October 2017 Council Retreat Minutes

McKenzie Watershed Council


October 12, 2017
HJ Andrews Experimental Forest
Blue River, Oregon


PRESENT: Council Partners: Carol Ach (Resident Partner), Diane Albino (Mohawk Watershed Partnership), Brian Brazil (International Paper), Bob Bumstead (McKenzie Flyfishers), Arlene Dietz (Rice Family Farms), Dave Kretzing (Resident Partner), Mike McDowell (Resident Partner), Andy McWilliams (Resident Partner), Karl Morgenstern (EWEB), Steve Mealey (McKenzie River Guides), Libby Morrison (Wildish) Ralph Perkins (Upper Willamette Soil and Water Conservation District), Joe Pishioneri (Springfield City Council), Steve Raymen (Resident Partner), Maryanne Reiter (Weyerhaeuser), Mark Schulze (HJ Andrews Experimental Forest), Wade Stampe (Resident Partner), Mark Stephen (Bureau of Land Management- alternate for Bill O’Sullivan), Staff: Justin Demeter, Jennifer Weber, Jared Weybright. Presenter: Sherri Johnson (HJ Andrews Experimental Forest)

PROXIES: Andy McWilliams for Steve Mealey (left early).

ABSENT: Nate Day (McKenzie Schools), Daniel Dietz (McKenzie River Trust), Rod Fosback (NW Steelheaders Association), Chad Helms (US Army Corps of Engineers), Keir Miller (Lane County), Emily Semple (Eugene City Council), Trish Wilson (McKenzie River Ranger District), Sue Zeni (Resident Partner) and Jeff Ziller (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife).

  1. Introductions and Approval of Agenda
    Jared Weybright, Facilitator
    Action Requested: Approved agenda

Ms. Dietz l recommends consensus, all showing consensus level 3.

  1. Public Comments


  1. Approval of September Meeting Minutes

Mr. Pishioneri noted that he was not at the September meeting.

Ms. Dietz recommends consensus as amended, all showing consensus level 3.

  1. Partner Announcements

Ms. Dietz shared that hazelnut harvest as started.

Mr. McWilliams reported that the riparian planting EWEB and the MWC implemented at the Wayfarer is doing great, with nice stands of alder and cottonwood established. The project is going to provide good shade to the river in the next few years. Jared asked about compatibility with guest use at the Wayfarer. Andy stated that the project is compatible and is an overall benefit to the property. He also would like to continue to decrease the turf present.

Mr. Mealey reported that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has awarded the contract for Willamette River Basin hatchery trout production to Desert Springs Trout Farm in central Oregon. For the first time, hatchery trout released into the McKenzie River won’t be produced at Leaburg Hatchery. The future of the USACE-owned Leaburg Hatchery is unknown at this time. The contract with Desert Springs did not include distribution of fish, and there are two options for the release of hatchery fish into the McKenzie River; continuing a partnership with ODFW for distribution throughout the river and release at boat launch sites only. The Guides feel strongly that distribution is a significant part of the mitigation responsibilities, and will host a panel discussion on the topic Friday, October 27th at Leaburg Fire and Rescue. The panel will include Tom McDonald from Desert Springs, Steve Mealey from the Guides, Jeff Ziller from ODFW and USACE fish biologist(s). One of the intents of the discussion is to gauge public interest in the distribution of hatchery fish.

Mr. Morgenstern stated that the Watershed Source Protection Program has been going through a strategic planning process as part of an overall EWEB reorganizing effort. Recent meetings have provided better clarity for the future of the program. Mr. Morgenstern stated that he was sorry to have missed Ms. Ach when she came up to see the logging at the Leaburg Forest. EWEB will be monitoring water quality in association with the logging. The monitoring effort is a partnership with OSU with over 30 sampling sites established to monitor a range of parameters pre- and post-harvest.

Staff updates: Justin shared that WATERS classes have started with the McKenzie, Marcola and Springfield school districts as well as Coburg Charter School (4J). September Salmon Watch field trips went well, with 11 total trips. The McKenzie fires lead to the cancellation of one field trip as well as the Salmon Celebration. November trips are around the corner and we are actively seeking volunteers. ODFW has donated insulated bottles, hats and patches—all are available on the MWC’s website and proceeds will directly benefit Salmon Watch.

