Dragon Run Special Area Management Plan

Advisory Group – Traditional Uses/Habitat Work Group

June 18, 2002



- Topics -

1.      Welcome


2.      Goals Review


3.      Brainstorm to Develop Action Plans


4.      Adjourn






David Milby (VA Dept. of Forestry); Rebecca Wilson (VA Division of Natural Heritage); Andy Lacatell (The Nature Conservancy); David Fuss (Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission)




David Fuss welcomed everyone and distributed the final version of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that the Dragon Run Steering Committee approved and passed along to the Planning District Commission. He also solicited feedback about how the planning process had worked in developing the goals and objectives in the MOA and asked for suggestions on how to improve the process. The primary response was to increase participation of other landowners not yet represented in the process.


Goals Review


David asked the group to review the goals and objectives in the MOA and to offer ideas about how to achieve them.


Brainstorm to Develop Action Plans


Discussion returned to the idea of increasing landowner involvement. Andy Lacatell suggested that it might be more effective to go to the landowners, rather than try to have them come to us. He suggested the idea of an information meeting in each county, where landowners, Supervisors, and Planning Commissioners would be invited to hear an informational presentation. It was also suggested that Advisory Group members, particularly landowners, be present at these meetings.


Furthermore, the idea of getting landowners on the Advisory Group to become more involved in spreading the word about the SAMP project was expanded. Landowners would be more effective at talking with their neighbors than other Advisory Group members. They might be able to speak at church socials or similar events. Andy also suggested the idea of bringing a neighbor to the Advisory Group meeting as a way of getting other landowners involved.


Rebecca Wilson suggested the idea of developing a slide show to present at meetings of specific organizations, such as garden clubs or Ruritan. This could be modeled after presentations by Teta Kain of Friends of Dragon Run. David Milby noted that many groups are struggling to find speakers for their meeting programs and there may be many opportunities for presenting an informational slide show. It was suggested to check with Steering Committee members about organizations with which they are involved.


Expanding upon the idea of a presentation, the idea would be to convey the message that the planning process is a pre-emptive strike ahead of development pressure. It would be helpful to present an example of an area(s) that has experienced intense growth that has displaced the natural resources (e.g. Richmond, Fredericksburg, Grafton Ponds area of Hampton Roads). The concern is that landowners in the Middle Peninsula may feel that development in metro areas is not applicable here. Within the Middle Peninsula, however, King William and Gloucester Counties have experienced high rates of growth in recent years and may be good examples of development pressure. Research of tax maps through the years may yield interesting fragmentation of parcels and displacement of natural resources.


David Milby suggested that a 3-fold brochure could be made that explains the SAMP/Steering Committee that could be used to distribute to landowners by members of the Advisory Group. He also showed an example of a Dept. of Forestry brochure that describes the economic value of forestry and that Tidewater RC&D plans to produce a brochure about the intangible benefits of forestry (e.g. soil, water, wildlife). He noted that forest inventory information would be available soon that could provide more specific numbers for the Middle Peninsula. Andy Lacatell mentioned that the Farm Bureau has information about the costs to public services of different types of development (e.g. farming, forestry, commercial, residential) and that this information would complement the information about the value of forestry.


Discussion shifted to the establishment of enforceable regulations and policies. Andy questioned whether there was talk at the Local Government work group about regulation enforceability above the idea of mere consistency across county boundaries. He noted that TNC has employed a consultant on the Eastern Shore to analyze local policies/regulations and that he looks specifically at enforceability (e.g. ways to measure success).


The idea of a kayak trip for the Traditional Uses work group was suggested. David agreed to pursue this idea with Friends of Dragon Run for a Saturday trip. Andy thought that coordinating a visit with Dr. Garman of VCU would be interesting, so that trip participants could see what kind of fish live in the system. It was also suggested that the “bring a friend/neighbor” idea could be used on this trip.


Finally, opportunities and needs for data collection were discussed. The July 16 meeting of natural resource agencies/organizations was mentioned.




The next work group meeting will be at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, July 16. The meeting was adjourned.