Aug 022017

Braintree Conservation Commission

Unapproved Minutes– Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Submitted by Linda Morse, Secretary


Present:  Tom Cooch, Sanders Stephen, Joan Richmond-Hall, Linda Morse, Paul Shriver

Guests:  Mary Russ, White River Partnership; Danielle Owezarski, Watershed Coordinator for White River Water Partnership

  1. June minutes approved
  2. Focus area discussion on White River Basin with Danielle Owezarski:
    – Braintree  activities – water quality monitoring by  the BCC. Joan noted that Braintree has a good road crew and that the Planning Commission is recommending increased setbacks from roads; Tom noted that after the last deluge there was very little damage

–   Danielle discussed contract with Two Rivers Ottaquechee (TROQ) for planning on “municipal protectedness”, bylaws to address water quality and driveway issues, Emergency Relief fund for hazard mitigation and flooding which may make funds available.  Joan noted revisions to the town plan for energy and flood management zones.

– There is $800k in grants, based on miles of roads connected to waterways; eg, erosion inventories. Jim Ryan of VT DEC is looking for funding ideas.

–  The Clean Water Fund has funds for scoping, planning, design and implementation. Also funds for tree planting, wetland restoration through the Ag Agency (Maria Welch). Ideas for Braintree: Farnsworth Brook.

–  Basin Plan does not cover groundwater only surface water.

–  Mary Russ noted that the White River Partnership could be a partner to implement projects. Eg., keeping streams cold, clean, and good for fish habitat. Includes projects such as tree planting for shade to keep streams cool, erosion control, and river cleanup and trash removal. She commented that the third branch of the White River is the most managed stream in Vermont.

–  The Basin Plan is due out in 2018.


  1. Articles for newsletter due end of August. Sandy -an article; Tom – to contact Jeff on culverts.


  1. Invasive species – According to Gerald Kinney it is too late this year to apply for permits to use herbicides. A Braintree citizen has raised concern for use of herbicides that contain neonicotoids which harm bees and other pollinators. (Sources of information on pollinators – UVM Center for )
  2. Renewable Energy – Joan reported on the draft of the TROQ report, including information on size of allowable solar arrays and wind projects particularly in rural scenic or conservation areas. It was noted that deeryards and vernal pools need to be identified. Sources are Stuart Kinney, Keith Gallant, and the UVM Center.  There was a question on what the implications of vernal pools are for landowners.
  3. Tom asked for comments on online newsletter and ideas on articles for the Herald.


  1. The meeting was adjourned at 8:32pm

Next Conservation Commission meeting: Wed., August 23, 7pm at Town offices.