Rocky Mount Fire to be Featured at the HMN Annual Member Meeting January 21, 2017

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The Headwaters Chapter is planning its annual membership meeting to be held on Saturday, January 21, 2017, 11PM-3PM at Arey Hall, Bridgewater Municipal Building, 201 Green St., Bridgewater. Snow date is Saturday, January 28th.

Thanks to our Programs Committee Chair Judy Tammi for organizing this meeting!

Come for a potluck, a short business meeting including board elections, CE opportunities, social time, a book sale, and the highlight of the gathering which will be a presentation by Shenandoah National Park’s Sally Hurlbert at around 1:45PM about the Rocky Mount wildfire, the second biggest in Park history. Find more about Sally below. A big thanks to our Continuing Education Committee Chair Margaret Speicher for her work in arranging this presentation!

SNP – The Rocky Mountain Fire: Then, Now and into the Future

On April 16, 2016 it was reported that a fire was burning in the South District of Shenandoah National Park. When firefighters first arrived on scene the fire had already burned through 30 acres of forestland and was growing quickly. The fire shrouded areas in Rockingham County in a thick layer of smoke; caused the closing of portions of Skyline Drive and many trails within the park and surrounding areas including the Appalachian Trail. By the time the fire was fully contained, over two weeks later, the blaze had burned over 10,000 acres within the Park.

Sally Hurlbert will join Headwaters Master Naturalists with a presentation detailing the Rocky Mountain Fire. She will share a PowerPoint presentation that was developed by Park Fire Ecologists while telling the story of what happened during the fire, describe how the park is recovering from the fire, and explain how the park is studying the effects of the fire into the future. There will be a short Q & A, as time permits, after the program.

More about the Annual Membership Meeting on January 21

This is our big meeting of the year! All members welcome and encouraged to come.

Self Guided Computer Time: Still not quite sure of all of the ins-and-outs of the VMN VMS system?  Or really want to have someone walk through iNaturalist with you?  At 11:00 we will have stations set up for self and tour guided computer work to answer some of those questions and earn some extra CE credits!!

Stations will include eBird and iNaturalist for use on the VDGIF Birding and Wildlife Trail projects, surfing of VMN VMS website, and a flash card challenge for the Birding and Wildlife Trail species mentioned for our sites.

Bring a potluck dish, and enjoy a scrumptious lunch.

Meet other HMN’s from other classes, including our newest members.

Talk to the Project Coordinators for a variety of projects, and decide what to sign up for.

Earn some Continuing Education credits learning some secrets about Shenandoah National Park.

There’s a book sale…bring yours to recycle, and buy someone else’s…field guides, nature books, naturalist gear like binoculars …

There will also be a short business meeting which will include the r/election of several board positions that require filling this year. Past President Jerry Hopkins chairs the nominating committee and sent out the list of nominees on January 6:

• Vice President: Chip Brown
• Treasurer: Carl Droms (current Treasurer)
• Historian/Parliamentarian: Ginny Joseph
• Chair of the Basic Training Committee: Brian Lux (current Basic Training Committee Chair)
• Chair of the Newsletter and Website Committee: Adrie Voors (current Newsletter/ Website Committee Chair)

Those elected take office immediately and serve for two years. Roughly half the board positions come up for election every year. Each position can be filled by the same individual for up to two consecutive two-year terms.

Jerry adds “Only members in good standing [having paid their dues] are eligible to vote. Members-in-training, having not yet completed their training class, are encouraged to attend the meeting but are not eligible to vote and have no dues to pay until the beginning of the year following their graduation from training class. During the Annual Meeting nominations can be made from the floor for the Officer Positions provided the person being nominated has agreed in advance their willingness to serve.”


Sally Hurlbert is currently the Management Specialist at Shenandoah National Park in Luray, Virginia. She has worked at Shenandoah for 20 years since 1996. She worked as an Interpretive Park Ranger in the Interpretation and Education Division until this past June, when she moved into her new position as Management Specialist. In her new role, she has five main responsibilities. First is External Affairs where she works with local, state and federal government officials and other stakeholder groups. Second is Public Affairs where she works in media relations, public relations, and managing tourism and marketing partnerships. Third is Lands issues where she helps manage the lands along the 300 miles of park boundary. Fourth, she is the park’s Freedom of Information Act Officer. Fifth, she is the liaison with the park’s philanthropic partner, the Shenandoah National Park Trust.

Prior to joining the National Park Service, Sally worked for 11 years as a geologist with the Department of Interior Minerals Management Service in Anchorage, Alaska.

Sally graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Geology from Stanford University and a Master’s degree in Geology from Oregon State University. She resides in Stanley, Virginia with her husband Dan, who is the Geographic Information Systems Specialist at Shenandoah. Her two children have flown from the nest and now reside in New York City and Denver.

Photo at top by Alan Williams, ecologist, data manager, wildfire fighter with the Shenandoah National Park; taken on April 17, 2016

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