Friends of Daley Ranch
Strategic Planning Meeting Minutes

January 6, 2018


Present: Colleen Mackinnon, Jim Schafer, Jerry Harmon, Fred Woods, Rick Paul, and Rick Mercurio. Guests: Stacy McCline and Liz Ridder


Introduction: Colleen opened the meeting at 9 a.m. at the Oceanside home of Jerry. Each person self-introduced, including our two guests.


Goldspotted Oak Borer: Stacy McCline is an engineer by profession, and is currently on the Del Dios Habitat Protection League. She has become an expert on the GSOB. The Board thanked her for her willingness to attend our meeting and to offer her assistance in dealing with this threat. She presented the Board a thorough discussion of the GSOB, including its life cycle and its prevalence in Daley Ranch. She and Jim spent hours examining the infestation at the ranch, and the news is grim. Stacy said that research has been ongoing over the past 14 years, primarily at UC Riverside, though funding is beginning to dry up. GSOB has “hitched a ride” into the region via infested firewood, and one goal should be to make the public aware of this.  Biological containment has been explored without success. Certain pesticides have been tested. The barrier method, specifically, offers a relatively safe way to combat the pest, and it has proven successful so far on the oaks in Del Dios that Stacy has concentrated on. Without treatment, Stacy surmised that the mature oak woodland habitat at Daley Ranch would be in jeopardy.

     Board members asked lots of questions and discussed possible plans of action. We all agreed that FODR should concentrate our efforts on convincing the City about the seriousness of the problem. We believe that the mandated “restoration” funds, accumulated from the sale of mitigation credits, ought to be used to address the GSOB at Daley Ranch. At stake is the dollar value of the very credits the City possesses in the preserve. Colleen said she would follow up with the City regarding protocol for treating stands of closed canopy oak forest along Jack’s Creek Meadow, and the area of large specimen oaks surrounding the Ranch House area.

Our goal is to gather specific information about the cost and the logistics of treating stands of closed canopy oak forests along Jack’s Creek Meadow, and the area of large specimen oaks surrounding the Ranch House area.

FODR seeks to bring together an information-gathering team to the site. The invitees would be Stacy, the company that could provide the treatment, Dan Hippert, the City’s arborist, Board members, and any other individuals who could make this happen. The target date for this first round of treatment is March, determined by the life cycle of the GSOB.


Minutes, Treasurer’s Report and Budget: Jim summarized the minutes he wrote from the November meeting. Rick P moved approval, Colleen seconded, and the motion passed unanimously. Rick P had prepared a treasurer’s report, which he distributed. He noted a few corrections orally. Colleen moved to reimburse Fred $290 for the annual website fee plus another $32 for picnic expenses. Rick M seconded and the motion passed unanimously. Rick M moved to reimburse Jim $52 for beverage expenses for the picnic. Colleen seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

     Rick P had prepared two documents related to budget and planning: first, an historical record of FODR’s budget and spending over the past decade; second, a detailed print out of the 2017 budget with line items including planning goals. He led the Board in a thorough discussion to compile an accurate budget for 2018. He will use the Board’s input to produce a new document for this calendar year. Among other items discussed, we will need Dick Althouse’s input to complete the Building Restoration section of the budget. Colleen said that Karen Park, a community member who works for Moosa Creek Nursery, had volunteered to help with updating the native plant signs at DR. Also, Jim said he would contact photographer Sandy Zelasko to see if she can help us by photographing the “before,” for our GSOB eradication efforts. Visual documentation may help convince decision-makers.


Newsletter: The Board agreed to maintain our quarterly schedule for newsletters. Rick M will communicate with Bruce Swanson to make sure he will continue as editor. The Board discussed topics for this month’s edition. Jim agreed to write the front page article on the GSOB, including photos. We will continue to include the Save1000Acres appeal. Rick M will ask Denise Harter to write another article on an animal species at DR. And if space permits, Rick M will provide an article on the history of Daley Ranch, Part 2.


Tracking Team: The Board noted the good work of the DR Tracking Team, headed by Denise Harter. Rick M will reach out to her, to express our appreciation, to inform her that the Board included funding for her in our 2018 budget, and to ask her help in providing information on animals at or near the three wildlife underpasses on Valley Center Road. This information could be used to help TECC with funding grants for Save1000Acres. Rick M will also ask Denise if she might take her tracking team on the trails in Area 3 near the site of the proposed resort. We are seeking to gather as much data there of possible endangered species. He will ask her about using the INaturalist app to record any findings.


Daley Ranch Resort Proposal: Colleen mailed a letter from FODR to Jay Petrek regarding the proposed development. The Board would like the City to use the proposed development as an opportunity to conduct a thorough biological study of the DR in order to accurately measure possible edge effects of a suburban level density development directly boarding the conservation bank habitat. Meanwhile FODR will gather as much data as possible. 


School Visits: Fred said that all public schools are scheduled for March and April, with 11 trips total. He recently met with Dan to make plans. In addition, fifth graders from Conway School will have a field trip to DR on January 16. FODR, led by Fred, will help the teachers determine two sites for the students to visit: one near Dixon Lake, and the other on the ranch.

     Last summer Colleen hosted a meeting to integrate science standards into the learning stations for our 7th grade visits. The group, which included Colleen, Su Scott, Fred, Rick M and classroom teachers, developed bulleted talking points to accomplish this goal for various learning station docents. Colleen will work with Rick, Fred, and Su to complete the task.


Save1000Acres and Membership: The Board was pleased to learn that TECC’s campaign to fundraise has been going well, and we re-affirmed FODR’s commitment to this. We will continue to include an appeal in our newsletters. Rick M is willing to launch a membership campaign for FODR, and the Board believes it should wait until later this year. At that time, we can include Save1000Acres as part of the membership letter, which would detail the various programs and goals of FODR.


Five Acre Property: Fred reminded the Board that FODR received a letter from Paul Van Elderen, who is offering to sell to the City his five acre parcel just west of the La Honda parking lot. This land might be useful for additional parking, but also as a possible location for a permanent interpretive center. Jerry agreed to reach out to Paul, and let him know that FODR fully supports this idea.


Election: All current FODR officeholders are amenable to remaining in their current positions: President, Colleen; Vice-President, Jim; Treasurer, Rick P; Secretary, Rick M. Jerry moved to accept this slate, Fred seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.


Liz Ridder: The Board expressed its appreciation to Liz Ridder who attended this meeting. She is a geography professor at CSUSM, and she is excited at possible collaboration with FODR in getting her students up to the ranch for various study and projects. The Board extended an invitation to Liz to join the Board, and she will let us know.


Next Meeting: Colleen hopes to schedule a follow up meeting about the GSOB on February 3. The next regularly scheduled FODR Board meeting will be on February 21 at 7 p.m. at the Train Depot in Grape Day Park.


Respectfully submitted,

Rick Mercurio, secretary