Bristol funds conservation project, panel

BRISTOL — Three members of the Bristol Conservation Commission — chair Dave Henderson, vice-chair Pete Diminico and Kristen Underwood — met with the Bristol selectboard on Monday to discuss a range of issues.
To kick things off, Al Karnatz of the Vermont Land Trust joined the commissioners in informing the board of a potential VLT project to preserve wildlife corridor and farmland along Route 116, just north of Bristol. Right now, the proposal, which would place development restrictions on large swathes of land between Route 17 and Lincoln Road, is in its nascent stages and will likely take a year to conclude, said Karnatz.
The selectboard agreed to allocate $1,000 from the conservation commission reserve fund for an appraisal of that land. This contribution is only a small percentage of the total cost of the appraisal, but shows the town’s support for the conservation project, said Town Administrator Bill Bryant.
“It’s the community deciding it wants to preserve a resource it considers importance to itself,” added Bryant.
The selectboard also agreed make the allocation of $10,000 to the conservation commission’s reserve fund a ballot item this year. Last year, voters approved this $10,000 appropriation. According to Bryant, the conservation commission wants to grow this fund to use for future conservation projects.
The commissioners’ last order of business was to remind selectboard members that they had recommended to the planning commission in February to place a three-year moratorium on natural resource extraction in the conservation zone, until a survey of the land is completed. A February 2011 letter to the planning commission states:
“The Bristol Conservation Commission recommends to the Bristol Planning Commission that the town adopt a moratorium on gravel extraction in the Conservation Zone for three years to allow geologic and hydrogeologic mapping to be completed.”
The conservation commission will find out in the upcoming months if the town of Bristol will receive U.S. Geologic Survey funding and services to map this region of Bristol. Conservation commissioners at Monday’s meeting noted that the planning commission did not vote to place a moratorium on extraction in this region, but instead agreed to revisit the parameters of land-use in this area after a survey is completed.

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