Ridgecrest
Tortoise
Club

Past Meetings

1-13-20

Posted by Sue on January 15, 2020 at 11:20 PM

Call to Order: 7:30 p.m.  8 people present

Treasurer’s Report:
   At the last Quarterly Executive Board meeting held in Arcadia on January 11th, yearly dues for each Chapter was raised due to increased management costs. The Investment Committee for the CTTC inheritance reported a very large increase on investment overall this year. Discussion followed that the chapters should see an increase in this year's award ending in a vote that will award each Chapter $4,000. Our chapter had another member sign up for a life membership last month.
   In response to this news, ideas for using these funds were discussed. It would be nice to provide a scholarship for a student who is majoring in biological science at Cerro Coso Community College. A couple of suggestions were to start with a $1,000 scholarship or two $500 scholarships. Sue will contact Cerro Coso to ask about the process & details  to giving scholarships. 
   There is also a 2 day workshop offered yearly by the Desert Tortoise Council held in Ridgecrest in early November. Titled "Introduction to Desert Tortoises & Field Techniques" it is designed for wildlife biologists, zoologists, natural resource specialists, wildlife managers, land managers, recreation specialists, persons dealing with the public, teachers, & the general public. There was discussion about a possibility of offering a scholarship paying the cost for an interested member or someone local interested in attending. Our club has provided tortoises for the hands-on field techniques.
   Another idea for using our funds would be to renew or replace the sign at the tortoise enclosure at the Maturango Museum. Informational kiosks are in the planning stages to be placed at the enclosure. Perhaps, we could include the names of the tortoises on the sign: Starful, Schlo-mo, Peaches, and Dash. A contest was held by the museum to name the 4 new residents, with a drawing for the winning names. It was mentioned that children who visit the museum are always asking about the names of the tortoises.



Program: “Adventures of the Ridgecrest Tortoise Club” by Bob Parker

   President Bob Parker put together a delightful power point presentation showing information about our mission & the outreach activities of our club over the past ten years!
   Important tortoise groups working for the welfare of tortoises in our area are the California Turtle and Tortoise Club, Desert Tortoise Council, Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee, Inc., & the Tortoise Group.
   Bob, Sue, Montynne & others have volunteered their time to attend events throughout the years. They have talked to people about tortoises, answered questions, handed out pamphlets & provided adoption forms. Posters, business cards, website & email addresses of tortoise organizations help the public learn about tortoise habitats & behavior. Plus, a Tortoise Care Sheet was developed to illuminate facts about proper feeding & housing for adopted tortoises. Often, the club brings live tortoises to events so people can see them up close. It has been important to make people aware of protecting tortoises & to encourage individuals to adopt homeless tortoises that cannot be returned to the wild. 


   Some examples of the events the club has participated in over the years are: Earth Days at Cerro Coso Community College and Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, Red Rock Canyon Campfire Talks, Moose Anderson Days at Jawbone Station, a Girl Scouts’ special event at a park, California City Tortoise Days, the Orange County Turtle and Tortoise Show in La Habra, the DTC Tortoise Handling Workshop, the Wildflower Festival, the Petroglyph Festival, & the Tortoise Habitat enclosure at the Maturango Museum. The BLM has brochures has worked with the club at some of these events, as well as Maturango Museum.
   Our local Club donated $600 to help Zach the Eagle Scout toward completing his project of building the tortoise enclosure at the Maturango Museum. Bob & has planted some native plants in the enclosure for the four tortoises.
   At the Orange County Show our club has had an informational booth. The show at various times featured the 3 largest species: Galapagos, Aldabra, & Sulcata tortoises. One year they had Michael Jackson’s Aldabra tortoise visit.
   At the DTC workshop, there is up to a hundred people studying & practicing tortoise handling under the guidance of Peter Woodman. This event takes place in November in Ridgecrest & costs about $300.  Participants perform field techniques while wearing gloves & using sterilized tools to record biological data on tortoises.  Participants also practice monitoring & surveying by transects in a prepared field in order to look for fake (Styrofoam) tortoises, burrows, & scat.
   "Thanks, Bob, for an entertaining presentation! We all loved the photoshopped pictures of the “giant” creatures in our desert! 


Adjourned: 8:30 p.m.

Next Meeting: Monday, 7:30 p.m.  February 10, 2020, at the Maturango Museum.

 

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