VCLRA Board working papers

VCLRA Zoom video board meeting

Oct 26, 2020 9:00 AM Central Time

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Zoom Video Meeting Access

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Call to order/check for quorum/agenda review

Secretary’s Report (Karen): Approval of Minutes

Treasurer’s reports (Anne)

Committee Reports – Old Business

  • Blue Heron Report (Carol/Tom)
    Recent award info added to website (BH webpage updated plus a blog article on 2020 award recipient).
    Anything further to report?
    Any further thoughts on providing award recipients with an (optional) sign?

  • VCLRA Scholarship (Anne/Steve/Carol)
    Anything to report?
  • VCLRA Booth exhibits (Steve/Tom)
    None held this year due to Covid-19. Got refund for the one event we had to pay an admission fee in advance.
  • New Shoreland Owner Initiative status (Dick/Debbie/Carol)
    Suggest another article in the newsletter and website blog on Greet initiative.
    Should we also have a newspaper article on the New Home Owners Initiative? Many new homeowners moving into area.
    Any progress on getting an updated list of lakes associations and board member contacts? Anything else to report?

  • County Conservationist/Lake Specialist Report (Carolyn/Quita/Cathy)
    Lake Business Outreach Program and youth education opportunities (continue from last time) Program Outline (pdf), Follow up (pdf)
  • DO Meter Grant Status (Tom)
    Nothing further to report. Received 1-year extension to build more usage data due to pandemic. Have received reports that users like the new unit.
  • Web Outreach Status (Tom)
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Web stats
[panel-content]Last 30 days: 291 users, 309 sessions, 449 page views
Year to date: 1482 users, 2016 sessions, 3843 pageviews
  • Other old business?

New Business:

  • Commitment to regularly publish articles in local newspapers (All)
    Talked last time about doing ~4 articles per year. Currently we routinely do 2 news articles (scholarship and BH award).
    Other possibilities: newspaper article about the New Home Owners Initiative is timely, given many new homeowners moving to area.
    Also, is it ok to go public about the Lake Business Outreach Program? We could plug businesses that have signed up…
  • 2021 Multi-county Workshop/Annual meeting
    No discussion about a 2021 event yet. Steve, can you continue coordinating with OCLRA?
  • January 2021 newsletter
    • Presidents letter
    • Blue Heron Stewardship Award Nominations Now Open
    • Membership (should advise about online registration)
    • Local applicants sought for VCLRA Scholarship
    • Lake business outreach program
    • New Owners Initiative/Greet
    • Has any one studied the impact on lakes of the pandemic? One thing is we are having a surge of new lake home owners…
    • Other articles? Could always browse Lake Tides for something if needed…
    • Due date? Typically pick Dec 10…
  • Other new business?

Adjourn/next meeting – April 5, 2021 is a Monday


VCLRA Zoom video board meeting

Sep 14, 2020 09:30 AM Central Time

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Call to order/check for quorum/agenda review

Secretary’s Report (Karen): Approval of Minutes

Treasurer’s reports (Anne) Do we need a reminder email?

Committee Reports/Old Business
Want to move quickly through these to allow ample time for planning topics discussion

  • Multi-county Workshop/Annual meeting discussion (All)
    Good quality presentations, but disappointing participation (72 Zoom participants vs. nearly 100 at 2019 in-person event)
  • New Shoreland Owner Initiative status (Dick/Debbie/Carol)
    Any further activity by committee? The new-owner webpage is currently the 3rd most popular webpage; received 7% of views in past month. The “greet” webpage has had negligible traffic (1 visit in past month). Could do another round of emails combined with membership reminder.
  • Blue Heron Report (Carol)
    Presented Debbie Miller of Ballard Lake during annual meeting. Has the award been publicized in any newspapers? Do we have presentation pictures?
  • VCLRA Scholarship (Anne/Steve/Carol)
    Any follow-on action required by previous year recipient?
  • VCLRA Booth exhibits (Steve/Tom)
    None held this year due to Covid-19
  • DO Meter Grant Status (Tom)
    Received extension to build more usage data due to Covid-19 issues
  • Web Outreach Status (Tom)
    Numerous blog articles added this year plus online membership and other refinements
  • County Conservationist/Lake Specialist Report (Carolyn/Quita/Cathy)
    Lake Business Outreach Program (DOC), PDF version
  • Other old business?

New Business:

Planning topics discussion (All)  Topics for discussion (pdf)

Need everyone to help identify additional board members (currently down 1, but also need to find a replacement for Carol)
We are heavy on representation from north-west corner of county and Eagle River. Could use representation of north-eastern part (Land O’Lakes, Phelps, Conover) and southwestern part (St. Germain, Arbor Vitae) of county. Also a river dweller?

