Jun 112019

Unapproved Minutes

Present:  Tom Cooch, Linda Morse, Joan Richmond–Hall, Paul Shriver, Sandy Stephen,

Mr. Cooch called the meeting to order at 7:05.

No Public comments

The minutes for the March 27, 2019, meeting were approved as written.

Election of Secretary

Ms. Morse had agreed at the March meeting to continue on as Secretary, but decided shortly afterwards that she did not want to continue in this position. Ms. Richmond-Hall, who had been Secretary prior to Ms. Morse, said she was willing to take on the job again.

Work Party Dates

The date for a work party and picnic at the Thayer Brook Natural Area (TBNA) was set for Friday, May 31, with the following Monday as a rain date.  We will meet at 9 a.m. at TBNA. Mr. Cooch and Mr. Shriver are borrowing a truck and will pick up a picnic table that has been donated by Abel Mountain Campground.

A second project previously discussed is a work party to begin pulling the Wild (Poison) Parsnip that is growing along Route 12 between the Ayers Brook Goat Farm and Peth Road. This plant begins to blossom around the middle of June.

The BCC would like to have the Randolph and Brookfield Conservation Commissions collaborate in this effort. The originally proposed date of Saturday, June 22, conflicts with a bird watching event planned by the RCC. Sunday, June 23, was therefore chosen. Participants will meet at 9 a.m. at the junction of Peth Road and Route 12.

Vernal Pool Mapping

Mr. Cooch said he had tried to verify the existence of a vernal pool thought by the State to be located on property owned by Philip Stolzfus between Thresher Brook and Riford Brook Roads. His GPS was not functioning properly, however, and he was unsuccessful.

There are two other suspected sites that the commission might verify. If he has a time slot to do this, he will notify other commission members to see if they are interested in joining him.

Wildlife Corridors

Ms. Richmond-Hall reported on a meeting that the Planning Commission had held with a Vermont expert on wildlife corridors. There are relatively few places that animals can use to cross roads separating two large blocks of forest.

It was recommended that Braintree try to encourage property owners not to develop such crossing sites, especially in the southern part of Town. The entire area might be rezoned or a flexible approach might be adopted, in which a property owner might be offered exemption from a particular zoning restriction in exchange for a conservation iien on a crossing site.

The BCC might seek out crossing corridors along Thayer Brook Road. Ms. Richmond-Hall said she would look at existing maps and try to identify owners of parcels with potential corridors.



The May newsletter has been previewed by commission members and is ready to go out. It features an article by Braintree resident Katrina Hajagos on monarch butterflies, milkweed plants, and the trade-offs of preserving milkweed while eliminating wild chervil.

A possible article for the June newsletter would focus on the importance of wildlife corridors. Ms. Richmond-Hall said she thought she could write this. Another article might details the events of the collaboration between the three towns on poison parsnip removal.

Next Meeting Date

Our June meeting will be on the 26th.

Meeting adjourned at 8:25 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Tom Cooch