Brookfield Conservation Commission
June 17, 2019
Meeting Minutes draft
Susan Shea, Starr Strong and Jon Binhammer in attendance
Review Agenda – Sue Shea wanted to talk about a possible potential project for the Commission
Approval of Minutes of the May 20 meeting – minutes approved
Review of by-laws of Conservation Commission: Commissioners reviewed bylaws from Randolph Conservation Commission, Hartland Conservation Commission, and Montgomery Conservation Commission. All agreed that the Montgomery Conservation Commission bylaws were the best model to follow with changes. Suggested changes were made, and Jon said he would put together a final draft for approval at the next meeting.
Plan for schedule of events, how to advertise, etc.: Commissioners decided to schedule a guided paddle on Rood Pond on August 25th from 3:00 to 5:00 pm and a guided walk on the Brookfield Town Forest on October 6, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm. It was decided to advertise these events on the town calendar, on Front Porch Forum, and in the Herald.
Sue suggested that we might want to sponsor a program about gardening for wildlife, and a program about gardening for pollinators. Jon suggested that rain gardens for water quality could also be a topic.
Starr suggested that the Conservation Commission could work with Bonnie Fallon to help with Green-Up Day; if a tech-savvy volunteer could be found, the town roads could be divided into sections that people could sign up to clean up on the day,
It was discussed that sometimes large items like couches are sometimes dumped into streams and over banks where they are difficult or impossible to retrieve. Jon said that towns in the NEK and some towns in the Adirondacks have a “bulky day” in the spring, during which residents can put out bulky items that are picked up by the town to go to the transfer station, paid by taxpayers. Selectboard approval would be necessary for such an idea. No action taken.
Emerald Ash borer was discussed, esp. the proposals from the Public Safety Committee and Town Meeting. Commissioners agreed that EAB is of concern but not a crisis, and suggested that while there may be some need for proactive work to remove dangerous ash from rights of way, trees of other species die all the time (and sometimes fall into roads and are removed when that happens), and we have been through a similar experience with American elm and Dutch Elm disease, and there may be lessons to be learned from that experience. Also, all ash trees will be unlikely to die all at one time, so while there may be a continuing need for some tax revenues to take down ash trees in the ROWs, it could be that this activity could be spread out over time, and warned that a wholesale clearing of ROWs in town would probably not be met favorably by residents, would compromise the scenic nature of our town roads, and would likely grow early successional species that would more likely fall into roads. Jon said he would attend the Public Safety meeting, but then found that he had a previous commitment, so could not attend.
Submitted by Jon Binhammer, Chair