November 30, 2017 Meeting Minutes

Location: MCPL, Room 2A

Attendees: Sherry Mitchell Bruker, Jessica Fitzpatrick, Bet Savich, Dave Simcox, Lily Bonwich, Chad Menke, Richard Harris, Avram Primack, Duane McCoy (DNR, guest speaker), Tammy Behrman, Jackie Nestor, Jim Tarnowski, Judy Berkshire, Kevin Dogan, Mike Litwin, Dave Rollo, Mary Madore (remotely).

Sherry opened the meeting at 6:35

Sherry announced changes to the FOLM Steering Committee. Patty Dennison resigned from the SC due to time constraints, and Kevin Dogan has agreed to join the SC. Sherry mentioned that the SC is open to new members, if qualified candidates are interested.

Adopt-A-Shoreline: Richard reminded attendees that FOLM agreed to adopt the Paynetown State Recreation Area as part of the DNR’s Adopt-A-Shoreline program (see minutes from the October, 2017 meeting). On Sunday, Nov. 25, Richard and Rudy Savich picked up litter at Paynetown along the beach peninsula, accumulating approximately 1.5 hours each of volunteer time. Richard asked for volunteers for the December hours, and suggested that interested parties contact him directly. FOLM is obligated to commit 45 minutes/month to fulfill their obligation for the program.

Treasurer’s Report: Richard gave an update on the status of  FOLM’s funding. There is currently a balance of $861.37 in FOLM’s checking account.

FOLM Boating Policy: Sherry announced that FOLM has adopted a position statement on boating on Lake Monroe. The statement (drafted by Madore Madore and edited by others) was drafted in response to the perception among some that FOLM is opposed to motor boating on the Lake. In the position statement, FOLM recognizes the economic benefits of the many boaters on the lake (both motorized and nonmotorized), and encourages the appropriate use of the lake by all boaters, including educating the boating public on best management practices to minimize impacts to the lake. 

Technical Groups: Sherry discussed the technical groups that FOLM is participating in. FOLM, along with The Nature Conservancy and the City of Bloomington Utilities have met on several occasions to explore the possibility of setting up a Water Fund to protect Lake Monroe waters. The group has decided to focus on evaluating algae as an indicator of water quality. TNC will provide funds to pay for a research assistant for Melissa Laney at SPEA for this project. In addition, CBU as agreed to hire an intern to assist with the project.

Sherry also mentioned a FOLM technical group that has met once, with another meeting tentatively scheduled for January. This group is still considering its mission.

SPEA Capstone Class: Sherry discussed a graduate capstone course to be offered at SPEA in the Spring semester. FOLM will be the “client” in the course.

Increase FOLM Participation: Sherry asked for input from the group on the direction FOLM should take moving forward for growing and managing the group. Ideas discussed included: adopting a membership fee and meeting less frequently. There seemed to be general agreement that a small voluntary membership fee would be well received, but active participation by all would be encouraged whether one became a member or not. There was discussion of less frequent public meetings (every other month; quarterly?) which would include educational presentations, but much of the “work” of the group would take place by the steering committee or in committees. This discussion will continue.

Guest Speaker: Duane McCoy, Forester, Indiana DNR--Duane began his discussion by commenting on the benefits (and good fortune) of having over 80% of the LM watershed being in forest. He went on to discuss how states were mandated by the EPA to adopt forestry Best Management Practices (BMPs) as part of the Clean Water Act. Indiana adopted its program on a voluntary basis in the 1990s. There are three components to Indiana’s program: training of loggers, monitoring of projects on public lands, and reporting the results to the public. Training began in 1997, but only lasted until 1999 due to loss of funds. Monitoring began in 1997. In 1999, BMPs became a contractual obligation for loggers working on DNR property. Statistics presented by Mr. McCoy indicated that BMPs have been implemented on state land 86% of the time, with 91% efficiency. He stated that significant impacts from logging operations (measured by soil migration to waterways) are nearly nonexistent, and he stated with confidence that logging operations have resulted in negligible impacts to Lake Monroe and other waters of the state.

Guest Speaker: Dave Rollo, Bloomington City Council Representative--Mr. Rollo provided attendees with an update on the City Comprehensive Plan, which is currently under development.  He called the CP the “guiding document for the city”.  The Environment is one of seven chapters of the CP, and protecting Lake Monroe as a drinking water source is specifically mentioned. He stated that the public is welcome to submit comments on the Plan, and specifically encouraged FOLM to provide comments to strengthen the parts of the plan that pertain to LM.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:30. The next meeting will be held January 25, 2018 in MCPL meeting room 2A. Cara Bergschneider of the Natural Resources Conservation Service will be the guest speaker.