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1 - Draft Minutes - Open Space - June 11, 2008 OPEN SPACE BOARD OF TRUSTEES Minutes June 11, 2008 BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT Kay Tauscher Bill Briggs John Putnam Allyn Feinberg STAFF PRESENT Mike Patton Jirn Reeder Mark Gershman John D'Amico Delani Wheeler Joe Mantione Ann Gaodhart Cecil Fenio Steve Armstead Bab Crifasi Whit Johnson Jen Sherry Jake Cseke Mo Valenta Elon O'Malia Deonne Vanderwoude CALL TO ORDER The meeting was called to order at 6:04 p.m. - AGENDA ITEM 1-Approval of Minutes John Putnam moved that the minutes of May 14, 2008 be approved. Bill Briggs seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. AGENDA ITEM 2 -Public Participation Ray Bridge spoke on behalf of Friends of Boulder's Open Space (FOBOS}. He reminded the Board about the monitoring commitments required prior to trail construction. Patrick Murphy, botanist, agreed with LVZr. Bridge's comments and stressed the importance of knowing the condition of the resources so changes can be detected. Kevin Reardon cautioned staff about the trail to 1~lickey Mouse Wall -the area is one of the last true wild places and it deserves protection. Mark McIntire, Boulder 1~lountainbike Alliance {BMA} and Boulder Area Trails Coalition (BATCo} member, pooled his time with Peter Bakwin. Peter Bak«rin gave a power point presentation showing how trail building has not kept up with the growing system. He urged the Board to support more trail construction. hL'erner Ne«rpert agreed with the FOBOS concerns about adequate monitoring. He said that impacts to wildlife might be subtle and take awhile to be noticeable. Linda NIahaney said that when staffis making management decisions it should consider migration needs of various animals. She urged staff to collect adequate baseline information. David Buckner described the unique natural values of areas in the OSMP system and urged for their protection. Mike Barrow, President of BMA, reported an the new volunteer bike patrol program and the lugh level of compliance obsen%ed. Linda Jourgensen said that some members of the community love the open space for what it is and do not feel its value depends on use. She reminded the Board that one of the directives of the charter is to preserve OSMP for future generations. Mary McQuiston reported on the increased activity at the Doudy Draw Trailhead and urged staff to stay on top of the situation. She said the night riding could interfere with animals' ability to get rest. Mike Patton explained that one condition for this HCA was that the city must allow traditional climbing access trails. The climbing trail to Mickey Mouse is an existing trail. Night time use has not been illegal and that has not changed. There will be a discussion about monitoring and adaptive management at the retreat. Steve Armstead added that staff has taken on a lot of monitoring. Some monitoring projects are complete, some are in progress. Mike said that staff AGENDA ITEM 1 PAGE 1 agrees with the importance of monitoring but acknowledged that the department is lagging behind on certain projects which will be discussed at the retreat. AGENDA ITEl1Z 3 -Director's Update Gross Reservoir Expansion Update - (Jahn Putnam recused himself from this conversation.) Bob Crifasi, water resources administrator, gave a briefing about the Denver Water Board's {DWB) plan to enlarge Gross Reservoir in an effort to solve water supply problems. All of the options considered include enlarging Cross. The city has not yet made an official response although conversations have been held. Information about how the city will be involved in the process will be brought back to the Board at a later date. Bill Briggs asked about the land affected by raising the water level. Bob responded that the land impacted is either federal or owned by Dem%er. Bob added that this will be a big environmental issue for the county. There will be visual impacts as well as changes in stream flaw. When the Em~ironmental Impact Statement is released there will be abetter understanding of the impacts. Allyn Feinberg asked how much leverage the city would have to protect stream flows in South Boulder Creek. Bob explained that federal laws allow the city leverage for provisions in the amendment due to its proximity. This is sometlung the city may take advantage of. Kay Tauscher asked if the impacts will change the ecology. Bob told her that above the reservoir trout would be impacted and diminished flow below the reservoir would also have ecological impacts. There may be opportunities to da mitigation at other times of the year to address some Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSI\•Il') issues. Resource Information Report Whit Johnson, resource information supervisor, introduced his staff :Jake Czeke, 1VIo Valenta, Jen Sherry and Eton O'1\%Ialia. Whit explained that the mission of the workgroup is broader than Geographic Information Systems {GIS). He gave a power point presentation showing, for example, the process for acquiring data. on trail condition monitoring, how that information is stored and eventually presented, spatially, on GIS maps. The report