Minutes for Saturday, May 19th 2012 – General Spring Meeting

MINUTES OF GENERAL SPRING MEETING 2012

TIME & PLACE: The 147th meeting at the Teal, Lost Land and Ghost Lakes Improvement Association was held Saturday, May 19th, 2012 at Spider Lake Town Hall. The meeting was called to order by President Bob Dale at 9:01 a.m.

ROLL CALL: Board members Bob Dale (President), Orlin Johnson (Treasurer), Gayle Little (Membership & Newsletter), Shari Peterson (Secretary), Rex Clevenger (Environmental) were present.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Dolores Brandt, Norm Bratteig, Chris Callaway, Jim and Marj Cahoon, Barbara Clevenger, Sue Dale, Dan & Barbara Dernbach, Audrey Divilbiss, Jim Dooley, Terry Frick, Joe & Dorothy Gallina, Shari Johnson, Bill & Pam Kennedy, Doug & Janet King, Connie Miller, Don & Rhonda Nelson, Allan & Barb Niemi, Jeff Peterson, & Margaret Wheeler. Guests: Tom & Bonnie McLeod, Pat Nehring, Terrie Storlie.

PRESENTATION: Our presenter was Chris Cold from the DNR. He is a wildlife technician and educator. With his polished presentation complete with live critters he is our number one most popular speaker. Today’s presentation did not disappoint as Chris walked us through the web of life in our wetlands and how we can keep it healthy. Accompanying the presentation Chris brought a fox snake and red tailed hawk.

BREAK: After a short break the meeting resumed. Thanks to Sue Dale, Barb Clevenger, and Shari Peterson for bringing treats.

GUEST: Brian Hucker, Town of Spider Lake Chairperson, wanted to bring some important information to the Town of Spider Lake residents. One thing he wanted to alert everyone to is the scheduled spraying for gypsy moths. The spraying will be between Tuesday and Friday of the coming week with low flying aircraft. The main reason he is here is because of Act 170. To give you a background, in March 2012 a bill was signed by Governor Walker approving a modification to NR115. For 20 years people had been working on revisions of NR115, and it finally went into effect in 2010. We were all given 3 years to comply with ordinances of NR115 but then in February with very little discussion this legislation passed. Act 170 purports to be an act that will restrict the ability of cities, towns, and counties to enforce more stringent requirements than are set forth in NR115. When NR115 was passed the whole premise was to set minimum standards. It was not intended to set maximum standards. Act 170 legislation was passed around 12:30 a.m. without any participation of the lakes associations, county associations, or town associations. How this will effect our township is a bit confusing, we will need legal review. We have until 2014 to bring it into compliance. The county is taking a position that until it is all sorted out and we get more guidance from the DNR the county will continue its new zoning ordinance. Brian wanted to thank the Quiet Lakes Association and Spider Lake Association for supporting the Town in its grant efforts. This will be costly and time consuming. TSL already had begun efforts to obtain a grant before Act 170 because of changes made by the county that needed to be sorted through. Act 170 adds another complicated layer and a grant will help deter the cost of developing a new ordinance. There is very serious review ongoing as to whether this statute will be challenged. It is unclear what the DNR will do in terms of revisions to NR115.
TSL is in the process of developing a community wildfire protection plan. This is a plan that encompasses the towns of Grandview, Cable, Namekagon, Spider Lake, and a portion of Gordon. We rank highest in risk of the 5 town district. Some of the issues are tree mix, dead end roads, power line fires, driveway access, visible fire number addresses, establishing fire breaks. We would like to sensitize the community to the risk of wildfires and develop some standards to reduce the incidence of wildfires.

SECRETARY (Peterson): Minutes from the Fall 2011 General Meeting were approved. Shari reported one piece of correspondence forwarded from TSL regarding the Sawyer County Sheriff’s Department Canine Initiative. The letter lists a number of reasons a K-9 team will be an asset to law enforcement in and around Sawyer County. A few are that K-9’s are fast and efficient in searching for both criminals or missing persons by means of tracking or open air scenting. They are a psychological deterrent. K-9 teams prove that the mere presence of this team will cause most criminals to stop and comply with officer’s orders. Building searches can be completed in a fraction of the time, with great efficiency. To start a program will cost approximately $20,000 with an annual expense of $2,000. Quiet Lakes contributed $100.00 to the program. Law Enforcement agencies that could benefit within Sawyer County include: Sawyer County Sheriff’s Department, City of Hayward Police Department, Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Police Department, WI State Patrol, WI DNR-Wardens & Rangers, US Forest Service, US Park Service, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission. If you would like to contribute, please contact Deputy Nick Al-Moghrabi #392, K-9 Initiative Organizer. His phone number is 715-634-4858, cell 715-699-4828 (primary).

TREASURER (Johnson): Orlin reported that in our accounts we have around $13,500. Half of that is grant money we received to do lake studies. We have $1,700 in the walleye fund. That leaves about $5,000 in the general fund which is normal this time of year. Expenses have been routine.

MEMBERSHIP (Little): Gayle reported that we are up to 159 members, with 3 new members over the winter. We took 10 people off the membership list that hadn’t paid 2010. We have 18 lifetime members. Snail mail is down to 42. Gayle emails the newsletter in pdf form so it is easy for everyone to read and print. This year the membership form was included in the newsletter. 22 members have not paid 2011 dues.

