September 21, 2006
Attendees: BCAS: Dave Hall, Nancy Hall, Ken Witkowski; WCAS: Pat Sziber, Joe Pylka; AAS: Ed Bristow,Al Martins; MCAS: Wendy Malmid, Stuart Malmid; NJAS: Joanna Wolaver; NAS: Karen Orenstein, Jane-Kerin Moffat
The Meeting was called to order at 12:15 by Dave Hall.
Outstanding issue is our annual report with the state of NJ. Current balance is $7398.01. The 9-month CD was split into 2: one for 6 months and one for 9 months.
Karen Orenstein made a presentation on NAS national priorities: Endangered Species Act, ANWR, Population and Habitat. Training Sessions will be available for NAS members, to be held in WDC.
Population and Wildlife session: Dec 2-5, 2006
Appropriations session: Jan 27-30
Endangered Species session: Feb 24-27
Please send letters to NJ Representatives who joined the “Caucus Group” cosponsoring a bill to strengthen the NWR budgetto protect more staff positions (see NWR Association website for details)
Joanna Wolaver presented the NJAS report. She recommended that chapters join the Outdoor Recreation Alliance and the Coalition for Conservation. Goals of organization are funding for acquisition of land (GS Preservation Trust), creation of stable source of funding stewardship of the land, and funding for capital projects. There will be a question on the ballot (#2) for a source of funding for capital projects for outdoor and recreational areas. Funding would come from a dedicated fund from business taxes that is a surplus (previously used for underground tanks).
A discussion took place on collaborative funding from NAS. These funds are available to any chapter for specific funds. NAS wants us to accelerate the process on applying for these funds. Money is available to the chapters as well as to the council. The next deadline is Oct. 31. We will use the listserve to brainstorm ideas for using these funds.
Ed Bristow discussed an issued with the National Wildlife Refuges reducing the number of personnel at the sites. Approximately 90% of the budget was being spent on personnel costs. The current initiative is to reduce that to 75% by attrition, by “complexing” (combining the administration of 2 refuges), and by assigning “preservation status” (reducing or eliminating staffing at refuges).
NAS staff person who is working on “nominations” for appropriations towards NWR funding priorities is Brian Moore
Public Question #2 on the November ballot concerns rededication of exiting funds from groundwater cleanup to parkland upgrades. No new taxes are involved, and there would be no impact on Watershed funds
For 2007, the statewide issue of concern will become the Garden State Preservation Trust
Chapter delegates made reports on what the four chapters have been doing.
Next meeting will be January 14, 2007 at noon at Plainsboro Preserve.