May 052021
 

SPECIAL MEETING of Brookfield Conservation Commission

Draft Minutes

April 27, 2021

 

Zoom meeting to order: 7:05 PM

  1. Present: Jon Binhammer, Jon Jickling, Kathy Kinter, Sue Shea and Starr Strong
  2. Public Comment – Jon Jickling said there has been a flurry of activity regarding Emerald Ash Borer in town. He and Town Forester Kate Forrer are planning to put up 16 traps in several locations in town to monitor presence of the borer.  The town plans to create an ad hoc committee for EAB in town, because the Public Safety Committee is no longer interested in being involved.
  3. Approval of Minutes of the March 14, 2021 meeting – moved by Kathy Kinter, seconded by Jon Jickling.  All voted in favor.
  4. Green Up Day preparations – Starr reported that Green Up is from 9 – 4, and that there will be a dumpster set up for trash and an area for metal and tires. She has put a sign up by the Church in Pond Village.  Jon B. has informed the teachers and encouraged them to have the students take bags, put up signs around Pond Village, and put out an announcement on Front Porch Forum.  Sue reported that West Brookfield cleanup is organized by the West Brookfield meeting house group – they will collect trash bags in a trailer in West Brookfield village and then truck them over to the town garage.  Starr will person the garage from 9 to noon, Jon J. from noon to 2, and Jon B. from 2 to 4.
  5. Values mapping – Kathy said this is an effort promoted by Jens Hilke of VT Fish and Wildlife Dept., in order to engage community members in envisioning what they would like to see in the future for the town, esp. regarding conservation. Commission members discussed the goals and objectives of this proposal, and how to sequence it with ongoing projects, such as the Town Plan rewrite by 2024.  Kathy will speak with Jens to discuss timing.  No action was taken.
  6. Natural Resources Inventory – Sue reported on the webinar she and Kathy attended.  Should we want to do an inventory of natural resources in town, it would entail hiring a consultant to do the work. The expense could be around $20,000, so Sue spoke about possible fundraising options.  The inventory, which would entail natural resources at three scales (landscape, natural community, and species) could be used to help with town planning and zoning as well as targeting conservation projects in those areas that have greater biodiversity.  She suggested creating a Steering Committee so that there is buy-in in the community. No action was taken
  7. How to engage with the Planning Commission – Commissioners discussed how to engage with the Planning Commission on wildlife issues and Act 171 requirements for planning of forest blocks.  All agreed that the PC is working on a rewrite of the zoning bylaw and they don’t have the time to deal with these issues until the town plan rewrite is imminent.
  8. I-89 Wildlife Crossing- debrief from Jens Hilke field visit – Commissioners met with Jens Hilke of VTF&W on April 14 at the three crossings of I-89 to evaluate how well they would serve as corridors for wildlife going east to west or vice-versa without crossing the traveled way.  Jens suggested that the best opportunity was where the Northfield Road underpass is.  Some minor modifications could be made to allow for more area for wildlife to cross under the highway, including taking out the chain link fence that is no longer needed and creating a smooth shelf at the base of the rip-rap under the bridge so that hooved animals can cross more easily.  The other two sites – Rte. 65 overpass and Crossover Road over and underpass were too open, noisy, and dangerous for wildlife to use, although there could be some use in the middle of the night, esp. Rt. 65, which is closed in the winter due to the Floating Bridge, so there is little traffic.  The next step would be to look into game cameras for pre and post monitoring – Jens can lend us some, but we would need to hire a consultant to install.  And then to call the VTRANS District Administrator to see if the improvements outlined above could be scheduled at some point when they are doing work around the bridges.  Sue will contact the VTRANS biologist, and then the District Administrator.  Further discussion at a future meeting.
  9. Other business – none

Next meeting is May 17

Adjourned meeting at 8:51 PM.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Jon Binhammer

Draft Minutes

April 27, 2021 7:00 pm

Zoom meeting to order: 7:05 PM

  1. Present: Jon Binhammer, Jon Jickling, Kathy Kinter, Sue Shea and Starr Strong
  2. Public Comment – Jon Jickling said there has been a flurry of activity regarding Emerald Ash Borer in town. He and Town Forester Kate Forrer are planning to put up 16 traps in several locations in town to monitor presence of the borer.  The town plans to create an ad hoc committee for EAB in town, because the Public Safety Committee is no longer interested in being involved.
  3. Approval of Minutes of the March 14, 2021 meeting – moved by Kathy Kinter, seconded by Jon Jickling.  All voted in favor.
  4. Green Up Day preparations – Starr reported that Green Up is from 9 – 4, and that there will be a dumpster set up for trash and an area for metal and tires. She has put a sign up by the Church in Pond Village.  Jon B. has informed the teachers and encouraged them to have the students take bags, put up signs around Pond Village, and put out an announcement on Front Porch Forum.  Sue reported that West Brookfield cleanup is organized by the West Brookfield meeting house group – they will collect trash bags in a trailer in West Brookfield village and then truck them over to the town garage.  Starr will person the garage from 9 to noon, Jon J. from noon to 2, and Jon B. from 2 to 4.
  5. Values mapping – Kathy said this is an effort promoted by Jens Hilke of VT Fish and Wildlife Dept., in order to engage community members in envisioning what they would like to see in the future for the town, esp. regarding conservation. Commission members discussed the goals and objectives of this proposal, and how to sequence it with ongoing projects, such as the Town Plan rewrite by 2024.  Kathy will speak with Jens to discuss timing.  No action was taken.
  6. Natural Resources Inventory – Sue suggested that we consider conducting an inventory of natural resources in town, which would entail hiring a consultant to do the work. The expense could be around $20,000, so Sue spoke about possible fundraising options.  The inventory, which would entail natural resources at three scales (landscape, natural community, and species) could be used to help with town planning and zoning as well as targeting conservation projects in those areas that have greater biodiversity.  She suggested creating a Steering Committee so that there is buy-in in the community. No action was taken
  7. How to engage with the Planning Commission – Commissioners discussed how to engage with the Planning Commission on wildlife issues and Act 171 requirements for planning of forest blocks.  All agreed that the PC is working on a rewrite of the zoning bylaw and they don’t have the time to deal with these issues until the town plan rewrite is imminent.
  8. I-89 Wildlife Crossing- debrief from Jens Hilke field visit – Commissioners met with Jens Hilke of VTF&W on April 14 at the three crossings of I-89 to evaluate how well they would serve as corridors for wildlife going east to west or vice-versa without crossing the traveled way.  Jens suggested that the best opportunity was where the Northfield Road underpass is.  Some minor modifications could be made to allow for more area for wildlife to cross under the highway, including taking out the chain link fence that is no longer needed and creating a smooth shelf at the base of the rip-rap under the bridge so that hooved animals can cross more easily.  The other two sites – Rte. 65 overpass and Crossover Road over and underpass were too open, noisy, and dangerous for wildlife to use, although there could be some use in the middle of the night, esp. Rt. 65, which is closed in the winter due to the Floating Bridge, so there is little traffic.  The next step would be to look into game cameras for pre and post monitoring – Jens can lend us some, but we would need to hire a consultant to install.  And then to call the VTRANS District Administrator to see if the improvements outlined above could be scheduled at some point when they are doing work around the bridges.  Sue will contact the VTRANS biologist, and then the District Administrator.  Further discussion at a future meeting.
  9. Other business – none

Next meeting is May 17

Adjourned meeting at 8:51 PM.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Jon Binhammer