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Minutes of the Honorary Rangers Meeting held on 30 June 2016 at Henk van Rooyen Park

Peter Craig-Cooper welcomed everyone to the meeting which Tom opened in prayer. Peter wished Di a speedy recovery from her operation and thanked Uschi for stepping in to take the minutes.

1. Present

Peter Craig-Cooper (CHR), Genie Retief (2ic), Nellie Morgan (Treasurer), Joce Gordon, Penelope Mayson, Dev Farquharson, Oubaas Visser,Rob Farquharson, Lynette de Jong, LindaBenade, Jeanette Newey, Graeme Altenkirk, Lizzy Modiga, Anne-Marie Esterhuizen, Tom Esterhuizen, Jaco Minnaar, Evan Powell, Uschi Powell, Jim Morgan, John Webber, Jennifer Webber

   Visitors

Danielle Moolman

2. Apologies

Frik & Anrie Pienaar, John Webb, Andrew Hudson, Diana van Rensburg

3. Co-opt of two members onto Committee

Reasons for the co-opting was explained. The two new members are Evan Powell and Graeme Altenkirk. Peter thanked both for accepting.

4. Bush Snippets

A porcupine has been spotted on a patio

A bushpig has been spotted at Jackalberry dam

A pangolin has been spotted in the Kruger

(All 3 species are seldom seen. It is presumed that the animals are looking for food due to drought conditions)

A kudu that is suffering from TB has also been spotted. Dev to contact Jaco the next time she spots it.

5. Forum Meeting Report Back

Other than organizing the culling (numbers, permits and parties doing the culling), no other huge items have been discussed. Roughly 150 impala still need to be culled. Culling has presently been stopped due to school holidays.

Jaco will ask Velly Makwaka for feedback regarding the culling of wildebeest and kudu and the relocation of zebra and giraffe.

Peter asked whether feeding plans are in place as we would need to feed the animals (mainly buffalo and rhino) until October. Joce queried the order of R360 000 for animal feed. Jaco would look into both queries.

Application for a new permit will commence on Monday, 4 July.

6. Education

Bird Talks – 21 Jul., 4 & 11 Aug. Venue changed to Phumula Lodge. Talks will take 3 hours and cost R30.00 per person per session. Bookings essential.

Bird Walks – 2 Jul.

Alien Plants Identification – Queen of the Night mutation was on display which has not been seen before. More sessions planned. Plants will be on display at the Fair with brochures.

Other work undertaken by H-R was:

- the sanding and painting of benches

- ongoing is alien plant removal on Mondays. Two part-time workers are now accompanying Graeme and his team.

- work party to Lionspruit to fix the boards outside the toilets at Frikkie’s Dam but more work is needed with a possible financial output of R1500.00 A discussion was held regarding the possible upgrade of the entire area i.e. viewing windows

Future work:

- excavation at Jackalberry dam to create low lying area for birds. Jaco suggested a meeting with Mr Minnaar at the site to discuss work plans

- humps at Jackalberry and Two Trees to be recreated

The rapidly diminishing water supply and possible water crisis was discussed

Notice boards – new layouts were discussed. Snake board for fair is looking good. Others to be revamped in the future. Concertina and snake board will be used at the Fair – taken to Fair Committee

7. NIG Meeting Report Back

Genie reported back on the Nkomazi Interest Group for Rhinos. A seismic fence is planned along part of the Eastern border of the Kruger. Razor wire is used along the Lower Sabie area which is working really well. Poaching in the Skukuza sector is almost under control. Most vulnerable is southern border Mjejane and Marloth Park. Gate control is becoming essential.

8. Fund Raising

Winter Fair – 9 July.

- Help is needed for Friday from 09.00 onwards with the set-up

- Distribution board from container needs to be moved

- Extra station at restaurant needs to be manned

- Dev needs 1 extra person to assist with showing vendors to stalls on the day. Penelope volunteered

9. Flora

Report from Di that the drought has capped the growth of Parthenium. No notification has been received from Working for Water with regards to sending us teams. Register is being kept on stands with problem plants and this will be extended to building rubble. Joce to find the clause in the by-laws that enables the LEO’s to fine home owners.

A large part of MP has been cleared of Prickly Pear and Queen of the Night. Work is ongoing

Peter has spoken to Neils from Crocodile Bridge regarding the removal of Senna trees. Andrew & Lesley are prepared to donate money towards this. Joce mentioned that Andre Engelbrecht would be willing to take the Honorary Rangers into the Kruger for a lecture on alien plants and at the same time the Senna trees can be removed.

Problems that will be taken to the next Forum:

- Baboon cages to be eliminated

- Palisade fencing. Owners to put protective screening on the bottom of the fence to prevent injury to animals

- Alien plants, sweeping of sites, building rubble. New properties to be inspected by H-R and possibly regular inspection of existing ones. Graeme to obtain info regarding new law that properties bought/sold need to be inspected for alien plants

10. Game Management

Already covered in the Forum meeting report

11. Public liaison, website, facebook

Everything is moving forward

12. Lion Tracking

Lions are doing very well. Photos shown of lions at night

13. Snake Report

No snakes reported for the month

14. Lionspruit infrastructure

Jackalberry dam – already discussed. Area found where toilet will be erected

15. Financial report

Nellie reported back on income and expenses

16. General

16.1 Dullstroom Birds of Prey: Peter spoke with Frith Douglas who runs this. Possibility of reintroducing owls back into MP was discussed but a major problem is poisoning of rodents which would kill the owls. Education of residents needed

16.2 People driving to fence from Seekoei: Suggestion to put huge boulders to curb traffic. Work party to be set up for this. Mr Minnaar’s assistance will be requested

16.3 Wine tasting: 6 July at Phumula

16.4 Raffle tickets: Still available

16.5 Entrance to MP: Question whether we could limit amount of visitors. Felt that by law it is not allowed

16.6 Municipality using palisades: Read in a report that the municipality was going to use palisades for fencing off an area. This must be clarified

16.7 White Elephant Sale at Fair: Jenniferneeds more items to sell

Peter thanked everyone for attending the meeting.

Our vision

hrOur vision is to support and assist the Nkomazi Municipality Conservation Department within Marloth Park with their management strategies and objectives while being an effective volunteer group. 
Read a brief  History of Honorary Rangers and the Conservancy

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