Fen Partnership Meetings
October 30, 2009 - Mountain Village, CO
After a welcome and introductions, we discussed the history of the San Juan Fen Partnership. Art Goodtimes (SM Cty commissioner), who has been with this effort since it was just a committee, gave an overview and talked about his concerns regarding local versus regional, fiscal sponsor, etc. We had a little bit of discussion. Then Dr. Koren Nydick (Mountain studies Institute) gave a presentation that included (1) some more history (based on old documents outlining priorities and discussion items from 2004), (2) contents of the SJFP webpage and how to find it on the MSI website, and (3) an overview of fen work past, present, and future (including research, education, and restoration). Dr. David Cooper (fen researcher from CSU) would have presented much of this, but he was not able to join us due to the snow storm. More discussion followed. Warren Young (GMUG National Forest) gave a presentation on the GMUG fen inventory.
Response to the fen work report was very positive. There seemed to be agreement that the concerns about the SJFP were due to not enough communication/meetings rather than lack of progress. People seemed to be happy with the webpage, especially with the recent updates. We talked about the local versus regional scope of the SJFP. Not all issues were worked out (like who should be a member), but we did seem to agree that while the Prospect Basin fens were a priority to the SJFP, the regionalization of the program did have several benefits (including better understanding of a wide variety of fens, broader inclusion of other important entities like San Juan Public Lands (USFS/BLM), and better funding opportunities). There was concern that matching funds from local gov’ts in SM Cty be spent on fen work directly related to SM Cty interests. There was an interesting discussion about water rights.
In the end, we seemed to have agreement that fen work was going well and that MSI should remain involved both as project partner and fiscal agent. Participants did want the SJFP to meet more often and to work out details of the local versus regional aspect of the partnership. The group also wants more fen presentations like this one in SM Cty so that more people can learn about fens and the SJFP (possible Telluride Town Talk). Art Goodtimes said that he would organize the next SJFP meeting. It was agreed that it was not MSI’s responsibility to organize these meetings. Koren will investigate a Telluride Town Talk for next summer and maybe a field tour.