Present: Allison Bechdel, Tom Longstreth, Sharon Murray, and Kristian Omland

Minutes recorded by Kristian Omland

1)    Preston Pond Parcel payment

·        A rumor surfaced that the town had not paid Vermont Land Trust (VLT) the $15,000 it had raised for purchase of the Preston Pond Parcel.

q      Kristian will contact Pieter van Loon at VLT to inquire

q      If the rumor is substantiated, Tom will contact John Divine, Bolton Selectboard, to inquire

2)    Proposed Vermont Association of Snow Travelers (VAST) trail relocation around upper pond, Preston Pond Parcel

·        Larry Burtitt, the Richmond regional representative for VAST, had flagged a proposed trail relocation avoiding the west shore of the upper pond

·        Larry had contacted Tom to seek the Conservation Commission’s endorsement for the proposed trail relocation

ü      The members present unanimously declined to give such an endorsement because 1) it would impact currently unimpacted land within the parcel, 2) that land would be in the designated ecological protection zone, and 3) the existing degraded trail could not be revegetated because other parties hold a right–of–way for vehicular travel along that corridor.

3)    Grant proposal(s) for trail work on Preston Pond Parcel

·        We discussed submitting a proposal to the Recreation Trails Program to fund four weeks of Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) trail crew work on the Preston Pond Parcel trail system.

·        Submission deadline is 30 January

·        Immediate action is required since the selectboard would have to sign off on any proposal we would submit.

q      Tom will review what is needed

q      Sharon will send Tom last proposal

q      We will decide via e-mail whether to put a grant proposal together

q      If we do, we will all work via e–mail to write it

4)    Fundraising dance for Preston Pond fund

·        At the suggestion of the selectboard, we are thinking of hosting a mudseason dance to raise additional funds for the Preston Pond parcel purchase.

q      Tom will invite Beth Gilpin of the town Recreation Committee to attend our next meeting to discuss organizing such a dance

q      Sharon will call John Alberghini, Smilie School principal, to inquire about facility availability

q      We will all speak with neighbors, etc. to find out about interest in such an event among townspeople as well as to seek musicians/ a band who may be willing to perform free/ cheaply

5)    Primitive biathlon

·        Jerry Mullen has proposed hosting a primitive biathlon to raise funds for the Preston Pond Parcel purchase. The selectboard previously expressed reservations about liability insurance for such an event.

q      Lars will sustain communication with Jerry about this; in particular, we would like to know what is the record of such events as fundraisers

6)     “Keeping Track” transect

·        We discussed whether to reinstate the “Keeping Track” transect.

·        The transect is described in a document written by Maggie Desch

·        We had previously discussed using Conservation Commission funds to partially support “Keeping Track” training for two individuals from town; Julie Mauer may be interested.

q      Kristian will call Jen Andrews to ask whether she and Hillary Besse would like to sustain the effort.

7)    Conservation Commission organization

·        We discussed functioning of our commission. Allison Bechdel will take a 15-month leave of absence (but will be happy to receive e–mail updates of commission activity). We agreed that we should elect commission officers.

q      Sharon will have the Smilie key, at least until the time of our next meeting

q      Kristian will have office supplies and GPS & related software for now

q      Kristian will check at town office about his application for appointment to the commission

q      Kristian will submit minutes for this meeting

q      Kristian will also speak to Jen about old meeting minutes

8)    Next meeting

·        The next meeting of the Conservation Commission will be in early January (but probably not the first Monday, 5 Jan).

·        Preliminary agenda

4     election of officers

4     brief reports on action items (q above); items needing discussion may be postponed until they come up in the agenda

4     dance

4     new business