How can we be more effective during the pandemic?
We still gave out a scholarship and a Blue Heron Award
We held the Seven-county lakes & rivers Zoom meeting, but participation was low (72, well less than last year’s in-person event)
We have done numerous web-based engagements (10 blog articles in 2020, a newsletter, “Greet your Neighbor” rollout)
Online membership (join or renew by check or credit card) was implemented in 2020
No public exhibits or opportunities to speak at LA meetings (most everything cancelled)

How we can better support Vilas County Land and Water Conservation for the coming year?
We got a grant for the DO meter and have provided letters of support for their grant proposals
We are exploring a partnering opportunity on AIS prevention outreach (Cathy Higley)

How can we better support youth education?
We give an annual scholarship to an area HS student and publicized it in the papers
We occasionally hear from students that found our “Useful Links” helpful for a school project.
Many more students are studying from home due to Covid-19 and benefit from online learning –a missed opportunity! We’ve discussed a kid’s webpage (content similar to our former grandparents’ corner).

Susan suggested displaying signs on lake properties of Blue Heron Awardees to promote shoreline excellence (she saw this done in Minnesota).

Feedback from member Dave Slezewski, Big Portage Lake (who BTW is a north-east corner dweller)
Is anyone tackling lake human problems associated with fireworks, excessive noise, etc. and related wildlife disruption and human quality of lake life.
How about an AIS prevention billboard at each of the main highway arteries into Vilas County, i.e., US 45, WI 17 and 70, etc.? Too many boaters (especially out-of-stater’s) still unaware of issues.
Note: Susan will check the literature and poll the Center for Limnology faculty 

January 2021 newsletter
Defer to next meeting


Schedule next Meeting/Adjourn

July 10, 2020 Zoom VCLRA board meeting

Call for a Quorum/Call to order/Agenda review (Tom)

Blue Heron Award Virtual Presentation (Warden)

Secretary’s Report (Karen): Approval of 7/12/2019 Annual Meeting Minutes

Treasurer’s Finance/Membership Reports (Anne)

Old Business

New Business

  • 2019 Budget Close-out/2020 Proposed Budget (Anne)
  • Election of Directors for 2020-2022 (Tom)
    Slate: Karen Dixon, Carol Warden, Anne Kretschmann, Steve Budnik, Celeste Hockings, Jeff Currie
  • AIS prevention outreach campaign opportunity (Cathy Higley)
  • Other


Brief VCLRA BOD Meeting for election of officers

Election of Officers for 2020-2022: President (Tom Ewing), Vice President (D. Soberg)


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Draft meeting minutes from April 20th video-conference board meeting


April 20, 2020 video-conference VCLRA board meeting

[notification type=”alert-danger” close=”false” ]Notice that official business will be transacted during this online, video-conference meeting. A director participating via remote 2-way communication is considered to be present at the meeting.  [Wis. Stat. § 181.82] [/notification]

Clicking on blue link (below) will open document in separate tab of browser.

Presidents report (Tom) is here. (Revised 4/15/20)
Secretary report (Karen)
Treasurer’s report (Anne)
New Shoreland Owners Initiative (Dick Jenks, Jeff Currie, Carol Warden, Debby Soberg, Quita Sheehan, Patrick Goggin)
  • R. Jenks notes:
  • The final implementation step in VCLRA’s initiative to connect with new lakeshore property owners is to encourage the Lake Associations to create a “Greet Your Neighbor” program. I’m proposing an e-mail cover letter with several attachments (“Greet your neighbor” package). This package is ready to be sent (pending Board approval) to all of the lake associations to enlist their help. I already have lake association e-mail contacts from Cathy Higley and UWEX. The “Greet your neighbor” package consists of:
    Conversation starters, Cover letter to lake associations, Example welcome letters, Property transfers
  • A VCLRA Power Point presentation has been developed for briefings on the initiative with realtors, lake associations, and other community stakeholders by Tom Ewing.  The goal was to keep the presentation very short, very visual, and hopefully compelling.  It is intended that the briefing will fit into VCLRA’s multi-phased shoreland owners initiative: business cards, free memberships, new web site with links to support info, BMP’s etc, and a “Greet Your Neighbor” program for lake associations.
  • Action: board approval of Greet your Neighbor package and stakeholder briefing
VCLRA Scholarship Program (Anne, Carol, Steve)
  • Have an applicant that the committee recommends moving forward with awarding.
  • Action: approve awarding recommended applicant
Spring Newsletter (Celeste et al)
  • Tom: is it advisable to produce and mail the next newsletter in paper form? Is our printing resource still even available? Can the mailing be reasonably conducted given the need to minimize in-person contact? Doing a digital version is no problem since it can be handle online; so we could always release the digital version online on schedule, and do the mailing at a later time when it is safe to do so.
  • Action: either 1) defer May newsletter for now, 2) move ahead with digital version for May and do mailing at a later time (when safe), or 3) move ahead with both (safety not an issue)
Blue Heron Award Initiative (Carol)
  • Carol: suggests we solicit for Blue Heron award as we normally would.  These assessments are easily done without any close contact.
Annual multi-county meeting (Steve)
  • Steve has been coordinating with OCLRA. Meeting tentatively scheduled for Friday morning July 10th.  Tentative theme: “Shoreland Owner Outreach”.  New Shoreland Owners Initiative is one of the topics. Realtors will be invited.  If in-person meeting is not possible, will handle electronically/online rather than cancel.
County Conservationist/Lake Specialist Report
Other business? (All)
  • Emily: could work at stockpiling articles and kids page information for the VCLRA website (has interns that could help).