Friends of Daley Ranch Board Minutes

June 8, 2006

Present: Board members Sally Thomas, Jerry Harmon, Fred Woods, Irene O’Neill, Carol Stanford, Rick Paul and Rick Mercurio; guests Geoffrey Smith from TECC and Clair Billett from CRN.

     Sally opened the meeting at 7 p.m. at the home of Rick Mercurio in Valley Center. Irene gave the treasurer’s report: we have a balance of $16,233 including recent renewals and new membership following our May general meeting. Jerry moved to have FODR pay CRN annual dues of $100 and to reimburse Fred for May 6 food and for Rincon Middle School ‘s Daley Ranch outing’s docent lunch expenses. Rick Mercurio seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

     FODR is extremely pleased that the City of Escondido is close to finalizing negotiations to purchase the Stanley Peak property. The City plans to use the state trails grant money supplemented by funds from the Daley Ranch mitigation bank sales. We complimented the City and its staff for its persistent efforts to obtain this vital parcel. It was also reported that the current owner enthusiastically supported the tracking team’s placement of two motion detector cameras for wildlife tracking on the property Monday.

     In the same spirit, the Board discussed other nearby properties that would be very important links in a regional wildlife corridor connection with Daley Ranch. One of these is the Bottle Peak property. Geoffrey said that this land is not officially on the market, but that as little as $400,000 may be needed to secure it for open space. Another parcel along Lake Wohlford Road is owned by the Von Seggren family and it is currently being used as a paint ball facility with possible plans for a motorcycle park. The City may be interested in acquiring this in order to build a revenue-producing campground on the already-disturbed portion of the land. The Bottle Peak and Von Seggren properties are the last two major parcels between Daley Ranch and the huge Guejito Ranch. Habitat connectivity is their primary value. Jerry moved to formally ask The Escondido Creek Conservancy to look into a joint effort to begin the process of examining options for acquiring both of these properties. Rick Mercurio seconded the motion which passed unanimously. Geoffrey said he would carry this item to the TECC Board.

     Clare has become familiar with the process of applying for Transnet tax monies to be used for open space acquisition. She told us that the governing body uses three global criteria for determining funding: that the land is identified within the MHCP plan, that there is a significant threat of impending habitat destruction on the land, and that there is a willing seller. Beyond these three criteria she said that acquisition plans should have been formulated and the process well under way before Transnet funds would be considered.

     Sally will invite Jeff Throop to FODR’s next meeting. He is a City employee who has a great deal of knowledge and experience pertaining to the open space areas we discussed.

 Respectfully submitted,

Rick Mercurio, Secretary