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Trails Council Meeting April 5, 2012
Posted April 5th, 2012 by Leigh Draper
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference
Date:Thursday, April 5, 2012 - 6:30pm - 9:00pm
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference
April 5, 2012 - 6:30 PM
The Trails Council is a forum for discussing trail-related projects and concerns as well as sharing information and strategies. It makes decisions concerning adoption of new trails, blazing procedures, and matters that directly affect the building and maintenance of hiking trails. Voting members are the council chair, trails chairs, supervisors, trail crew chiefs, and crew leaders. Club trail representatives and visitors are welcome at these meetings, routinely held on the first Thursday of even numbered months, except when inclement or hazardous weather causes cancellation. In which case, the "rain check" meeting will be rescheduled for the Thursday of the following week.
Please submit items at least one week before the meeting. We will try to accommodate late submissions if there is time. Note: All items requiring a vote must be submitted in advance in writing so that we have an accurate record in the minutes.
- Jane Daniels – NY State Trails Council Meeting update
- Approval of minutes
- Additions to agenda
· Conservation and Advocacy
· Program Coordinators
· Volunteer Committee
· Web Team Report
Trail Approvals and Updates – 5 minute time limit per presentation. Trail update form must be submitted prior to the meeting.
- Wonder Lake Orchard Hill Trail – Andrew Sierup
- West Jersey AT relocation – Monica Day
- Dutchess/Putnam AT relocation east of Rte 9 & 403 – Walt Daniels
- Rename Long Path Trails on Schunemunk Mountain – Patty Lee Parmalee
- Stahahe Brook Relocation – John Mack
- So. Norvin Green SF - Hewitt-Butler & Post Brook Trails - Paul Makus
- Campgaw-Ramapo Greenway, or Campgaw-Ramapo Trail – John Moran
- Rifle Camp County Park – John Moran
- Pine Hill-West Branch Trail Sections, Catskills – Jeff Senterman
· Changing the reporting schedule to June 30 and December 30 – Estelle Anderson
1. Draft Bridge Policy – Walt Daniels
2. Trail U update – Jeff Senterman
Sandwiches and beverages will be served. Donations to cover costs are greatly appreciated
Directions: NY NJ Trail Conference: 156 Ramapo Valley Road (Route 202), Mahwah, NJ
It is located on Route 202, near its intersection with Route 17. Coming from the south, take Route 17 to the Route 202 exit in Mahwah, and turn right at the bottom of the ramp. The Trail Conference office is the first building on the left. Coming from the north, take the New York Thruway to Exit 15A and continue south on Route 17. Take the exit for Route 202 (the second exit on Route 17), turn right at the bottom of the ramp, and cross under on Route 17. The Trail Conference is the first building on the left.
MINUTES OF A MEETING
NEW YORK-NEW JERSEY TRAIL CONFERENCE
April 5, 2012
1. Trails Council Chair Pete Heckler called the meeting to order at 6:34 p.m. at the Trail Conference office in Mahwah, N.J. Present were: Pete Heckler - Chair, Ed Goodell - Executive Director, Leigh Draper - East Hudson Program Coordinator, Jonathan Martin - New Jersey Program Coordinator, Jeff Senterman - Catskills Program Coordinator, Larry Wheelock - West Hudson Program Coordinator, Estelle Anderson, Jill Arbuckle, Andrew Argeski, Jim Canfield, Daniel D. Chazin, Chris Connolly, Walt Daniels, Jack Driller, Gary Haugland, Bob Jonas, John Mack, Sona Mason, John Moran, Gail Neffinger, Glenn Oleksak, Patty Lee Parmalee, Joel Pinsker, Chris Reyling, Linda Rohleder, Andrew Seirup, Don Tripp and Bob Ward.
2. Minutes. The minutes of the Trails Council meeting of February 2, 2012 were approved as submitted.
3. Announcements and Presentations. The following announcements and presentations were made:
a. Invasive Species Task Force. Linda Rohleder noted that we are trying to train additional volunteers to identify and record 14 species of invasive species along a two-mile section of trail. She explained that the intent is to assign trail crews to eliminate invasives in areas where they can be controlled, and noted that, in April, these crews will be working in Norvin Green State Forest and in Flat Rock Brook Nature Center. She stated that we also hope to obtain permission to remove invasives in Worthington State Forest and in Harriman-Bear Mountain, Sterling Forest and Hudson Highlands State Park in New York. She stated that training is scheduled for weekends in June, with two training sessions each at the Pequest Fish Hatchery in western New Jersey, the Trail Conference office, and Teatown Lake Reservation east of the Hudson, and she noted that we are looking to find more volunteers for this program.