ENVIRONMENT (Clevenger): Rex reported that our waters are still pristine but we have a lot of risks. A dime size piece of Eurasian milfoil can increase to an acre in a season. A number of lakes in our area have invasive species. We should also be looking out for zebra muscles. They were
introduced into the Great Lakes in ballast water of ocean going vessels in the late 80’s. They are very efficient at filtering water. They clean the lakes of pollutants and change the clarity of the lake which in turn changes the fish life in the lake. Because they cleanse pollutants they are becoming toxic to birds that eat them including loons. They have been the cause of many bird deaths. Last year we had 16 volunteers to go out 3 times during the summer to look for invasive species on the Quiet Lakes. If you would like to volunteer this year contact Rex at TClevenger@uhs.com or 715-462-9876. The Wisconsin gasoline tax is used for environmental projects and to make grants available. The Quiet
Lakes Association received 3 grants at $9,929 each. Part of this money will be used to hire 5 people to monitor 3 boat ramps Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon. We can pay up to 15 hours per ramp Memorial Day through Labor Day. TSL has agreed to provide our payroll functions. Catching these invasive species before they reach our lakes is the most important thing we can do. In addition to the ramp monitoring, part of the grant money will be used to update our Aquatic Plant Management Study. We will need a pontoon boat and volunteers to assist for this study. Norm Bratteig will be leading the volunteer testing this summer and will be taking on the Environmental Director
position as Rex transitions to the Treasurer position.

BLOG (Clevenger): Rex reported that the Quiet Lakes blog has had over 2,000 viewings since its creation last November. There a lot of great stories on the blog. The blogs with the most views were: starting with 4th place was That Old Red Boat House on Teal by Donna Nickel, 3rd place was “Afraid to get stranded on a rustic road on a winter’s night? by Russ Streit, 2nd place was “Aunt Bert Reunites with Ellen and Red”, by Jim & Pat Dooley, and first place goes to “Monster From the Deep?” by Donna Nickel. If you have a story about our lakes or the surrounding area, please send it to quiet_lakes@yahoo.com so we can get it into the blog. The blog address is: http://quietlakeswisconsin.blogspot.com. To get automatic e-mail alerts of new posts, just enter your e-mail address in the FOLLOW THE BLOG VIA EMAIL area on the right hand column.
FISHERIES (Gouze): John is not present as he had back surgery this week. Bob Dale reported a reduction in walleye population. A contributing factor could be drought which reduced runoff into the lakes. This increased the water clarity which benefits bass more than walleye. Last fall Dave Neuswanger from the DNR was able to arrange to have 4,797 extended growth walleye (6 – 8 inches) released into Teal Lake, and 2,500 extended growth walleye in Lost Land Lake. Dr. Dan Isermann from University of Wisconsin Stevens Point is studying the relationship between bass and walleyes and lake conditions. One of the lakes he using in his study is Teal. He is using recording thermometers, and he will be out every 2 or 3 weeks to record his findings. Because of John’s back issues Bob will attach the thermometer to his own dock and monitor lake water temperatures this year. There have been no changes in bass regulations. Small mouth bass are not an issue relating to walleye, it is the large mouth bass only.

PROPERTIES (Gouze): Bob Dale reported that the island picnic areas have been cleaned up. Bob put in the buoys a couple of weeks ago. We’ve got hazard buoys around the lakes, and the thoroughfare has 2 speed buoys on each end. Some of the buoys are in tough shape and will need
to be replaced.

PROGRAM/SOCIAL (vacant): Bob Dale reported that the Vice President position is vacant as John Hanson had to resign. If anyone is interested please don’t hesitate to talk with him. He will be happy to explain what is involved in the VP position. Coordinating the picnic, and setting up a speaker for each membership meeting are primary responsibilities of the VP. This year’s picnic will be held August 19th at 11:00. The next membership meeting is July 21st. Connie Cummins, the District Manager for the Great Divide and Washburn US Forest Service, will be the speaker. On September 22nd the new DNR Area Fisheries Biologist Max Wolter will be presenting. We welcome any suggestions for speakers from the membership.

LOON WATCH (Gayle): Gayle reported that we’ve had 4 producing pairs over the years but the last couple years they haven’t even hatched. The Lynch Bay loons have been seen together, which is not a good sign as one will always be at the nest site. According to Loon Watch, an extra census on loons was done last year to gather statistics on the impact of the oil spill. The numbers have been sent to the DNR but because of the cuts in the DNR they have not gotten the results back yet. But, again according to Loon Watch, and from other loon researchers the Midwest loon population has not seen yet to be effected by the oil spill. Our loons went down to the Gulf of Mexico but stayed in a region where the oil did not have much of an impact. Our loons are getting used to people, and will often come close to boats. This is a concern because there are now reports of people hooking loons while fishing. The good thing about loons being comfortable around people is that it allows them to build nests closer to human activity.

OLD BUSINESS (Dale): Bob Dale encouraged members to contribute to the blog. Rumor has it that Bill Boersma has ice in and ice out data going back 50 years which would be great blog material. Or, if anybody knows where the log in front of Ross’s came from or how it is attached
to the bottom of the lake, that would be a good story.

NEW BUSINESS (Dale): Bob Dale reported that Norm Bratteig has volunteered to be the new Environmental Director. Norm has previously been on the board and we are delighted to have him bring his expertise and history to the meetings. Many years ago, meetings were held at resorts rather than at the town hall. Bob will see about having our fall membership meeting at Boulder Lodge on Ghost Lake. We will be reviewing the bylaws. Last year we reported that Spider Lake Association was attempting to close the Heinemann road access due specifically to the introduction of invasive species. The Heinemann road will not be closed.

MOTION TO ADJOURN: Meeting adjourned at 11:47 a.m.