helps trail maintenance staff determine what work is needed. Another project is the scanning of the studies in the OSMP library so they will be accessible to the public, electronically. Information can be searched by topic. Wlut demonstrated how some information is expressed visually on the OSMP website. John Putnam recommended getting this information out -possibly by an article in the Daily Camera.. Kay Tauscher commented that tlus tool is critical for monitoring. Allyn agreed and said that people generally don't always know what goes into the creation of these maps. AGENDA ITEM 4 -Matters fi•om the Board Kay Tauscher announced that she and her daughter have volunteered to be bat monitors this summer. Bill Briggs asked if there were any developments on the Chautauqua bus proposal. Mike said that it would be discussed in conjunction with the budget conversation at the retreat. John Putnam requested that on the next agenda staff would talk about the property access referenced in the email from Alan Streator. Mike noted that there is private property involved which limits OSMP. He said staff will contact the Transportation Department to see what the status of the situation is. 2008 Greenways Capital Improvement Program Update Allyn Feinberg introduced Mark Gershman who is the staff support for Greenways. She said there are two issues of concern. The first is that the $50,000 lottery money which has traditionally gone to small scale projects is proposed to get cut back to $30,000 with the balance put into salaries. Allyn said that she continues to stress the importance of spending this money on restoration AGENDA ITEM 1 PAGE 2 projects. There are projects that can be clone and there needs to be a way to manage the program so that they can be done. The other issue is that although it is probably legal to put money into maintenance it has been the directive from OSI~I~IP that the money should be spent on obvious {"plaque-able")projects. Another consideration is staffing the Greenways program with a flood control Utilities Department staff person. When not doing maintenance, this person would be working on flood conveyance projects. Allyn said she is not sure what benefit the arrangement will provide the program noting that there would be a different allocation of funds. She said she would want to know more about this before supporting the change. She questioned if having a Utilities person in this position was appropriate because Utilities does not focus on environmental values. Allyn said she will take the Board's comments to the Greenways CIP meeting on June 25. John Putnam echoed some of Allyn's concerns and thought it would be helpful to see examples of some of the small scale projects that are not getting finished. Bill Briggs asked far clarification about how the money is earmarked. Allyn was unsure if that the money would be used for salaries to cover time staff is now spending on projects ar to increase staffing. Bill asked if $50,000 was enough for the program and Allyn explained that projects piggy back on other projects and the program therefore gets good value for the dollar. Joe Mantione pointed out that the $50,000 has not been consistently spent and since it appears to not be needed it is being reallocated. He thought it would be helpful if all the involved departments were more involved in project identification and planning. Allyn said she has encouraged spending the funds but the projects have not been appropriately identified and managed. Kay asked what kind of influence OSMP staff has. Mark mentioned some staff members that work with Greenways and stressed that OSMP's influence is how well staff characterizes the value projects have for the community. Projects must be consistent with the Cn-eenways plan. Bill asked ~vh}~ the list of OSMP related projects would not sufficiently use the unused budgeted money. Kay said it was unclear ~vhy it doesn't function efficiently. Mark suggested that coordination of habitat restoration and maintenance could be beneficial. Kay asked if the aclclitianal FTE {full-time equivalent) is approved what portion of the budget for other projects would be lost. Allyn said she was under the impression that this is sometlung they are considering. She said that she will get some clarification an the FTE funding and budget and report back to the Boarci. She reminded the Board that the Greenways Committee is advisory anct includes several different interests from various city departments. Allyn said that John Putnam has agreed to take over the position of OSMP representative to the Greenways Advisory Committee when Allyn's term expires. AGENDA ITEM 5 -Consideration of a Lease and Intergovernmental Agreement for Recreational Use of a portion of the South Boulder Diversion Canal with Denver Water Board. {John Putnam recused himself from this issue also.