Conservation Advisory Council (CAC)

Gallatin CAC Mission Statement

The mission of the Town of Gallatin Conservation Advisory Council (the “CAC”) is to gather and disseminate information, conduct research, advise town agencies, and engage with the community on matters related to the conservation of the town’s natural resources. The CAC considers issues of air quality, surface water and groundwater quality and quantity, soils, plants, wildlife, and habitats of conservation concern. The CAC also addresses other issues bearing on the health and integrity of ecosystems and sustainable uses of the natural resources that support, the well-being of the community and its environment.

The CAC’s role in policy-making and environmental reviews is strictly advisory. The CAC takes a science-based approach to questions related to natural resource conservation, provides information as needed, and proposes solutions and alternatives that aim to avoid, minimize, or mitigate impacts on sensitive resources.

The CAC’s basic tasks are to: (a) gather and provide natural resource information to town agencies, land use applicants, and the general public; (b) conduct a town-wide natural resource inventory and an open space inventory; (c) coordinate with the Comprehensive Plan Committee on natural resources related topics, (d) assist the Planning Board in reviews of land use proposals.

(e) advise the Zoning Board of Appeals, as necessary, on decisions affecting land use; and (f) provide recommendations for local policies, procedures, and legislation related to natural  resource uses and conservation. In this regard, the CAC advises the Town Board.

The CAC meets once monthly. Its members also serve on various town committees, including the Comprehensive Plan Committee. CAC members regularly attend monthly Town Board and other town agencies’ meetings, special meetings, budget hearings, and public hearings. In addition, the CAC occasionally offers public programs on environmental issues which affect, or are of interest to, the community. The CAC views community engagement as a key objective.

Adopted [July 12,2021]

Gallatin Natural Resources Inventory

Intent to Develop NRI

In accordance with state mandates regarding Conservation Advisory Councils, the CAC will be initiating the development of a complete Natural Resource Inventory (the “NRI”) for the town, to  be used as a basis for its advisory roles as described in the Mission Statement.

Adoption of Gallatin Habitat Summary & Columbia County NRI

Until such time as the NRI is complete, the CAC has adopted, as an initial basis for its advisory roles, both the Gallatin Habitat Summary, 2021 https://cornell.app.box.com/s/ox26tprav5ciefolml8r86m78vyeeq9r  and The Columbia  County Natural Resource Inventory, 2018.

https://geodata-cc-ny.opendata.arcgis.com/pages/ccnri

NRI Development Methodology 

Resources and methods to be used in development of the NRI will include the following:

  1. Review of existing resources including mapping, scientific data and other local resources developed since the 2009 Habitat Summary. An evolving list of currently available resources can be found here [Link coming soon].
  2. Field Work: “Boots on the Ground” empirical observation— by professionals, students and volunteers—of the current state of the town’s natural landscapes, soils, flora, fauna, and historical The CAC encourages town residents’ involvement in this work. Information on how to participate as a volunteer can be found here [Link coming soon].
  3. Professional Consultants: Subject to the availability of funding, the CAC will engage scientists and consultants with relevant experience as researchers and advisors where appropriate.

Progress Reports

In addition to regular minutes of its public meetings, the CAC will from time to time post updates  to the town website on the progress of the NRI development process.  

Conservation Advisory Council Membership

The CAC’s members are appointed by Gallatin’s Town Board. The CAC’s current members (for  the two-year term ending December 31, 2022) are:

Omar Al-Farisi

Stixxx D’Armiento

Harry Franklin

Gwen Greene (Chair)

Nancy Kuster

Carol Smillie

Edward Tuck

Eli Arnow

Matt Stinchcomb

The Town Board’s liaison to the CAC is councilman Fraser Paterson.

The CAC is composed of 3 to 9 town residents with a strong interest in the council’s mission as well as knowledge and experience in relevant disciplines such as environmental sciences, ecology, botany, biology, chemistry, planning, architecture, engineering, law, and community education and engagement.

If you would like to become a member, we encourage you to attend our next meeting to learn more about our work. Then, write a letter to the Town Board describing your background relevant to the CAC’s work, your interest and your availability.

Minutes

2021