New River

Watershed Roundtable


Annual Plan of Work


2004 - 2005







Steering Committee-Action Item List


The following were set at the August 9, 2003 Conference to serve on the Steering Committee for the New River Watershed Roundtable (a one-year term): Ron Powers-Friends of Claytor Lake, Patrick Burton-New River Planning District Commission, Cynthia Hancock-Skyline Soil and Water Conservation District,  Gary Boring-New River-Highlands Resource Conservation and Development, Darla Tucker-Friends of Claytor Lake, Rachel Havens-Big Walker Soil and Water Conservation District, Karita Knisley-Citizen, Jerry Moles-Organizational Consultant, Rick Roth-Radford University, Mike Harvey-Friends of the New River, Llyn Sharp - VT Science Outreach Co-Op and Museum, Charles Maus-Citizen, Kelly Miller – Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.


These action items are to be used as guidance for the Steering Committee.  The Steering Committee will address each of these items and following the item is what is to be accomplished. 


  1. Set meeting dates and agendas over the next 12 months. – The steering committee schedules the meeting dates and times approximately 3 months in advance.


  1. Study non-profit status. Make a recommendation back to Roundtable. – Discussion was held on non-profit 501(c)(3) status throughout the 18 months.  Kent Welsh, a Certified Public Accountant and Financial Planner was present at the May meeting to discuss this issue.   501(c)(3) status allows individuals and groups to make charitable contributions to the Roundtable that is tax deductible.  To obtain 501(c)(3) status groups have to be an organized, form a non-stock corporation, have articles of incorporation (a lawyer is needed to complete this) and have by-laws to operate by.  The group would have to qualify as a charitable organization to be eligible to apply for this status.  Once 501(c)(3) status is obtained, a small amount of paperwork is required each year to upkeep status; a tax return is not necessarily filed.  The State Corporation Commission requires a yearly $30.00 filing fee and all financial activity has to be documented.  Consensus of the steering committee at this time is to umbrella under another organization status until the group is further established with a strategic plan, by-laws, etc.  A committee of Kelly Miller, Ron Powers, Darla Tucker and Gary Boring will further investigate this issue.


  1. Consider or develop proposed by-laws to set forth powers of the Steering Committee and a possible Executive Committee. – A committee of Jerry Moles, Karita Knisley, Patrick Burton, Richard Guthrie, and Cynthia Hancock has been set to research by-laws of other Roundtables and recommend by-laws for the New River Roundtable.  Suggestion has been made to wait until the larger body of the Roundtable accepts the Strategic Plan, then proceed on with by-laws.  By-laws have to be in place to apply for 501(c)(3) status. 



  1. Resource Directory.  A directory of all agencies and groups in the watershed working in water quality issues, contact information, a summary statement of what they do and how, and what services and resources they provide. – Brad Belo, the STEP intern for the summer of 2002 began this process, it is not complete at this time.


  1. Provide educational programs to Roundtable members on topics of choice. -During the first few Steering Committee meetings a guest speaker (VDGIF, VDOF, etc.) from throughout the watershed was present.  When the group began the strategic planning process, all meetings were dedicated to completing the plan. 


  1. Facilitate the whole Roundtable process. – Canaan Valley Institute has assisted with this process.  They provided a facilitator to guide us through the strategic planning process and also with a grant to hire a one-year facilitator to lead the group. 


  1. Study and recommend a fundraising plan. – Pursue funding. – 501(c)(3) status needs to be obtained before the group can begin fundraising.


  1. Study appropriate partnerships with a goal to reduce redundancy. – Take a look at other groups goals, plans, and resources, not to repeat anything another organization is working on or has completed.   


  1. Devise and recommend a marketing plan. – Referring to marketing Roundtable programs with a website, meeting notices, news articles, radio spots, etc.  Discussion has been held numerous times on developing a website.  At this time, cost is too great (developing and hosting the site) to pursue this issue. Meeting notices, news articles and radio spots were given on the public meetings and the outcomes of some of the meetings.


  1. Steering committee needs Board of Supervisor representative. – A steering committee member may attend the local Boards of Supervisors meetings to let them know that the organization does exist and what is trying to be accomplished.  Informing and inviting them of the public meetings completed this.  Recruit a Board of Supervisors member to serve on the committee.


