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Conservation Commission Minutes – July 25, 2018

DRAFT Braintree Conservation Commission
Unapproved Minutes– Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Submitted by Linda Morse, Secretary

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

1. No Public comments

2. May 2018 – Approval of June minutes as corrected; moved by Tom, seconded by Joan, approved

3. Emerald Ash Borer (EAB):
Ash trees in Braintree – Based on the roadside survey, it is estimated that there are about 400 ash trees in 6 miles. The remaining ash trees are 6-8 inches or 8 inches and above in diameter. From the Randolph /Braintree line to the Shriver-Statts house on Braintree Hill Road (2 ½ miles) there were 189 tree from 6” to 12” in diameter. Then 15 trees of 1 and ½ feet and 10 trees of 24-30 in diameter or 200 in 2 and ½ miles. The cost could run into millions of dollars for the 200 towns in VT.

4. Discussion with Green Mountain Power Re: Ash Trees in Braintree power right of way. BCC members were in contact with both Meredith Whitney and Jerard Wilcox (Green Mtn. Power Forestry Dept., Vegetation team). The Company has started a process to respond in the 220 VT towns and 11,000 miles of lines. They are following the State’s lead. For the company this is a very expensive undertaking. They have been coordinating with the State Parks and Rec Agency and with the Public Utilities Commission, which binds the utility to provide reliable service. Biggest question is who is going to pay for the EAB response. There is not yet much info on the approach by the utility. They warned that any cutting of ash along roads must be done by a logger who is certified to cut trees near utility lines. A recommended contact for Towns is Danielle Fitzo of the VT Parks and Rec Dept. Related issues include: identifying ash tree dump sites and the use of removed ash wood for wood pellets. For Braintree important steps are to develop a plan and possible ash removal fund. Paul will contact EC Fiber

5. Tom introduced a newly purchased wildlife camera that will be used to identify important wildlife habit and movement. A possible site is Mud Pond where moose have been seen.

6. Japanese Knotweed control – trial eradication – Possible sites are: 1. Peth and Farnsworth; 2. Brainstorm Rd.; 3. Braintree Hill Rd. near Eddy home; 4. Farnsworth and Illsley. Budget is $500 for a vegetation plan, permit, and the chemical spray. These will be finalized. The spraying is expected in late August.

7. Newsletter – Next issue not ready yet. Possible article on nuisance bears – Joan will talk to Stuart Kinney for information.

8. The meeting was adjourned at 8:02pm

Next Conservation Commission meeting: Wed., August 22, 2018, 7pm at Town offices.