} John D'Amico said that both he and Steve Armstead would be making the presentation. John explained that the TSA process helped facilitate this project. He said that this agreement (between the DWB and OSMP) is far a bridge aver the Dt~%B canal. There is a narrow strip of land owned by DWB that bisects the Lindsay property and this agreement identifies how to manage (enforce and regulate use an) this strip of land. The need for a new bridge stems from the fact that the original bridge is near the siphon which is a public hazard. Also, DWB employees drive the road daily and prefer that the road not be used as a trail. The location for the bridge is a compromise. Responding to a question from Bill Briggs, Jahn explained that the DWB has the legal right to access its property via the road through OSMP. John said the major concern with the agreement was providing OSMP with the ability to enforce trespassing regulations on the DWB property. Both entities have a lot to gain by this arrangement and no money is being transferred as a AGENDA ITEM 1 PAGE 3 condition to the agreement. Steve said that the new bridge will be strictly a pedestrian/equestrian bridge and fencing and signs will guide visitors to the new bridge. Using the old bridge will be trespassing. Public Participation Mike Barrow, President ofBMA, asked if the DWB road will still be open to the north. Steve affirmed that it would. With regard to the Spring Brook loop running parallel to the off-limits trail there are topographic inhibitors keeping people off and if staff constructs a buck and pole fence it would further discourage off=trail access to the road. Return to Board & Staff MOTION Kay Tauscher moved that the Open Space Board of Trustees recommend that the Boulder City Council approve a Lease and Intergovernmental Agreement for Recreational Use of a portion of the South Boulder Diversion Canal property with the Denver Water Board. Bill Briggs seconded the motion. VOTE The motion was approved unanimously by Tauscher, Feinberg and Briggs. (Putnam was recused.) AGENDA ITEM 6 -Report on High Plains Trail l~~Tonitoring Mark Gershman gave a brief presentation and explained the purpose of the monitoring project and details about the actual monitoring activities. {Details included in the memo.} He explained that during the planning process far the Marshall Mesa.!`Southern Cnassland TSA it was determined that levels of compliance on the High Plains Trail would direct whether or not the Marshall Lake Trail would be constructed. The goal was to determine the level of compliance with the on-trail requirement. According to the results of the monitoring, hikers and bikers had a high level of compliance. On the basis of 97% compliance, staff determined to build the Marshall Lake Trail. Mark credited Deonne Vanderwoude for her work on the project and the report. Information about dog compliance is irrelevant to the decision to build the Marshall Lake Trail because dogs will not be allowed in that area. A•7ark reported an several factors that contributed to the high level of compliance. Far example, that the primary users are bikers and runners and the lack of off=trail attractions. Signs with information outlining the results or impacts of certain negative activities may be helpful. Deonne will do a literature review to help guide sign development. Mike Patton added that the trail is bumpy and so functions as a management tool -the trail was placed where people are likely to ga. Jahn said that the research is interesting and staff did a good job. He said the importance of using signs to connect activities with impacts is the critical message. John questioned why people stepping off trail due to muddy conditions was not considered out of compliance. Deonne said that staff determined that this is expected visitor behavior and although discouraged it is not considered out of compliance. She added that in response to the monitoring that muddy section of the trail has now been fixed. Bill commended staff on the great report but thought staff should find ways to be more efficient when there are ten trails to monitor. He asked Deonne about the research indicating visitors with higher experience levels are less likely to be persuaded by new information. Deonne said research shows that more experienced visitors are more set in their ways whereas people with less experience may be more open to learning new information. Bill said that it works both ways - those with more experience may also have mare respect. AGENDA ITEM 1 PAGE 4 Public Participation Mike Barrow, President ofBMA, said that culture change is what it's about. Before the Visitor Master Plan everyone, except bikers, went anywhere they wanted on QSMP. This report is a vindication of the success of the TSA process. He said that on his first bike patrol he was in contact with visitors who had questions about the seasonal ground-nesting bird closure. He urged for improved signs explaining that on-trail use is allowed during the closure. He also suggested the installation of benches in areas that have exceptional views. Mr. Barrow said he would like to see information on issues, such as braiding, for the High Plains Trail. Return to Baard & Staff Kay Tauscher observed that some of the sample sizes are too law to clra~v conclusions. She said that this is a good start and over time as staff collects more data this w°ill be helpful. ADJOURNMENT -The meeting adjourned at 8:54 p.m. These draft mfrtutes were prepared by Cecfl Fenlo. AGENDA ITEM 1 PAGE 5