Jennifer reported that fall maintenance treatments were finalized at a number of riparian enhancement sites. Several OWEB small grant applications are currently under development.

  1. EWEB Drinking Water Source Protection Program – Karl Morgenstern

Mr. Morgenstern presented on the Drinking Water Source Protection Program. Copies of the presentation can be found on the MWC website.

  1. HJ Andrews Research – Mark Schulze and Sherrie Johnson

Mr. Schulze and Ms. Johnson presented on current research being conducted at HJ Andrews. Copies of the presentation can be found on the MWC website.

  1. Review of Previous Year
  2. 2015-17 Work Plan Accomplishments

Mr. Weybright initiated the review of the 2015-2017 work plan. Explained that OWEB has required the work plan for the council capacity grant. This review is for information only.

Staff reviewed accomplishment summarized on the McKenzie Watershed Council Biennial Work Plan Updates and Accomplishments July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2017 document.

Ms. Dietz commented that she was impressed with Amanda’s efforts with fundraising, and researching methods of payments.

Mr. Morgenstern mentioned that his hope is that landowners participating in the PWP will donate conservation funds received through the program to the MWC and/or other partnering organizations. All but one of the landowners who participated in the Pilot Project donated funding to either the MWC, McKenzie River Trust or SWCD.

Mr. Pishioneri is interested to see the cost associated with each of the Work Plan items. This information would help partners better understand funding priorities and project scope. It’s key to put the importance into a quantifiable number. Not necessarily for this year’s work plan, but perhaps for the future. Mr. Weybright stated that this was a reasonable request that that staff would work on.

  1. McKenzie Watershed Council Self Evaluation

The summary of the discussion of the 2016 self-evaluation is included in the booklet. The council self-evaluation is required as part of OWEB’s council capacity funding.

Item 5: Mike McDowell asked if we could have a talk about what watershed councils can and can’t do and how they operate. Arlene said that a review of the charter. Ms. Morrison suggested a one-page whitepaper about watershed councils based on what we can and can’t do. Ralph mentioned that our organization is different from other watershed councils. Mr. Weybright said that he felt like there could some further explication for this.

Item 4: Arlene mentioned that committees are formed on an ad hoc basis. She interprets that to also be things other than committees (like task forces). Mike said that he hopes that we don’t start having meetings just to have meetings.

The Council elected to do the 2017 council self-evaluation.

Ralph mentioned that he feels that one of the things that the council does well, is to work with and coordinate with the diversity of interests in our watershed. Bob mentioned that we’re really good about educating each other about our interests/backgrounds and that’s a strong point for the organization. Jared mentioned that he knows that Larry met with individual council partners and that he would like to do the same thing to provide one-on-one conversations.

Mike indicated that it would be beneficial to have a small representation of the group to work on getting speakers. Arlene mentioned that we do part of that at the retreat each year. Mike meant to have council partners recruit folks for talks. Karl said that EWEB looks at their upcoming calendar –Jared suggested that could be part of the coordinators report at each council meeting. Jennifer mentioned that at the end of the retreat last year, she put all of the meeting topics on the website, and will do it again in the future.

Arlene asked if we have to do the evaluation. Jared explained that we just need to have a process. Arlene suggested that we first eliminate items that aren’t relevant and add things that are. Wade said we should keep it but simplify and tailor that.

Jared asked the Council to look at the partner roster and to provide any contact updates so that we have the most up to date info. Diane asked if we wanted to know now. Arlene suggested that you correct the roster in your own book, Diane shared her phone number. Jared mentioned the change in email addresses for staff.

Joe P. mentioned that Sid Leiken might not be the most appropriate Lane County commissioner to be assigned since it’s not in his district. That it might be more appropriate to have the East Lane county commissioner assigned. Jared said he would follow up on this.

  1. 2017-19 Work Plan (Adopted in February 2017)

Staff reviewed and summarized actions presented in the McKenzie Watershed Council Biennial Work Plan July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2019.

Mr. Morgenstern suggested maintenance projects be grouped together under one line item.

Mr. Schulze asked if bathymetric lidar would be available for South Fork. Mr. Morgenstern said that LIDAR acquired in 2016 was not bathymetric. EWEB did inquire about bathymetric LIDAR but the cost was prohibitive. Mr. Weybright stated that both the MWC and USFS are currently pursuing funding for bathymetric LIDAR flights on the lower South Fork prior to project implementation in 2018.

