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Conservation Commission Minutes

Conservation Commission Minutes, 01.26.2023

Conservation_Minutes_1.26.2023  Draft

Attending via Zoom: Linda Hecker, Linda Lembke, Susan Bonthron, Steve Soszynski, Anne Montgomery, Karen Murphy
Not attending: Bill Jewell, Marli Rabinowitz, Bevan Quinn

Public: Patti Smith

Meeting called to order at 5 PM. 

NRI inventory
Patti Smith gave us a report of her NRI inventory. She presented the report as a screen share so that we could have a close look at her findings. It is a well laid out document accompanied with maps, charts, and photos. The GCC will be including an introductory statement. The inventory will be digital and allow for further additions as they occur. It also includes conservation considerations which are not only helpful for the future of our natural heritage but also align in many ways with the town plan.

Next steps include working with a web designer to add the report to the town web site. 

The minutes from January 19 were unanimously accepted.

Planning for Winterfest on February 12
The GCC has participated in this Recreation Commission event for the past few years and as long as there is snow will this year as well. Anne Montgomery will lead a snowshoe hike. Snowshoes from the library will be available.

We discussed an upcoming presentation that Sam Schneski will give in Dummerston on a new conservation category in the Current Use Program. This allows landowners participating in the program to set aside acreage for old growth forest regeneration. We will communicate with Sam about presenting this program in Guilford in March or April.

Emerald Ash Borer
The EAB has been identified in Guilford. The GCC has done a complete ash tree inventory in Guilford and distributed educational materials about the insect. The commission will be investigating whether there are any new recommendations to add to the ones already listed.

The next meeting is February 16.

Respectfully submitted,
Karen Murphy, Clerk   
Guilford Conservation Commission

Conversation Commission Minutes, 01.19.2023

Conservation_Minutes – 1.19.2023  Draft

Attending: Linda Hecker, Linda Lembke, Marli Rabinowitz, Steve Soszynski, Anne Montgomery, Karen Murphy

Regional Meeting of Conservation Groups arranged by Margo Ghia from the WRC on January 19 at 6:30 via Zoom. 

Presentation: Climate Change and Land Use

Presenters: Ann Jarda from the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission and Taylor Newton Regional Planning Program Manager

Conservation Commissions attending: Guilford, Halifax, Westminster, Rockingham, Londonderry, Whitingham, Dummerston

Meeting adjourned at 7:00.

Restfully submitted, 
Karen Murphy, Clerk
Guilford Conservation Commission

Conservation Commission Minutes, 12.15.2022

Guilford_Minutes_12.15.22 Draft

Attending: Linda Hecker, Linda Lembke, Susan Bonthron, Bill Jewell, Bevan Quinn, Steve Soszynski, Anne Montgomery, Karen Murphy

Not attending: Marli Rabinowitz

Public (WRC):  Chris Campany, Margo Ghia
Planning Commission: Jeanette Tokarz, Julie Holland, Michael Szostak
Selectboard: Zon Eastes

Meeting called to order at 5:30 via Zoom.

Chris Campany from the Windham Regional Commission presented “Planning for Resiliency and Collaboration between Conservation and Planning Commissions.” 

He presented three “pillars” for  planning for resilient communities:

  1. Compact settlements
  2. Hazard mitigation and adaptation
  3. Habitat connectivity

His presentation included specific explanations of the above three and also allowed time for questions.  His information will be helpful in strategic planning for the future. Jeannette noted that, using ARPA funds, the Planning Commission has hired a consulting firm, Dubois & King to help with strategic planning. 

Bevan Quinn noted that Sweet Pond now has an Abenaki name. It is Amiskwbi which means beaver pond. Sweet Pond is the first Vermont state park to be given an Abenaki name.

NRI update: Pattie Smith has been invited to our January meeting to give us her report.

On motion the minutes from October 20, 2022 were passed unanimously.

Next meeting is January 19 at 5:30 PM. 

Meeting adjourned at 7 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Karen Murphy
Clerk
Guilford Conservation Commission

Conservation Commission Minutes, 10.20.2022

Conservation Commission Meeting
October 20, 2022

Attending: Linda Hecker, Linda Lembke, Marli Rabinowitz, Steve Soszynski, Bill Jewell, Anne Montgomery, Susan Bonthron, Karen Murphy
Not attending:
Bevan Quinn
Planning Commission:
Julie Holland
Due to internet connectivity problems the meeting was delayed.

Meeting called to order at 5:57 by Bill Jewell.
On motion the minutes from September were unanimously accepted.
Action steps reviewed.

Elm Tree Maintenance:
Tree watering will recommence in the spring. 

Gazette article:
Linda Lembke wrote an article for the upcoming issue about the collaboration between the GCC and the Historical Society. 

Halloween Party: It was decided not to participate this year. Susan Bonthron will offer the paper luminaries from last year to Verandah Porche to give to the Recreation Commission. 

