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Fundamentals for Conservation Commissioners

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Fundamentals for Conservation Commissioners


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Fundamentals for Conservation Commissioners

This eight-unit course for Conservation Commissioners and staff provides the basics of: Commissions' responsibilities and operations; open space planning, protection and management; and wetlands and wetlands permitting. Upon completion attendees receive a certificate and their communities are notified of their accomplishment.

Course Outline

Unit 1 Overview of Conservation Commissions; Relationships, Responsibilities, Funds and Fees

• Duties and authority
• Federal and state agencies
• Town Boards
• Conflict of Interest Law
• Open Meeting Law

Unit 2 Getting Home Before Midnight:
How to Run an Effective Meeting

• Meeting preparation
• Participants and their interests
• Group dynamics Record Keeping, Public Records Law
• Working with the media

Unit 3 The Wetlands Protection Act:
Fundamentals, Process and Procedures

• Interests of the Act
• Permit submittal requirements
• Forms
• Identifying resource areas
• "Limited" projects

Unit 4 Plan Review and Site Visit Procedures
(includes field session)

• Understanding maps and plans
• Field Session:

~ What to bring to a site visit
~ Soils, slopes and wetland lines
~ Erosion and sedimentation control




Unit 5 Wetland Functions and Values

• Common vegetated wetlands in Massachusetts
• Scientific v. regulatory wetland definition
• Water quality and other key values
• Performance standards
• Buffer zones

Unit 6 Writing Effective Orders of Conditions

• Protecting interests of the Act
• Boilerplate and special conditions
• Denials and appeals
• Amendments and extensions
• Certification of compliance

Unit 7 Open Space Planning and Protection Techniques

• Establishing goals and objectives
• Inventory of local natural resources
• Selecting parcels
• Conservation restrictions
• Funding and grants

Unit 8 Managing Conservation Land:
Inventories, Goals and Conflicts

  • Resource evaluation
  • Management plans
  • Trails
  • Hunting, fishing and trapping
  • Forestry and agriculture

Recommended Materials:

"Protecting Wetlands and Open Space: MACC’s Environmental Handbook for Massachusetts Conservation Commissioners"

Tenth Edition. The indispensable resource for those serving on, working with, or appearing before Conservation Commissions.

Order Here!