2008 FAC Meeting Notes

Please scroll down to find the Meeting Notes for 2008:
  • December 18, 2008
  • June 19, 2008
  • March 20, 2008
December 18, 2008
Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
Park Advisory Commission Meeting
December 18, 2008
Middletown Town Hall
Middletown, Virginia

I) Introduction
II) Review of Minutes from September 18, 2008
III) General Management Plan
A) Planning status update—Stubbs
B) GMP public review (handout)—Stubbs
C) Advisory Commission comments; draft comments from subcommittee—group
D) GMP public meetings, January 27-29, 2009—Stubbs
IV) Old Business
A) Key Partner facilitated session, September 22—Jacox
V) New Business
A) Election of officers; call for nominations
B) Other?
VI) Next Meeting—March 19, 2009, Front Royal, Warren County Government Center

Meeting Notes
Commission members in attendance: Diann Jacox, DFO; Fred Andreae, Mary Bowser, Gene Dicks, Patrick Farris, Randy Jones, Sarah Mauck, Elizabeth McClung, Gary Rinkerman, Pam Sheets, and Kris Tierney, chair.
Commission members absent: Roy Downey, Jim Smalls, and Dan Stickley.
Others in attendance: Catharine Gilliam, National Parks Conservation Association; Bob Grogg, NPS volunteer; Brent Laurenz, Civil War Preservation Trust; Elizabeth Stern, Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation; Chris Stubbs, National Park Service.
Chair Kris Tierney opened the meeting and asked everyone to introduce themselves.

The minutes were approved as submitted.

Chris Stubbs reported that the draft GMP had been distributed to 450 people either as complete hard copies or as CDs. All public comments are due to the NPS no later than February 27, 2009.
The commission members discussed how they would submit their comments on the GMP. Some initial attempts had been made by individuals, but they decided that it was important to present a unified, unanimous statement supporting Alternative D. Accordingly, the commissioners decided to start with one of the drafts, go through the entire document line by line, and end today’s meeting with a document that they could all support and sign, once all changes and corrections were incorporated. Review of the document then proceeded. Diann Jacox asked that their comments be in the form of a letter to her with signature lines for each commission member, in alphabetical order. She also suggested that the Board Chair of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation sign the document, since the position of executive director is now vacant.

Chris Stubbs asked for commission members to volunteer to help with the upcoming public meetings and to let him know if they could participate.
Old Business Diann Jacox reported on the facilitated meeting with the Key Partners, September 22, 2008. All Key Partner executive directors, each with one or more board members, attended the meeting. All who attended noted that the session was valuable and affirmed everyone’s desire to continue working
together. Everyone acknowledged that communication is the major issue, and that would require continued commitment to making the partnership work. The Key Partners have met a few times since the facilitated session and worked on ways to ensure that communication is clear and complete.

New Business
Chris Stubbs reminded the commission members that it was time to call for nominations for the annual election of officers. Several members stated that they were happy with both the current chair and vice-chair and saw no reason for changing. The terms of Kris Tierney as chair and Randy Jones as vice chair were extended for one more year.

Sarah Mauck announced that Preserve America had honored three local communities: Martinsburg, West Virginia, and Middleburg and Strasburg, Virginia.

Elizabeth McClung announced that the Belle Grove candlelight tours are in full swing. The doll collection of a Strasburg school teacher is being showcased throughout the house this year.

The next commission meeting will be in Front Royal at the Warren County Government Center on March 19, 2009.

Chair Kris Tierney adjourned the meeting at 12 noon.

