Friends of Daley Ranch Minutes

October 20, 2011

Present: Fred Woods, Mike Whalen, Rick Paul, Sally Thomas, Dick Althouse and Rick Mercurio

Fred opened the meeting at 7 p.m. at the train depot in Grape Day Park, Escondido. Rick Paul moved to accept the minutes, as amended, from the August meeting. Mike seconded and the motion passed unanimously. Rick Paul gave his treasurer’s report: the Ivy account, like all other funds in this present economy, is down, with a current balance of just over $16,000. The bank account has $6851, with $158 cash from Grape Day and from the iron ranger.

Mike has been monitoring the plant guides and iron ranger. He said we have about 900 plant guides left, which should be enough until spring. He and Rick M suggested for the next display booth, FODR ought to obtain large photos of natural landscapes at the ranch and a large map. Mike also said that two of the plant signs need to be re-anchored, signs for #12 and #14. Fred will contact Tony Smock about helping with this.

The board met with city officials including Barbara Redlitz recently to discuss shoring up the creek bed near the utility buildings. On Oct. 25 some FODR board members will meet at the buildings with city officials and wildlife agencies to discuss next steps for the approval process. Mike said that Rich Aeling of the Sunrise Rotary Club expressed a desire to help with this project. Dick has made engineering drawings for the use of pole “foundations” for the reconstruction. The board expressed a desire to post a sign in the utility building area to identify the project and give information about volunteers donating and/or getting involved. Rick M will draft language for the sign and for the FODR website where more specifics may be given.

Rick P provided the board with information and a map of the City’s proposed annexation, one of the largest ever for Escondido, east of Daley Ranch. The board discussed potential impacts to the ranch, specifically edge effects and the effects to the wildlife corridor. The board had consensus on three initial concerns to be expressed to the City.

First, we feel that the City must follow through on a biologic/wildlife/habitat baseline study that was to have been established according to the implementation policies agreed to when the Daley Ranch mitigation bank agreement was signed with the wildlife agencies. Such a baseline document would allow the city to follow through on its obligation to monitor potential impacts to the conservation bank of all changes in the ranch and surrounding area, including the additional entry point to the ranch that is part of Sager’s proposal.

Second, we feel strongly that the City must mitigate all “edge effects” of any proposed developments adjacent to Daley Ranch. The most significant effect would be the proposed placement of a dense residential development, essentially a blockade, right in the middle of an active wildlife corridor that presently connects Daley Ranch to the open lands to the east.

Third, we are concerned about the proposed access road from Valley Center Road to the Sager development. This road would pass through land that is now a part of Daley Ranch, just north of the Sage Trail. Such a road would surely impact wildlife passage and habitat, and would probably violate the original conservation bank agreement.

Rick M said he would like FODR to explore the idea of geology signs at the ranch. He has spoken to retired geologist Jack Pomeroy to help. Others on the board expressed interest in this idea, and wished to expand it to include viewpoint information on a graphic, metal display board on sites like Stanley Peak. Rick M will explore options.

The next board meeting will be at 6 p.m. on November 17 at the home of Fred.

Respectfully submitted,

Rick Mercurio, Secretary