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Summary From The Summit

Notes from the march 14 Joint Meeting (by Alen Baker)

The Joint Initiative of the
North Carolina Council of Trout Unlimited and their Chapters;
North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission; Foothill Nature Conservancy representing other mountain/foothill NC Nature Conservancies; and, North Carolina Wildlife Federation, their Chapters and their affiliates.

Common Goals and Objectives
GOAL: Establish annual in-depth habitat monitoring and consulting at ____ sites over the next five (5) years in the mountain region.
The larger group will determine a reachable stretch goal for the expected number of sites where we may have the opportunity to put habitat stewardship to practice and make a huge impact on protecting the future of our resources. This can include public land but much of the opportunity is expected to be private land where current landowners buy into habitat protection and willing seek guidance and take actions that make a difference.

Objective 1. Establish a working group among NCTU, NCWRC, FNC and NCWF to develop a flexible and mountain region oriented conservation habitat stewardship training program that may be sponsored by any of these organizations or Chapters and Affiliates of these organizations.
The working group consists of Fred Harris, Squeak Smith, Dick Everhart, Steve Schmeiser, Doug Besler, Sam Ogburn and Tim Wilhelm. The larger group and any others that have interest in leading this effort will reconvene soon as the working group completes this objective. The program is focused on the mountain region but is expected to be adaptable to the piedmont and coastal regions. Diane Silver currently teaches a Master Stream Stewards course that appears to be very close to our needs for the mountain region. NWF Habitat Stewards training appears to be adaptable in many regards as well. The working group’s mission is to leverage any current training opportunities and develop the desired content of a model conservation habitat stewardship training program focused on the mountain region that will support other programs such as the Wildlife Friendly Development Certification.

Objective 2. Conduct ___ habitat stewardship training program classes at

locations over the next five (5) years.
Once the habitat stewardship training program is established, the combined efforts of each of the organizations will contribute to the number of sessions and classes conducted to meet the both the demand of our constituents as well as the demand coming from future expected resource impacts. The locations will be identified as a means to bring the sessions and classes close to those we expect to register and complete the training. Two of the many locations needed are the Asheville/Henderson area and the Boone area where both NCTU and NCWF have Chapters.

Objective 3. Each trained Conservation Habitat Steward will volunteer ____ minimum hours annually toward habitat monitoring and consulting.
Once the habitat stewardship training is completed by an individual, they will agree as part of graduation to a minimum number of hours of service each year. This number will be recommended by the working group but is expected to be possibly higher than current expectations from current training which is 5 hours per month or 60 hours per year.

Objective 4. Identify and outreach to the groups impacting and influencing the future of wildlife habitat in the mountain region.
Each organization cooperatively must reach out to the many groups that impact and influence wildlife habitat. Groups identified at the first meeting include Landscape Architects Association, the homebuilder organizations, county governments, municipalities, realtors, Rotary clubs and additional NGO’s. The working group is expected to expand this list with additional and specific groups as much as possible.

Objective 5. Internally promote and educate our constituents in our individual organizations.
Each organization cooperatively must promote and education members and supporters.


Habitat Steward (base program)

Presentations on providing the four essential elements of a functioning ecosystem/habitat
Places to raise young
Soil Stewardship
The composition of healthy soil, how to get it and how to maintain it without chemicals
Toxicity Reduction
Backyard Composting
Water Conservation
Lawn/Chemical Reduction
BMP’s for reducing/managing storm run off
Reducing impervious surfaces
Water quality
Climate Change
Species Highlights:  Understanding the needs of and how to provide for:
Native Insects
Native Birds
Native Mammals
Gardening for the entire food web
Understanding the role of native plants vs exotics
Understanding the threats of non-native species, Flora and Fauna
Understanding the resources available to you, how to access them.
Local, County, Regional and State agencies. 
How to influence policy
District and advisory boards
Understanding the decision process
Getting plugged in to environmental/conservation community
Understanding the big picture of environmental stewardship:  Buying/growing local organic food, lifestyle changes, spreading the word, etc.

