Halifax Conservation Commission

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

Regular Meeting, Thursday, March 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), Linda Huebner (LH), Juliet Blackett (JB). 

CALL TO ORDER at 6:34 pm





Regular Meeting Minutes of February 24, 2022 were approved with 2 minor changes (“???” was changed to bittersweet; “CC” was expanded to Cara Cheyette). 



Future Meetings – DT asked if there a plan to meet in person? SC replied that the revised open meeting law allows in-person, remote, and hybrid meetings. When we had hybrid meetings outside last year, the remote people could not really participate. SC noted that the Town Office is equipped to host hybrid meetings. LC asked if we could use their setup. SC said yes. LC asked that we use their equipment. LP wondered how many would like to meet in person vs remotely. JB commented that the flow of conversation is better in person. 


Invasive Species in Halifax Defining the Scope of the Educational Flyer – LC suggested the writing be simplified and target an 8th grade level. JB suggested we use a hook to draw in the reader. JB did not feel a sense of urgency in reading the beginning. LH asked about how to assess the reading level. LC said Word used to have it and she needed to find how to invoke it again. Put the statement of harms up front. LC willing to try to revise draft 2 to increase the sense of urgency. JB asked whether the flyer will include photos; it will. DT recalled we had described this as an opening salvo, to be followed up with more information. LP concurred; the flyer will educate people and give them info on something they can do to help. SC said this could be a letter that references other sources of information. LH provided two websites. LP worried that the websites would be too complex and suggested we select a website for each plant. LP will do buckthorn. JC noted there is an app that identifies plants; we could include that in the flyer. DT will send us the name of the app (iNaturalist). DT said there is a lot of bittersweet here, also wild parsnip, Japanese knotweed. DT will do bittersweet. JC will do barberry. SC will do wild parsnip. JB will take Japanese knotweed (Boston bamboo). LC thought a target date would be helpful. The beaver flyer took several months including coordination attempts with Green River Watershed Alliance and BEEC. 


Use of the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department LIEP (Location, Identification, Evaluation and treatment, and Prevention) Invasive Species Program for Barberry, Common Buckthorn, Japanese Knotweed, and Wild (Poison) Parsnip 


Use of Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Practice Job Sheet on Oriental Bittersweet 



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. The town road crew is trying to repair the flow device on Pennel Hill with today’s rising prices. SC will talk with Diane Todd about a flow control device for Hatch School Road. The commission discussed costs. LP said there is a flow control device that their neighbors paid for on Amidon Road; it has been there for some years and works extremely well. LP will find out who installed it. 


Development of an Ordinance to Regulate Hounding – LP has corresponded with the person who promoted the ordinance in Greensboro. That ordinance covers all types of animals. Halifax does not appear to have any ordinance that covers dogs that bite or any other type of problem animal. LP wondered if townspeople would be interested in such an ordinance. SC wondered if someone could check with Patty Dow about current ordinances; LP volunteered to do that. The Greensboro ordinance includes enforcement by the animal control officer (for us, this would be our constable) and fines for infractions. JC wondered about being able to establish that a problem occurred, for example, with photographs. LH noted that just having the guidance written down is helpful. LH & LP will talk with the Greensboro folks and report back. 




HEARING OF VISITORS – JB would like to know more about the dog issue and looks forward to the next meeting. 


ADJOURNMENT at 7:37 pm.