Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Water, Natural Resources, Energy Minutes of 02/14/13

Key Leaders Roundtable (KLR)  Subcommittee Meeting
Group 3: Water, Natural Resources, Energy
Minutes of 02/14/13

Members Present: Angela Ehlers, Jeff Zimprich, Mark Tubbs, Marlee Cordell, Michael Schmidt, Peter Bauman, Richard Vasgaard, Paula Gregg.

Members Absent: Courtney De La Rosa, David Niemi , Duane Schneider, Jim Faulstich, Kathy Zander, Laron Krause, Mike Traxinger,  Myron Williams, Silvia Christensen, Wayne Smith.

1.         Angela Ehlers, Chair, called the meeting to order at 3:00 pm. CST. Members present answered the roll call. A roll call of members present was called. There was a roll call of the members present.

It was discussed to send future email attachments as a word or excel file so the text is easier to read.  Committee members may provide a mailing address to SDDA to have the minutes, needs assessment, and action work plan USPS mailed to them.

2.         Committee members were asked for discussion on the minutes, needs assessment, and action work plans. Do they reflect the committee’s action, direction, and discussion? These are working papers meant to capture the flow of our work and what we want to present at the Governor’s Ag Summit and Key Leaders’ Roundtable in June 2013. Members are encouraged to chat via email with the group regarding any of the objective topics.

It was discussed to revise Objective 5 sub point to clarify “Loss of native sod and wetlands” by adding language “due to conversion to row crop agriculture.”

3.         Angela Ehlers will provide a written report summarizing the status of House and Senate bills that she is tracking through the Legislative process for SDACD. As of the meeting date, there were no specific bills that committee members wanted to discuss. If any bills come up in the closing weeks of Session that any committee member feels we should discuss, members are asked to send an email to the group to begin a conversation.

4.         Angela Ehlers will arrange with DENR to present water right laws and monitoring at the next meeting.

5.         Pete Bauman reported that he received positive feedback from SDSU Extension Services that they can and could serve as a clearinghouse of information for land owners, especially regarding invasive species. The topic of surface use agreements may be a little outside their arena of expertise. They currently do not have an extension specialist on energy. They may add a conservation topic tab to the website.  At an upcoming meeting, Pete will demonstrate SDSU Extension’s website IGROW.ORG and the committee can give feedback about how IGROW can be used to accomplish the objective.

SDSU Extension Services would like more vision and detail from committee as to what information should be included or needed for a land surface use clearinghouse. It would be helpful if any committee members could write a paragraph explaining, from the ag producer’s perspective, what is the issue and why it is a concern.

Mark Tubbs offered to provide Pete with some information specific on this subject.

Marlee Cordell told about her personal experience, as a land owner in Harding County, of how difficult it was to get information about surface use agreements.  The companies leasing the ground have the experience and legal knowledge to negotiate different leases with each landowner. Many of the lease provisions are protected by confidentiality, thereby making it difficult for neighboring landowners to share information. It is up to each land owner to research what is the best way to handle their lease. However, the landowner often lacks the time, knowledge, and the expertise to negotiate lease conditions to best protect their land and interest. Marlee said it required hours and hours of personally visiting with other people who have been through it.  At no time were they ever referred to a government agency where they could ask questions and gain information. The landowner needs a feasible way to research and obtain information.

The committee discussed whether this is a needed function of SDSU extension or a lack of a service provided by a State government office. We need to find out whether someplace in state government (ie. AG Consumer Protection, PUC, NRCS,DENR, LRC) already is a resource for landowners to ask questions relating to land use and surface agreements. Angela will contact the LRC Summer Study and Paula will contact AG Consumer Protection and PUC about what service they may provide.

6.         No report on subsurface agreements.

7.         The committee discussed whether SDSU Extension should have an energy field specialist. The idea to add this as an action step under Objective 1 will be further discussed at the next meeting.

8.         No other business was discussed.

9.         The next meeting will be a Video Teleconference (VTC) and will include a presentation by DENR. The NRCS has 4 VTC sites located in Brookings, Huron, Pierre, and Rapid City. Tentative dates are March 11-13 or March 18-20.

10.       Meeting Adjourned at 3:37 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Paula Gregg, Finance Program Specialist, SDDA.

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