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Crook County Natural Resource District

May 7

 

June 6, 2019



Crook County Natural Resource District (CCNRD)

May 7th Regular Board Meeting Minutes

CALL MEETING TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 12:04 pm by Chairman Wayne Garman at the Sundance USDA Service Center, 117 South 21st Street, Sundance, Wyoming.

ATTENDANCE

Board: Wayne Garman, Ted Parsons, Wanda Burget, Lily Altaffer, Jennifer Hinkhouse

Employees: Sarah Anderson, Bridget Helms, Carmen Horne-McIntyre (Call in)

Guests: John Roscoe, NRCS Jason Nehl, Sherry Burr & FSA County Executive Director, Sarah Hanlon

OPEN ISSUES TO DISCUSS

Guest Update

Mr. Roscoe came in to discuss projects funded by the District and the controls in place to verify the projects funded aren’t modified after installation. Mr. Garman responded we can’t go in to detail on our contracts, but this will be discussed by the Board and will possibly affect how our contracts are written in the future.

NRCS-Jason Nehl reported that a few of the District water projects most recently funded will need corrections. They have been going in the field and found some planning errors. The first project discussed was missing an electric pump. Mr. Parsons made a motion to accept the modification, Ms. Burget seconded the motion.

The second project is drilling a new well with 2600 ft pipeline contracted. The pump for this well was missing. There is also a need to cross New Haven Rd and will require horizontal road boring. Mr. Parsons made a motion to accept the modification, seconded by Ms. Altaffer. Motion carried.

The third project requiring a change plans to use an existing spring. It will need more storage capacity than was originally planned. Two 1700-gallon cisterns will be replaced by 5800-gallon cisterns. The cost difference was $3,1J70. Motion to approve the project amendments made by Mr. Parsons and seconded by Ms. Altaffer. Motion carried.

FSA- Sarah Hanlon reported things are about the same in her office. She’s been calling NAP participants about participation in the buyup program. To qualify they need to have a basic policy. All livestock losses need to be reported for the livestock indemnity program. A notice of loss needs to be reported within 30 days, although they have almost a full year (March 1st Deadline) to provide loss documentation. Many producers aren’t aware of their honey bee programs. They can get coverage on honey through NAP and can report the honey bees and farm raised fish for NAP losses due to storm events, etc. Crop reporting is keeping her staff busy. Every week she fills out an ag survey, she provided us her form for example.

The discussion on the project contracts continued. The District needs to consider updating the contract to be specific about use. NRCS has heard rumors about their projects being used for domestic purposes after the fact. Mr. Parsons suggested using verbiage like NRCS- for example: you can’t use it for domestic water for 10 years without board approval. Using the word modify so they can’t modify the system, even if they are adding on more pipe to water more stock. Having landowners agree for us to access their property throughout the life span of the project will allow us to check function of the projects and remedy if needed. NRCS used to pay on a percentage for domestic vs animal use. They no longer offer this option. Mr. Parsons makes a motion to table this, Ms. Anderson and Ms. McIntyre are directed to come up with better language. Second was made by Ms. Altaffer. Motion carried.

NRCS- Jason Nehl’s update on behalf of District Conservationist Keela Deaton: They are finalizing their contracts for EQIP apps. Four range & two forestry projects are funded. The 2019 RCPP projects still haven’t been signed. NRCS is taking applications for the Joint Chiefs Wonder Community right now through June 21st. The location is the west side of the bear lodge. NRCS has $350,000 for forestry projects; thinning, fuel breaks, grazing projects, wells, pumps, stock water. Fuel reduction projects will rank highest. The biggest benefit unique to this program is they can work on state, USFS and private lands. The next step is to meet with USFS to discuss the water improvement projects.

Local working group meeting: Jason thought it went well and it impressed NRCS senior leadership. Sarah Hanlon said that it was the best one she’s been to and she’s been to several in different states. Ms. Anderson said that she talked to a landowner who gave some suggestions and he wished that had said more at the meeting. Next time we will make the purpose clear at the start.

Water Quality by Carmen

Septic System Remediation Application: Ms. Anderson described the project. The septic leach field is near Blacktail Creek. Landowners want to move the septic to the other side and install a mounded system. Estimated project cost is $11,000. The District will pay 50% up to $3500. Motion made to approve the application made by Ms. Hinkhouse, seconded by Ms. Burget. Motion carried.

The WDA Water Grant Application is due May 13th. $20,000 in funds would be available this fall. Ms. Hinkhouse and Mr. Garman both agreed to apply for the funds.

WQ Monitoring Season- RESPEC will be coming Thursday to pick up equipment. Koby will be doing the monitoring for us. May 22nd is when sampling is scheduled to begin but might be June due to weather. Ms. McIntyre is working on the SAP and its approval. Ms. Hinkhouse informed the Board if we are using Energy Labs again to double check bottle sizes, Campbell County received different bottle sizes this year than in the past and we may want check that.

Local Issues

Ms. McIntyre is working through the DEQ website for the Gillette Madison reports. The testing for aluminum and iron showed standards were exceeded. Ms. McIntyre will call Ivan Cranston as they are both working on this.

