CCP_19Jan2012 Summary - Chatham Conservation Partnership

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Chatham Conservation Partnership Summary
January 19, 2012; 9:00am-12:00pm
Chatham Community Library Meeting Room
Attendees:
David Blevins, photographer/author/ecologist
Phil Bradley, NC Geological Survey
Elaine Chiosso, Haw River Assembly
Kacy Cook, NCWRC
Catherine Deininger, Robeson Creek Watershed Council
Francis Ferrell, USACE
Leigh Ann Hammerbacher, TLC
Stephen Harrison, USACE
Chris Hopper, Chatham County Environmental Quality
Brena Jones, NCWRC
Tandy Jones, Chatham Landowner
Sarah McRae, USFWS
Jim and Judy Pick, Chatham landowners; CTNC board
Judy Ratcliffe, NCNHP
Anna Readling, Town of Cary
Tabitha Roberson, TLC
Amanda Sand, Chatham Soil and Water
John Ann Shearer, USFWS
Gretchen Smith, Chatham landowner
Allison Weakley, NCNHP
What is next for CCP?
Sarah McRae presented a look back at the past 5 years of the CCP. The mission and goals of the
CCP were highlighted, as were several of the successes. Examples of some of the successes
include the fact that we have 35 signatories to our MOU/Charter, over 140 people on our
listserve, we’ve had over 30 meetings and more than a dozen field trips, we’ve had a hugely
successful outreach campaign that has included products like our brochure, display and
endangered species pocket guide, as well as events like the Let’s Talk Trash and Land
Conservation Symposium. One of the biggest successes is our Comprehensive Conservation
Plan – the first one for any North Carolina county. We raised over $90,000 for the effort, and
over 100 citizens have engaged in the process of reviewing and rolling out the plan. Another
big accomplishment is the GIS data warehouse that is held on the Chatham County website.
There are also several data layers available through the Conservation Plan. In summary, we’ve
had over 5 years of partnering and progress on conservation of Chatham County’s natural
resources. Thank you!
SPOT/SWOT Analysis
Amanda Sand lead the group through an exercise where we defined the CCP’s strengths,
problems, opportunities and threats.
Strengths
 Diverse network of key organizations/people
 Enthusiasm
 Knowledge
 Survived 5 years – survival skills
 Commitment
 Goal incorporation in daily work – ongoing execution of goals SYNERGY!!!
 Resources worth protecting!!!
 Good track record – tangible results
 Mutual respect
 Grant writing abilities
 Strong relationships within community/interest groups
 Planning ahead of the curve – no retrofits
 Formal structure, legitimate
 Established educational outreach program
 Practical, science-based
 Proactive, not reactionary
 Broad perspective
Problems
 Resources worth protecting
 Meeting times conflict with work schedules
 Missing active key players – municipalities, NRCS, elected officials, corporate,
developers, landowners, farmers
 Lack of dedicated staff
 Members have exhausted time schedules
 Lack of awareness of CCP mission
 Lack of prominence in local community – need more general CCP outreach
 Meeting location – focus is on development pressured areas in Chatham
 Not enough diversity – need more focus on environmental justice
 No membership benefits
Opportunities
 Membership benefits
 Supporting initiatives through letters of support, etc. – membership benefit
 Chatham EDC branding program – small window opportunity
 High-profile region in legislature – small window – political education outreach
 School environmental education curriculum
 The Plan – disseminate information, use GIS data
 Use of large constituency in CCP
 CCP can be neutral entity –diffuse perception of conflict
Threats
 Lack of support from elected officials
 Funds drying up in grant world
 Economic downturn – distracting from big picture and long term
o How do we do conservation on a dime?
 Lack of follow up – information not easily accessible
Introduction of Committee Structure and Break-out Session
Leigh Ann Hammerbacher introduced the idea of how our meetings may look over the next
year – we’d have one or two speakers on topics of interest or have topic forums, and then
spend the rest of the time working in committee subgroups to get things accomplished. The
three committees presented were: Plan Implementation, Capacity Building (funding, building
membership, participation, etc.), and Education and Outreach. Groups were tasked with
discussing ideas from last meeting as well as priorities for the next year and come away with at
least 2 priorities and at least 2 action items for each priority.
Plan Implementation
1) Address Fracking Issue by summarizing key resources in the Triassic Basin.
Action Items: 1) compose brief letter to DENR (Trina Ozer); 2) compose 2-3 page letter
(with map) to be used to inform legislators; 3) attempt to meet with legislators in
person
Working Group: Elaine Chiosso, Jim Pick, Allison Weakley, Brena Jones, Sarah McRae
2) Spread the message of the CCP’s plan
Action items: 1) present about the plan to Pittsboro, Siler City, Cary; 2) Work with
Economic Development Council on the branding initiative – inform them of the plan and
how it can be used in their effort; 3) possibly create a video to promote the plan (could
work in conjunction with the EDC’s branding effort – cobble together $$ - create a joint
message)
Capacity Building
1) Create a publication
Action Items: 1) decide format; 2) who will contribute
2) How can CCP accept money?
Action Items: 1) decide whether we want to become a 501c3; 2) can we use other
organizations (like TLC) to funnel money as has been done in the past
3) Tap into markets we don’t currently connect with
Action Items: 1) work with Green Scene at Fearrington; 2) set up a LinkedIn account; 3)
Facebook page? 4) create CCP liaisons for each Commission district
4) Have CCP meetings evolve into issues forums – discuss hot topics
Outreach
1) Photography workshop and exhibition for spring 2012 – David Blevins will lead this
effort – field trips would be made available for photography participants as well as
others who may not have interest in photography
2) Guided field trips – presentations will be made on different topics, and these can be
taken to a variety of audiences
Future Topics for CCP meetings
Francis Ferrell led the group in a brainstorming session about what topics we would like to see
at future CCP meetings:
 Geology/ Fracking
 Branding EDC (shoot for April meeting?)
 Marketing
 Conversation with Development Community
 Water Quality/Quantity – perhaps look into USGS gauge issue
 Dam Removal
 Hunting/Fishing – can talk about encroachment issues; tap into their concerns
 Recreation- DPR Deep River update
Outreach Update
In May we will have a Carbonton Dam removal site field trip – Wes Newell, George Howard and
Tim Savidge will present.
Looking to have another event to discuss the geological history of Chatham County (Phil Bradley
and Rich Hayes will lead).
July – Johnny Randall will lead a group to see Harperella in bloom.
Aspire to have a kayak trip for the photography workshop – there will likely be a fee for this
outing.
Working with Jeff Bell (restoration ecology professor) to create a video on Harperella.
NEXT MEETING: THURSDAY, APRIL 19TH.
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