Conservation Commission

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The Jericho Conservation Commission (JCC) advises the SelectBoard and other town commissions on best practices for management of natural resources on Town Land. The JCC is also available for residential consultation on request. The Conservation Commission is committed to public education and strives to help Jericho residents learn more about the natural communities within our town and beyond. The JCC has membership in the Vermont Association of Conservation Commissions.








The Conservation
Commission meets the 3rd Wednesday of every month.






The Jericho Town Tree

American Elm (Ulmus americana) on Rt. 15


The Jericho Conservation Commission (JCC) advises the SelectBoard and other town commissions on best practices for management of natural resources on Town Land. The JCC is also available for residential consultation on request. The Conservation Commission is committed to public education and strives to help Jericho residents learn more about the natural communities within our town and beyond. The JCC has membership in the Vermont Association of Conservation Commissions.








The Conservation
Commission meets the 3rd Wednesday of every month.






The Jericho Town Tree

American Elm (Ulmus americana) on Rt. 15

Conservation Fund Q&A

The Conservation Commission would like to answer any questions you may have about the proposed Conservation Fund after reading through the FAQ section. 

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    Thanks for the very thorough set of answers to my questions, and to the Commission for their continued work on behalf of the town. I hope your answer serve as a resource for those planning to vote! Brian Swisher

    B Swisher asked almost 2 years ago

    You’re welcome. 

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    By what process will these funds be managed? In other words, will there be a request for conservation proposals each year,? an application? Will there be limits on project size in terms of dollars? Is it just for land purchase or easement purchases? Will the Conservation Commission be the manager of the fund? What are the current needs that are being unmet by NOT have this fund?

    B Swisher asked almost 2 years ago

    By what process will these funds be managed?

    The Conservation Reserve Fund policy is based on specific criteria and a specific application and review process, that will include public meetings. General criteria include benefits to Jericho in the form of permanently preserving or improving water quality, wildlife, recreational, historic, cultural, scenic or environmental value. There are also criteria which cover natural resources, agricultural resources and historical resources. Projects that benefit from the fund should accomplish at least one of the criteria set out in the guidelines.


    Jericho residents with a conservation project in mind can review the criteria for use of Conservation Reserve Funds online or at Town Hall. A detailed application form will also be available at those locations. 


    The Conservation Commission will analyze applications during an annual review process. Projects which have successfully met the criteria will be recommended to the Select Board for review and public discussion.

    Will there be limits on project size in terms of dollars?

    The proposed policy does not place a  “cap” on the amount which can be allocated for a project, however, land acquisition under $50,000 in one year may be funded by the Select Board, and land acquisition over $50,000 in one year would require approval from the voters. See below for more details. 


    The amount allocated to each project will depend on several things: 

    1. The total balance in the Fund

    2. The number of other viable applications

    3. The value of the project to the town and citizens of Jericho


    Here are some possible ways the Fund could be used. In a given year the Fund might only be used for a few smaller projects and a larger balance would remain. Or, if a sufficient balance had accrued over several years and an opportunity arose to help conserve a large forested area which could be accessed by the public, the Fund balance could be used to help finance such a project, along with the expectation that additional funds from grant resources would be leveraged to subsidize larger projects. The fund would then be allowed to build up again before additional projects could be supported.


    In the case that land was being purchased, the policy states in Section VI- Procedures, item 6:

    “Acquisition of a parcel of real estate by the Town (meaning purchase of a parcel and not solely its development rights) requiring more than $50,000 from the Reserve Fund in any single year shall require approval of the voters. The Selectboard will make the final determination for all other expenditures from the Fund.”


    Is it just for land purchase or easement purchases?

    The Fund is intended to help landowners establish easements, covenants, etc. In some cases, the Town may purchase an easement or right of way, for example, and compensate the landowner. The fund may also be used to purchase land but that’s not its primary purpose. 


    From Town of Jericho Conservation Reserve Fund, Section II: Purposes and Uses of the Conservation Reserve fund -

    “The fund will be used to contribute toward permanent protection of natural, scenic, agricultural or historical resources in and of importance to Jericho. The Fund will enable the Town to secure, protect, and/or conserve land, resources and/or structures.The Town may use the Fund to act alone, or in concert with other entities such as a Land Trust or a landowner, for easements, development rights, rights of way, covenants, purchases or similar instruments, or to contribute to these activities.”

    Will the Conservation Commission be the manager of the fund?

    The Conservation Commission will review applications and determine when criteria for use of conservation reserve funds have been met.  Projects that merit consideration will be forwarded to the Jericho Select Board for a final decision.

    What are the current needs that are being unmet by NOT having this fund?


    Currently, Jericho has no consistent, reliable way to accumulate funds that would enable the Town to assist landowners or to act on opportunities. Without the Fund, Jericho has no explicit policy for public investment in conservation efforts. Without the Fund, the Town cannot receive matching grants from a Land Trust, for example, or other funds from a non-profit, that multiply the Town’s resources. For example, Richmond’s Fund has been used to attract outside funds which amount to $4.67 for every dollar put into the fund by residents. 


    Without the Fund, The Town has no specific resources that can compensate landowners who choose conservation and/or public access to their land. Several years ago, the Town used to provide a tax credit for landowners who agreed to not develop their land for up to 5 years, but the tax agreement was temporary, limited, and overlapped with the State’s Current Use program. The tax agreement did not permanently protect resources or facilitate public access, and it was only available to larger landowners. 


    The Conservation Fund re-establishes a way to compensate landowners, but with a more equitable structure. The Conservation Fund will provide incentives to landowners who help the Town achieve Town goals, such as trail easements, open space preservation, and protecting parts of Jericho’s history.


    From Town of Jericho Conservation Reserve Fund, Section II: Purposes and Uses of the Conservation Reserve fund -

    “This Fund shall be established to benefit both current residents and future generations as our town grows and the demands and pressures on important but limited resources intensify. The Fund is created for the purposes of preserving water quality, providing outdoor recreational opportunities, protecting wildlife, and conserving important natural, scenic, agricultural and historic resources. The Fund is needed to help the Town to achieve several goals as stated in the Town Plan.”


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    Will lands procured with these funds remain open to traditional uses such as hunting?

    Vt15 delta waterfowl asked almost 2 years ago

    The Conservation Commission supports licensed hunting in Jericho and works to educate the public on the many benefits of this traditional activity. Hunting is considered a valuable conservation tool. We invite landowners to learn more about the benefits of allowing hunting on their property.

    Conserving a piece of land would not, in itself, prevent hunting. Each case would be considered independently.

    In the case of private land the primary uses of the property would remain the choice of the land owner.

    In cases where land was transferred for public recreation a discussion would be held by the conservation commission with the public on possible permitted uses for the land.

    An example of privately owned, conserved land which is available for public recreation, including hunting, is the Kikas Valley Farm.

    The Town of Jericho owns Mobbs Farm, which is not yet conserved, but allows hunting. Conserving this property would not change that policy.

Page last updated: 22 November 2021, 14:46