Halifax Conservation Commission
P.O. BOX 127, WEST HALIFAX, VT 05358
Regular Meeting, Thursday, February 24, 2022, at 6:30 PM
Meeting location: Zoom (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/7814490827 with passcode 123 or call +19292056099,,7814490827#)
Attendees: Stephan Chait (Chair; SC), Dov Towler (Member; DT), Lesley Pollitt (Treasurer; LP), Jessica Cooney (Member; JC), Laurel Copeland (Clerk; LC), Mary Horne (MH), Linda Huebner (LH).
CALL TO ORDER at 6:35 pm
CHANGES AND/OR ADDITIONS TO AGENDA –
APPROVAL OF PREVIOUS MEETING MINUTES
Regular Meeting Minutes of January 27, 2022 were approved with the note that the list of attendees was added during editing. Zoom now has a passcode 123, or you can click on a link from an invitation from Laurel and be admitted as an invitee.
Invasive Species – February 9th Trees for Good webinar. SC attended. The scope of the problem is large. Techniques for removal and abatement of invasive trees were presented. SC will try to get a copy of the materials as they could be used for an event. MH also attended. Some resources are listed below.
Invasive Species in Halifax – Defining the Scope of the Educational Flyer
How landowners can protect their property from invasive species
Which invasive species to present
SC reviewed the types of invasives, terrestrial plants, forest pests, and aquatic invaders. LP would like us to focus on do-able removal approaches. SC said the presentation noted that dealing with invaders early is easiest. E.g., once Japanese knotweed gets established, it is very hard to eliminate; herbicides are needed. These cause collateral damage. Professionals are typically needed for established invasives. DT noted that early on, the invasive is harder to identify. LH proposed wild parsnip. LP thought the message to “get it early” would be good to highlight on the flyer. LP: Buckthorn is common in Halifax, barberry hosts ticks… DT: …bittersweet, knotweed and phragmites. We could say on the flyer that people can send pictures of plants to us for identification. LP wondered if we might choose one per year. We could start with something easy to identify, such as buckthorn, and have a series of plants. DT say we pick 3, the hardest thing is convincing people why it is important. Picks: Glossy buckthorn, Asian bittersweet, Japanese knotweed, barberry, wild parsnip. Why you should care: they outcompete native species, the animals that depend on native species then decline, water supply and retention changes, and soil quality changes. LH: creating a brochure about Why you should care is most important. Specifics could be linked online or obtained by contacting us. LH described how difficult it was to remove the burning bush on her property, but it was impossible. She also commented on her efforts to remove barberry shoots at BEEC. DT commented that attempting to remove an invasive can at least prevent them from fruiting. MH wondered if the “why you should care” brochure could be followed by an in-person meeting to show the plants and help folks identify invasives. SC called for a volunteer to initiate the Why you should care brochure. DT said he would look for other’s words on this subject; SC said he would work with DT on this.
Southeast Vermont Cooperative Invasive Species Management Association https://vtinvasives.org/ – UVM & State of Vermont.
Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department
LIEP (Location, Identification, Evaluation and treatment, and Prevention) Invasive Species Program — https://vtfishandwildlife.com/learn-more/landowner-resources/liep-invasive-species-program
Protecting Culverts – Cost-Effective Solutions for the Town
Next Steps for the Culverts at or near beaver ponds at Hatch School Road, Pennell Hill Road, Jacksonville Stage Road, and Deer Park Road – SC did not have a chance to work with Patty Dow on road crew timesheets, but because of the audit, Patty already has much of this information prepared. SC will make an appointment with Patty. At the last SB meeting (2/22/2022), Pennell Hill culvert & beaver dam were discussed. Pete Silverberg, Mike Fornier, and SC will discuss that site, perhaps with Tyler Brown (State of Vt) and maybe even Skip Lisle. SC mentioned that Bob Audette from the Brattleboro Reformer wants to talk to him about the road-and-beaver issues in Halifax. SC approaches the issue as getting to a solution that is cost-effective for the town and has the side effect of protecting beavers. LH voiced support for this approach.
1/27: SC is interested in developing estimated road crew time costs per hour based on time sheets (plus supplies, e.g., a new culvert at Deer Park Road was $11,000). He will approach Patty Dow and Tyler Brown (state agent) and Skip Lisle (entrepreneur). A costly solution would benefit from us having fundraising for the affected property owners. Roadway flooding will become an issue again in a couple months.
Development of an Ordinance to Regulate Hounding –
Contacting a town about hounding regulation – LP learned that a lawyer was the person who put the ordinance against hounding coyotes together in another town, so, Cara Cheyette might be a better person to handle this matter. A state bill is to be voted on tomorrow which might simplify things in Halifax.
OTHER BUSINESS – None.
HEARING OF VISITORS – None.
ADJOURNMENT at 7:34 pm.