Management Committee Conference Call Summary
July 28, 1997
2:30 - 4:15 p.m.
Participants: Peter Evans, John Shields, Larry Shanks, Kathleen Clarke, Robert Wigington, Tom Pitts, Clayton Palmer, Dave Mazour, Ed Vidmar, Dan Fritz, Larry Fluharty, Barry Saunders, Leo Lentsch, Henry Maddux, Angela Kantola, Tom Czapla, and Connie Young.
1. Review/revise agenda - The agenda was modified as it appears below.
2. Mosquito abatement - Kathleen Clarke said Utah believes we should provide funding while we evaluate the linkage between Program activities and mosquitoes in the Vernal area ($10K in FY 98). Larry Shanks emphasized that the high water this year was not the result of Program activities, but high snowpack. Larry said he applied for funding for Ouray (NFH & NWR) under the emergency flood supplemental bill. He got that funding and will use $3,500 to purchase BTI for application at Ouray this year. Ed Vidmar said Reclamation firmly believes that the operation of Flaming Gorge does not contribute to the mosquito problem in the Vernal area, rather the high water is the result of Yampa River flows. Reclamation will continue to oppose the Program providing funds for mosquito abatement. Ed recalled that when the Program provided funds for mosquito abatement in FY-95 it did so with the clear caveat that it was one-time only funding. Further, Reclamation strongly opposes the recommendation in the draft issue paper that says "ask Steve Romney to provide written recommendations on ways to operate Flaming Gorge that would meet flow needs of endangered fish while also minimizing mosquito production. The Committee discussed the local task force recommendation. Tom Pitts recommended broadening the participation. Kathleen endorsed the task forces and broadening the participation to experts outside the Service. Kathleen noted the political reality that the Program is perceived to be causing the mosquito problem. Ed Vidmar said Reclamation does not support the Program paying for this effort. Barry Saunders recommended working to resolve the technical questions of what pesticides to use and how and where to use them first, then work to determine how to pay for it. Peter said he's in favor of organizing these groups and providing them funding. Robert Wigington suggested it may be premature to fund a study to determine the effects of Program activities on mosquito abundance; that this should first be addressed in a white paper from the Fish and Wildlife Service. The Committee asked Program staff to provide a scope of work for this item for the August 14 meeting (if anyone knows of experts that should participate in the task force, please provide that information to Connie Young within the next week). The task force should address long-term solutions to the problem. Tom Pitts said he would be willing to agree to setting aside $10K in FY-98 for mosquito-related activities (to be determined) that addresses a long-term solution, pending the results of the task force efforts. Larry Shanks said he could support that, also. Peter agreed. Robert agreed, as long as we have an explicit deadline. That will require the task force to provide their results by spring runoff. Kathleen said Utah could support that approach, as long as the $10K would be available to Utah. John Shields and Connie Young suggested we're prejudging the outcome of the task force by setting aside funding. Tom Pitts asked Program staff to recommend options for where the $10K would come from in the FY 98 budget (what would be cut), should the Program decide to provide those funds. >Program staff will draft a proposal and send it out via electronic mail to everyone on the call. The Management Committee did not endorse any of the other recommendations in the draft issue paper at this time.
3. Management Objectives (MO's) status update - Tom Czapla said the Biology Committee discussed the draft MO's and model last Friday. The Committee recognized that they need to see another iteration of at least the MO document, and probably also the model document. Although significant progress has been made, Utah cannot incorporate the substantive peer review comments they received by the end of August, so the Committee proposed the following schedule: August 8 - all comments due to Utah; September 7 - Utah will incorporate peer review and Biology Committee comments and distribute revised documents; September 29-30 - Biology Committee will meet to discuss the revised documents. The Biology Committee did not determine when the Management Committee would get the MO's. Leo said it's their intent to still be able to meet the December deadline and that they view the 9/29-30 as the final Biology Committee review. The Recovery Team will be sent the September 7 draft to review. The Management Committee agreed to holding to the December deadline.
4. Annual Propagation Operation Plan (AOP) - Tom Pitts said the concern he raised at the last meeting is that the propagation program is not meeting our current needs, that the AOP makes assumptions such as no stocking of Colorado squawfish, and in doing so, is setting Program priorities by default. These decisions are being made by the Biology Committee in the AOP and sent to the Management Committee as an informational item. Robert agreed that we shouldn't be making long-term propagation plans in the AOP, and said he thinks we're on track to address that with the update of the Genetics Management and Facilities plans. In updating the Genetics Management Plan, we need to make an explicit connection to the role propagation will play in achieving the MO's. Tom Pitts said they'll recommend not approving the details of the FY 98 capital project budget for the floodplain restoration and propagation programs until we better understand the details and our goals for each.
5. Draft Work Plan update - Angela Kantola provided an update on technical committee actions regarding the draft FY 98 work plan. Most Management Committee members have already received the scopes of work package. It will be mailed to the rest later this week. Comments from the Water Acquisition Committee have been posted to the listserver; comments from the Biology and the Information and Education committees should be forthcoming this week. Program Management scopes of work will be sent to the Management Committee this week, also. The Program Director's office will provide a response to the technical committees' comments next week.
6. Discuss any needed additions/revisions to agenda for August 14 meeting (at Fish and Wildlife Service office in Denver, 3rd Floor Conference Room, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Agenda items are:
- review and approve draft FY-98 work plan
- review a revised capital project cost estimate for long-term funding authorization
- select a Management Committee chair
- report from the 15-Mile Reach Strategy Workgroup
- develop a proposed agenda for the September 11 Implementation Committee meeting
- update on Program Director selection
- FY 97 channel monitoring scope of work
7. Tom Pitts' and CREDA's positions on the Biology Committee's answers to the four questions regarding floodplain restoration and "balance in the Recovery Program" - Tom Pitts said he believed we agreed these priorities would be addressed in the FY-98 work plan. The question of balance may still be an outstanding issue (such as the questions Barry Saunders raised about whether we concentrate our efforts in critical habitat or if we spend money in noncritical habitat, etc.) Robert suggested this also relates to Management Objectives (once we have those, we ought to be review the RIPRAP to determine if the actions will result in sustainable populations). Tom Pitts agreed that's a valid way to address it. Larry Shanks emphasized that we shouldn't assume critical habitat is the only place we'll have fish and that fish in noncritical habitat will count towards recovery.
8. Implementation Committee meeting date: Several members requested changing the date, perhaps to the last full week in September. >Program staff will send a calendar out on the listserver asking Implementation and Management committee members to identify their available dates in September.
Mail Stop 65115
To: Management Committee
From: Acting Director, Colorado River Recovery Implementation Program
Subject: July 28, 1997, Management Committee Conference Call Summary
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