Conservation Commision Meeting Minutes

January 6, 2003


Present: Alison Bechdel, Sharon Murray, Jen Andrews, Tom Longstreth, Lars Botzojorns, and Lauren Berrizbetia


Tom suggested that we shorten and streamline our meetings. We agree to try to keep them to 1-1/2 hours, and to go over the agenda at the  beginning and give time limits to each topic. Since we don't have a single Chairperson we could take turns moderating the meetings.


Sharon reported on the budget presentation she and Alison made to the Select Board earlier in the evening.


Conservation Commission Proposed 2003 Budget

Mailing, 500

Trail management (signage, culverts, maintenance), 500

Trail design, 250

Community Events, 150

GPS software, 100

Conservation Plan (mapping, natural resource inventory, possible

intern), 500.


Total,  2000


[We found out after the meeting that they level-funded us, at $1600]


Sharon also asked the SB how their appointments to the Preston Pond Steering Committee were going. Lars volunteered to present them with a draft charge and list of potential candidates.


Sharon also asked the SB to finalize appointments to the Conservation Commission‹Tom hasn’t been appointed yet. Sharon and Alison will check up on this and see who’s officially on the list, who needs to re-apply, etc. At some point, when this is all settled, we need to formally elect officers.


ALISON will also make an effort to start posting our minutes on the town website.


Also at the SB meeting, Pete Siegel requested that the CC do something with the Sara Holbrook property.


Next, we discussed the petition against the Preston Pond project.


We can’t bring it up for discussion at Town Meeting, since we just learned from the SB that it’s not permissible to discuss anything there that’s going to be voted on by Australian Ballot. You can have a separate informational meeting, though.


Next, Dana Farley came to get information from us about Bolton Valley. She’s been hired by the town to do some research and inventory work on the growth potential and resources up there. She’’s been gathering information and has a big map from the RPC of the area. She has met with the SB, the Planning Commission, people from the state, engineers, etc. Now she’s going to start making suggestions, and wants to talk to us to get a clear picture of natural resources.



 A “conservation developer” timber company is interested in buying some BV land, but they didn’t offer enough money.


Dana thinks there are both constraints to growth, and opportunities. If a developer with enough money comes in, there’s definitely development potential. There are water and septic issues, but also areas of gravel deposits and level land.


Sharon & Lars talked about their concerns about the watershed. None of the tributaries into Joiner Brook are buffered. Bolton has good setbacks along named streams. But we recommend a setback from all identified streams. [Question:  would the setbacks apply to Ephemeral vs. permanent streams?] Joiner Brook is unique in number of high peak areas that feed into it.


Lars says Liz Thompson has done a rapid ecological assessment, and that Dana should see the results. CCRCP map info (deer wintering areas, etc.) could be 20 years old, according to Sharon & Lars.


Lars also mentioned that there are Peregrine falcons on Bone Mtn. And lower Stimson Mountain.


Dana’s email:


Next, we addressed the topic of thank you letters for donors to the Preston Pond project. LARS will get a definitive list (with addresses) of donors. Then he’ll draft a short thank you letter and pass it around. ALISON will create letterhead with the moose logo, and email (or snail mail) that to everyone. Then we’ll pick names from Lars’ list, and everyone will send a bunch of letters, personalized if they so desire.


Alison presented some info about the VNRC’s Energy Independence Petition. They’re trying to get towns in the state to pass “climate Action” resolutions, to get people to cut down on fossil fuel use. Jen spoke to Matteo Burani a couple weeks ago about this, and told him this issue might just put Bolton over the edge right now, so we’d take a pass on it. All present agree that she’s right. We’ll file it for later consideration.


Next, we went over the list of all the CC’s various projects, to prioritize it.

1. Tiffany Morrissey acquisition (hopefully some stuff we'll be able to

hand off to the steering committee when it gets formed)

1.a. Rock climbing access. Lars is dealing with CRAG-VT.

2. Town wide conservation plan. Sharon has started working on it, but thinks we should wait till after Town Meeting to send out the survey.

3. Keeping Track Monitoring. We decide to start mapping out a transect behind Jen’s house, and up to the Long Trail and over into Bolton Valley. We’ll organize a hike up there and bring the GPS.

4. BV Resort lands - Jen is representing the CC on the town-wide planning group.

5. Town Forest Mgmt.

6. Wheeler Lands (town rents Wheeler Field land for $1 a year) (Rec. committee? Cross-committee work)

7. Sarah Holbrook land. We’ve scheduled an outing to go take a look at this on Thursday Feb. 27, at 3pm. Before the poison ivy comes up.

8. Mt. Mansfield State Forest management plan. (has been completed, no longer a draft) Jen will call and get us a copy of this.

9. The Potholes Conservation. Jen spoke to Beth on rec. committee about Potholes. River Conservancy interested? Sharon will email their address to Jen, Jen will talk to Beth again.

10. Long Trail relocation off Notch Rd. LT will formally abandon Jonesville thru notch section, when major Winooski River Valley relocation is complete. (It may be some time before this happens]. There was the suggestion to investigate using the log landing parking area on Notch road for multiple uses.

11. Long Trail relocation through Winooski valley. The Green Mountain

Club should stay in touch with townspeople.

12. Trailhead Mgmt. Issues (VAST, CTA, GMC) Selectboard brought this up. Sanitation. Respective trail groups should take care of the trailheads. We can help facilitate the discussion -- but it’s up to these organizations to do it.


Lastly, we decided to reschedule our next several meetings for the FIRST TUESDAY of the month rather than the first Monday since Lars won’t be able to come Mondays through May. ALISON is checking to make sure we’ll have a room available.


So our next meeting is TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 4.


Respectfully submitted,

Alison Bechdel

Monday 13 January, 2003