November 17th BBCC event:
Plans were made to organize the presentation with Steve Soszynski and Jimmy Karlan and their use of trail and web cams. These plans include technology support, trial rehearsals, and   community outreach.

Budget request:
The following motion was made and accepted unanimously:
The Guilford Conservation Commission requests $1000 for fiscal year 2024. We intend to use that money to initiate a Conservation Fund for Guilford, to support future land conservation projects in accordance with priorities and actions from the Town Plan, and in cooperation with other town commissions and conservation groups.

Reports:
The Pink House (aka Benjamin Carpenter House) celebration was a success. The event was a collaboration between the GCC and the Historical Society.
Susan Bonthron reported on her attendance at the AVCC conference. 

The next meeting will be the BBCC presentation on November 17th.

Meeting adjourned at 7 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Karen Murphy, Clerk, Guilford Conservation Commission

Conservation Commission Minutes, 09.15.2022

Guilford Conservation Commission Minutes
September 15, 2022

Attending: Linda Hecker, Linda Lembke, Anne Montgomery, Susan Bonthron, Steve Soszynski, Bevan Quinn

Meeting called to order at 5:30 via Zoom.

The August minutes were accepted unanimously.

The Action Steps from the August meeting were reviewed. 

Plans for the 250th anniversary celebration at the Carpenter House October 1 were reviewed.

Linda H shared information about the 2022 AVCC Conference on October 15 at Lake Morey. Susan expressed interest in attending. 

Conservation Commission programming ideas

In response to the BBCC’s request for Conservation Commission programming ideas for the coming year, three programs were agreed upon with suggested dates (3rd Thursday evenings of the month, in place of our regular meetings). Presenters will be contacted for confirmation and ideas submitted to BBCC by October 1.

  • Observing Wildlife with Backyard Trail Cams, led by Steve S and Jimmy Karlan on Thursday, November 12, 2022
  • Conservation Options for Landowners, a panel discussion led by Jennifer Garrett of the Vermont Land Trust on February 16 or March 16, 2023
  • iNaturalist Workshop, CC members will lead an indoor “show and tell” about this citizen science program followed by a training and outdoor “bioblitz” on May 18, 2023. 

We will also contribute to the BBCC reopening on October 22 from 2:00-5:30pm with a small takeaway from the CC: a bookmark with links for citizen science apps on one side and images of some kind on the other. Anne will gather names and links. Linda L will format and print the bookmarks. CC members will demonstrate the apps at the event.

Voted unanimously to hire a web consultant to work on the formatting of the Natural Resources Inventory for the town website for an amount not to exceed $2500.

We agreed to postpone strategic planning until the October meeting. 

Reports on collaborations with other organizations

  • Inventorying cultural resources with the Guilford Historical Society is on hold until after the Carpenter House celebration.
  • GRWA upcoming programs were discussed.

Legislative updates:

  • Linda H shared information about the program promoting old growth forests in Vermont. 

Other business:

  • Linda L reported that the last round of 500 Carriage Trail guides, printed in 2020, are nearly gone. Voted unanimously to print another 500 copies.

The next meeting will be held on October 20 at 5:30pm

Meeting adjourned at 6:50.

Respectfully submitted,
Linda Lembke
Substitute Clerk, Guilford Conservation Commission

Conservation Commission Minutes, 08.18.2022

Conservation Commission Meeting
August 18, 2022

Attending: Linda Hecker, Linda Lembke, Anne Montgomery, Susan Bonthron, Marli Rabinowitz, Bill Jewell, Steve Soszynski, Bevan Quinn, Karen Murphy
Public: Patti Smith

Meeting called to order at 5:30 via Zoom.

Agenda adjusted to have Patti Smith speak first about progress on the NRI (Natural Resources Inventory).

Patti shared several draft pages and maps with us. They gave us a good idea of what the final report will look like. It will be a web-based report that can be adjusted with new findings.

The July 28 minutes accepted unanimously.

The Weeks Forest trail is in good shape but will need continued invasive plant removal. We also need to tackle the spreading poison ivy.

There was a discussion about strategic planning in the next few years and also a review of the town plan and the GCC’s stated responsibilities. More discussions will be had in future meetings.

With the help of Dan Zumbruskie and his equipment the dead elm planted last year in the field next to the town office was removed and a new replacement St. Croix elm was planted and watered.

Collaborations:
Some members of the GCC and the Guilford Historical Society are working on planning for the 250 th anniversary of the Benjamin Carpenter House (aka Pink House). The celebration for Guilford residents will be on October 1.

The Green River Watershed Alliance sent out a brochure to residents in the Green River Watershed. It is full of information and a map of the watershed. Along with the brochure is a list of events that Patti Smith will be hosting in different parts of the watershed.

The next meeting is September 15 at 5:30.

Meeting adjourned at 7.

Respectfully submitted,
Karen Murphy
Clerk Guilford Conservation Commission