Regular Meeting, Thursday, December 28, 2023, at 6:30 PM

Remote Participation ONLY

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Attendees: Stephan Chait (Chair; SC), Mary Horne (Member; MH), Dov Towler (Member; DT), Laurel Copeland (Clerk; LC), Linda Huebner (guest, LH), Sue Kelly (guest, SK).


CALL TO ORDER at 6:36 pm




APPROVAL OF PREVIOUS MEETING MINUTES – Regular Meeting Minutes of October 26, 2023, were approved.



Vermont Disaster Animal Response Team (VDART) Preparing for the safety of animals in the event of a disaster (Sue Kelly) – VDART is an organization whose members are trained to set up and run a pet shelter during a disaster. It is a non-governmental organization (NGO) comprised of volunteers. Lesley Pollitt was deployed in July 2023 to run a VDART shelter in central Vermont. The Central Vermont team designed software to replace all needed paperwork and reduce redundancy, and it has been used twice already. Bennington still needs more preparation. Because Vermont is a very safe place to be in the US, we are a bit behind in disaster preparedness. SK described her family history, including when her grandmother was a young widow, and a storm developed in the middle of the night, awakening her; the curtains burst into flames, and she had to evacuate. Three months later, SK’s mother experienced a destructive house fire. In your own home, do you have a plan for someone to take care of your house pets if you were suddenly incapacitated/unable to get home? If your pets were evacuated, would you be able to identify them? SK will send a checklist to help us get started on emergency preparedness for our pets. Be sure to update your information on your house pets annually! You need to provide info on your pets and their needs; you also need to know where you would go, and where your pets would go. SK is working on an MOU to allow pets in West Halifax; she has one established for us in the Wilmington Old School (1 School Street off Beaver in Wilmington, opposite the new Fire/Police building).


New Legislative Session

Advocating for the elimination of hound hunting –

Support for Act Prohibiting the Hunting of Bear and Coyote with Dogs – H323 referred to House Committee on Environment and Energy (Sponsor Rep Larry Satcowitz) – Letter draft was discussed. LH provided relevant links,


Gates Pond Beaver Dam – The storm on Monday, Dec. 18, washed out one side of the dam on Gates Pond Road. Although 5-10 beavers have been seen working there, they have not made progress on repairing the breach. Interested people may be asked to help rebuild the dam tomorrow before cold weather returns.



Invasive Jumping Worms. Status and Next Steps – The last change was to add contact info for the Conservation Commission. Wait until March when people are thinking about their gardens and buying potted plants.


BEEC Project Events in Halifax and Westminster VT

October 29 Site Visit from 2 to 4 pm. Skip Lisle installed a deceiver on Hatch School Road a year ago. It saved a culvert and allowed the beavers to stay in place. Skip explained how to use deceivers.


Next Steps – Mike Fournier still favors Jacksonville Stage Road for a Beaver Deceiver. Skip Lisle thinks it is a very challenging location for a flow control device; this comment came up when Skip, Patti, and Stephan were out there together. The water flows onto the road above where the culvert is. Mike noted that they do not hunt beavers; they let them be. DT asked whether Deer Park Road still has a problem. Apparently, it is not a problem at this time.




HEARING OF VISITORS – LH found a story about an attack on two hikers on Vermont public land attacked by bear-hunting hounds (POW report Oct 2019).

On another issue: Urge Your Legislators to Override the Veto and Modernize the Bottle Bill!


ADJOURNMENT at 7:22 pm.