BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Michelle Cherrier, Chair, Dummerston; Patrick Moreland, Brattleboro; Sheila Morse, Guilford; Lewis Sumner, Halifax; Dan Toomey, Putney; Irvin Stowell, Townshend; Russ Hodgkins, Westminster; Nancy Meinhard, Wardsboro; and Merrill Mundell, Wilmington

BOARD MEMBERS ABSENT: Peter Elwell, Brattleboro; David Jones, Brookline; Daniel Baliotti, Dover; Kevin Stine, Dover; Lester Dunklee, Dummerston; Cheryl Franklin, Guilford; Cara Cheyette, Halifax; Andy Coyne, Jamaica; Judy Flower, Jamaica; Tony Gordon, Marlboro; Stillman Vonderhorst, Marlboro; Shannon Meckle, Newfane; Mike Fitzpatrick, Newfane; James Damato, Readsboro; Robert Matte, Readsboro; Kent Young, Stratton; Christopher Parker, Vernon; Emily Vergobbe, Vernon; and Tom Consolino, Wilmington

WSWMD STAFF PRESENT: Robert Spencer, Executive Director; Athena Lee Bradley, Programs Manager, Minnie Boadu-Bennett, District Clerk

OTHERS PRESENT: Forrest Hammond, State of Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, BCTV

Ms. Cherrier determined there may not be a quorum of supervisors present and no votes were taken.

Note: Ms. Cherrier opened the teleconference line at 7:03 pm.

Ms. Cherrier called meeting to order at 7:05 PM.

  1. Changes and/or Additions to Agenda: Ms. Cherrier suggested moving the presentation by Mr. Hammond forward to Item #2. Ms. Cherrier also added Item #7, Discussion of Exit Payment from Town of Winhall. Expressed thanks to Ms. Bradley, BCTV and Mr. Hammond. Mr. Hammond is here as a representative of VT Fish and Wildlife.
  2. Introduction of New Board Members: None Present.
  3. Approval of Minutes – February 14, 2019: No action taken.
  4. Approval of Check Register – February 2019: No action taken.
  5. Approval of Financial Report – February 2019: No action Taken.
  6. Forrest Hammond, Wildlife Biologist, Black Bear Project Leader Vt. Fish and Wildlife: Managing Backyard and Community Composting To Minimize Problems With Black Bears:

Mr. Hammond began his presentation by sharing general information about bear behavior and feeding habits. Addressing compost concerns specifically, Mr. Hammond reported a 10% spike in reports of bears disturbing compost. He then explained best management practices for residents to minimize bear problems: removing birdfeeders from April-December; bear-resistant dumpsters; electric fencing; removing other possible attractants; using bear-resistant compost containers; motion alarms, and ammonia-soaked rags. Mr. Hammond then gave the floor to Ms. Bradley, who presented on proper composting technique. She hopes to set up composting workshops in member towns. Supervisors offered personal anecdotes of bear interactions. Mr. Moreland asked what residents should do if a bear enters their yard. Mr. Hammond suggested having a family bear-incident plan. The goal is to protect personal safety while giving the bear a negative experience, by yelling, making noise, etc. They may not leave immediately but are unlikely to return. Mr. Toomey pointed out that many residents may be reintroducing food scraps to their compost at the same time bears are actively feeding for spring. Ms. Bradley offered some tips for keeping wood shavings handy and highlighted the importance of troubleshooting. The entirety of this presentation will be available on BCTV. Residents can report bear incidents at VTFW will respond to any reported incident with advice.

  1. Discussion of Exit Payment From Town of Winhall: A legal agreement is being drafted to formalize the exit payment owed by the Town of Winhall to the District.
  2. Discuss “Take Aways” From Flow Control Presentation at 2/14/19 Meeting: Mr. Mundell and Ms. Meinhard each stated their belief that flow control would not be an effective solution for the needs of the district. The board discussed their appreciation for Mr. Cahill’s presentation and expertise, and Ms. Bradley reported that Mr. Cahill was sent a thank you note from WSWMD.
  3. Programs Manager Report: None.
  4. Executive Director Report: None.
  5. Executive Session (if needed): None.
  6. Other Business as Legally Allowed: Mr. Spencer will seek a legal opinion regarding quorum determination.
  7. Adjournment: Meeting adjourned at 8:15

Minnie Boadu-Bennett, District Clerk