  1. Coordinate Roundtable Focus Groups. – On-going process.  The workgroups have been established and have met on their own.  Very important player in the Strategic planning process. 



Participants from the August 9, 2003 meeting agreed to give the Steering Committee broad authority and responsibility for pursuing strategies and activities consistent with the list of items above.

Education Focus Group

of the

New River Watershed Roundtable


Action Plan 2004


Challenge 1:               Science Based Information Summary of the New River Watershed




·        Develop a series of fact sheets by topic, level of detail and audiences focus

·        Expand into brochures

·        Research a ‘State of the River’ report from other watersheds

·        Utilize university scientists better



Challenge 2:               Materials for K-12 Teachers




·        Outline materials and experiences that are available to teachers, to include workshops, field sites, etc.


Contact:   Llyn Sharpe at llyn@vt.edu



Development Focus Group

of the

New River Watershed Roundtable


Action Plan 2004



Challenge 1:  Education Forum


Action:   Develop and present a Low-impact Development Seminar.


Contact:  Tom Miller at 540-921-1010
Agriculture Focus Group

of the

New River Watershed Roundtable


Action Plan 2004


Challenge 1:  (Information/Communications) Many stakeholders are not  adequately informed about the full range of how agriculture and water quality issues affect one another.  There is a feeling that program policies and best management practices may sometimes be established without gathering enough information from affected stakeholders. 


Action:  Develop a task force to address the following:  prioritize among strategic activities; identify gaps between current programs/practices and local agricultural needs/issues; work on message/information development; and forge partnerships with other groups (e.g., Farm Bureau; young farmers; Roundtable Education and Communication Focus Groups) to develop and disseminate information. 


Challenge 2:  (Funding) Reduced state funding leads to reduced local agricultural services (e.g., loss of agriculture extension agents and programs).  In order to continue these vital programs, local taxes may increase, straining already strained local farm economies. 


Action:  Develop a legislative directory to facilitate communication with representatives in the General Assembly. 


Contact:  Richard Guthrie at crg@i-plus.net or Patrick Burton at pburton@nrvdc.org



 Solid Waste Management, Reclamation Focus Group

of the

New River Watershed Roundtable


Action Plan 2004


Challenge 1:   Reduce solid waste in streams through out the watershed.


Action:   Promote the Adopt–A–Stream Program (Department of Conservation and Recreation – DCR)


Challenge 2:   Work with local government and legislators to promote recycling and consumer reduction.


Action:   Utilize Public Service Announcements (PSA) and support other established education programs.


Contact:   Cynthia Hancock at cynthia-hancock@va.nacdnet.org

 Groundwater, Surface Water and Waste Water Focus Group

of the

New River Watershed Roundtable


Action Plan 2004


Challenge 1:   Protection of Karst lands within the watershed.


Action:    *  Identify a group working on a “cave” karst project and support the project.

      *  Promote and Market “cave” projects.


Challenge 2:   Monitoring


Action:   Provide a workshop to teach interested individuals about water quality monitoring.  Utilize Save Our Streams, Va. Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Va. Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), Friends of Claytor Lake (FOCL). 


Challenge 3:   Waste Management


Action:   Explore the pros and cons of Zoning.   What communities are considered zoning in the watershed?   Do any communities already utilize zoning?  


·        Support the use of sound and good science.  Know who and where.


Contact:  Mike McLeod at dmmcleod@deq.state.va.us



Recreation and Tourism Focus Group

of the

New River Watershed Roundtable


Action Plan 2004


Challenge 1:  Recreation Resources Inventory


Action:     Identify inventories already compiled


Challenge 2:  Recreation Usage & Activities Coordination


Action:     Develop strong regional tourism coop (liason with new State Tourism  Director)


Action:     Develop presentation for board of supervisors and other local governing

                 or interested parties


Contact:  Karita Knisely at karita_knisely@yahoo.com 

New River Roundtable


Annual Plan of Work



Challenge 1:   Generally, throughout the Basin, there is a lack of appropriate forest management that improves and sustains water quality and provides for critical wildlife habitat.


          Strategy 1: Increase and improve the implementation of

                             forestry best management practices (BMPs).


