Annual Meeting Minutes

Taos Canyon Neighborhood Association
Firewise Annual Meeting 11 June 2023

The meeting was called to order by our President, De Lazzaro at 1:00 pm

Russ Driskell, RFFD Fire Chief, reported on the events since we were last able to meet.

They were able to move into the new fire station in 2019. Last November they got a new fire truck, and there are plans to build an in-ground, 40,000-gallon, water storage tank with an active fire hydrant at the site of the new fire station. In 2-3 years, people should see a decline in the cost of their insurance once the inspections are completed and the fire system is re-rated.

Tonya Duncan from Taos Soil & Water talked about a forest health program. The deadline to apply for grants this year is 30 June. There is also a stream restoration program.

Garrett Vene Klasen then spoke about numerous environmental issues.

  • Grazing along the Rio Fernando: There is a Rio Fernando Revitalization Collaborative that will be monitoring it. As of now there is no cattle grazing.
  • The hummingbird population is very low, partially due to a bad drought in South America last year.

People who choose to feed hummingbirds should not be adding to the problem. They need to be vigilant about cleaning their feeders at least weekly, more often in hot weather. Bacteria grows in them and can kill the birds. Do not use red dyed nectar. Use only, plain white sugar, 1:4 ratio, in your feeders… no artificial sweeteners, powdered sugar, or raw sugar.  Songbird feeders also need to be cleaned.

  • Keep cats indoors. Each year between 1.4 & 3.7 billion birds are killed by cats. Don’t allow dogs to run freely, especially now when animals are calving.
  • A suggestion was made that we investigate being provided with bearproof trash cans and that the pick-up be late enough to allow people to put out trash in the morning instead of the night before a collection.
  • ATV vehicle drivers need to stay on designated routes so that they don’t tear up fragile ecosystems.
  • Poisons:
  • Rodent poisons- Rodenticides, very often will kill 3-4 animals, including beneficial ones, with each use. Poisoned rodents go out to seek water. They are then eaten by other wildlife, which is in turn eaten by other animals and birds of prey. Don’t use them. Use snap traps instead.
  • Don’t shoot prairie dogs. If you must shoot them; bury them. The lead will poison species that will eat the dead animals.
  • Insect poisons kill off many birds who may be eating those insects or may mistake the granules for food.
  • Herbicides- don’t use them near streams. Consult Taos Soil & Water for specific herbicides that will work on your specific problem rather than using broad spectrum products.

Drena Welty discussed the advantages of being a Firewise Community: it brings in federal dollars, and it monitors any issues that affect us as a community. She also asked for nominations of anyone interested in serving on the Taos Canyon Neighborhood Association board.

A vote was taken to approve the current officers for another year.

The meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Lynn Wilbur