NCWF Certification Programs

WAIT (Industrial and Commercial)
FAITH (Religious organizations – Churches, Retreats)
Farms (to be developed)
Wildlife Friendly Development (Residential - Developers and HOAs)
NWF Backyards (Schools, Residential – Individual
Wildlife Friendly Development Supplemental
NC Wildlife Action Plan
Wildlife Friendly Development (WFD) Evaluation Criteria
Understanding the WFD Criteria
Improvement options
Common property
Habitat linkage
Adjoining residential backyards
Conservation easements
Assisting Home Owner Associations

Mountains (Coldwater) Supplemental
Erosion and sedimentation
Point pollution
Non-Point pollution
Effects of flooding
Effects of drought
Riparian Zones
Effects of farming and golf courses
Wood debris
Aquatic food chain for fish
Terrestrial food chain for fish

Piedmont (Freshwater) Supplemental
Wetlands protection
Effects of draining
Meandering Streams
Effects of storm run-off
Shallow impoundments
Groundwater contamination

Coastal (Saltwater) Supplemental
Salt marshes
Salt ponds
Seawalls and dredging
Tidal erosion
Dunes and the loss of sea grass

FRIDAY MARCH 6 – “Basics”
8:30-9 Coffee
9:00 Introductions
9:30 – 10:30 BYH presentation – Carol Buie-Jackson
10:30-10:40 Break
10:45-11:30 Nancy Devries – Bird Feeders and Food Options
11:30-12:30 Laura Domingo – Nature Deficiency Disorder
12:30-1:15 Lunch
1:15 -1:30 Quiz or Discussion
1:30 – 2:30 Water Quality– Erin Oliverio
2:30- 3:30   Soil –Jennifer Krupowicsz
3:30 Laura Domingo – Forest identification-Trees, mushrooms and fungi

SATURDAY MARCH 7 – “Basics & Applied Knowledge”
8:30-9:30 NC & Piedmont habitat types – topography Scott Fletcher
9:30-10:30 Wetlands and Herps – Scott Fletcher
10:30 – 10:45 Break
10:45 –12:45 Craig Wyant - Landscaping for Wildlife/seasonal wildlife feeding plants
12:45-1:30pm Lunch
1:30pm -2:45 Djiana Scott-Harmony – “Harmony Gardens” 
2:45-3:00 Break
3:00 pm Invasive Plants-Mary Stauble
4:00 pm Entymology-Pollinators, helpful insects and pests –Lenny Lampel

SUNDAY MARCH 8 – “Beyond the Basics”
8:30 Coffee, Quiz
9:00 Compost basics (Carol Buie-Jackson (or Master Composter?)
10:00-10:45 Beneficial (organic) Gardening-Julie Higgie
10:45-11:00 Break
11:00-12:00 Butterflies- Laura Domingo
12:00 Lunch
12:45-2:45 Site Survey – class exercise – Mary Bures – (outdoors)
3:00pm Debbie Foster – FAITH site-St. Lukes Catholic Church in Matthews
4:00pm Graduation &  pep talks

Topics for Cold Water Habitat Stewards: 
• Bodies of Water & the Wildlife found in each
• Wetlands Native Plants and Invasives
• Native plants that feed aquatic (and other) wildlife
• Invasive freshwater species and ways to control
• Waterfowl & Mammal Identification (including muskrats, beavers, otters, etc) - use of tracks and other markers to know what wildlife can be found in an area. 
• Breeding seasons for various herps, turtle nesting (and how to protect breeding areas)
• Erosion and ways to mitigate, stream & riparian buffers
• Injured waterfowl and other wildlife – what to know, what to do, who to contact
• Mosquito and other natural pest control
• micro-aquatic life (Dr. Ken Manuel of Duke Energy is a great speaker on this topic)

Sounds like a busy meeting!

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