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Bradford Conservation Fund, Q & A

Bradford Conservation Fund, Q & A

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Published by: Bradford Conservation Commission on May 22, 2011
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05/22/2011

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 Q & A
about the Bradford Conservation FundQ:
 
Who established the Bradford Conservation Fund? When?
A:
 
The Bradford Conservation Commission established the Conservation Fundin 2003, in accordance with VT Statute 24, Chapter 118, and in keeping withthe Bradford Municipal Plan that stated
 
“Protection of Bradford’s natural resources isconsidered vital to the security of its economic future and cultural heritage.”
Q:
 
Why was the Conservation Fund established?
A:
Protection of natural resources requires money. If an opportunity arises to protectproductive farm land or significant wildlife habitat, a reserve of money needs to beavailable to enable quick action.
Q:
 
Who decides how the Conservation Fund can be used?
A:
 
By-laws that specify and prioritize the uses of the Bradford Conservation Fund werewritten by the Conservation Commission and approved by the Selectboard in 2003.
Q:
 
What are some of the uses of the Conservation Fund, as specified in its By-laws?
A:
 
Funds may be used by the Bradford Conservation Commission for pending conservationprojects to:
 
Leverage matching funds from other sources
a)
 
Since 2007 $80,000 from the Bradford Conservation Fund has leveraged over $270,000 from the VT Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB) to bring thetotal contiguous span of protected wildlife habitat on Wrights MT to 804 acres.
(507 acres make up the Town-owned Wrights MT/Devil’s Den Town Forest; 207 acres are privately owned))
 b)
 
VHCB funds for farm conservation projects are equally matched by the USDA FarmProtection Program.
 
Pay for costs not covered by grant applications, i.e. surveys, appraisals, legal fees
The Bradford Conservation Fund has covered
½
the cost of appraisals specified for conservation projects on 4 different privately owned parcels since 2007.
 
P
ay deposits for Purchase & Sales Agreements
 
Make outright grants of up to $1000 to Bradford educational, youth and civicorganizations for conservation projects that meet the specified criteria.
 
 Q:
 
Where has the money come from that is in Bradford’s Conservation Fund?
A:
 
$5,000 has been allocated to the Conservation Fund by the voters at Town Meeting in eachof the following years: 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2010.
 
(In 2009, this averaged about $0.30/permonth per taxpayer)
$2,500 was allocated at 2011 Town Meeting.The Conservation Fund Committee of the Bradford Conservation Commission has alsoconducted fund-raising activities since the Conservation Fund was created, with eachyear’s proceeds surpassing the previous year. In 2010 over $18,000 was raised by theConservation Fund Committee.
Q:
 
Why should taxpayer money be allocated annually to the Conservation Fund?
A:
 
1) We
all
benefit from conserved lands. They provide clean air, clean water, access towholesome outdoor recreation, educational opportunities, wildlife habitat, managedtimber harvests and food security via protecting fertile soil.2) Making smaller deposits regularly into the Conservation Fund is much moremanageable than providing for a larger allocation in a year when a specific landconservation opportunity presents itself.3) Trailhead guest books reveal that visitors to our public hiking trails have come frommany other VT and NH towns, from at least 16 other States and even from 4 othercountries. It is safe to assume that many of those people contribute to our localeconomy by purchasing gas, food and other goods.4) Preserving our rural landscape preserves the cultural and environmental heritage thatmakes Vermont unique.* 
*
The November/December 2009 issue of National Geographic Traveler Magazine announced theresults of a “Sustainable Destination” survey that compared 133 world-wide travel destinations.
Vermont ranked 5
th
in the WORLD
as a sustainable destination.
The following are published quotes from that survey:
"More than any American state, Vermont has
worked to preserve those qualities
1
 
that make it unique,such as scenic countryside, lively small towns, historic streetscapes, local businesses“A tourist magnet in summer, it nonetheless never seems overrun by visitors.”“Vermont scores well for "environmental- and social-sustainability practices."If you want to see New England as you imagine it, go to Vermont.”
1
Bradford’s Conservation Fund
works
to preserve those qualities

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