Friends of Daley Ranch Minutes

January 13, 2011

Present: Fred Woods, Mike Whalen, Rick Paul, Dick Althouse, Rick Mercurio, and newsletter editor Wendy Barker

Fred opened the meeting at 7 p.m. at the Train Depot in Grape Day Park, Escondido. The minutes from the November meeting were discussed. Rick Paul remembered conversation at that meeting, not mentioned in the minutes, regarding the Daley Ranch Volunteer Association. It was decided to approve the November minutes, and continue the DRVA discussion presently in order to include it in these minutes. Concern has been expressed that it is difficult to assemble a quorum for the DRVA, and also difficult to authorize potential expenditures due to needing two DRVA officials to sign checks. Rick Paul is willing to help coordinate a transition with this organization.

Rick Paul delivered his treasurer’s report. A quick summary: $6538 in checking, and over $18,000 in the Ivy account.

Fred related communications with Tony Smock from the City: The barn was inspected by Vector control, which set traps there and around the other buildings. The rodents trapped were not diseased, and Vector control will issue a report, which will allow FODR to proceed with renovations. The City has already cleaned out the open garage’s firewood without finding animals. They will soon clean out the barn. Hydraulic drums will be drained of their contents and then left as part of the equipment “exhibit.” Tony also obtained two beekeeper outfits and a smoker to try to eliminate the bees. The hay in the barn is infested with mice, and the bales will probably need to be removed. Tony also is aware that bees are in the chimney in the deteriorating house on the hill across from the ranch house. He likes the idea of using that space to restore or rebuild the structure as a meeting place for naturalists to instruct and work. Tony is also willing to take Sally and Fred along trails that have recently been cleared for fire protection, as soon as the trails and roads are in passable condition.

The Board discussed the next steps in the utility building restoration project. Dick has obtained a tarp, and on Sunday will install it to cover the foreman’s house. Once final permission has been obtained to proceed, the first structure needing attention will be the “corral,” the third building. It should be disassembled, so that a foundation could be built for it.  As structures are taken apart, we could use the barn as a storage area.

On a recent Saturday five members of the FODR Board met at the ranch with several members of the Sunrise Rotary. Together we discussed the plant sign project, and walked the trails to find the existing signs. The goal is to get signs for each plant identified in the guide, with as many as possible along the Ranch House Trail. A couple other trails could also have new signs, and all current signs should be located to decide if they need replacing. Some plants, therefore, may have more than one sign for each specimen if we locate spots on secondary trails. The next step is to visit the ranch to identify exact spots for each sign. We ought to invite James Dillane as our plant expert. Mike has a GPS so we can be specific when we map each sign’s location. The Rotary hopes to have the signs completed in April, and we will plan a special event to thank them when they are installed.

Wendy is ready and willing to produce our next newsletter. Fred will submit an article on the plant signs. Jack Pomeroy is writing an article on the geology of the ranch. Other articles are being written. Wendy hopes to have the newsletter ready to mail by mid February.

Mike received phone messages from a landowner near the ranch. The Board briefly discussed an “offer” from this landowner. No decision was made, but the Board decided to continue the discussion during our retreat.

The Board decided to establish our regular meeting day on the third Thursday of each month.

The annual retreat will be Saturday, January 22 at 10 a.m. at Rick Paul’s house. The next regular meeting will be February 17 at 6 p.m. at Sally’s house.

Respectfully submitted,

Rick Mercurio, Secretary