Handouts Provided at the Meeting
  • Public review bullets
  • Subcommittee comments – 3 versions
June 19, 2008
Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
Park Advisory Commission Meeting
June 19, 2008
Warren County Government Center
Front Royal, Virginia
I) General Introduction
II) Review and Approval of Minutes of March 20, 2008, meeting
III) Discussion of next annual meeting cycle—Where” When? How often?
IV) Invited speaker, Dr. Woodward Bousquet, Shenandoah university—Ecological Investigations in
Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
V) Park Web Site, www.nps.gov/cebe
VI) Discussion of Internal Draft GMP
A) Report from subcommittee
B) Major discussion topics raised by subcommittee Park friends group
  • Visitor center criteria
  • Large events zone
  • Strengthen NPS role as coordinator among Key Partners
  • Other topics
VII) Old Business
VIII) New Business
IX) Next Meeting
Meeting Notes
Commission members in attendance: Diann Jacox, DFO; Fred Andreae; Mary Bowser; Patrick Farris; Randy Jones; Howard Kittell; Sarah Mauck; Elizabeth McClung; Gary Rinkerman; Pam Sheets; Dan Stickley.
Commission members absent: Gene Dicks, Roy Downey, Jim Smalls, Kris Tierney.
Others in attendance: Woodward Bousquet, Shenandoah University; Butch Fravel, Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation; Bob Grogg, NPS volunteer; Drew Houff, Winchester Star; Rick Redmond, Strasburg Town Council; Chris Stubbs, NPS; Sally Voth, Northern Virginia Daily.
In the absence of Kris Tierney, Commission chair, Randy Jones, as vice-chair, conducted the meeting.

The meeting minutes from March 20, 2008, were approved as written.

Commission members discussed both the frequency and timing of meetings for the coming year, and how ad hoc meetings and subcommittee meeting could take place. A consensus was arrived at for continuing the meetings on a quarterly basis and to meet on the third Thursday of each quarter.

The meeting dates and locations will be:
September 18, 2008 Strasburg town hall
December 18, 2008 Middletown town hall
March 19, 2009 Warren County government center
June 18, 2009 Strasburg town hall

Prof. Woody Bousquet of Shenandoah University described the research that he and his students have been doing in the park area since 1994. He began by describing the methodologies, documentation of the research work, and moved on to make some specific statements about the merits of the environment under study. He talked, among other things, about the undisturbed upland forest areas,
a rarity in today’s Shenandoah Valley, and about the wood turtle population in Cedar Creek, one of only two watersheds within the state with such a significant population.

Bousquet recommended that the National Park Service and its key partners recognize the value of these areas and eliminate, where possible, any disturbances such as mowing and grazing, confine visitor traffic to trails, and establish riparian buffers. He also stressed the educational worth of these properties.

Planner Chris Stubbs noted that Bousquet’s findings have been incorporated into the draft General Management Plan (GMP).

Subcommittee Report
Howard Kittell led the presentation by the subcommittee (Mary Bowser, Randy Jones, Howard Kittell, Elizabeth McClung, and Gary Rinkerman) established to review the internal draft GMP representing the entire board. First and foremost the subcommittee stated that they felt the GMP to be excellent. A compilation of all comments— typographical errors, suggested word changes, and various
small items—will be forthcoming from Howard Kittell. Jones stressed that the Commission would need to be ready to submit full and public comments once the GMP is released to the public.

The subcommittee felt that they needed more time to come to a consensus on several items (e.g., a friends group, the visitor center, large events zone). The subcommittee also wanted as much clarity as possible on articulating the NPS role as it relates to the partners and across all the alternatives. Some visual representation of how all are related might be of help.

Old Business

New Business
As acting chair Randy Jones raised the issue of the tensions among the key partners that
have arisen over the Chemstone quarry rezoning. He said that it should be part of the record that none of the tensions currently existing between Belle Grove, Inc., and the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation have ever been discussed, voted upon, or formally considered by the Park Advisory Commission. Diann Jacox reported that she is seeking a facilitator who can work to resolve the differences so that the key partners can continue their positive, collaborative relationship. [Note: that facilitated session will take place on September 22, 2008.]

Patrick Farris reported on new exhibits for the Warren Heritage Society.

The town of Strasburg is working on a new historic district ordinance.

On July 12, 2008, the SVBF will make an announcement on a major land acquisition. [Note: at the referenced press conference the SVBF announced that it had purchased the 189-acre Hudson tract within the park boundary.]

On July 9, 2008, the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the Civil War staff will meet for a planning

The next Park Advisory Commission meeting will be at the Strasburg town hall, September 18, 2008.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:54 a.m.

