HONORARY RANGERS GENERAL MEETING
26 May 2016
Peter Craig-Cooper welcomed everyone to the meeting whichGraeme opened with a prayer.
1 Present: Peter Craig-Cooper (CHR), Genie Retief (2ic), Diana van Rensburg (Secretary), Nellie Morgan (Treasurer), Jim Morgan, John Webber, Joce Gordon, Graeme Altenkirk,Lynette de Jong,Penelope Mayson, Oubaas Visser, Dev Farquharson, Rob Farquharson, Andrew Hudson, Frik Pienaar, Annemarie Esterhuizen, Tom Esterhuizen, Linda Benade, Lizzy Modiga,Evan Powell, Uschi Powell.
Jennifer Webber,JJ van Rensburg, Jane Campbell, Janette Newey, Thea Sander, Stuart Long.
New Honorary Rangers Evan and Uschi Powell were presented with their caps and epaulettes.
2 Apologies :Lynette de Jong, John Webb, Anri Pienaar, Johan Veldsman, Peter Joubert, Lenara Joubert.
3 Bush Snippets
An African Hawk Eagle was spotted attacking a Guinea Fowl.
A porcupine was seen in Lionspruit and 2 were reported in Hedgehog St in Marloth.
A White Faced Owl was spotted in Geelvis.
A lizard was seen trying to catch a moth which was on the other side of a window.
4 Forum meeting / report back from last meeting
A Forum meeting will be held on Wednesday 1 June with all interested partiesincluding MPTB and the Municipality. A meeting was held early this week with some representatives and Velly to discuss the culling. Every day’s delay leads to a loss of 9 days grazing for the animals. Various options will be discussed but the emphasis will be that intensive culling must take place immediately.
5 Education / bird walks/talks
The next bird walk is on Saturday 4thJune at 7.00 at TWO TREES.Note change of venue.
All are welcome.
Genie will give a talk on birds which will run one morning a week for three weeks. This will most likely be a Thursday at 8.00 and last approximately 2 hours. Details to be advised.
A Bush Walk led by Andre proved to be very popular despite the poor weather. A large number of people enjoyed the informative and at times humorous talk. The bush walk is planned as a quarterly event and safety factors will be discussed before the next one.
Another “Know Your Alien Plants” talk was held at Field by where the display of alien plants is.Everyone is encouraged to attend so we can help and educate property owners. Other organisations have been invited to attend and we would like to include property owners.
6 Fund Raising – Winter Fair 9 July 2016
So far only one HR will not be able to help at the fair and a schedule will be drawn up for the day. Other volunteers will be most welcome. Genie is still appealing for bottles for the stall (target 400 bottles).
Fair committee meeting will be held after the general meeting.
7 Work parties - Flora – Alien weeds / Veld Management
Thank you to Stuart for mending the table at Field and checking the Rangers generator which needs a service. We will get a quote for this.
Working for Water teams are still having their induction and we wait to hear when they will be available.
The work parties on Mondays are for biocontrol (cochineal) on Prickly Pear. All volunteers are welcome. Contact Graeme 082 468 8357. Work parties now start 7.00 am and last 2 hours. We are finding a lot of Prickly Pear and Queen of the Night and we still need to advise property owners on the best way to deal with these alien plants. We find Prickly Pear, which has been uprooted and cut up, left in the bush. It has to be stressed that this is NOT helping. Each piece will grow into another plant. Prickly Pear and Queen of the Night, which have been put on the road should NOT be put back in the bush. The spines on these plants will not puncture tyres and can be safelydriven over. The next rates insert will be on dealing with Prickly Pear.
We plan to employ some labour to help with construction and repairs and will allocate funds for this. This will from part of a social upliftment programme. There are various repairs needed such as erosion along valley lines. We also need assistance with the larger infestations of Prickly Pear which are taken to the dump.
There is little grazing in Lionspruit and lucerne is being transported in for the buffalo and rhino. This feeding programme needs to be intensified as the feed is being eaten as soon as it is delivered. This has to last until September at least and it would be better to reduce the buffalo numbers. It is unknown how much feed is being delivered and the costs involved.
9 Game management and game counts
No report – already covered.
10 Public Liaison – Facebook / Website
Andrew reported that 1340 rates inserts were emailed last month with 49% opened and 26% read.
The Alien Plant Brochure is now on the website in a book form and can be printed. However it would probably cost more to print than to buy a glossy brochure.
11 Lion tracking/reporting
A video was shown of the lions showing them in good condition and greeting each other.
12 Snake report
Only 2 Mozambique Spitting Cobras were removed last month but no figures were received from Riaan.
13 Lionspruit infrastructure / Jackalberry dam / bird habitat/toilet building/veld burning
Genie’s contact has been away but will be coming to advise on improvements to be made at Jackalberry Dam for birds.
14 Finances / Asset Register
Nellie reported on the finances with the main expenses being for the sound system and a deposit for the gazebo. There have been some payments for the stalls for the fair but we will be incurring expenses soon.
Question were asked about “Marloth in Crisis” group. The group appear to have some respected credentials in the past in the conservation field but although they have approached MPPOA they have not contacted any of the recognised organisations in MP with their concerns.
All property owners are encouraged to attend HR meetings or any other organisation meetings.
Stuart will be replacing the glass in the noticeboards at Sharon’s shop with safety glass so asked for keys.
Derrick reported that the pump at Gruispan Dam has had to be dropped 2 metres due to the low water level.