348 Muskingum Drive vista@muskingumriver.org 740-374-4170


August 2018 News

Friends of Lower Muskingum River

Monthly News Roundup

August 23, 2018


The following is a slightly shortened version of this month’s board meeting minutes, provided to the FLMR membership to keep you up to date with what is going on in FLMR.


The meeting was called to order by president Katy Lustofin.


In attendance were board members Katy Lustofin, Elin Jones, Sam Powell, Brad Bond, Ty Williams, Matt Halfhill and Doug Albaugh; and executive director Tiffany Harvey.


Executive Director’s Report


Tiffany emailed a report to the board of what she has done.  Also see below.


Continuing Business:


Fundraising / matching donation –   We have received about $1,000 in donations that will be matched by our anonymous donor.  Katy is writing a letter showing in detail what it costs to run FLMR.  We hope that potential donors will be motivated to give more when they see the cost of each item in our budget.  Tiffany has met with Marietta Community Foundation, and they pointed out that we should encourage donors to donate to the FLMR account at MCF, which is a very good investment account.


FLMR Annual Dinner and Auction – Tiffany is working with Rural Action to set up the on-line auction.  She will find out what the use of the software (Hibid.com) will cost us.  She needs to have all auction items and related information by October 19.  Donated items should have a value of at least $50.  We hope the on-line auction can begin about a month before the dinner, and continue through the dinner so that dinner attendees can bid at the dinner.  If we have an auctioneer at the dinner, the bids will still be entered into the on-line system, so it will just be a continuation of the on-line auction.  And we hope we can stir up enthusiasm and get some higher bids at the dinner.


Need new treasurer/bookkeeper –  Does anyone know someone who might be interested?  Ty will ask his accountant (in Athens) how much he charges.  Elin reported that Cindy Brown is now working on our 990.


Walnut Hills – Tiffany attended city council meeting, but the Walnut Hills issue was not addressed due to a mix-up.  It will be re-visited at their November 6 meeting.  Elin is going to send us a synopsis of present situation.



New Business:


Marcum conservation easement property – Tiffany was contacted by a Ryan Balsley who is interested in purchasing the property from the corporation that presently owns it.  She referred him to Doug, who spoke with him at length.  He has read the conservation easement and accompanying land management plan, and he has a problem with the prohibition of all hunting except for deer hunting.  Doug and Katy believe that an amendment is in order, to remove this restriction.  Reasons:  (1) A conservation easement should not include any restriction that cannot be monitored and enforced; (2) hunting is not mentioned in the list of restrictions in the deed of conservation easement, but only in the management plan; (3) hunting would have no negative impact on the conservation values of the property.  The board had no problem with this.  Katy will look into having a legal document prepared and recorded.


Wilson Wildlife Sanctuary – a Jeremy Levan, an attorney with Blue Ridge Mountain Resources, has been contacting FLMR, wanting us to sign a contract, supposedly to clean up some issues about ownership.  Tiffany obtained this 3-page contract and brought it to the board.  Katy is going to ask Kathy Ortt to look at it (this is her line of work), but the board is pretty sure we see what it is all about.  Matt has had to deal with oil companies, and recognized the intent to get us to allow pooling and horizontal drilling under the property.  We do not want to sign this contract.  There is a separate issue that we do want to take care.  Mr. Levan discovered that when the property was donated to FLMR by the Wilson Family (coordinated by Diana Wilson March), there were two individuals who did not quitclaim all of their interest (for 1/15 and 1/45 ownership).  Tiffany has recently talked with Diana (Mr. Levan has been bothering her also), so Tiffany can call Diana and explain that we just need the quitclaims and do not intend to sign the contract.


Pollinator habitat workdays – we will have volunteer workdays at the Luke Chute pollinator habit on September 22, September 29 and October 6 to remove tree-of-heaven seedlings, as well as other tree seedlings and to trim tree branches around the firebreak.  Tiffany is going to schedule installation of the benches donated by KC Harvey Environmental for September 15 (and for that day there will be 4 volunteers from KC Harvey, plus Katy, Tiffany and Doug, so other volunteers are optional and not necessary).


Bridge at Devols Run – Tiffany has suggested that we should build a bridge across Devols Run below the railroad trestle, so that trash can be removed without using boats.  Elin has talked with Peter Prigge about this.  The board raised three questions:  Do we own the property on both sides of the creek; would a bridge be washed away by floods; and would we need a permit?  Elin will talk with Peter again.


