Message from the President

(This is an article from the Fall/Winter 2012 Newsletter, To view the 2012 Fall/Winter Newsletter as a pdf, click here.)

2012 has been very productive for LMWCC in accomplishing several goals. Our membership on the Council has grown and it is only through our members that the LMWCC can be an effective force in preserving, protecting and improving the special resource that is The Little Manistee River. Our Webmaster has been committed to updating and refreshing our Website – LMWCC.ORG – check it out!

We completed the Bug Survey and H2O Quality tests. The SWAT Team has worked diligently to maintain a clear navigation channel from Johnson Bridge downstream. Considering the massive number of obstructions due to the late February heavy snow and high water runoff their efforts are laudable indeed. Also we have had several teams conduct clean-up trips in various sections along the river. And, the “Salmon in the Classroom” program continues to be a success.

LMWCC was extremely fortunate in securing two large grants from Patagonia Inc. and Michigan Fly Fishing Club. These greatly facilitated completion of two high priority projects by enabling us to contract out the jobs: The Patagonia grant was used to improve 400 feet of Syers Creek from M-37 to the confluence with the LM by adding fifteen structures to deepen and accelerate the flow. The MFFC money was applied to repairing a major bank blow-out and installing three fish covers in the Indian Bridge DNR access site. This allowed our volunteer program to complete one fish cover and five current deflectors at the Indian Bridge site. We still have one more structure to place in the Indian Bridge area. We are pressing forward on evaluating the DNR access at Carrieville for possible improvements next year. More details will be provided as we finalize the plan over the winter. I do need to mention that only through volunteers can the organization maintain the high standards we set for ourselves.

This year we experienced a major increase in both numbers and activities from volunteers. Apparently the word is getting out about how important as well as fun it is to get involved in these projects. With only 6 or 7 helpers, a single structure project usually will take most of one day to complete. However, with the twelve to fifteen helpers that were present at both projects, it took only the morning to complete the two volunteer jobs. Thanks to those who graciously gave of their time to lend their helping hands. Additionally, there are four or five private projects being worked through contracts coordinated through us and the CRA.

The council will fund the costs for acquiring permits for Council members. It is important that any work or improvement on the river be properly assessed and planned by individuals whoare knowledgeable in this field and appropriate permits are secured. At this year’s Annual Meeting the LMWCC approved the Board’s examining ways to support private projects. Initial Board discussions indicated some possible areas of support.

1: Council funds could be used to help defer cost of materials.

2: Council volunteers could be used to complete projects prioritized as most in need of improvements based on surveys of the river by CRA, NFS and DNR representatives. Who knows, with enough volunteers we could be kept busy for a large portion of the summer.

SO, WANNA GET INVOLVED???

JUST DO IT!!!

I know many members are aware of what your Board actually does. but, just to review, I have identified and divided several tasks among the Board members. The tasks are: Administrative Assistant, Volunteers coordinator, SWAT Team supervisor, Project Manager, Legal Counsel, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, Bug Survey and H2O Quality testing director, Annual dues and Membership chairman, Newsletter editor, Web Site manager, Educational services, River Stewardship program administrator, Joint Partnership Committee representative and Grant writer. We also plan for and organize the annual meeting, soliciting raffle and auction prizes and preparing the Annual report. If you or anyone you know might be interested in volunteering in any capacity, please contact any Board member! Any Council member or guest is always welcome to any of the Board meetings. We meet the first Saturday of each month. In addition we have quarterly meetings, led by the Conservation Resource Alliance, of the Little Manistee Partnership Council made up of the National Forest Service, Michigan DNRE, the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, and the County Road Commissions from the three counties through which the LM flows. The President of the council attends these as well as the annual meeting of Conservation Councils from all the various watersheds in the Lower Peninsula.

All this starts with people — people who volunteer their time, energy, and yes, money to make it all work. Our future activities hold much promise for continued improvements to and maintenance of our river. The need for all of our support is and will remain of paramount importance if we are to perpetuate the great legacy our organization has established through the many accomplishments of the past fifteen years in Protecting, Preserving, and Enjoying the Little Manistee River.

Tim Phillips
President, LMWCC