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Beacon Falls Conservation Commission

     Annual Report -2012

                        Submitted by:
                                Diane Betkoski, Chair
                                Conservation Commission                                         January 2, 2013

I. Introduction:
On behalf of the Beacon Falls Conservation Commission, I am pleased to submit this 2012 Annual Report for the Beacon Falls Conservation Commission to the Board of Selectman.
I would like to sincerely thank members of the consevation commission and especially Martha Melville for their dedication and commitment to the Conservation Commission and to the Town of Beacon Falls.
  • Mission                                                                                             
The conservation commission’s mission is to protect the natural environment of Beacon Falls by monitoring the development, conservation, supervision and regulations of natural resources, including water resources within its territorial limits. The commission keeps an index of all open space areas, publicly or privately owned, including open marshlands, swamps and other wetlands. Working in conjunction with the Land Use Committee, the conservation commission advocates for the proper use of these valuable resources.                                 
II. Commission Members:
Diane Betkoski, Chair
Noralie D’Amico, Vice-Chair
Tanya Gutiero, Secretary
Michael Bouchard, Commissioner
Jeffrey Keen, Commissioner
Eric Moranic, Commissioner
Christopher Wilemski    
Michael Opuszynski, IWWC liaison
Martha Melville, Clerk

2011-12 Resignations Chris Bielik, Anita Goerig, Jeff Goerig, Ray Kunz , Christian Yanarella and Richard Molleur.

III. Goals and Accomplishments
1. Maintain reports on the open space parcels that are assigned to the Conservation
  • Maintain reports on the open space parcels that are assigned to the  Conservation Commission
  • The open space index has been keep up to date.
2. Continue to manage assigned open space
  • Survey and mark the boundaries on assigned open space parcels and establish
Public egress as necessary
  • Rich Minnick worked with Nafis & Young to obtain a proposal for work at Lantern Ridge. This proposal was shared with the Board of Selectmen and the Conservation Commission The quote for boundary marking was $100 per hour for two men for approximately one to two days. The engineers would use existing physical markings rather than satellites and this proposal falls within the Conservation Commission budget.
  • Nafis & Young conducted boundary markings on the Lantern Ridge parcel. They used flag markers on trees, provided the coordinates for use on GPS software and stakes were installed. GPS coordinates were given to the Council of Governments for their reference.
  • Field work was conducted in April and October. Several commissioners walked the Lantern Ridge parcel on October 13, led by Vice Chair D’Amico. More posts were installed and the parking lot was cleaned.               
  • Additional field work will be scheduled for a weekend in the spring to continue marking boundaries, installing posts and clearing the parking lot of brush.
  • Prepare report with recommendations for use
  • Plan to budget dollars to complete this work
3.  Continue work on the Natural Resource Inventory Report
A primary purpose of the Natural Resource Inventory is to establish an information baseline that can enable Beacon Fall’s decision makers and land use agencies to make informed decisions regarding development, conservation, and natural resource management issues. This will be accomplished by producing a document that describes qualitatively, and to the extent possible, quantitatively, the diverse natural resources of the Town of Beacon Falls.
This document will depict the geographical location of these resources, document the importance of these resources to the citizens of the Town, identify the threats to the health and integrity of these resources, and discuss the various strategies that can be used to protect these resources.
Plan to invite a conservationist from UCONN to speak with the Conservation Commission to help advance the Town’s Natural Resource Inventory process.

4. Continue outreach activity
  a. Participate in Town Events
  • Participated in the 2012 Annual Kayak/Duck Race
  • Served as an initial contact for Explore the Naugatuck Event
b. Communicate Commission activity and news
  • Revised website responsibilities to enhance timeliness and usefulness of information
      c. Network and Collaborate with Town Commissions, State and Local Conservation           Commissions and Environmental Agencies. 
  • Attended the Connecticut Association of Conservation & Inland Wetlands Commissions -35th Annual Meeting & Environmental Conference ,Saturday, November 17, 2012
  • Participated on the Town of Beacon Falls Land Use Committee
5. Investigate funding sources to support open space and greenway initiatives.
  • No activity
IV. Fiscal Performance*
January 1 –December 31 2012                          
Budget       Actual              Variance
Clerk fees                        $1,260          $ 822.50               $437.50     
Operating expenses              $3,000          $1954.63              $1045.37
Total                             $4,260          $2777.13              $1482.87
V. Volume Statistics
A. Conservation meetings - 10 meetings
B.  Miscellaneous meetings
  • Attended Monthly Land Use Meetings
  • Participated in the Annual Kayak/Duck Race
C. Educational conferences
  • 4 members Attended the Annual CACIWAC meeting
VI) Professional Membership
  • Connecticut Association of Conservation and Inland Wetlands Commission (CACIWC).
  • Audubon Society
VII) Future Planning
2012 has been a year for reorganizing the Conservation Commission with its first priority being to fill 6 vacant commission member positions.
To date the conservation commission has a full complement of members who are dedicated to educating the public on conservation matters, managing open space to ensure a balance of economic development, recreation enjoyment and other activity while caring for and respecting the Town’s valuable natural resources.

In closing, the Conservation Commission reviews its goals and objectives at the beginning of each year. These will be finalized at the next scheduled Conservation Commission meeting.

Town of Beacon Falls, 10 Maple Ave, Beacon Falls, CT 06403     Phone: (203) 729-4340   Hours      Disclaimer      Virtual Towns & Schools