Ms. Altaffer noted a landslide near Green Hill and will send photos to Ms. McIntyre.

Strata- Strata Energy has applied for an amendment of its Source Material License for the Ross Project to use low pH lixiviant.

Forest Health by Sarah

CAFA update- Ms. Anderson reported that it is unchanged from last month. The precipitation has been hindering projects. She has been working with USFS and NRCS. They have sent out targeted mailings to the Wonder Community area. Ms. Anderson showed a map of the area. Great feedback has been received so far. There will be no administrative funds for this grant. The funds are being handled like EQIP funds. The Phantom area is the first focus area, it is a huge USFS area that is landlocked and has NEPA completed. Then the focus will be on the tornado area. Then the tetris area in the bottom right will be third. One landowner has already denied access to the USFS. Ms. Anderson recommends if landowners want to work on their land and USFS or State land that they rank higher. NRCS will be handling all the applications and approvals.

The second CAFA project in the Miller Creek area has been denied, because of duplication with Wonder Community project.

Ms. Anderson discussed matching targeted bark beetle mitigation funds with forest health and wildlife funds for a potential future project.

Ms. Anderson spoke about another active grant to expand trails and conveyed the challenges with the original plan due to a timbersale timeline and a miscommunication with NEPA restrictions. Ms. Anderson will be meeting with the USFS Thursday morning.

Financials

A motion was made by Ms. Hinkhouse to pay the bills and review the voucher for April expenses. Motion was seconded by Ms. Burget. Motion carried. The Board read through the financial voucher and reviewed each check.

The Board reviewed the reconciliation report summarizing the bank reconciliation completed by Tam Hedges.

Approve Minutes

Mr. Parsons made a motion to approve the minutes from April 15th, 2019 meeting. Ms. Hinkhouse seconded the motion. Motion carried.

NEW ISSUES TO DISCUSS

Electronic Recycling Event. Ms. Altaffer would like to continue offering this service because of the interest she has received. The town of Hulett has budgeted $600 for cost sharing. Sundance and Moorcroft haven’t been approached yet. Mr. Garman thought Moorcroft may have hosted a similar event. We will gain clarification on that by asking Fred Devish at the Commissioner’s meeting. Ms. Altaffer offered to chair the event. Hulett has a cleanup event in the fall, we could coincide with that. Mr. Parsons will provide the Board with those fall dates. Sundance needs to be asked if they would like to cost share.

There are two treadmills are in the trailer that need to go to Pacific Steel, if anyone is going that way and could haul them.

Bookkeeper Status

The Board received a resignation letter from Tam Hedges. Mr. Parsons made a motion to accept Ms. Hedges resignation. Ms. Altaffer seconded. Motion carried. Amendment motion made by Ms. Hinkhouse to accept the resignation immediately. Second made by Mr. Parsons. Mr. Parsons made a motion to move Ms. Helms to bookkeeping and find counsel for her. Options for training were discussed.

Budget

A special meeting is needed to finalize the proposed budget May 29 at 8 am.

Vehicle purchase: A 2007 Chevy Tahoe was purchased for $12,800. The Board reviewed the purchase documents.

Sell Explorer: Ms. Altaffer recused herself from discussion on the Explorer sale. Mr. Parsons made a motion to sell the Explorer. Ms. Burget seconded. Motion carried. The District has an offer to buy it for $1001. The dealership offered $1000 and the other dealer wouldn’t take it. Mr. Parsons moves to accept the offer from William Altaffer for $1001. Ms. Burget seconded, motion carried. Proceeds will be allocated to the vehicle repair fund, as the Tahoe will need new tires.

Water Fairs Recap

Ms. Helms talked about her visit with the Sundance and Hulett schools for the Water Fair. It was to educate 3rd through 6th grade students on the importance of water, by participating in fun activities.

Conservation Tech Update- Since NACD is funding all previous applicants first, and we are ranked third after that, it doesn’t appear we will receive funding for this position.

FOIA or Public Records Release Separate email addresses for the boards for private protection is recommended. Mr. Parsons stated it is up to the board members to decide where they want your email sent. Ms. Burget would like a separate email address.

Gabe Brown Tour There are still about 15-20 spots available to attend the tour. We might have to open this up to others. We will advertise some more and share on Facebook.

SCHEDULE

A. Crook County Commissioners Meeting May 8, 2019 1:00 pm

B. Next Board Meeting June 4, 2019 at 12:00 pm

C. Wolf delisting commenting Deadline May 14th

D. Weed Identification and Management Workshop May 16th 11:30 am – 1:30 pm

E. WWDC/SWC Meeting May 16-17, Cheyenne

F. Gabe Brown Operation Tour June 14-15 Deadline to register May 29th

G. Evanston Nonpoint Task Force meeting May 22

ADJOURN:

Ms. Burget made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Ms. Altaffer seconded the motion. Motion carried. Meeting was adjourned at 3:18 pm.

Office Manager Signature: _____________________________________________________Date: ______________

Chairman Signature: ___________________________________________________________ Date: ______________

 
 

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