Chapter Meeting Minutes, August 13, 2012
When President Karen Into opened the PAS general membership meeting at 1835, 13 members were present. Two additional members joined the group as the meeting was in progress. The first order of business was the election of new Board of Directors members. Karen thanked those members leaving the Board (Van Rogers, Lester Carr, and Mike Brown), and added that while she is stepping down from the President’s post, she is remaining on the Board as an advisor. Karen then reviewed the slate of proposed Board members. Chris Strout has been nominated for President. Chris Neubert will continue his Communications Director efforts, and has been nominated for Vice President. Rick Schrader will continue to serve as Treasurer. Chuck Ramsey will continue to serve as Secretary. Jeff Keener will continue to serve as Membership Director. Thad Walker will continue to serve as Bike Parks Committee Chairman. Deborah Walters has been nominated as an ‘at large’ Board member. When discussion opened, Steven Shaw was nominated from the floor as an ‘at large’ Board member. Julie White moved, and Rick Schrader seconded, that we elect the proposed Board as modified to include Steven Shaw. The motion carried.
Jack of the Woods is hosting an Oskar Blues fundraiser for PAS August 21st. Beginning at 6:00 pm there will be OB beer specials, food specials, a band, and an Asheville on Bikes bike corral. More detail will be posted on our website.
The Save the Trails (STT) ride will be hosted at DuPont State Recreational Forest Saturday, August 25 (rain date August 26) at the Guion Farm area off Sky Valley Road. Rides start at 9:00 am; registration opens at 8:00 am.
While not an open event, PAS members will be interested to know that Chris Strout and Thad Walker will meet with City of Asheville representatives August 20 to discuss a city bike park. Julie White informed the group that Blue Ridge Bike Club has $1000 from the Iternational Mountain Bike Association intended to fund a kids skills area, and would like to transfer the funds to PAS. These funds may be appropriate for use on an Asheville bike park; Chris and Thad will keep that in mind.
PAS trail crew members will continue to work on crew strategies and priorities at a meeting August 22 at Volvo near the airport. That meeting will begin at 6:30 pm. Participants’ homework assignment is to generate individual lists of the top three ‘needs’ on District and Bent Creek trails. This meeting is intended to ‘jump start’ our efforts after the SVA is signed by PAS and the District.
On September 10 in the REI community room, PAS will host a ‘signing celebration’ to roll out the new Sponsored Volunteer Agreement with the Pisgah District. Unlike the previously-used Individual Volunteer Agreements, the SVA allows PAS to work from a larger pool of volunteers, to increase our crew leader numbers, and to work within daylight hours any day of the week. The event will include a presentation on “What it means to be a USFS volunteer”.
Chris Strout gave a brief review of the Trail Crew meeting of August 9. The Sponsored Volunteer Agreement had been distributed to existing crew membership for comments and discussion, and its impact on the PAS trail program was discussed. The SVA is being promoted by the new Pisgah District Ranger, Derek Ibarguen, and appears more inclusive, more crew friendly, and will include far less paperwork. Our scope of work remains the same, including work to be accomplished and that all work must be done on scheduled work days with Crew Leaders. Since announcing the move to the SVA, PAS has generated a 140-person pool of volunteers, and will develop a method of announcing and staffing work days that will ensure crew size remains at 12 persons per crew or fewer. Our current 4 crew leader count will be increased to 6, with potential growth if our work day turn-out suggests we need additional crew leaders. The SVA and important attachments (Job Hazard Analyses, PPE info, Tailgate Safety Meeting info, etc) are posted on our website; if you haven’t reviewed these documents and are interested in joining us on work days, please look them over. The comments period is now closed, and PAS and District staff are reviewing in advance of implementation on Sept. 10. The District will also work with PAS to allow the use of the Dingo on some trail work. Such powered equipment will have machine-specific JHAs and a limited number of qualified operators.
Another item of PAS interest in the proposed partnership with the Backcountry Horsemen on the now-approved Lower Trace Ridge proposal. Relocation of the ridge-top gulley will be a volunteer-built joint venture. Because it must be built to a ‘pack and saddle’ TMO, PAS Crew Leaders have assessed that relocation will require machine building to complete to spec.
The District is proposing a sawyer class in October. PAS has two sawyers whose certification has expired, and a third sawyer whose cert expires in early 2013. Several additional PAS members have indicated an interest in sawyer certification, but the District may not increase PAS sawyer numbers.
PAS members are reminded that many District personnel are fire fighters first and trail consultants second. Please be patient in your contacts with the District.
District Ranger Derek Ibarguen was approached by our National Mountain Bike Patrol (NMBP) unit regarding patrol activities on the District. The District is interested in a joint patrol group that includes hikers, equestrians, and other District trail users. Chris Morgan has developed a concept for such a joint venture—more to come.
Patrick McMahon briefly discussed the formation of Pisgah Mountain Bike Adventures, a guide service whose guides are also PAS members. Check them out online!
Karen adjourned the meeting at 1940.