Brookfield Conservation Commission Meeting
November 21, 2022
7:00 pm Regular meeting at Brookfield Town Office/Library (hybrid meeting: members able to join by Zoom with link to be shared prior to the meeting)
Attendance: Susan Shea, Starr Strong, Jon Binhammer
- Review Agenda – three items added – Nature and Wildlife Photography presentations, 2024 Town budget, and purchase of a game camera
- Public Comment – none
- Approval of Minutes of the October, 2022 meeting – we did not have the minutes from the October meeting, so we voted to defer approval until the December meeting.
- Town Forest Management Plan update – Areas for reserve and harvest were briefly discussed. BCC field visit on 11/6 was discussed. Commissioners thought that mast trees for bear should be encouraged and protected. We’ll wait to see the county foresters next draft.
- Conservation Commissioner search update – one potential candidate has effectively declined, several candidates were proposed, Starr will speak with one or more of the proposed candidates to obtain more information about their interest in serving and what they would bring.
- Community Values Mapping – sharing results. Commissioners agreed that a discussion of the Community Values Mapping and a thank you to all who participated should be in the Town Report under the Conservation Commission report, but all agreed that a meeting of townspeople who participated was not needed. All agreed that the results should help the BCC with prioritizing actions.
- Brookfield Zoning Bylaw upgrade – BCC involvement? Sue expressed interest in working on language regarding forest conservation for the bylaw. Jon Jickling was not in attendance, but due to his recent stint on the Planning Commission, we thought his input would be valuable. Commissioners briefly spoke about the need for increased affordable housing, and agreed that while it was not the BCC’s charge, that we would evaluate proposals and strive to support an increase in housing where it did not have a negative impact on wildlife and natural resources.
- Association of Vermont Conservation Commission membership dues – Starr moved to pay AVCC annual dues of $50.00, Sue seconded, all voted in favor.
- Nature and Wildlife Photography presentations – We are blessed to have at least two and probably more excellent wildlife and nature photographers in town, with our own Starr Strong and Mark Council. Commissioners agreed that we should sponsor a public presentation by each of these photographers this winter, perhaps at the church. All agreed that we should look for a date in December and one in February. Jon B. will coordinate with the church and/or library.
- 2024 Town budget – Commissioners agreed to request a budget of $300.00 for FY 2024. Current budget is $200.
- Game Camera purchase – to assist with wildlife connectivity studies across I-89. This was recommended by Jens Hilke for our work on the Northfield Road underpass. Starr said she would look into the cost for our next meeting.
- Adjourn – Commissioners voted to adjourn. Next meeting is December 19, 2022
Submitted by J. Binhammer, Chair