River Cleanup at Devols Run – on October 6, the crew team will pick up trash.



Future Dates:


Next FLMR board meeting – Thursday, September 27, 4:30 p.m., at Luke Chute Conservation Area, immediately followed by:


FLMR Potluck Picnic – Thursday, September 27, 6:00 p.m., at Luke Chute Conservation Area – bring your own beverage and table service and a dish to share.


Respectfully submitted,


Free and open to the public.

The Green Sanctuary Committee of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Marietta, the Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action (MOVCA), and the Friends of Lower Muskingum River have invited federal and state candidates serving the Marietta area, and Washington County commissioner candidates to share their views on energy and environmental issues at a Candidates Forum on Energy and the Environment, Thursday, September 13. Voters in the region are invited to this forum which will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the McDonough Auditorium at Marietta College.

Moderator Rebecca Phillips will give the candidates an opportunity to introduce themselves in a brief statement and to express their positions on climate, energy, and environmental policy, after which they will take written questions from the audience.
“We hope to have a good turnout of local people,” said Dawn Hewitt, chair of the FUUSM Green Sanctuary Committee. “We are eager to hear the candidates’ positions on energy and environmental policy issues before the fall mid-term elections.”
In April, in advance of the state’s primary elections, MOVCA hosted a forum in Parkersburg for candidates vying to represent constituents in Wood County, West Virginia. Eric Engle, chair of the group, said, “Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action’s Candidates’ Forum went exceptionally well this spring, with lots of great questions and discussion for candidates in attendance.” That success, combined with MOVCA’s interest in energy and the environment throughout the Mid-Ohio Valley, led the group to co-sponsor the September event for Ohio candidates.
The September 13 event is free and open to the public.

The Green Sanctuary Committee of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Marietta focuses being responsible stewards of the environment, cherishing our resources and recognizing the unity of all life. Among other issues, they have coordinated the planning and installation of solar panels on their historic building at Third and Putnam streets in Marietta. The group also collaborates with other environmental groups on campaigns and events in the Mid-Ohio Valley, including the Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action and Friends of Lower Muskingum River.

Contact: Dawn Hewitt, Chair Green Sanctuary Committee- 812-320-3449; hewitt@earth-maker.com


Fall Pollinator Habitat Workdays

FLMR needs help removing Tree of Heaven, an invasive species, from our pollinator habitat. I can think of much better word for this plant that is a way better description.
There are MANY plants that need to be removed so we are dedicating three workdays to it.
Please wear long pants and closed toed-shoes and bring a water bottle. We need many volunteers! It’s everywhere!
We can carpool from Marietta, OH. Please message the FLMR FB page or Tiffany Marie if you would like to carpool.

Join us Sept. 22, Sept. 29, and Oct. 27 from 9AM-12PM.


Pollinator Habitat Workday

Join us for the second installment of our Pollinator Habitat Workday. Help us maintain our pollinator habitat during the growing season by planting pollinator plants and removing invasive plants. Also assist with trash pickup and trail maintenance. Everyone is welcome! No experience required. Come see the wild flowers in bloom and the pollinators enjoying our hard work on May 19th 9:00AM to 12:00PM at Luke Chute Conservation Area.


Ohio River Sweep

Come help with the Ohio River Sweep, June 16th from 9Am -12Pm at Devol’s Dam. There will be pizza provided afterwards.

After the recent floods we need many volunteers to help to help pick up the trash that was deposited on the banks by the floods. Please join us!

Summer Grant Matching Campaign

June 28 @ 8:00 am – September 30 @ 5:00 pm

A community member has issued a challenge to the rest of us, in the form of a matching donation.  This person has agreed to match dollar for dollar all donations we receive this summer.  This is a great opportunity to have double the impact for your donation – your donation of $200, for example, will result in $400 going towards our mission.  FLMR is a registered 501 (c)3 organization, so your donation is tax deductible, too.  Your donation will help to fund purchase of new properties, educational outreach programs for adults and children, and so much more.  Our generous donor has agreed to match all donations up to $15,000.  Will you help us rise to the donor’s challenge and meet this goal?   Donations can be mailed to our office, dropped off at our table at the Farmers Market, or made through the PayPal link on our website, so it really could not be easier.