Meeting Cancellation, September 13, 2010



To: Governing Board Members
From: Bill Havert
Date: 9/2/2010
Re: Cancellation of September meeting

In consultation with Chairman Ferguson the September 13, 2010 Governing Board meeting has been cancelled as there are no acquisition projects or other vital matters requiring Board action. The next scheduled meeting is November 8, 2010, and we do expect this meeting to occur because the State Treasurer’s Office has now approved the bond-funded acquisition projects we submitted and approximately $6.4 million in Proposition 84 funds are now available. Projects are now actively being pursued and it is hoped that the first new grant projects may be ready for consideration by the Board in November. There were two matters that could have come before the Board in September; however, the Chairman and I did not believe they were sufficient by themselves to convene a meeting. These two matters are the extension of the Grant Agreements for two previously approved grants, the implementation of which had been delayed by the bond freeze in December 2008, and then, subsequently, by title issues. The two affected projects are the acquisition of 280 acres in the National Monument (Grant Agreement 060 approved by Resolution 2008-17) and the acquisition of approximately 20 acres in the Thermal Canyon wildlife movement corridor (Grant Agreement 053 approved by Resolution 2008-08, and amended by Resolution 2008-22). The deadline originally set in the grant agreements for expending the funds for these projects was June 30, 2009 for Thermal Canyon and December 31, 2009 for the 280 acres unless written approval is provided by the conservancy for the extension of the Grant Agreements to allow the projects to be completed. Resolution 97-01 of the Governing Board delegates to the Executive Director authority to take such actions as may be necessary to conduct the business of the Conservancy in periods between meetings. After discussion with the Chairman, we concluded that the extension of the term of the grant agreements to allow the previously approved acquisition projects to be completed was not sufficient reason to convene a September meeting in the absence of other business to be conducted, and, therefore, I could exercise the delegated authority to extend the term of the grant agreements. Accordingly, I will extend the term of the grant agreements until December 31, 2010 to allow the projects to be completed.

The dedication of the Roy Wilson Memorial Highway along a section of Highway 74 at the base of the National Monument has been scheduled for September 27 at 10:00 AM at the National Monument Visitor Center. Invitations are in the process of being sent out so you should receive one soon. The Conservancy recently completed facilitating the acquisition of several properties by the Coachella Valley Conservation Commission (CVCC) totalling 173.80 acres in the Whitewater Floodplain Conservation Area; three additional properties are in escrow: another 181.70 acres in the Whitewater Floodplain Conservation Area and 42.57 acres in the Willow Hole Conservation Area. Staff is continuing to pursue acquisitions for the CVCC, coordinate with other agencies on their acquisition projects, and continue preparation of the Reserve Management Unit Plans for the six Reserve Management Units (RMU) designated by the Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan/Natural Community Conservation Plan. Pursuant to our contract with the CVCC for RMU management planning and implementation, Geary is working with BLM on fencing and signage in the Snow Creek area to control off road vehicle trespass, and has just initiated a Morongo Canyon Trailhead Facility project in the unincorporated area north of Desert Hot Springs.