Minutes Archive

Adirondack Mountain Club Laurentian Chapter
Executive Committee Meeting March 20, 2008
Minutes - Developed by John Barron

Executive Committee Members Present: Tom Ortmeyer; Gene Kaczka; Armond Spencer; Betsy Tisdale; Geri Ames; John Barron, Rose Rivezzi, David Trithart

Others Present: John and Susan Omohundro and Betty Peckham

Opened meeting at 7:05 PM. The Minutes and Agenda were approved.

Announcements (Tom Ortmeyer, chair)

Hydro Re-licensing – See Conservation (below)

Rutland Rail Line

The Rutland rail line, sometimes used for Chapter cycling trips, is a northeastern destination for the cross county multi-use trail system that is being considered.  The state lands have been closed to ATV's for the foreseeable future.  Pat Whalen is becoming the Forester for the Potsdam office of DEC. 

The route from the Jefferson County line to Ogdensburg is secure, as is that from Norwood to the Franklin County line. Between Ogdensburg and Norwood, options are being sought for funding and management. The trail from DeKalb to Heuvelton exists; it has been offered to the Amish as a buggy route, but the Amish declined in light of safety and security concerns on similar trails in the Midwest.

Weller Mountain Club – has offered to let the Chapter organize and lead an outing on their property near Lake Ozonia. Cycling would be very appropriate, on dirt roads. It was decided to accept.

Betty Lou Bailey Memorial

It was proposed to donate funds to an appropriate cause in honor of recently-deceased Betty Lou Bailey. Well known and fondly remembered by Laurentian Chapter members, Betty Lou was a volunteer with the ADK Canoe Subcommittee, and represented the Club’s interests in negotiating and establishing recreational aspects of power company river licenses.

John and Susan Omohundro opened the discussion by indicating they had made a private donation in Betty Lou’s memory to support the ADK Conservation Committee generally and the Canoe Subcommittee specifically. However, ADK put the money into its general endowment, which was somewhat disappointing. They would prefer to support projects closer to Betty Lou's particular interests.

The Paul Jamieson Fund was indicated as another possible cause worth supporting.

The Conservation Committee was seen as (perhaps too) unfocussed. The Jamieson Fund was seen as (perhaps too) restricted: its mandate is the acquisition of land by conservation easements to enable canoeing. The latter fund now stands at $47,444 (per David Trithart).

Gene Kaczka noted that the Schenectady Chapter, to which Betty Lou belonged, is planning a memorial contribution, details not yet known.

Following additional discussion, it was moved by Gene Kaczka, seconded by Geri Ames, that the Laurentian Chapter make a memorial contribution of $600 to the ADK, to recognize Betty Lou Bailey’s numerous conservation efforts in protecting canoe recreation access.

An amendment to the motion was moved by Armond Spencer, seconded by Rose Rivezzi, stipulating that the funds be used to help provide access to canoe waters, with the specific recipient to be determined by consensus after further research (Tom Ortmeyer undertook to do the research and develop the consensus).

The motion and the amendment both passed unanimously.

It was additionally decided to take two no-cost steps. An interpretive marker will be placed on the Red Sandstone Trail, at a canoe put-in, in memory of Betty Lou (John Omohundro undertook to do this). It was recommended by Gene Kaczka that notice should be sent to Betty Lou’s sister in Indiana when it is accomplished. Also, Tom Ortmeyer offered to research what has been written about Betty Lou, as background material for an article about her for the North Wind.

Officer Reports

Education (Rose Rivezzi)

  • The Outdoors/Indoors series was very successful, with very good turnouts.
  • Two campers have been registered for Camp Colby; their eligibility has been confirmed.
  • One volunteer has enlisted for High School Trails.
  • Rose was interviewed by the Courier-Observer.
  • 4H sponsorship – Camp Overlook – may be considered as an add-on. $755 is budgeted for sponsorship.
  • There was discussion about the possibility of holding an Education event in Canton – possibly the fall pot luck. To be determined.
  • It might be an opportune time to change the venue of the Outdoors/Indoors series at the time of the next change of Vice Chair, Education.
  • John Omohundro proposed Marilyn Fayette as a possible speaker for next year’s Outdoors/Indoors. Jean Hardy may be another possibility.

