnobrich, McLeod SWCD; Chantill Kahler-Royer, MWRA, Bolton and Menk; Brad Cobb, Green Corridor; Anne Queenan; Gregg Soupir, DNR; Cynthia Wheeler, DNR; Tim Lies, FMV; Mark Dittrich, Dept. of Agriculture; Greg Roiger; Charlie Guggisberg; Amanda Meyer; Kristy Rice; Duane Ninneman, CURE; Cheryl Glaeser, SWIF; Sally Jo Sorensen; Mark Voorhees; Leon Matties; Phil Nasby; Natalie Warren; Karl Hakanson; Scott Wold; Ted Suss; Scott Sparlin, FMV, CCMR; Lori Nelson, FMV; Dale Redetzke; Wayne Ostlie, Great River Greening; Alice Hanley, USFWL; Susie Carlin, MRB; Charlie Blair, USFWL.
Action summary:

Ø  The Alliance voted unanimously to submit a pre-proposal for nominating the Minnesota River basin to the National Blueway System. The Blueway proposal also leads the list of Alliance projects for 2013.

Ø  Related to the Blueways project, the Alliance

o   Accepted the offer of Clean Up the River Environment to write letters promoting the public use of land associated with the former dam at Minnesota Falls, and including a Native American perspective.

o   Accepted the offer of Friends of the Minnesota Valley to serve as fiscal agent.

o   Named a spokesperson team: Patrick Moore, Scott Sparlin, Cathi Fouchi, Forrest Peterson, Ted Suss.

Ø  The Alliance supports the continuation of the Paddler Patch program, and exploring the possibility of a mayors’ fishing event.

Ø  Accepted the offer of the Southwest Minnesota Initiative Foundation in Hutchinson to host the April meeting of the Alliance.

Cheryl Glaeser of the Southwest Minnesota Initiative Foundation along with Brad Cobb welcomed the Alliance to the new meeting location.

Cathi Fouchi led off a discussion of the draft pre-proposal for nominating the Minnesota River watershed to the Blueway System. The draft details the nature of the Alliance, and its numerous partnerships, activities, accomplishments, and resources. The vision and primary goals are: Conservation and integration of land and water management, natural resource restoration and adaptive management; outdoor recreation and environmental education, sustainable and compatible economic activity, and enhanced and expanded stakeholder engagement. There was much discussion of the vision and goals, which will be considered in revising the draft pre-proposal. While the Department of Natural Resources, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will provide support for the effort, “it’s a citizen-led initiative,” says Charlie Blair of the FWS office in Bloomington, and the Alliance needs to define its role in the implementation of the project. If the proposal succeeds on a timely basis, the Minnesota River would become the third National Blueway System in the U.S., following the Connecticut River and White River. CURE drafted a letter of support for the Minnesota River nomination. An announcement about designation could occur in June, followed by an event in July.

The next Alliance meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 16, 6 p.m. (potluck meal) and 7 p.m. (meeting) at the Southwest Minnesota Initiative Foundation office, 15 3rd Ave. NW, at the intersection of Hwy. 7 and 3rd Ave. in Hutchinson.