4. Reports. The following reports were presented:
a. Report of Conservation and Advocacy Committee. Ed Goodell reported that this committee has been renamed the Conservation Committee, and that, at present, all advocacy is being done by staff, although he is attempting to create an Advocacy Committee. He also reported that we recently made a offer to purchase a small parcel on the Shawangunk Ridge and are considering the purchase of a larger parcel along the ridge. Ed Goodell also announced that we have received two grants to support outreach efforts to help create a greenway from Minnewaska to High Point and that we will be hiring someone to spearhead this effort.
Ed Goodell also announced that we have signed a contract with the Land Conservancy of New Jersey which provides that they will represent us with land acquisition in New Jersey -- particularly to help fill in gaps along the Highlands Trail.
b. Report of Publications Committee. Daniel Chazin reported that the new 2012 editions of the Harriman-Bear Mountain Trails map set and the Hudson Palisades map sets have already been printed and are now available, and that the new edition of the East Hudson Trails map set should be sent to the printer in the next week or two. He noted that new editions of Kittatinny Trails and West Hudson Trails will be printed later in the year.
c. Report of Volunteer Committee. Estelle Anderson reported that award nominations need to be submitted by July 1st, and she noted that guidelines have been developed for these awards. She also noted that we are trying to get up-to-date rosters for our trail crews, as some names on the list appear to be outdated. Walt Daniels reported that he had spoken to the Volunteer Committee regarding the role of the web in recruiting volunteers.
d. Web Team Report. Walt Daniels stated that we are working to implement a web-based database to replace our current eBase program, and he pointed out that we need input from the Trails Council on what features are needed in our database and what reports are needed by volunteers. He requested that two volunteers from the Trails Council work with him to prepare a proposal for the June Trails Council meeting.
e. Report of New Jersey Program Coordinator. Jonathan Martin reported that he has met with all trails chairs in New Jersey and has been working on finding funding for various projects.
f. Report of Catskills Program Coordinator. Jeff Senterman reported that several workshops will be held in the Catskills and April and May. He also stated that we are trying to work with the New York City DEP to build trails on their lands, although he pointed out that an obstacle is their current requirement that we indemnify them for any liability that might be incurred in connection with these trails -- something that the Trail Conference has refused to do. Chris Connolly requested that any instance of a public agency requesting indemnification from the Trail Conference be brought to his attention.
g. Report of West Hudson Program Coordinator. Larry Wheelock reported that plans will soon be announced for a development at the Shawanga Lodge, where Route 17 crosses the Shawangunk Ridge in Wurtsboro, and that we will make every effort to oppose this project. He also announced that the new route of the Long Path through Minnewaska State Park Preserve down to Berme Road will be opened on National Trails Day , which is Saturday, June 2nd. He pointed out that this relocation will eliminate about 20 miles of roadwalking (although there will be some new roadwalking in connection with the relocation). Finally, Larry Wheelock announced that many workshops have been planned for the spring in the West Hudson area, including rock work training workshops at Bear Mountain. He also noted that a Trail Maintenance 101 workshop has been scheduled for the Hil-Mar Lodge on Sunday, May 20th, that another workshop will be held in Port Jervis on Saturday, May 12th. Finally, he pointed out that nearly all vacancies in the region have been filled.
h. Report of East Hudson Program Coordinator. Leigh Draper reported that the Banff Film Festival was very successful, and that we are also working with the Girl Scouts in planning hikes to celebrate their 100th anniversary. She noted that we are working more closely with the Westchester County Parks Department, with a trail crew working each Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Finally, she reported that Jonathan Martin recently led a Trail Maintenance 101 workshop in Staten Island.
i. Report of Executive Director. Ed Goodell noted that the Trail Conference raised about $8,000 to repair trails and bridges that were damaged in Hurricane Irene. He pointed out that we have attempted to spend this money repairing bridges in Harriman State Park, but that the Park has not allowed us to do so. He asked members of the Trail Council to identify potential projects where these funds could be spent, noting that we hope to expend these funds by August.
5. Trail Approvals. The following new trails and reroutes were presented:
a. Orchard Hill Trail in Wonder Lake State Park. Andrew Seirup reported that the one-mile-long, blue-blazed Orchard Hill Trail in Wonder Lake State Park was completed in February. He explained that although some other trails in this park are multi-use, the Orchard Hill Trail is hiking-only. He also pointed out that additional trails in Wonder Lake State Park have already been flagged and will be completed once approval is obtained from the State, and that an additional access point and parking area will be constructed.