Secretary (John Barron) - nil

Publicity (John Barron)

  • The Adirondack Daily Enterprise of Saranac Lake reports that they are printing our outing photographs regularly in their People section.
  • John is receiving occasional press releases from Paul Ertelt, the new Publicity director of the ADK. Most of them concern conservation issues and are so broad as not to seem (on the surface) directly relevant to the newspapers covering the Laurentian Chapter. It is hoped to try to generate publicity releases adapted from Paul’s that trace ADK conservation efforts directly to tangible benefits in St. Lawrence County. Any ideas or suggestions will be appreciated
  • We had quite an inspiring news release about Nancy LaBaff’s completion of the Winter 46, despite a bout with thyroid cancer.

Treasurer (Betsy Tisdale)

  • Betsy is very happy with the North Country Savings Bank in Potsdam as a financial institution.
  • Account balances are as follows: Money Market Passbook $1,164.77; CD $3,205.99; Checking $1,296.01. Betsy is very pleased with the Chapter’s financial status. It appears membership revenue may be up.
  • $300 has been shifted to the postage account at the Canton Post Office. The balance of that account is now $563.25.
  • Interest in 2007-2008 was $181.28.
  • There was an invoice for what at first was believed to be Red Sandstone Trail brochures. In fact they were for Stone Valley, and the cost was picked up by Brookfield Power.
  • The Chapter has purchased four Wood Duck boxes, two of which are of University of Minnesota design, from the Amish. This will not be a Chapter expense – possibly RRAC may pay the cost.
  • The next check from the ADK is due within a few weeks.

Outings (Armond Spencer)

Armond expresses thanks, to the leaders for the trips and to the North Wind editors for their patience.

Membership (Geri Ames)

  • 5 new members in November, 6 new members in December.
  • There are now 278 households, 411 voting members, 510 total members.
  • There are signs membership is increasing.

Director (David Trithart)

  • David attended a Board meeting on Saturday March 15 that was focused on Finance (as opposed to Budget).
  • The Club plans to run a planned deficit this year, following several years of surplus and, before that, several years of unplanned deficit.
  • The belief now is that cutting expenses by cutting positions was unsound. Now the emphasis will be on increasing revenue. It is hoped that revenue will catch up with expenditure in three years.
  • The Club is being affected by a general increase in scrutiny of non-profit organizations by both auditors and non-profit rating services. An important result is that funds transfers to Chapters are gaining visibility. Until now, they have been reported as unspecified expenses by the Club, but that will have to be made more specific.
  • Chapters are advised to be cautious about donations made to other organizations. Donations to external organizations that conduct lobbying create onerous reporting obligations upon the ADK, and should not be made.
  • A more complete report is in the Spring issue of the North Wind.

Archivist (Betty Peckham)

Betty requested two items for the archives: minutes of the September 6 Chapter meeting, and the citation accompanying Dick Mooers’ Distinguished Volunteer Award. Note since the meeting – both now resolved.

Conservation (Gene Kaczka)

  • Gene is now forwarding all ADK Action Alerts – and some from the Nature Conservancy as well – through to the Chapter membership for action.
  • Gene attended a meeting of the Oswegatchie hearings on March 12. The meeting reviewed the Preapplication Document (PAD) – environmental considerations of re-licensing the Oswegatchie.
  • There are six “developments” (dams and associated structures) on the river: four within the Blue Line and two outside.
  • The process differs from that used on the Raquette River, which was staged (traditional). The Oswegatchie uses Integrated Re-licensing Program (IRP), which involves parallel activity.
  • ADK’s primary concerns are: canoe access; recreation sites around the dams; and cultural sites, specifically Clovis sites of interest to SUNY Potsdam.
  • March 25-26 there will be an important meeting at Canton Best Western.
  • July 7 there will be site visits.
  • Brookfield Asset Management is being very cooperative.

North Wind (John and Susan Omohundro) - Nil

Chair (Tom Ortmeyer)

The Rotary Club has asked if the Chapter could provide some volunteers in canoes to help gather up Rubber Duckies during the Potsdam Summer Festival on July 12.

The spring potluck will feature a presentation about the Bion Project.

A procedure is under development to allow outings to be added to the schedule between issues of the North Wind. This will be on the agenda of the next meeting.

Tom Ortmeyer met with Mark Simon and Rob Badger to develop ideas concerning trail development and maintenance in Postwood Park. A trail coordinator concept similar to Stone Valley and the Red Sandstone is at the low end of present planning. At the high end it is possible a Friends of Postwood Park organization could be created. A draft agreement with the County exists, but it is premature to release it. RRAC can help with funding. It was noted that Postwood has good skiing, and that part of the trail system will necessarily be open to ATVs.

Next Meeting: May 29