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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Camp Meeker News for 2010

Ah, the gray-white silence of January. It’s one of my favorite times of year. After the stress and overstimulation of December, January beckons like high-thread count sheets. There is nothing on the calendar but a cup of green tea and that book you’ve been itching to read since Thanksgiving. Even if your love-hate relationship with the holidays is more love than hate, you must admit you’ve had enough.

What’s in store for Camp Meeker in 2010? It could be quite a bit, if our new Board members keep up the momentum they showed at November and December board meetings. The handover from old to new board members was marked by conspicuous collegiality, and a flurry of business done to clear the decks for the new crew to implement their ideas.

First, there is the “temporary” Tower road bridge. This bridge was installed quickly as a temporary measure, but now two years have gone by and the county is in no hurry to replace it with a permanent structure. This temporary bridge has an 8” water main under it, and some wear and tear is already evident. In a proactive effort to forestall calamity, the outgoing board authorized the water system operator to make repairs and send us the bill. Good show.

Next, a history item and a follow-up: that spooky pile of logs just below the Tower Bridge is the remains of Mel Meeker’s 1866 sawmill, and the old and new board members are in agreement that it is something that should be restored. The new board will be researching that idea, led by Seth Murchison. Hand in hand with that will be a Camp Meeker History Project, led by Cathie Anderson with help from Mr. Murchison. I’m a big fan of this project.

Moving forward into the present, there is the ongoing effort to determine whether we should acquire the land in Monte Rio where our well is located, and the effort to purchase that land if the board decides it’s a good idea. Also on the docket is a project to improve the guardrail situation at the top of the stairs leading to our new bridge. Some logs have been dragged as a stopgap safety solution, but a more permanent solution is desired.

That was the November meeting. At the December meeting (which I was unfortunately unable to attend), the new board hit the ground running on the previous issues and announced some ambitious initiatives of their own. I will briefly recap.

Jeff Fawcett will be spearheading an effort to get our heads around the water line break that happened last month, and to recommend actions we might want to take to prevent future similar breakages, and to properly respond if the pipe breaks again. This might take the form of special meetings, ad hoc committees, and emergency preparedness workshops.

Michael Ming brought his firefighting experience to bear with a presentation on fire prevention issues facing Camp Meeker. This includes things like brush clearing and sudden oak death tree removals, and might result is a fire management plan for the board.

Artist Seth Murchison pursued the cultural goals he outlined in the campaign by suggesting a “Camp Meeker Supper Club” as a first step toward the revitalization of Camp Meeker’s community social and cultural life. Perhaps there will be some natural synergy with the Cathie Anderson’s history project and we will hear about some of the cultural activities in Camp Meeker’s golden age. That is something I will try to help with in these column inches. Help me out by emailing me at with your tall tales.

Finally, there was some discussion of the Bohemia Ranch waterfall park project, wherein the people of the west county get a second crack at making a public park out of the jewel of a waterfall on lower Duvoul Creek. The board is discussed whether and how Camp Meeker should support that effort.

I apologize for the brevity of my descriptions, but my space is small and the flurry of activity is large. If you want more information, the place to go is the monthly board meetings, second Tuesday of the month at Anderson Hall. Get involved!