Halifax Conservation Commission

P.O. BOX 127, WEST HALIFAX, VT 05358

Regular Meeting, Thursday, May 26, 2022, at 6:32 PM


Meeting ID: 831 4097 6854, Passcode: 793307, You can dial in using your phone:  +1 646 876 9923 US (New York), Or one-tap mobile: +16468769923,,84085362701#,,,,*258796#, Dial *6 to mute/unmute on telephone


Attendees: Stephan Chait (Chair; SC), Lesley Pollitt (Treasurer; LP), Jessica Cooney (Member; JC), Laurel Copeland (Clerk; LC), Linda Huebner (LH), Juliet Blackett (JB).

CALL TO ORDER at 6:34 pm


CHANGES AND/OR ADDITIONS TO AGENDA – Add finding a new member for JC’s position.



Regular Meeting Minutes of March 24, 2022 were approved.



Green-Up Day was another success (JC). There were about 20 people engaged this year, 15 last year.


JC also reported that the Town received the grant to purchase the water bottle refill station. Patti and Jessica helped putting in the successful grant application. LH asked who funded the water filtration station as BEEC could use such a thing. LP asked what happens to composted waste. SC replied they turn it into compost, test it rigorously, and sell it. JB asked where WSW is (Old Ferry Road). WSW also has a Swap Shop with Shopping Days – 1st & 3rd Saturdays of the month & Donation Days- 2nd & 4th Saturdays of the month.


WSWMD application to expand composting facility which is currently at its permit limit. Per state law food waste has to be composted. The state law is unfunded, but State of Vermont will fine WSWMD if it exceeds its permit limit (in terms of volume of food waste composted). WSW is seeking funding of $500K to upgrade their composting capacity.


Invasive Species in Halifax – LP commented that as they were looking for informational sites, it was the pictures that held their attention. Reducing the text could be useful. SC commented that not everyone in Town has access to the internet, so we need to be sure our materials as accessible to all. LP: another alternative could be to pick 1 plant per year. Others commented there should be at least 1 picture of each plant.
LP and LC both volunteered to work up draft ideas for the commission to review at next meeting.
LH said BEEC has shared Vermont Invasives webpages on the BEEC webpage, featuring 1 invasive on BEEC land per month. LH agreed the photos are extremely helpful, for example finding what seemed to be invasive Wild Parsnip at Jenckes Farm Foundation. LH also participated in an evening group on invasives from UMass which recommended we “look south” to see what is coming, for example from New Jersey. Steward your own piece of property! At BEEC they are pulling out some invasive in central locations, but the task is overwhelming. SC commented that every year the Connecticut River Conservancy organizes kayakers to go out and pull an aquatic invasive to keep the rivers clear. We should have a blurb about the primary invasives in Halifax that we can control. LH: you can’t realistically expect to get rid of them, but you can manage it. JB commented that researching the Japanese Knotweed was very discouraging because to get rid of it takes years. You would have to use a backhoe to dig it up. You can put down tarps to smother it. But it is extremely hard to truly get rid of it.



Protecting Culverts – Cost-Effective Solutions for the Town

SC went with Pete Silverberg to look at Pennel Hill. The Town has tried to fix the damaged flow control device there. The owner of the pond wants to protect the beavers, and the Town is working to preserve the road and the beavers. The goal is to keep the pond in stasis, thus protecting both roadway and beaver population. SC and PS also looked at Hatch School Road culvert. SC plans to talk with the landowner, Diana Todd, soon. LC commented that the reason Hatch School Road is not a problem is because the beavers were killed. JC asked whether that was also the case at the school (Branch Road); LC said she did not know but believed the situation was similar: the beavers are gone because they were removed/driven out/killed.


Development of an Ordinance to Regulate Hounding – LP pursued whether Halifax has currently any dog ordinances. The Town got rid of their regulations and decided to follow State regulations which are mostly from Fish & Wildlife. Halifax follows the Vt state guidelines which are laid out in The Big Book Of Woof. Hounders would have to get written permission annually from landowners to cross their land if the land is posted. She talked with Dave Kelly at Greensboro; they wanted to stop hounding by putting regs on the books. Their section on “running at large” is important as it deals with dogs who are not under control by owners/handlers. It also refers to release on posted lands without the landowner’s written permission. Another section deals with “nuisances” or dogs repeatedly running free. Greensboro only did this ordinance when the 3 members were on the SB. Therefore, the Conservation Commission should talk with the SB members individually and find out where they are on this issue. LC commented that we should talk with each of the 5 SB members individually to let them express their opinions. LP said we should come up with talking points. JC commented that there recently on a family walk a great Dane ran up to small daughter who was terrified. One never knows which dog is off its property and might be a threat. LH commented that the same dog came at them near the PO, so they turned around and went home – forget going to the PO with a dog like that in your way. The dog was not on its owner’s property. The loose dog problem helps us deal with the hounding issue from a public safety point of view. LP referenced the Big Book of Woof as a useful reference. JC commented, if I complained to the Town that this dog was threatening, would anything be done? This is why we need local regs.






ADJOURNMENT at 7:40 pm.