Marshfield, Vermont


2016 Stranahan Minutes

Stranahan Forest Stewardship Committee Meeting

Approved Minutes


Date: 9/27/2016

Time: 6:00-7:55 pm

Place: OSC

Committee Members Present:Rich Phillips, Brett Engstrom, Jenny Warshow, Rain Bainbury, Michael Sabourin, Sarah Fowler, Ellen Cooke

Select board members: Andy Perchlik, Chris Martin

Conservation Members: Ann Miller,Ed Jalbert,

Public: James Arisman, Kass Phillips

Minutes Approved from 8/23/16

Bike Club:

Sarah Galbraith presented the Bike Club’s proposal for the West side of the Thompson Road and answered several questions from members.Some of the questions:

  1. What is the long term plan? At least 2 hours of trail throughout the property and connecting to trails on neighboring properties. No specific routes beyond the proposal are suggested to date.

  2. Currently there is one mile of built bike trail and 6 miles of hiking including Thompson Rd. The club would like to add an additional 4-6 miles of bike trails.

  3. What is the nature of the planned more advanced trails? The finish will not be as smooth as the beginner trails

  4. Where are there multi use trails in town or state forest for review?

Rich provided a few preliminary concerns and indicated we would be beginning our discussion of the proposal at next meeting. These concerns were noted as not official.

  1. Wouldn’t hikers and skiers prefer the type of trails that exist now instead of bike trails with the heavy use of switch-backs.

  2. More trails will exacerbate the parking problem. Even with a six car parking area (limited by the easement) on Jake Martin, as the trails get publicized more the traffic will overload the parking

  3. Why approve a new trail when an approved trail is not completed?

  4. There has been little public input and no input by existing Stranahan hikers/skiers into the decision process to approve bike trails

Financial Report:

Current Balance $2,137.84

It was agreed that Bobbi Brimblecombe will attend the next meeting to explain the spreadsheets she uses for the tracking income and expenses for Stranahan. Rich Phillips will contact her.

Rain Banbury raised the question:what are we going to do to raise money to complete the  improvement projects we identify?

Parking lot report:

Chris Martin and Rich Phillips reported on the cost of developing a gravel parking area at the originally planned site in the clearing off the west side of the Jake Martin Road. This cost was about $4,200 with the cost of gravel making up about $3,700 of the figure. Use of the town equipment and labor was not included in this estimate as the town would support these costs.It was agreed we did not have the money for this.

Chris Martin suggested we look into grants and also other options. Options included grading the planned site for parking but not gravel it, using a field site across from the sap storage tank, and using a site near the southeast corner of the property near the cemetery. Brett raised concerns about the field site across from the sal storage tank impinging on agricultural land

No decisions were made. Ed brought up if a lot is in an area that is going to managed for timber that considerations need to. Rich suggested getting cost estimates and determine affordability.

Further discussion:

Rich or Chris will ask Dan Tetrault  to come up with cost estimates for each area.

VLT Trustees visit on September 23rd: walked to moon field in rain. Folks were interested in soils and land use issues and were pleased with the efforts so far. We did not get into specific projects, rather it was an update for the Trustees.

Budget preparation:

Needs to be put together by December 2016

Rich asked that members think about projects they believe should be priority for the 2017 budget for the next meeting.  Possibilities might be the parking lot, the drainage on Moon and Thompson, materials to mark the property corners,more trail markers on some trails. Rain suggested an additional kiosk at the Jake Martin end. Rain suggested an additional kiosk at the Moon Field.


Chris suggested looking into grant possibilities from AOT and others for the parking lot. Ellen will look into AOT grants for the parking lot. It was suggested that  we could ask the town at town meeting for money for specific projects

Forest Management Plan:

Some committee members believe the Forestry Management Plan needs to be updated. No decision was made. When we take up the logging issue Committee needs to consider how that gets put together.  Ellen suggested that we dedicate time at a future meeting to discuss a process to make the logging decisions.

Rain suggested that we move the updated the plan as top priority.Jenny suggested that we understand fully all of the topics???

Michael suggested that we rename the forest management plan the Forestry and the memorial town forest plan the Management No action was taken

Project leads:  Discuss next meeting.

Next Meeting: Discuss the bike proposal including the process to decide and provide feedback to Bike club and how we are going to make decisions and communicate responsibly to project constituents Also, update on parking lot,  Bobbi ‘s explanation of spreadsheets, budget development