Oct 212020

Brookfield Conservation Commission Meeting Minutes


Present: Jon Binhammer, Sue Shea, Jon Jickling, Kathy Kinter Absent: Star Strong

Zoom Meeting to order at 7:08 PM

Public Comment: none.

Motion to approve August minutes as presented was made by Jon J, seconded by Sue. No comments, all approved.

Forest fragmentation: Sue received tools from Jens that VTrans uses to assess location and condition of bridges and culverts. She looked at the maps as they pertained to interstate 89 and Brookfield. There are 3 sets of bridges: Cross Over Rd, rte. 65 and Lamson Pond Rd. There are 2 culverts under 89: one off of Northfield Rd where we visited on our summer field trip and the other just south of crossing of 65 west of Pond Village. While the culverts looked big, they don’t appear friendly to wildlife as they are very long and the bottoms are ridged metal. Might they be improved and how? Sue explained that platforms can be put inside for animals to walk on. Riprap of stone can be covered with native soil so larger mammals are more comfortable walking on it. Jon B suggested we might focus on the passage under the bridges near Lamson Pond Rd. We would need to find out about whether the Taplains still use the fence for the cattle. Discussion followed concerning the viability of this. It was determined that more information is needed before we commit to attempting to monitor wildlife this winter with tracks and a game cam. Kathy and Sue will do some research and report back next meeting.

Emerald Ash Borer update was not possible as Kate Forrer, Town Forester could not make this meeting. Jon B. will be in touch with her prior to the next meeting for an update to share with us at November’s meeting.

Schoolyard Habitat: Jon B will send draft proposal to us prior to next meeting so we can ratify it then. He recapped the general idea—to plant native trees near forested areas behind windbreak and a native wildflower meadow in center of same area or perhaps next to road where soils aren’t as rich. Kathy asked about maintenance, and that will need to get worked out. Jon J. stressed the importance of a trail to help delineate the planted areas so they are not inadvertently mowed. There are grants for school habitat creation. Maybe do small wetland habitat in future.

Sunset Natural Area Bridge: Jon B ordered 2x10x10s for walkway. Still plan to lift bridge out of water and to get the phone poles Nancy offered several months ago. Town road crew had agreed to move them. Nancy may have someone to do it. Jon B. will contact her again. He hopes to work on the project in Nov.

Surficial Geology Mapping by Norwich University: George Springston, a geology professor, wants to map the Brookfield quadrangle which would include peatlands, cliffs, rock outcroppings and surface deposits like glacial till, sand and gravel. He needs a letter of support from the Commission. Jon J moved to support the request and Sue seconded the motion. Jon B will write the letter. These findings could be included in our natural resources inventory. Kathy suggested they produce a map overlay that can be used with the Biofinder maps of the area. It was suggested to ask George to lead a geology walk next year.

Allis State Park field trip: Jon J reported that he, Jon B and Starr co-led about 15 people through the park to engage in tree ID and discuss the CCC’s contribution to the infrastructure. There was much interest in trees and we decided to offer a tree program in the future. We will come to the next meeting with additional ideas for winter field trips.

Other Business: Laurel McEwen brought us up to date on what has transpired thus far on the proposed Baker development near Twin Ponds on town highway 14. The McEwens hired a wetlands specialist who identified a class 2 wetland on both sides of the road, and the State wetlands staff concurred. A permit will be required to build.

Next meeting will be on zoom on the 16th of November.

Adjourned meeting at 8:30 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,
Kathy Kinter