Minutes from the April 2013 ASCA Meeting

Fletcher Library Meeting Room, 7:00 p.m.

Jane Gully called the meeting to order at 7 p.m. There were 30 in attendance. She directed Dan Scheiman to add more bird checklists to the Allsopp Park kiosk.

Minutes from the March meeting were read and accepted, while the treasurer’s report was read and acknowledged, too.

 

Jane said the Halberg Ecology Camp had been featured in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, so she passed around the newspaper article. In Karen Holliday’s absence, Jane announced upcoming ASCA field trips, as follows:

 

  • April 27: Wapanocca National Wildlife Refuge, Turrell, Ark.
  • May 11: International Migratory Bird Day, Holland Bottoms Wildlife Management Area, Jacksonville, Ark.

 

Concerning programs, Dan said Craig and Dale Provost would speak about one of their birding trips at the June meeting. In July, Mark Brown of Cooperative Extension Service will speak about water efficiency.

Consecutively, Dan introduced the evening’s speaker: environmental consultant

Bruce Shackleford, who delivered an intriguing presentation about Woolsey Wet Prairie’s history, restoration, and wildlife.

 

NEW BUSINESS

Jane reported that Neil Curry of Arkansas Game and Fish Commission had asked if ASCA would like to create a display-case design that would be on rotation at the Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center. She suggested that members consider this a good publicity opportunity and come up with display-case ideas.

Dan said the International Migratory Bird Day celebration is a collaboration between Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and Audubon Arkansas. Dan proposed that ASCA have a booth at the event (Saturday, May 11), promising them a sign and a table; members expressed interest in doing so.

 

OLD BUSINESS

Bill Shepherd suggested that ASCA settle on a monetary amount to donate to the National Audubon Society, covering some of the costs associated with Christmas Bird Counts. After some discussion, Bill made a motion to donate $300 (about $5 per participant in the Little Rock CBC) to the National Audubon Society to pay for CBC database maintenance. This motion passed.

 

Barry Haas then gave an update on the ExxonMobil Pegasus Pipeline spill in Mayflower, a pipeline built in 1947 that traverses 13 miles of the Lake Maumelle watershed. He said there are shutoff valves outside the watershed to the east near the Arkansas River, one shutoff valve inside the watershed near Highway 10 and another shutoff valve outside the watershed to the west between Paron and Jessieville. There is 15.5 miles between each pair of shutoff valves, a span that contains 1,253,175 gallons of oil. The pipeline rupture in Mayflower was about eight miles from the watershed. Specifically, the spilled oil is diluted bitumen, which has the consistency of peanut butter and emits hazardous vapors.

On Friday, April 5, Citizens Protecting Maumelle Watershed (CPMW) requested that ExxonMobil physically relocate the pipeline outside the watershed as expeditiously as possible. If this pipeline is ever deemed safe to use again, it will operate at 80 percent capacity.

Barry noted that there’s a possibility that shutoff valves cannot be remotely closed. Also, before the Mayflower spill, no Central Arkansas Water board members knew that diluted bitumen—a particularly heavy crude oil that sinks in water—was flowing through the pipeline. The pipeline damaged at least 22 homes. Until the pipeline is located outside the watershed, Barry said, there is going to be a certain level of risk to the Little Rock water supply.”

Lastly, Barry said he had found suet cages from past ASCA sales. He said members could purchase a suet cage for a suggested donation of $5The meeting was adjourned at 9:07 p.m.

Minutes from the March 2013 ASCA Meeting

Fletcher Library Meeting Room, 7:00 p.m.

The meeting was called to order by President Jane Gulley. She spoke briefly about two interesting articles on the decline of Monarch butterflies and how owls rotate their heads.

Barry Haas presented the February minutes which were approved.  The Treasurer’s report by Jim Dixon was accepted, and he also reported that he’d opened a checking account at First Security Bank.  Money was moved from the ASCA Edward Jones account to this new free checking account.

Jane presented the upcoming field trips to Lake Maumelle and Winrock Grass Farm, Wapanocca National Refuge, and events for International Migratory Bird Day.

Upcoming programs are Edie Calaway and Kelly Chitwood for tonight, and Bruce Shackleford  on April 11.  There is no meeting in May in lieu of IMBD on May 11.

Dan Scheiman introduced tonight’s speaker, Edie Calaway.  Kelly Chitwood of El Dorado was unable to attend the meeting as co-presenter, so Edie launched in to an entertaining program as she recounted the trip that she and Kelly had taken to SE Arizona in early June, 2012.She and Kelly had taken numerous pictures during their visit to the Sonoran Desert to  points including the Carrie Nation Trail to Mt. Wrightson in the  Santa Rita Mountains, Madera Canyon, and up the steep Catalina Hwy to Mt. Lemmon in the Santa Catalina Mountains.

Edie shared many humorous and personal stories for the group of about 34 attendees.

Under Old Business, DeLynn Hearn gave us an overview of the Arkansas Rare Bird Alert and her activities as administrator for the RBA since 2002.  DeLynn reported that there is now fewer than one call per week. She also compiles periodic reports to Bird Central and would continue to do that if we drop the phone line/answering machine.

Also during the discussion it was noted that the RBA requires 6% of the budget, and now with internet and cell phone availability, it is no longer needed to get out information on rare birds in the state and region.

DeLynn made a motion to delete the the RBA phone line, and after a second by Dottie Boyles, the motion was passed.  A very large round of applause was given to DeLynn for doing such an admirable and exemplary job for the past 11 years.  Jim Dixon will call AT&T to stop phone service on this line.  The Rare Bird Alert has been sponsored by ASCA for the past decades.

Also under Old Business, Ed Laster reported on adding “Hotspots” to our ASCA website and that Lyndal York, Webmaster, will add a hotspot with information for places to bird at Lake Maumelle. It had also been determined that contributing toward a plaque at Two Rivers Park will not be pursued.

With Other Business, Barry updated us on the Lake Maumelle Watershed and reported that Tyler Denton with the Pulaski County Quorum Court had offered an amendment that had passed and now puts the Land Use plan and Zoning Code ordinances back on a first reading.  Although his intent is to make the final Zoning Code a better one, there are problems with his amendment. Many are working together to make the Zoning Code  more satisfactory for all affected by the ordinances.

Also under Other Business was the discussion on payment of CBC participant fees.  This item had been deferred until Bill Shepherd could lead the exchange. During discussion, it was noted that since CBC participant fees are no longer mandatory, Bill suggested that ASCA consider making a voluntary donation, and if so, the amount. No action was taken, and this item will be addressed at a later meeting.

Susan Hardin presented a letter of thanks form the Institute for Bird Populations acknowledging our contribution of $600.00 to MoSI.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:40 PM.

Respectfully submitted,              Susan M. Hardin