After discussion, it was moved, seconded and unanimously carried that the Orchard Hill Trail in Wonder Lake State Park be adopted by the Trail Conference.
b. A.T. Relocation in West Jersey. In the absence of Monica Day, Jonathan Martin outlined the route of a 4,000-foot relocation of the A.T. near Upper Yards Creek Reservoir to move the trail from private property onto state land. It was pointed out that a small section of the trail will remain on private land and that the relocated trail route will be an improvement over the existing route. After discussion, it was moved, seconded and unanimously carried that the reroute of the A.T. near Upper Yards Creek Reservoir be approved by the Trails Council.
c. A.T. Relocation in Putnam County. Walt Daniels outlined the route of a proposed relocation of the A.T. north of Route 9 in Putnam County. He explained that this relocation will move the trail from a wet area onto dry land and route the trail onto land acquired by the National Park Service subsequent to the original construction of the trail in 1983-84. He pointed out that the required approval from the National Park Service has not yet been obtained.
After discussion, it was moved, seconded and unanimously carried that the relocation of the A.T. north of Route 9 in Putnam County be approved by the Trails Council, subject to the approval of the relocation by the National Park Service.
d. Long Path Reroute on Schunemunk Mountain. Patty Lee Parmalee explained that a section of the Long Path on Schunemunk Mountain will soon be relocated to a new route that will extend south along the Jessup Trail, rather than north along the western ridge of the mountain and then west down to the Hil-Mar Resort on Clove Road. She noted that, at the February 2nd Trails Council meeting, it had been agreed that, contingent on Park approval, the former route of the Long Path along the western ridge of the mountain and down to Clove Road would be blazed orange and renamed the Hil-Mar Trail. However, she noted that Jeff Hutchinson, the Park Manager, preferred that the trail be renamed the Western Ridge Trail, which is its historic name. Therefore, she proposed that the entire former route of the Long Path be renamed the Western Ridge Trail and that the existing short connector trail currently known as the Western Ridge Trail (which is marked with blue-dot-on-white blazes) be renamed the Ridge-to-Ridge Trail.
After discussion, it was moved, seconded and unanimously carried that, effective upon the relocation of the Long Path on Schunemunk Mountain, the former route of the Long Path along the western ridge of the mountain and down to Clove Road be blazed orange and renamed the Western Ridge Trail, and that the existing short connector trail currently known as the Western Ridge Trail be renamed the Ridge-to-Ridge Trail.
e. Relocation of Stahahe Brook Trail in Harriman State Park. John Mack explained that a stone-arch bridge along Arden Valley Road, which is part of the route of the Stahahe Brook Trail, was washed out by Hurricane Irene and that the Park has no plans to replace it. He explained his proposal to bypass the site of this bridge by rerouting the Stahahe Brook Trail to the east side of Stahahe Brook, following (for part of the way) the route of an old green-blazed trail. He also pointed out that the footbridges over two branches of Stahahe Brook on the Nurian Trail have been washed out and will not be replaced, as the brook can be crossed on rocks.
After discussion, it was moved, seconded and unanimously carried that the relocation of the Stahahe Brook Trail to the east side of the brook be approved by the Trails Council.
f. Relocations of Hewitt-Butler Trail in Norvin Green State Forest. In the absence of Paul Makus, Bob Jonas outlined the route of an 0.2-mile reroute of the Hewitt-Butler Trail, between the Wyanokie Crest Trail and the Posts Brook Trail, to eliminate an eroded, wet trail section. He also outlined the route of another relocation of the Hewitt-Butler Trail north of Wyanokie High Point to improve the trail route. In response to a question, Bob Jonas stated that efforts would be made to brush out the old trail.
After discussion, it was moved, seconded and unanimously carried that these two relocations of the Hewitt-Butler Trail in Norvin Green State Forest be approved by the Trails Council.
g. Campgaw-Ramapo Greenway. John Moran outlined the route of a new two-mile trail that would connect Campgaw Mountain County Reservation with Ramapo Valley County Reservation. He explained that the trail would incorporate a new footpath on the west side of Campgaw Mountain, a short roadwalk on Ramapo Valley Road, and a roadwalk up the gated Bear Swamp Road to the Yellow-Silver Trail. He stated that limited roadside parking is available near the trail crossing of Ramapo Valley Road, and that there is a shoulder along the section of Ramapo Valley Road that would be used by the trail. Pete Heckler suggested that "Hiker Crossing" signs be installed at the trail crossing of Ramapo Valley Road.
