Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park
 

LARIMER COUNTY ENVIRONMETNAL ADVISORY BOARD (EAB)

 MEETING MINUTES

May 9, 2006

 

 

Members In Attendance:

 

Guests:

Sanjay Advani

Jim Skarbek

Nicole Hershberger, Health & Human Services

David Gilkey

Tom Sneider

 

Dale Lockwood

Heidi Steltzer

Commissioner:

Devin Odell

Marcia Van Eden

Karen Wagner

 

Bill Zawacki

 

 

 

Staff:

 

 

Doug Ryan, Health & Environment

 

 

LeAnne Kempton, Health & Environment

 

Discussion Items:

Compass Indicator Project.   Nicole Hershberger from the Larimer County Department of Health & Human Services provided a demonstration and update on the Compass Indicator Project.  The website first went online in April of 2001, and is available at: http://www.larimer.org/compass/.   It contains indices in nine different categories, including Environment.  An information sheet describing the data selection criteria and the current environmental measures was handed out.  The main target audience includes program planners for service organizations, as well as the general public.  Many students use the website for research projects.  Ms. Hershberger explained that the listed environmental issues represent the “low hanging fruit”, and that she would like to include the kinds of measures that would help to draw connections between the environment and other indicators such as health or the economy.  The EAB, or individuals, are always welcome to submit suggestions on new date sources, as well as comments on the existing indicators and how they are used in Compass. 

 

Members had a number of general comments and questions related to this discussion.  Sanjay Advani suggested checking the indicators used in the Colorado College website for the State of the Rockies, which is at:  http://www.coloradocollege.edu/stateoftherockies/, and the ecosystem reporting from the Heinz Center for Science, Policy and the Environment at:  http://www.heinzctr.org/ecosystems/index.htm.  Heidi Steltzer noted that many important environmental processes change over a long period, and that a monitoring timeframe of 20 to 30 years or more is sometimes needed in order to see significant trends or responses to human activities. 

 

Environmental Priorities Project: Invasive Species.  Dale Lockwood and Marcia Van Eden led a discussion about invasive species.  A handout titled Initial Information Regarding Invasive Species in Colorado was distributed.  The discussion included information about the definition of invasive species, the costs associated with these species, invasives in Larimer County, strategies for finding solutions, and web links for further study.  The members indicated that the organization and content of this initial discussion was very useful, and that additional information specific to Larimer County would be a helpful next step.  Discussions about this topic will be scheduled in future meetings.

 

Environmental Priorities Project:  Scheduling.  Members made modifications to the list of topic leaders and the next reporting dates as follows:

 

ISSUE

EAB Topic Leaders

Next Reporting Date

Invasive Species

Dale Lockwood, Heidi Steltzer 

To be determined

Land use shifts from agricultural to urbanized uses

Sherm Worthington, Bill Zawacki, Tom Sneider

August

Surface and groundwater quantity and quality

Devin Odell, David Gilkey

July

Transportation related to road and vehicle use

Sanjay Advani, Jim Skarbek

September

 

 

 

 

BCC Liaison Comments.  Commissioner Wagner provided updates on several items:

 

So far there are not a lot of applicants for the two EAB positions which need to be filled in June.  The deadline for applications is Friday, April 12.

 

The County Commissioners’ workplan for 2006/2007 includes a commitment to look into the use of renewable energy and alternate fuels.  EAB suggestions or comments on this issue would be welcome.  Doug Ryan will forward the workplan to members.

 

As a prelude to the 2007 budget, the county did a citizen satisfaction survey.  The top three areas of concern expressed in the survey were: rapid growth, traffic congestion, and illegal drugs.  Doug Ryan will forward the survey results once they are available for release.

 

The issue of a possible Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) will be discussed at a public meeting on Tuesday, June 13 from 8:00 to 11:00 AM at the Windsor Community Center.   Any EAB members who are interested in attending were asked to contact Doug Ryan as soon as possible so that a reservation can be obtained.  In the future, smaller meetings in individual communities will be held to consider regional transportation issues at the local level. 

 

The County Commissioners included the issue of Master Plan Monitoring in their workplan.  They want to reexamine this issue as part of the 10 year anniversary of the current Master Plan.  The EAB was involved in this issue prior to adoption of the Plan, and is encouraged to become so again.  Note that this topic is listed on the EAB Issue Index, and that staff from the Planning Department have discussed it with members in the past.

 

Commissioner Wagner was appointed to the 12 member Senate Bill 1 Transit Task Force.  They are charged with making recommendations on how to distribute $21 million dollars in transit funds over the next five years.

 

On May 10, the County Commissioners and Planning Commission will hold their regular monthly joint worksession.  A topic for this month will be to consider the advisability of adopting 1041 powers in order to regulate certain activities of State interest that may be proposed within Larimer County.  Doug Ryan will forward some background information from a previous EAB meeting concerning 1041 powers to the members. 

 

Approval of April Minutes:

The minutes for the April 11 meeting were approved as presented.

 

Updates: 

David Gilkey presented a slide show from his recent tour of the Alps tire pile cleanup project.  He recently visited the site with County Manager Frank Lancaster.  Because of the long-and-steady way the cleanup grant has been administered, considerable progress has been made on the cleanup.  This is a very important environmental benefit because a fire in the piles would present a serious water and air quality emergency.  While the majority of the big pile has been cleaned up, there are still lots of tires in the side ravines connected to the former big pile. 

 

Lee Anne Kempton provided an update on the plague situation in the County this year.  So far, 10 clinical samples have been tested – with three positive tests.  The positive results include a domestic cat, rabbit and prairie dog.  The prospects for additional plague in 2006 largely depend on weather patters this summer.  Cool or wet weather favors lots of rodents and the transmission of plague via their fleas.  Hot dry weather results in lower rodent densities and hence a lower incidence of plague.  Mrs. Kempton noted that plague is very lethal to cats, and that they can transmit the plague bacillus directly to people through contact with infected sores or through coughing.  Dogs typically do not become ill, but can carry plague infected fleas into the home.  It is important that pet owners control their animals and do not let them run wild in prairie dog colonies or other areas where wild rodents live.

 

Sanjay Advani attended the May 4, North Front Range Metropolitan Organization session regarding the Ozone Early Action Compact and the status of the region’s compliance with the 8-hour ozone air quality standard.  Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions from the oil and gas industry are higher than originally estimated.  In order to remain in compliance with the Early Action Compact, it will be necessary to ensure that the regional controlled VOC emissions from flash emissions associated with the oil and gas industry do not exceed 91 tons per day by the end of 2007.  The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is planning to announce a rule making hearing this summer to address the need for greater VOC controls from this industry. 

 

EAB Issue Index:

Doug Ryan will update the Issue Index related to the topics discussed at the meeting

 

June 13 Meeting Agenda:

Red Feather Lakes Area Plan, RMNP Elk & Vegetation Management Plan, planning for new member orientation, discussion of possible alternative August meeting dates in light of the primary election conflict

 

Adjourn:

The meeting ended at 8:20 pm. 

Background Image: Rocky Mountain National Park by Sue Burke. All rights reserved.