Halifax Conservation Commission
P.O. BOX 127, WEST HALIFAX, VT 05358
Regular Meeting, Thursday, January 26, 2023, at 6:30 PM
Remote Participation ONLY
Meeting ID: 781 449 0827 Passcode: 123
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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), Juliet Blackett (guest, JB); Lindy Gorman (guest from Marlboro CC, LG-MCC).
Unable to attend: Lesley Pollitt (Treasurer; LP).
CALL TO ORDER at 6:34 pm
CHANGES AND/OR ADDITIONS TO AGENDA – two items were added to New Business, introductions and trapping.
APPROVAL OF PREVIOUS MEETING MINUTES
Regular Meeting Minutes of Sept 22, 2022 were approved with the following changes: addition of Dov’s name on the list of attendees and changing “Oriental” to “Asiatic.”
Introductions – We introduced a visitor from the Marlboro Conservation Commission. HCC members introduced themselves.
Conservation Commission Membership
Election of Stephan Chait as Chair and Laurel Copeland as Clerk for the coming year. Election of Treasurer was deferred to the next meeting.
Ash Trees, Emerald Ash Borer, and Town Roads
SC reported that Sue Kelly proposed discussing the ash tree inventory with the Select Board. The Select Board may be budgeting some dollars for ash tree removal. LC presented on the inventory, the EAB, and managing ash trees.
Trapping Fur-bearing Animals – MH had sent around an article describing the New Mexico experience with putting in place an ordinance to outlaw trapping on public lands. She mentioned Vermont Wolf Patrol as having stats on pets caught in traps and related information. A suggested course of action is a letter-writing campaign. LC mentioned our game warden Kelly Price. LH noted that she sent this to Tristan Roberts (our State Rep), as well as our 2 senators: https://www.protectourwildlifevt.org/_files/ugd/5073cd_8291b14670c149d7b23b3e7a28c21b49.pdf and LC sent info on game wardens: https://anrweb.vt.gov/PubDocs/FWD/Maps/Warden/WardensDsize.pdf and local wardens: https://vtfishandwildlife.com/contact/contact-a-warden. LH noted that, in addition to pets, many unintended wild animals and birds are also caught in traps each year. MH and LP have also written to Tristan Roberts to express concern about these issues. Sen Harrison responded to LH outreach; a meeting of those interested in regulating trapping which is indiscriminant and inhumane is proposed. LH will ask to set up a meeting with Sen. Harrison and others (or speak out during her office hours). Tristan Roberts also has office hours. Also Sen. Nadim Hashim might be good to contact. LH will contact people and include Lesley Pollitt.
Why You Should Care About Invasive Plants in Halifax
The example of Asiatic Bittersweet from the November Halifax Newsletter was presented. The HCC could put paper flyers in Post Office, Town Office, and the notice board in Halifax Center. It was suggested to add pictures of leaves and shape of the plant overall, looking from a short distance. Add “Is this helpful? What else would you like to see or know?” along with contact information – Conservation Commission email address or Facebook page. JB asked if the flyer can be posted in the school to teach kids about invasive species? SC: with permission from the principal, it could be. LC will complete the flyer. Add websites. The Asiatic Bittersweet blurb is online in LC’s website in the November 2022 issue at https://czresearch.com/newsletter/. DT wondered whether we could add Phragmites as a sixth invasive terrestrial species as it is appearing in Halifax and is hard to control.
Update on Culvert Protection on Hatch School Road
LC presented a photo of the Beaver Deceiver that Skip Lisle installed on Hatch School Road, obviating the need for killing beavers, tearing out dams, and replacing the small culvert with a 4’x4’ concrete culvert. LH commented that the photo and information about this flow-control device would be good in the Halifax Newsletter to make people aware of the cost effectiveness of protecting culverts rather than killing the beavers; LC agreed to add this news to the February newsletter coming out in a few days.
Development of Ordinance to Regulate Hounding – LP, Sue Kelly, and MH met to discuss hounding. Sue Kelly talked with Andy Rice, our animal control officer, but he is not likely to back this movement. The CC feels we have reached a dead end on this topic.
OTHER BUSINESS – None.
HEARING OF VISITORS – LG-MCC expressed appreciation.
ADJOURNMENT at 7:47 pm.