A Voice for the River

May 2018 Meeting of Brule River Preservation

May 28, 2018

President Bob Banks called a meeting of the Brule River Preservation’s board to order at 10:05am in the Winneboujou Club clubhouse on May 28, 2018.

In attendance were: Bob Banks, Michael Spencer, Chris Mason, Shane Peterson, Bill Rogers, Caroline Marshall, Dave Zentner, Ted Weyerhaeuser, Pegi Harkness, Elisabeth Walker Hurlbert, Ross Fruen-Noyes, Dan Kephart (DNR), Penny Parke, Nancy Weyerhaeuser, Kate Meyer, Jane Meyer, Carl Meyer, Susie Isaksen, Nina Mosser, Gordon Mosser, Will Frost, Will Holbrook, Rana Holbrook, Patricia Lenz, Andrew Parke, Lynn Hanson, Dennis Pratt (Brule River Sportsman’s Club), Steve Buscher, Tom Rasmussen, Haskell Noyes, Meg Noyes, Don Johnson, Diane Johnson, Ray Raab, Matson Holbrook Jr., Lynne Rogers, Susan Ott, Morley Knoll, Jim Knoll and Sloane d’Autremont.

Secretary’s Report –
Elisabeth reported no changes.

Our minutes are now on the BRP website thanks to Wendy Corry!

Treasurer’s Report –
Michael reported that he hired a CPA firm. BRP banking has moved to Security State Bank. As a result of timber sales, we have revenue and opened a CD (fund to brokerage account.) Capital gains have been reinvested. Michael reviewed our balance sheet and noted higher interest rates from last year. Michael also remembered our “Big Trees” who have stood tall in the woods of the Brule before us and in whose names contributions have been made to carry on the work of Brule River Preservation: Hester Holbrook Abrams, A.M. Castle, Robert H. Chisholm, Sr., Robert H. Chisholm, Jr., Mary Friedlander, Albert M. Marshall, Jr., W. Emerson Noyes, John D. Rogers, George H. Spencer, Caroline Jaffray.

President’s Report –
Bob reported that we have a number of projects in the works. For overviews on these projects go to: www.bruleriverpreservation.org and click on projects. Regarding our water temperature monitoring project, Bob reported that we have had monitors in the river for the last 4 years. They have been removed and will be replaced/reset by a graduate student. Three will go into the river and one will go into a Lake Nebagamon tributary.
We have been working with a dendrochronologist from the University of Wisconsin Platteville. Basic research has been completed by master’s program student. Did you know that the oldest tree ring in the project dates to c. 1540? The oldest tree ring in the immediate area dates to 1770. Bob highlighted that many fires came through the area. Some trees have survived 15 unique fires. Look for upcoming presentations.

Brule River Coalition Roundtable Review (Dave Zentner)
Dave mentioned we are not incorporated. Our strength comes from collaborating with a number of groups including: Brule River Sportsmen’s Club, Douglas County Land and Water Conservation Department, Lake Superior Research Institute, Northflow, LLC, The Nature Conservancy, Trout Unlimited, West Wisconsin Land Trust, Wisconsin DNR, Wisconsin River Alliance, and property owners and interested individuals. This collaboration was evident during our August 17, 2017 roundtable meeting. Our current project is the South Shore Railroad Grade – a long-abandoned railway grade 38ft high – over Nebagamon Creek. Primary impact is heavy silt, reducing connectivity with the hatchery and habitat spawning and potential total wash-out. The project has a pre-bid estimate of $130,000. See Dave’s report online for a more comprehensive description.

Brule River Sportsman’s Club (Dennis Pratt)
Dennis reported that the Southshore Railroad grade project is a serious issue for the lower part of Brule. The Sportsman’s Club surpassed their $10,000 goal by over $5000 thanks to a GoFundMe Brule River Rat page established by past president Damien Wilmot. He raised over $9,000 in 3 weeks! We are waiting on a US Fish and Wildlife Service $38,000 grant.
Jane Anklam reported on title examination. Who owns the land: Village of Brule, private landowners, the railroad? A title search and survey is underway. A volunteer botanist is researching invasive species going downriver. Dave, Dennis and Jane all emphasized that local organizations spearheaded the importance and fundraising for this project.

Upcoming Sportsman’s Club events include:
August 11th – Superior Challenge Center annual canoe trip from Wildcat Lodge to Ranger Station
August 18th and 25th Habitat Work Days

Go to: www.bruleriversportsmensclub.com for more information.

Finally, the Club is in need of a new financial secretary. Please contact Dennis if interested.

Dan Kephart – DNR Property Manager
Dan described DNR realignment to streamline duties which should be more efficient in the long-term and operates under the Master Plan. Go to: www.dnr.wi.gov to view plan.

Remaining BRP Business (Bob Banks)
Stephanie Judge of The Nature Conservancy will be up to review easement updates. Bob introduced Mary O’Brien, Director of Advancement of the Landmark Conservancy. Mary introduced the new conservation staff.

BRP Summer Programs:
July 19th (time TBA) at the Winneboujou Clubhouse: Arborist Louise Levy, will discuss forestry management, individual property management and fire prevention. Louise will have specific property care recommendations and enlighten us about our natural surroundings so we may better recognize the dynamic role forests play. Reception to follow.

Next meeting: July 13th at 10am at the Winneboujou Clubhouse

There being no further business, the group adjourned at 11:29am.

Respectfully submitted,
Elisabeth Walker Hurlbert, Secretary