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DATE: August 27, 2003 FILE REF: MMC MIN 020403

TO: Marsh Management Committee

FROM: Andy Nelson, Wildlife Team Leader

SUBJECT: January 8, 2003 Meeting Minutes

Our February meeting began with a brief round of introductions. Many thanks to everyone who was able to attend despite the winter weather.

To get the ball rolling Andy provided an overview of the DNR budget forecast for the next biennium. In a nutshell, the wildlife management field operations picture is bleak. Most funds will be used to pay the basic costs of operations. Little new habitat work will be funded by the regular budget.

To combat the drop in base budget funds, Andy has prepared special funding requests for Turkey, Pheasant, and Waterfowl Stamp funds. He will also be seeking a return of sharecrop funds and stewardship dollars for habitat management and development activities.

Also, it was reported that the Dodge County Conservation Aid funds, usually about $9,000 of county aid and state grant dollars, is unfunded this year. This is due to the County decision not to provide matching funds of $4800. As a result, state grant money will go unused. If any private organization would like to provide the county share of the aid, the state funds would still be available. The MMC has a project proposal to create a northern pike rearing pond at the old Redhead Impoundment which would be ideally suited for such a project. Please call Andy if interested.

Andy also reported that staff had been scouting Rush Lake for salvage operations. Unfortunately no significant numbers of perch were available. It does not look promising to gain access to this fishery this year.

We next had an involved conversation about what the MMC would like to see as the next “Big” project on Horicon Marsh. If our expectations are realized and the NAWCA grant application is approved, we will begin on the East Burnett Impoundment later this year. Recognizing that it often takes years to organize such a project. We agreed that now is the time to begin planning our next major effort. If all goes well we would be in position to start on this work when the East Burnett project is completed in 2005.

Through this discussion many ideas were bounced around. One of the most popular themes was to restore lost potholes and channels in the Marsh. Many different alternatives to achieve this goal were also considered. Additionally, several members chose to focus on undoing the drainage effects of the old ditches. No decisions were made and no specific plans were formulated. Rather, this discussion was just a chance to get the ball rolling and start everyone thinking and dreaming about the future. Plan to have more discussions in the months ahead.

After a healthy dose of socializing, venison sausage, and snacks we jumped back into the matter of advancing the organization of the MMC. One idea that Andy shared from Jerry Voy involved creating work teams. This idea found much favor among the group.

As we discussed the concept, we felt these teams would be issue or task oriented, such as muskrat surveys, prairie planting, nest structures, etc. Formation of a team would depend on having a team sponsor. The sponsor of the team would have to prepare a written team charter, explaining the purpose of the team, its jobs, and intended work products. This plan would then be presented to the whole MMC for adoption and recruitment of helpers to participate on the team. Each team would be asked to report on their work as appropriate to the task. The MMC would then draft a Board of Directors from among these work team groups.

There was consensus approval of adopting this pattern of organization. Andy agreed to begin initiating this plan prior to the next meeting with a goal of having at least 3 model team charters for the whole group to consider at the March meeting.

The next MMC meeting will be Thursday March 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the DNR Service Center on Hwy 28. So, please join us for a great agenda and interesting conversation about Horicon Marsh. Friends and family are always welcome!

Our agenda looks like this:

Management Updates
Survey reports
Work Team Charters
The next “Big” project discussion

I hoe to see you soon!


Wayne Bandler Todd Cook Diane Kitchen
Ken Byrne Tom schnaderbeck Kevin Smith
Robert Miescke Terry Maaser Chris Maaser
Troy Maaser Ron Tobianski Dean Schaeffer
Ed Miescke Andy Nelson

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