Dragon Run Special Area Management Plan

Advisory Group

March 5, 2002



- Topics -

1.      Welcome and Introductions


2.      Dragon Run SAMP Overview/Background


3.      Mission Statement


4.      “Watershed Thinking” Exercise


5.      “Where is your Parcel?” exercise


6.      Monthly meeting times for working groups


7.      Key issues to consider before next meeting


8.      Adjourn




Welcome and Introductions


The meeting began shortly after 7:00 PM in the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission Board Room. David Fuss of the MPPDC staff welcomed everyone and began introductions. Those in attendance were: Davis Rhodes, Mike Anderberg (Friends of Dragon Run); Beth Locklear (VA DCR); Julie Bixby (VA Coastal Program); Frank Evans (Evans Marine Contractors – Middlesex/Gloucester); Prue Davis, Dorothy Miller (Dragon Run Steering Committee – Essex); Paul Koll (King and Queen Co.); Robert Major, Jack Miller (Dragon Run Steering Committee – Middlesex); Anne Ducey-Ortiz (Gloucester Co.); David Milby (VA DOF – King and Queen, Middlesex); David Birdsall (Resource Management Service – King and Queen, Essex, Middlesex); Davis Wilson (Landowner – Middlesex); Garrie Rouse (Mattaponi Canoe and Kayak); and Andy Lacatell (The Nature Conservancy). David mentioned that the outgoing Chairman of the Dragon Run Steering Committee had recently passed away and circulated his obituary.


Dragon Run SAMP Overview


David Fuss provided a brief history of the Dragon Run Steering Committee, highlighting the Dragon Run Conservation District, the Dragon Run Access Plan, and the Dragon Run Watershed Management Plan. David also gave an overview of the Dragon Run Special Area Management Plan (SAMP) process and the potential roles of the Advisory Group. David also informed the group of the digital and textual resource library that he is maintaining for the Dragon Run SAMP Advisory Group. He circulated annotated lists of the resources currently available in the library. The digital library is available on the Internet at http://www.mppdc.com/projects/library.htm.


Mission Statement


David proposed the following mission statement to the group:


“The mission of the Dragon Run Special Area Management Plan is to coordinate and guide community-based efforts to preserve the cultural, historic, and natural character of the Dragon Run and to protect the traditional uses within its watershed by improving the tools available to manage its environmental, social, and economic resources.”


After thorough discussion about the roles of the Advisory Group and what words would capture those roles properly, the group agreed by consensus on the following mission statement:


“The mission of the Dragon Run Special Area Management Plan is to support and promote community-based efforts to preserve the cultural, historic, and natural character of the Dragon Run, while preserving property rights and the traditional uses within its watershed by improving the tools available to manage its environmental, social, and economic resources.”


This mission statement will guide the Advisory Group as it develops goals and objectives for the Special Area Management Plan.


“Watershed Thinking” Exercise


David led the Advisory Group through an exercise designed to demonstrate the connectedness of the disparate parts of a watershed. A hypothetical watershed was drawn and cut into six parts. The Advisory Group split into six teams of 2-3 people each that were charged with developing one part of the hypothetical watershed from the perspective of a particular economic sector. The six economic sectors were: forestry, agriculture, residential, industrial, conservation, and tourism/ecotourism. Each team used markers and pencils to develop their part of the watershed independently of the other teams. After 10-15 minutes, the teams submitted their sector’s development strategy and the six sectors were combined to reform the entire watershed. Then, each team explained their development strategy and other teams were given the opportunity to comment as to whether the adjacent development complemented or conflicted with their development strategy. The discussions that resulted were both enlightening and entertaining. The instances of role reversals – where experts in a particular sector took on the role of another sector for the purpose of the exercise – were particularly instructive.


The teams’ strategies may be summarized as follows:


1.      Forestry – wetland buffers, BMP’s, rotation cycles, management for hardwoods

2.      Agriculture – stream buffers, CREP program, water withdrawal for irrigation, fertilization, produce plots, and fencing out cattle from streams (use watering trough)

3.      Residential – golf course across streams, medium density housing, sewage outfall, retirement homes

4.      Industrial – after nearly deciding upon a nuclear power facility, the group settled upon an eco-industrial park that captures methane from the landfill to generate energy for an industrial manufacturing facility

5.      Conservation – tree/shrub restoration along stream banks for erosion control, waterfowl nesting boxes, interpretive trail for school children

6.      Tourism – canoe and kayak business, lease land to waterfowl hunters


“Where is your parcel?” Exercise


Building upon the idea of connectedness throughout the watershed, Advisory Group members were asked to identify parcels or jurisdictions that they represented within the Dragon Run Watershed. After this task was completed, the group was asked to study the map and discuss whether there were any landowners or stakeholders who were not represented on the Advisory Group. Some specific stakeholders were mentioned, including: BFI, county administrators, large farmers (e.g. Bill Taliaferro – Montague Farms), and landowners who lease to hunt clubs (e.g. Boyer family). In addition, attention was directed to particular economic sectors, such as industrial (e.g. lumber mills).


Monthly Meeting Times for Working Groups


Each working group (Local Government and Policy, Traditional Uses and Habitat Management, Public Education and Public Access) met to determine the best monthly meeting times. A summary of results follows:


Local Government and Policy                              3rd Tuesdays, 1:00 PM

Traditional Uses and Habitat Management       Tuesdays, 7:00 PM

Public Education and Public Access                   Wednesdays, 7:30 PM


The meetings will be scheduled for the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission Board Room.


Key Issues


David distributed lists of key issues for each working group to consider before their next monthly meeting. These issues are derived from the themes that arose during the SAMP planning forums in December and January. The issues are meant to stimulate and to guide, but not to limit, the discussions of the working groups.




The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 PM.