EH-RTC December 14, 2015

Monday, December 14, 2015 - 6:15pm - 8:30pm
East Hudson Regional Trails Council


Welcome and introductions

Approval of minutes of August and October meetings

EH-RTC Charter

 Organization wide reports and information



Volunteer Service Agreements with NY State - John Leigh

Policy Council - John Magerlein

Trail Standards - Walt Daniels

Approval Process - Fred Stern

 Trail Update - TK Trail bridge (Leigh Darper and Mary Dodds)

2016 Budget - - Josh Howard

Discussion of impact

Regional reports and information

Goals EH-RTC for 2016 

 Tabling events (Eagle Fest  Sat. Feb. 6 with snow date Feb 7)

 Trail U courses - who is running what, where and when

Conference and webinar meetings - how they work - Walt Daniels

Next meetings - 2nd Mondays of even months, unless a holiday

February 8 (telephone), April 11, June 13, August 8 (budget) Oct 10 or 17,  Dec 12

Round robin informaton share


Marilyn Blaho, Rose Bonanno, Tom Buckley, Geof Connor, Jane Daniels, Walt Daniels, Salley Decker, Leigh Draper, Jim Haggett, Gary Haugland, Josh Howard, John Magerlein, Karen Magerlein, Sona Mason, Hank Osborn, Ron Rosen, Andrew Seirup, Connie Stern, Fred Stern, Raina Stoutenburg, and Bob Ward
Status of Minutes: 

Welcome and introductions

Attendees introduced themselves and the area they are supervising

Approval of minutes of August and October meetings; moved by Bob Ward and seconded by Andrew Seirup. All approved

EH-RTC Charter: the Board will approve the charter in January


Organization wide reports and updates

Publications-Jane Daniels -The committee is planning to get maps but at this moment there is nothing in the budget and fundraising will need to be done.  

Technology- Walt Daniels- The February meeting on Monday the 8th will be a phone meeting supplemented with a chat room and visuals on a computer screen. Running the meeting as a webinar is another possibility as it incorporates these features in a single place.,. Time was set at 7:30pm  

Volunteer Service Agreements (VSA) with NY State - update – John Leigh

John reminded everyone to send in the trail reports on time, so they can close the “books”

All volunteers in NY State Parks are required to complete a VSA form annually at the beginning of the calendar year. It will allow for notification of multiple parks. The Trail Conference is the only volunteer group with an on-line form. Briefly with respect to the form

  • Maintainers are to notify their supervisor that they will be working on their trail.
  • Trail maintenance is defined in the Trail Maintenance Manual.
  • Supervisors
    • Make sure all maintainers complete the forms
    • Notify park managers about all trail projects
    • Do not have to notify anyone if they are going out to check on trails.
  • Trail Crews must
    • Notify park with the official form and receive permission before commencing work.
    • Make sure all volunteers have completed the form
  • Trail Chiefs must
    • Notify park with the official form and receive pre-approval before commencing work
    • Develop project plans for the park
    • Make sure all volunteers have completed the form
  • Sawyers must notify park with the official form and receive permission before sawing.
  • Trail Chairs are responsible for seeing that all volunteers comply

These statements generated many concerns about the process and there was a request that this process of filing and notifications be reviewed so that it will be more manageable.

Complete details including what various volunteers are required to do will be found on the website. As of December 20, 2015, it had not been posted.

John made the suggestion that we wait and see how it plays out, But the question still remains can we generate a simpler cleaner process.

Policy Council - John Magerlein-

It had its first meeting and formed the following working groups: Trails Standards, Trail Approval,  Trails Policy and TMG, Mountain Bike. New policies will be sent out to each region for discussion and approval before being approved by the Board.

Tabling events – Jane Daniels

Jane set up an example, which the group critiqued. She mentioned Eagle Fest on Sat. Feb. 6 (snow date Feb 7).  and later sent around a form for people to sign up for the latter as well as upcoming events.

Trail Standards - Walt Daniels

Walt gave an overview of the proposed standards which will include separate standards for design, construction and maintenance. The maintenance standards are unchanged from what is in the current Trail Maintenance Manual. There was a quick overview of the design standards. The work on the construction standards is just beginning. There are ADA standards for trails which apply where appropriate.

Approval Process – Walt Daniels

We are still following the old process until the new process is approved. Walt showed a draft on-line form,, Walt and Mary Dodds “walked” through the bridge proposal for Teatown. . A map and photos will be requested and the LTC will be needed to approve. For complicated projects, more approvals will be needed. This orm will be replacing two forms.

The question was asked, will the trail standards be regulating these forms?  No rather will be a range etc.

2016 Budget  - Josh Howard

Budget planning began in September and then culminated in budget. Because planning happened before the RTCs were formed, everyone met through the LTCs, but these meetings will be the central next year for creating the budget. Anything not in budget may still be able to be done. They will start earlier on budget so they can start to look for monies as needed by various projects.


What’s in?  Privies for AT, Tool line if needed as opposed to specifics there are budget lines, $600 for outreach events, $1000 for publications,

We do need to understand the demands on Hank’s time, and that each LTC is one among many of the people needing his attention. The office is trying to streamline volunteer check ins as well as using other staff members in the office.

Josh said that he can share more details on the budget if needed. The Trail Conference has a $2.6 million and for East Hudson is about $275,000. Categories include tools and materials, trail stewards at Breakneck, Taconic Crew, Hank’s salary.   

Regional reports and updates:

Goals EH-RTC for 2016 – Jane Daniels

Jane mentioned that we should be doing Trail U classes. She sent around a signup sheet for instructors. She also sent around a sign up list to help with tabling events.

Trail updates – Walt Daniels

Walt described how conference and webinar meetings work. He is working to do this for our next meeting.  February 8 at 7:30 PM


Round robin information share

Jane Daniels was asked what is the correct way to add a park. For now - come to the RTC, bring maps and then look for approval here. Questions to consider, do we have the resources to handle new trails?  When there are several trails, bring the trails as a package. Both the park and the trails get entered into the database.

Walt Daniels reported that the Trail Conference is redoing the website so that all trail data will be available to the people who need access. Questions were raised as to who exactly will have access. To help with the project, he needs a few folks to validate the types of information collected so that we get everything we need and not things that we don’t need. Geof Connor and Fred Stern volunteered to help.

Jim Hagget- Dutchess Putnam AT Management Committee Chair: The pit privy in East Fishkill needed replacing as it was full. They explored relocating but very expensive so called in company to pump the pit for $275. It worked so if you have road access, consider pumping as an alternative to replacing.

Rob Rosen- AT Coordinating Committee Chair- This task force of 9 people are redesigning the ATC biennial meeting. If anyone has ideas let him know.

ATC is inventorying all facilities and since the AT is a federal park, it must compete for funding with other parks. As a result they must prove the value of everything along the AT since the AT will be judged against these other parks when it comes for acquiring funding.  For example, every water bar, step, bridge lean-to has a value. e.g. The steps at Bear Mt have  increased the value of the trail and so have the ADA portion at the top. So every shingle and piece of wood will be assigned a value. . 

John Leigh Volunteer Committee will be holding a tee-shirt design contest   Be sure to submit desired colors or design.

Jane on behalf of the group thanked Connie and anyone who brought desserts


8:40 Adjourn