Dec 7 MAC Meeting Minutes
San Juan Islands National Monument Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes
Dec. 7, 2022
Meeting via Zoom
9:00 a.m. MAC Chair Jamie Stephens provided a welcome and gave a brief introduction to Zoom and best practices. The MAC members in attendance were Chair Jamie Stephens (Local Government), Vice Chair Tracey Cottingham (Cultural/Heritage), Sam Barr (Tribal), Erin Corra (Education/Interpretation), Del Guenther (Wildlife/Ecological), J. Havner (Private Landowner), Ruth Milner (Wildlife/Ecological), Amy Nesler (Recreation/Tourism), Tom Reeve (Cultural/Heritage), Cyndi Smith (Recreation/Tourism), Genavie Thomas (Public-at-Large) and Richard Wigre (Public-at-Large).
9:03 a.m. BLM District Manager Kurt Pindel gave a short update that there is some progress with realty and access issues at Watmough Bay.
9:05 a.m. The MAC members introduced themselves and mentioned their interest areas. Then BLM members introduced themselves. Then Jamie reviewed the agenda, and the MAC. Jeff reviewed the terms of current MAC members as well the Call for Nominations that is closed if the three applications received are approved, they will replace the three that expire in May of 2023. This will keep the MAC at 100% membership. He also mentioned the Federal Register Notice for the Feb. and May meetings will likely publish in the middle of January.
9:11 a.m. The MAC members reviewed and approved the minutes from the Oct. 6, 2022 minutes with an edit from Tom to include attendance to the meeting.
9:13 a.m. Kurt gave a rundown of the ROD/RMP process and timeline. The target of a signed ROD and approved plan in September (and December) was not met and the new target is hopefully before the Feb. 2, 2023 meeting. We’ve jumped ahead of the Southeast Oregon RMP so we are being fast-tracked which is encouraging. Kurt also talked about how the ROD/RMP will be released and how the MAC and public will be alerted. The Notice of Availability in the Federal Register announcing the release of the ROD/RMP will provide a summary of what changes (if any) were made between the proposed and final.
9:26 a.m. BLM Archaeologist Rich Bailey talked about yesterday’s Tribal meeting where the BLM and many Tribal representatives discussed ways to organize and operate a Tribal Forum. He mentioned the meetings are confidential but Sam Barr, who is a member of the forum and the MAC, said while he can’t be a true representative for all tribal governments he can pass relevant information between the two groups when applicable.
9:35 a.m. Brie gave an update on getting settled and some of the work being done on the Monument like moving the office to be co-located with the National Park Service in Friday Harbor which will allow more outreach to the public and for both of the organizations to be more efficient and provide support to each other. She also mentioned planning a 10-Year Anniversary celebration of the Monument in March. She had announcements that Keepers of the Patos Light (KOPL) is needing board members, and the BLM monitor group is needing more volunteers. Finally, Brie invited everyone to let her know if they want to be on a notification email list for special events and regular meet ups with Manager.
10:05 a.m. Tualip representative, Patti Gobin expressed excitement for the release of the ROD/RMP and looking forward to being a part of this process on behalf of her tribe.
10:07 a.m. 16-minute break
10:20 a.m. Tom Reeve gave a presentation giving an overview of Monument Sites which included a list of sites, the BLM’s Catalog of Sites and a quick overview of A and B rock sites.
11:00 a.m. Kurt briefly explained the internal process of identifying funding as well as projects that fit into the RMP and then the BLM would bring in external partners including the MAC and any other relevant groups to identify priorities. Once a list is made, we will need to identify projects that have already gone through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process or those that don’t need to go through the full NEPA process so implementation can be accomplished more quickly. Tom Reeve expanded on Kurt’s comments. He said there is day to day work on the Monument and communication to the public that the MAC can help Brie with that doesn’t need to have NEPA or a formal process. Brie agreed that communication between her and the MAC outside of meetings will be crucial to building these key relationships and hoping they can work together even more. She went on to say it would be great if volunteers can be trained to staff the office and answer phones. Erin Corra mentioned the Holiday Open House at Lime Kiln is back and everyone is invited to come out Sunday Dec. 18.
11:23 a.m. There was a discussion about topics for the February meeting and Tom said hopefully reviewing the Record of Decision (ROD) and Resource Management Plan (RMP). Genavie Thomas said she would like to share some of the work she’s been doing on the Monument and will do so in a future meeting. Tom Reeve said he’d love for the MAC to get more usage data and monitoring reports from BLM. Tracey wondered if the MAC thought we need to have a website or place to put the various files that have been presented to the MAC over time. Amy Nesler offered to present the Sustainable Tourism Management Plan at the next meeting if it is out at that time.
The next meetings are scheduled for Feb. 2 and May 4.
11:30 a.m. Public comments were made by Denise Wilk from KOPL who talked about the fundraising raffle at the Rosario Resort on Orcas where KOPL has a Christmas tree and information booth. She also thanked Tracey and Brie for making her feel connected to this process and grateful things are moving forward. Nancy DeVaux introduced herself and mentioned looking forward to learning what the ROD/RMP says and that she’s optimistic. She also mentioned writing an article for the Salish Current once everything is public. She was also happy to hear about the move of the Monument office to Friday Harbor where it will be closer to her and many partner groups.
11:45 a.m. There were no more public comments so a 15-minute break was taken to allow anyone else to give comments if they wanted.
12:00 p.m. There were no more public comments.
12:05 p.m. Adjourn.