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EAB MEETING MINUTES
June 14, 2005
Members in Attendance
Marcia Van Eden
Jerry Blehm, Larimer County Health and Environment
Rich Grossmann, Larimer County Health and Environment
Dave Gilkey, CSU
Doug Ryan, Staff facilitator
The EAB was asked to comment on the Agricultural Advisory Board’s (AAB) recommendations concerning livestock regulations for the County land use code. The AAB memo of May 31, 2005 outlines those recommendations, and was provided with the agenda materials. Ernie Marx explained that the livestock provisions in the current code were carried over from the pre-2000 code language, and that a number of alternate options have been discussed since that time. The County Commissioners asked the AAB to assist with standards to address issues associated with overgrazing, weeds and pasture management. The AAB recommendation includes a table for calculating animal unit equivalencies, and specifies a maximum stocking rate of one unit per acre. The standards also indicate that an area of confinement must be required for all horses to facilitate supplemental feeding to prevent overgrazing. The AAB recommendation is to apply these standards to properties of 80 acres or smaller. Property owners wanting a higher stocking rate could apply for a special review permit.
The EAB discussed the types of conflicts that can be associated with livestock, and the relationship between County and State regulations for confined animal feeding operations. John Bartholow moved, and Bill Zawacki seconded a motion to recommend that the livestock regulations specify that the calculation of acreage be specific to land available for animals, such as the acres of vegetated pasture and feeding enclosures. Adopted by unanimous vote.
Following additional discussion about the importance of landowner knowledge concerning pasture management practices Dave Swartz moved, and Ray Herrmann seconded a motion to add a recommendation that the County strongly consider an educational component to provide information on best pasture management practices for rural area landowners. Adopted by unanimous vote.
West Nile Virus.
Rich Grossmann provided an update on the 2005 West Nile Virus (WNV) Season. So far, there have been no positive cases in the County detected in birds, horses, mosquitoes, or people. The current mosquito populations are low, but it is expected that if weather becomes warmer mosquito numbers will rise. The County’s WNV program has both public education, and surveillance components. This season, the Department of Health and Environment has hired a Health Educator to assist with getting the message out about personal protection and control of mosquito breeding habitat. Targeted populations have included the school districts, physicians’ offices, the elderly, and support groups for people with chronic health conditions.
Surveillance activities are being coordinated with state, federal, municipal, and corporate partners. A network of 115 mosquito traps operates on a weekly schedule. The Department collects information on dead birds, and submits suitable specimens for WNV testing. Information is collected on horse cases, positive blood donations, and human diagnosed cases. Surveillance results are available to the municipalities and the county to aid in decisions about control activities. Most municipalities have contracted with one of two firms to provide mosquito control activities. The type of control that is utilized can reflect different priorities in each community. For example, Fort Collins is using larvicide applications only while Loveland uses both larvicide and fogging for adult nuisance mosquitoes.
Planning for New Members.
It is anticipated that there will be five new EAB members starting terms in July. Interviews are scheduled for the end of June. Doug Ryan and the members discussed orientation. The July meeting will include time for bringing new members up to speed on the role of the EAB, and how it conducts its activities. Background information, such as the EAB Annual Report, bylaws, issue index, and the County Master Plan will be provided. A brief discussion will be provided about these background materials. Other topics will include information about how environmental issues come before the advisory board. This will include the importance of individual members raising issues based on their own knowledge and observation. Current EAB members will be asked to mentor new members during the transition period. For future meetings, an overview of select department functions will be provided. An agenda item for feedback from new members will be included in order to assist everyone to keeping on track with the orientation. New members will be invited to attend liaison meetings with experienced EAB members.
Approval of May Minutes:
Motion by John Bartholow, second by Bill Zawacki, to accept the minutes as amended. Approved by unanimous vote.
EAB Chair Comments:
Acting Chair Ramon Ajero thanked the members and staff for their commitment and good work during his six years as an EAB member.
Commissioner Wagner, BCC Comments:
· EAB members are invited to a discussion of nitrogen deposition issues in Rocky Mountain National Park. The meeting will be held on Thursday, June 16 at 6:30 PM in the Larimer County Commissioners Hearing Room
· The next round of public meetings for the North 1-25 EIS are scheduled for the weeks of June 13 and 20.
· The County Commissioners are exploring the issue of 1041 Powers, the provision in State statutes that allow counties to develop regulations for certain types of projects that have local significance.
· The City of Fort Collins is taking the lead on the North West Special Area Plan. Russ Legg is the lead staff fro the County. This would be an appropriate topic for an EAB update, and possible addition to the EAB Issue Index.
· Commissioner Wagner thanked retiring members John Bartholow, Ramon Ajero, Dave Swartz, and Ray Herrmann for their important service to the County. She presented Ray Herrmann, who was not able to attend last month, with a certificate of appreciation for his six years of service – including two years as EAB Chair.
Updates – Committee & Other:
· Sanjay Advani reported that he and Jim Skarbek have been working on the magnesium chloride issue, and will report to the EAB in July.
· Doug Ryan reported in response to a question from members last month, that the Planning Department does evaluate Location & Extent permits for wildlife impacts as outlined in the Master Plan, but that the Land Use Code requirements for preparation of a Wildlife Conservation Plan do not apply to this class of permit.
· Dave Swartz referred members to the Big Thompson Watershed Newsletter for a good update on the water quality planning process. He also reminded members that the Information Management Department is a good source for GIS maps if necessary in the future.
· John Bartholow indicated that he has a new report on culvert design as it influences fish passage. It discusses both velocity and placement of culverts in rivers. He shared this with the Public Works Department.
Summary of BCC Communication Issues, & Planning for future Administrative Matters Meetings:
No EAB items will be scheduled for the next Administrative Matters meeting.
Agenda for July 12th Meeting:
Red Feather Lakes Special Area Plan, magnesium chloride, North I-25 EIS, new member orientation.
The meeting adjourned at 9:00 pm.