ALLAGASH WILDERNESS WATERWAY ADVISORY COUNCIL
MEETING, JUNE 20, 2008,
9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Burton Cross Building Room 206 111 Sewell Street Augusta, Maine
Council Members Present: Don Nicoll, Dick Walthers, Janet McMahon, Don Hudson Jamie Fosburgh
Bureau of Parks and Lands Staff: Will Harris, Melissa Macaluso, Tom Morrison
Chairman, Don Nicoll called meeting to order and invited introductions.
Nicoll outlined the major tasks for the day, which included a discussion of the strategic plan, the Bureau Director’s report and the reporting of the Working Groups Status Reports.
The May 21, 2008 meeting minutes are still being reviewed and will be available at the next meeting.
Director’s Report, Will Harris.
Will stated the road damage caused by the flooding is largely repaired to allow passage.
Henderson bridge was washed out and had been repaired with fill.
Limited trucking on the bridge,
Construction can start again in July.
Possible FEMA assistance.
AWW Waterway attendance has been lower
Policy matters are handled by Will and Tom. The manager's presence would be a benefit to discussion of on the ground issues; the manager will attend meetings in the future.
Janet asked about the legislation to develop a superintendant position.
Will position is currently being re-structured and expected to be filled this summer after the budget.
Don N working groups would work with Manager
Working Groups Status Reports:
Janet working with Tom and Anthony on a Map that includes list of GIS layers.
Anthony should have a draft available soon.
Don H would like to see committee reports from before and after the river drivers to bring committee up to speed.
Campsite report the way to manage sites important to look at. Good for committee to see reports not just sub committee
Don N asked the Bureau to put together for the Council a matrix on the Memorandum of Agreement (NPS and DOC), River Driver Agreement that shows from 1999 what has and has not happened and what is pending, so the Council can have that information in front of it.
In the discussion that followed, Jamie suggested tracking work on topics, so that the status reports would give us a baseline and how well actions and the agreements match up. He said the detail of the matrix may not be full.
Will suggested noting milestone changes listed in the agreements and how they have been affected, including the legislation
Tom observed that it would be a complicated exercise, because by the time you get to the agreements, components will change previous commitments. That will mean in some cases that some undertakings are no longer commitments because they were changed by what is still standing and where we are on other commitments and activities
Dick said it was important to capture the knowledge of groups such as fisheries. That would mean taking useful reports as opposed to trying to recreate what has already been looked at. That would help with strategic plan
Don N suggested that there be, for example, a table with MOA specific agreements listed in the left column, with specific recommendations and columns for status, notes and reasoning or some detail that would explain what has been done. The Council would expect a draft the first time around and then make adjustments.
Janet said a timeline and list of changes that have happened would be beneficial, starting with bridge crossing, access points, and concept plan with each step tracked, and what has happened over the years.
Don N said the key fact categories are: bridges, access points classified by type of access, campsites, and treatment of the areas that one might call headquarters (e.g., Churchill and Michaud Farm) The final group would be camps and cabins in existence when waterway was taken over.
Janet said dam information and infrastructure need to be included.
The Council engaged in a wide ranging discussion of mission statement and goals, based on the Council's statutory assignment to advise and develop strategic plan for AWW.
Don Hudson Key assumptions
Mission Statement necessary to clearly articulate and reconcile differences of legislation.
Assure it is not contradictory link it to existing legislation
Address constituents of the Waterway
Link current mission to founding legislation and other milestones
Committee should not be a word smith
Dick W- Important to link form original wording gives credibility and is consistent and not deviating from the original plan. Every word brings up semantic nightmares. Preserve natural beauty .
Janet- Newer draft wanted to look at the past. The working group report felt uncomfortable not having the same wording in every policy document.
Jamie- early material high emphasis on history and needs to be in the mission statement other issue was always designed to be in a working forest with managing recreational balance.
Don N - Janet’s statement is closest to the original. He said he wanted to do something with the history of the area and would like the concept of ecological integrity included from Nash’s book about wilderness.
Don H- Take Janet’s mission statement and move on to goals Janet brought us back to the language and like what Jamie had said with historical perceptive with goals and I fear we will be 2 or 3 more meetings with the mission statement. Go with the statement and expand the goals. Memorable recreation experience historical concerns can be captured in a goal.
Janet- I would feel uncomfortable reinventing the language establishing the Waterway. The language on history and culture is a award sentence. I do respect history and when I put this down, maybe this should be the mission statement, and how we get the river drivers statement while honoring the past. Next goal of plan is to honor the history culture along the waterway we have to bring that up to the top.
Dick- I agree with what Janet just said and the real purpose we are not creating anything new we are advising on the management and how we feel with the strategic plan
Don N suggested that the Council stick with draft language and keep a footnote with question raised as to how to deal with recognizing and honoring the historical and cultural with out undermining the maximum wilderness character. Don C has spoke about this a bit and we can come back to later with recommendations, but as you say this doesn’t take us away from the basic language of original statute.
Dick- and just to go further, the strategic plan some of the history and cultural of area can be talked about mission statement doesn’t have to be detailed and go forward with strategic plan incorporate other aspects.
The Advisory Council came to a consensus to use Jamie’s statement as a working draft.
Public Comments Mission Statement
Larry Tautton – Keep with original language of mission statement; you can add history and culture in after ecological integrity.
Rollin Thurlow - Statements on history good don’t limit to the last 100 years include all cultures. Need to discuss in detail history and culture of waterway
Rick Denico - Access Points discussed with regard to letter on details of 2 access points from 1970. In the Mission Statement draft he would like to add in “within existing statues on AWW”
Jym St. Pierre - Stick to original statement. Development of AWW was to maximize wilderness experience and develop maximum wilderness character of the waterway not ecological integrity and history/culture.
Strategic plan that includes goals which will reaffirm AWW and goals take as frame work as the bureau as it does the management plan. Wanted clarification on the draft and access for public to comment and timeline
Don N - Council will hold public meetings regarding the draft when it is complete.
John Rush - Original statement vs something new is not giving clear guidance Mission should clearly direct the Department. Short Mission Statement,
then have guiding principles. Would like to see more information on the Website, and better communication with the tech committees.
Kevin Slater - Mission statement- proposes question given the word change since we are talking about keeping the key phrases, is it worth messing with or leave it? The reaction you are going to get. So if you do choose to change the statement give thought to an effective public process.
Support human history and cultural added. Through while in a midst of a working forest. Using history centers in a town to show cultural heritage is a good economic approach. He asked that someone who is active in guiding be involved in the recreation committee.
The Council discussed logistics of the August meeting and field study
Meeting adjourned at 11:57 am
Melissa Macaluso, Secretary