After discussion, it was moved, seconded and unanimously carried that the Campgaw-Ramapo Greenway be adopted by the Trail Conference.
h. Rifle Camp County Park. John Moran outlined plans to extend the Yellow Trail in Rifle Camp County Park to make it a three-mile trail, rather than a two-mile trail. He noted that this trail largely follows the perimeter of the park and that the trail extension would incorporate an outstanding viewpoint over the New York City skyline. He also outlined the route of a new 1.5-mile-long inner loop trail at Rifle Camp County Park.
After discussion, it was moved, seconded and unanimously carried that the extension of the Yellow Trail in Rifle Camp County Park and the new 1.5-mile-long inner loop trail be adopted by the Trail Conference.
i. Trail Adoptions in the Catskills. Jeff Senterman explained that the Trail Conference has been asked by the DEC to adopt the entire Pine Hill-West Branch and Oliverea-West Branch Trails, the southern section of the Mud Pond Trail in the Western Catskills, and a 14-mile trail network around Hodge Pond and Quick Lake, including the Quick Lake Lean-to, which is probably the furthest lean-to in the Catskills from a paved road. He stated that the total trail mileage to be adopted is about 30 miles, and he noted that there is great interest among volunteers in adopting trails in the Catskills. It was noted that the Trail Conference would be adopting only hiking trails, not the snowmobile trails, in these areas.
After discussion, it was moved, seconded and unanimously carried that the entire Pine Hill-West Branch and Oliverea-West Branch Trails, the southern section of the Mud Pond Trail in the Western Catskills, and a 14-mile trail network around Hodge Pond and Quick Lake, including the Quick Lake Lean-to, be adopted by the Trail Conference.
6. Proposed Changes in Reporting Periods. Estelle Anderson suggested that the reporting schedule be changed to provide for reports to be submitted by trail maintainers on June 30th and December 31st (rather than November 30th), and that reports by supervisors and trails chairs be submitted by January 31st (rather than two weeks after the submission of reports by the maintainers).
Walt Daniels commented that the proposed new schedule does not conform with reporting dates required by agency partners, such as ATC. He also pointed out that the Trail Conference recently changed their fiscal year so that it coincides with the calendar year, and that the proposed change would conform to this change in the fiscal year. Finally, he commented that the new online reporting system being implemented might require some additional changes in reporting dates.
There was further discussion, during which some members of the Trails Council supported the current reporting dates, while others stated that they preferred the revised dates. It was noted that some maintainers did not submit reports on time when the deadline was December 31st, since many people are busy during the holiday season. Walt Daniels suggested that maintainers report online each time that they maintain their trail, and Jeff Senterman pointed out that this system is currently in effect for lean-to maintainers in the Catskills.
Pete Heckler announced that a vote would be taken at the next Trails Council meeting on the proposed changes to the reporting periods.
7. Bridge Policy. Walt Daniels showed the Trails Council designs for various types of bridges, which are posted on the Trails Council page of the Trail Conference's website, www.nynjtc.org/files/NYNJTCBridgePolicy.pdf. He expressed the hope that the Bridge Policy would be approved at the next Trails Council meeting.
8. Trails University Curriculum Redesign. Jeff Senterman stated that he has been working with the Leadership Committee to discuss methods of training leaders. He noted that the committee felt that a program on training volunteers in trail management skills should be developed by the Trails Council, since the Trails Council is the group that created the Trail Management Guide. He also commented that the Leadership Committee believed that it should be focusing on imparting broader leadership skills rather than concentrating on teaching specific skills relating to trail management.
It was pointed out that all new supervisors and trails chairs would be required to take the training which will now be offered, although current volunteers would be "grandfathered." Pete Heckler commented that participation in training could be increased if the training were available online.
Patty Lee Parmalee and Gail Neffinger commented that they felt that the Leadership Committee should be the one to develop the curriculum for teaching trail management skills.
Jeff Senterman announced that Trail Leadership and Design training will be offered by Eddie Walsh this coming weekend and the following weekend, and that Eddie Walsh will use his experience with these courses to finalize the curriculum by the end of April. He stated that the Trail Assessment course had to be adjusted, and that the drainage and structures courses are being finalized by Eddie Walsh. He also stated that we are trying to develop an appropriate evaluation form for these courses.
Jeff Senterman also noted that consideration is being given to charging a fee for all intermediate and advanced courses, except that volunteers recommended by trails chairs or supervisors could take these courses for free. He also noted that future training courses would be announced on the web, and e-mail notices would not always be sent out to volunteers.
9. The meeting was adjourned at 8:57 p.m.
Daniel D. Chazin
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