Conservation Commission minutes, Monday 7 April, 2003


Jen & Sharon showed up at 6 for the SB meeting, but there wasn’t a quorum. Only Jerry Mullen and John DeVine were there. Alison came at 6:30 and Tom came at 7. (We were unclear about the time of the meeting.)


We talked with Jerry and John about putting together an Advisory Committee for the Preston Pond Project. They had some suggestions on names. Also, Jerry pulled out Deb Markowitz’s email about whether we should be reimbursed for the last Preston Pond mailing, and said he’d make sure the SB approved it. Sharon said let’s not bother, let’s just take the money from the Watershed Grant. Deb says we still have $2548 in that account.


John and Jerry also talked about the Conservation Commission managing other land that the town owns. 25 acres up behind the old Oxbow ski area, 25 acres near Mica’s on Stage Rd. And the Sara Holbrook land. John & Jerry gave Jen a map of these 3 parcels.


We said that the CC would come to the 5/5 SB meeting (at 6pm, everyone) to talk more about the Advisory Committee. And to schedule a site visit to Sara Holbrook.


At 7, The four of us went over to Smilie to have our regular Conservation Commission meeting.


Our agenda was basically to talk about Preston Pond management.


We discussed trail usage issues.


We decided to circulate the existing draft management plan before our 5/5 meeting, and arrive prepared to discuss it.


Next we discussed the Advisory Committee. Our understanding is that there will be 10 people on it, meeting every month or every other month until a management plan is implemented. Tom expressed concern that a ten-person commission could bog things down. He thinks a smaller, ad hoc group that met annually to go over the plan would be best. Sort of a focus group. Sharon says a larger group is important so that competing interests are fairly represented: endangered species, rock climbers, etc. Jen says, what if the CC sat down with people like the forester and John Austen and put together a draft of the management plan which we would then send to the Advisory Committee to approve.


Sharon says we need to define a set of goals or objectives, then we need to develop policies related to those, then an implementation strategy. Do we even have a good inventory of the parcel? So we know what’s out there? For example, we would hate to run a trail through an endangered species area.


Here are some of the areas of interest and possible nominees that people came up with for the Advisory Committee:


VAST (Leland & Betty Wheelock—might know someone)

Farmer (Dave Fuller)

Select Board

Hunter (Hoodie)

Rec (Beth or Tim)

Conservation (one of us)

Forester (Mike Snyder, Joss)

Fish & Wildlife (John Austen)



VLT rep?


We touched briefly on the topic of fundraising. Can we expect the people who already gave to give again?


Jen says we should put an article in the Gazette about ATV use on trails in the spring. Tom said we could frame it in such a way as to get people involved with maintaining the trails, and he volunteered to write it. Maybe after getting Bob’s approval we could actually set a date for a trail maintenance day.