          Action items:      1)  Approach purchasers of raw materials to

                                                require logger training for suppliers

                                                Timeline:  ______________________

                                                Partners:  VDOF, VCE, Industry, SWCDs,

                                                TNC, Other-__________________

                                                Funding:  ____________________


2)      Encourage & promote SHARP Logger


Timeline:  On-going and investigate another campaign

Partners:  VDOF, VCE, SWCDs, Industry,


Funding:  ____________________


3)Encourage the development of a low impact stream-crossing course.

Timeline:  Preliminary planning=Spring 2004 with a possible Fall 2004 class

Partners:  VDOF, VCE, New River RC&D, Industry, Other-__________________

Funding:  ______________________


4)  Explore tax credit program for forest management planning.

Timeline:  Jan. 2004 begin research with a recommendation for Jan. 2005 General Assembly session

Partners:  New River Highlands RC&D, TNC, Sustainable Development Council, SAF, Other Roundtables  Other:____________

Funding:  None required, only man hours


5)      Work with Area IV SWCDs to include

forestry BMPs on the agenda at the spring meeting.

Timeline:  March 2004

Partners:  SWCDs, DCR, and VDOF

Funding:  None required


6)  Identify and prioritize critical species and unique ecosystems by compiling already existing information on flora and fauna

Timeline:  ___________________

Partners:  USFS, DCR-NH, EPA, VDGIF, Other:________

Funding:  ____________________________


7)  Promote conservation easements to protect critical wildlife habitat

Timeline:  On-going

Partners:  New River Land Trust, Western Va. Land Trust, VOF, DCR Land Conservation Office, USDA-NRCS, TNC, VDOF, VDGIF, Other:_____________________

Funding:  State & Federal Programs, possibly grants for publicity


8)  Publicize state and federal wildlife programs through available media (newspapers, public announcements, displays, etc.).  Encourage agencies to actively market programs.

Timeline:  Spring 2004 (or when federal budget approved)

Partners:  USDA-NRCS, New River Highlands RC&D, DCR, VDGIF, Other:____________

Funding:  Some media will be free, other spots will need small amounts of funding—possibly mini-grants or donations


Challenge 2:        While it is known that properly functioning riparian

                             areas provide substantial water quality protection and

                             enhancement in adjacent water bodies, land use in much

                             of the riparian areas in the Basin has reduced proper

                             riparian functioning substantially and not enough

                             riparian areas are being restored and/or protected.


Strategy #1:  Increase the amount of riparian buffers in the New River watershed.


Action Items:      1)  Review, simplify, and revise the state forestry

                                                            Riparian Buffer Tax Credit program.

                                                            Timeline:  Spring 2004 preliminary work, Fall 2004

                                                            draft proposal & seek General Assembly sponsor, Jan.

                                                            2005= Final draft with Assembly patron ready for


                                                            Partners:  ____________________________

                                                            Funding:  None


2)     Support perpetual easements through

Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program,

Forest Legacy program, and Farmland Security Act.

Timeline:  On-going



Funding:  State & Federal programs


3)  Promote riparian buffers in urban areas by meeting with PDCs, Board of Supervisors, and assisting with planning conferences.

Timeline:  On-going


Funding:  None


Challenge 3:        Generally in the Basin, there is a lack of alternative

                             forest management and utilization of forest resources


Strategy #1:       Explore alternative uses for forest land and forest products.


                   Action Items:      1)  Increase awareness of white pine roping industry

and potential markets for white pine tips.


                                                            Partners:  VCE, New River Highlands RC&D,

                                                            Christmas Tree Growers Associations,


                                                            Funding:  ___________________


2)     Assist New River Highland RC&D with tipping



3)  Partner with manufacturing industry to demonstrate and promote.





Strategy #2:        Promote timber stand improvement (TSI) and alternative harvesting methods.


Action Items:            1)  TSI demonstration workshops throughout the



                                                             Partners:  VCE, VDOF, VDGIF, Others:________

                                                             Funding:  ___________________________


2)     Again, explore a tax credit program for forest

management planning.  (See above)


Strategy #3:         Convert marginal pastureland to forested.


                        Action Items:

1)  Develop Agroforestry information (brochure, demo)


Partners:  VCE, Other:________________



2)      Increase selling of current program

to landowners.  Promote programs that encourage conversion.


Partners:  ALL



3)     Research, gather information, and publicize

alternative income sources for forest land.





Contact:   Kelly Miller at kmiller@dcr.state.va.us