March 20, 2008
Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
Park Advisory Commission Meeting
March 20, 2008
Middletown Town Hall
Middletown, Virginia
I) General Introduction
II) Approval of Pam Sheets, Shenandoah County Representative—Jacox
III) Review and Approval of Minutes of December 13, 2007, meeting
IV) Commissioner bios—Grogg
V) Park Web Site, www.nps.gov/cebe
VI) Internal Draft GMP for Commission Review
A) GMP Status Update—Stubbs
B) Presentation on reading the internal draft GMP—Stubbs
C) Discussion on Commission Review of GMP—commission members
VII) Old Business
VIII) New Business
IX) Next Meeting—June 19, 2008, Warren County Government Center

Meeting Notes
Commission members in attendance: Diann Jacox, Designated Federal Official (DFO); Fred Andreae; Mary Bowser; Gene Dicks; Patrick Farris; Howard Kittell; Elizabeth McClung; Gary Rinkerman; Pam Sheets; Jim Smalls; Dan Stickley; and Kris Tierney, chair.
Commission members absent: Roy Downey, Randy Jones.
Others in attendance: Carl Bernhards, Jr, Greater Middletown Business Association; Bob Grogg, NPS volunteer; Stanley Hirschberg, M.D., Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation; Stephanie Mangino, Winchester Star; Babs Melton, Hupps Hill Historical Park; Stephanie Pendleton, local resident; Nicholas Picerno, Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation; Steve Shipe, local resident; Chris
Stubbs, NPS.
Chair Kris Tierney opened the meeting.

Superintendent Diann Jacox announced that Pam Sheets’s appointment to the
Commission had been confirmed by the Secretary of the Interior. Jacox and Tierney presented Sheets with a notebook containing the documents relevant to her role as a Commission member.

The minutes from the December 13, 2007, meeting were reviewed and approved.

Bob Grogg announced that all the commissioner bios were completed and now available on the park’s web site. Chris Stubbs continued that discussion and informed everyone present that Cedar Creek and Belle Grove now has the assistance of a Saratoga National Historical Park employee who will work on
upgrading and enlarging the local park’s web presence.

The bulk of the meeting was devoted to distributing the internal review copies of the General Management Plan, explaining to the commissioners which parts called for their greatest attention, and discussing how best the commission members should proceed in their review so that they will be well prepared once the document is released to the public.

Stubbs told the commission members that the copies now in their hands were for their use only; the NPS Washington Office has not given approval for the document to be printed and released to the public. That approval should come after the review by the Deputy Director for Operations, Dan Wenk. The final version will also have the agency preferred alternative identified; the internal draft
GMP does not do so.

The commissioners discussed at length how best to review the document and provide comments to the full commission. Both Jacox and Stubbs stressed that it would be inappropriate for either of them to be part of the commissioners’ review, but that if the subcommittee needed clarification or answers to questions, either or both would be available. After some time a consensus arose that each member should read as much of the document as possible, guided by the recommendations Stubbs had given them (see copy of presentation attached to these notes), develop a statement or a letter about their reaction to the document, and submit that letter to a subcommittee. That subcommittee, composed of Mary Bowser, Patrick Farris, Howard Kittell, Elizabeth McClung, Randy Jones, and Gary Rinkerman, will read all the comments and compile
and compose one letter representing the views of the Commission. Howard Kittell will serve as chair of the subcommittee. Any commission member who wishes to submit comments should do so by April 30, 2008. The subcommittee will present its comments at the next commission meeting.

There were questions about how the public meetings on the draft GMP would be conducted. Stubbs explained that taking comments from the public is an important part of the process and is, in fact, required. Some members thought it might be best to use the facilities at Lord Fairfax Community College for the meeting in Middletown as the town hall may not be large enough.

Old Business and New Business
There was neither any old business nor new business.

The next meeting will be June 19, 2008, in the Warren County Government Center.

Chair Kris Tierney adjourned the meeting at 11:15 a.m.

Handouts provided at the March 20, 2008, meeting
1. Meeting agenda
2. Meeting Notes from the December 13, 2007, meeting
3. How to Read the Internal Draft GMP – PowerPoint presentation

Last updated: January 14, 2018

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