Ms. Morrison suggested that items be bulleted in the work plan in order to be consistent with the 2015-17 document.

  1. Budget, October 2017 – September 2018

Mr. Weybright provided a review of the proposed fiscal-year 2018 budget, including a summary of potential grants either currently pending or planned. The summary included an explanation of income and expenses.

Mr. Pishioneri gave a short summary of what TFT shade credit program is trying to do. Funding is sourced through the Metro Wastewater Management Commission, and that it’s been a bit of a challenge because Metro Wastewater Management Commission is trying to do these programs in anticipation of regulatory rules and permitting.

Mr. McDowell had a question on Deer Creek income vs expenses. Mr. Weybright clarified that the line item for expenses lists only contracted costs, not salary, pm, or wages. Those expenses are listed under salaries and office operations.

Mr. Pishioneri mentioned that there was approximately 20% difference in 412 funding vs. expenses. Jared explained that some of that funding is for contracted services, but that some goes into wages and salary and 10% goes to maintenance or admin. Further, that another example of that is the WATERS program where the funding doesn’t go to just equipment and staff time, but also to schools.

Mike McDowell, suggested that he’d like to see the funding grouped together by project. Wade explained that the ExCom was trying to keep the budget simplified for review.

Jared discussed the Reserve fund and its amount. With large projects like South Fork, we’ll need to carry a reserve to be able to cover the 10% hold back for OWEB. Our goal is to get that number back up to $35,000. Ultimately, the hope is to get up to a reserve of approximately $50,000. Joe P. said that the reserve fund line item is confusing and it should be shown differently, suggests keeping the reserve fund number separate.

Ralph wanted to mention that the EXCOM wanted to make sure that staff who moved into new positions have enough funding for training and professional development.

Joe also mentioned that he felt like the office operations dollar amount was high, since rent would only make up about half of that. Jared mentioned that some of that funding is for equipment, supplies, etc. but that he could get back to Joe with specifics.

Mike McDowell asked to clarify how the payment would be made for Stewardship, Jared confirmed that payments would hopefully go directly to MWA. Mark asked if this funding was for the full project. Jared explained that it was broken out into three phases now due to funding changes.

Bob called for consensus with the –consensus all threes

  1. Meeting schedule and topics

Mr. Stampe suggested fire talk, Jared shared that he has already talked with Cheryl Friesen about having her give a talk on fire ecology.

My. Weybright mentioned that fire salvage logs may be available for the south fork.

Mr. Morgenstern expressed that he’d like to hear a final report on the fires.

Mr. Morgenstern suggested Green Mountain (Johan or Shane)

Ms. Reiter suggested Alyssa Schwartz on Riparian Gap study

Mr. Pishioneri suggested Ag crops – Marijuana plant grows in the context of riparian areas contact OSP and they might have some experts, OLCC maybe?

Mr. McDowell suggested Oregon Dept. of Ag on invasive species –gaining ground/losing ground

Ms. Albino suggested someone on Marine Reserves talk (and will contact them)

Mr. Pishioneri really enjoyed the student presentations, and felt it was really worthwhile. That he’d like to see an annual presentation.

Mr. Bumstead mentioned that the suit is still ongoing so the Salmon Forum is still on hold.

Ms. Dietz mentioned that the AWRA meeting may give them ideas for talks.

Mr. Morgenstern mentioned that in November or December it might be worthwhile to have a talk by Carpe diem west on the efforts on collaboration on the Willamette basin.

Ms. Morrison suggested that she would be willing to give a talk on Agricultural reclamation

Mr. Morgenstern mentioned that having a talk on SLICES or LIDAR. Dave Hulse

Mr. Kretzing offered to give a talk on burn area talk and what constitutes an emergency

Ms. Ach suggested a talk by the Aprovecho on permaculture

My Weybright discussed some ideas generated by staff.

-Have other WCs come and give a talk about their work


-Spotted Frog

-Lane County master parks plan

-December holiday event/fundraiser—Arlene suggested having other WCs give small short talks. To avoid fundraising fatigue, make any fundraising efforts low-key. Joe P, thinks it’s a good idea, but that it might be too late—with the short time period, let’s just do a potluck.

Talk priority

Fire talks (at least two meetings)

Aggregate restoration and reclamation

Spring talk on WQ fire data

Consensus on meeting schedule – all threes