Meetings: 7:30 p.m. 3rd Thursday each month
Meeting Location: Davis House
Phone: (845) 802-4469
Fax: (845) 221-1924
The Conservation Advisory Council was formed by resolution of the Board of the Town of East Fishkill in 1968 to ensure the wise use of the Town's natural resources and the enhancement and protection of its environment. Members are appointed by the Town Board and serve without compensation. Residents of the Town who wish to participate in CAC activities are invited to contact the CAC office.
The Conservation Advisory Council shall advise the government of the Town of East Fishkill on the development, management and protection of its natural resources.
To this end, the CAC shall:
The Conservation Advisory Council was created on 05/23/1968 by vote of the Town Board in conformance with Section 64-b of the NYS Town Law. Its duties include advising Town government on promotion and development of Town natural resources, coordinating activities of unofficial bodies organized for similar purpose and developing and maintaining indices of open space and wetlands. Mr. Russell G. Wester was appointed Chairman of the Council consisting of seven members. In a letter to the Town Board, Chairman Wester pledged to "work in closed cooperation with the NYS/DEC". Plans included placing conservation-oriented displays in Town Hall.
On 11/09/1972, Town Code Chapter 5 was enacted which changed the status of the CAC to conform to Section 239x, Article 12-f , Chapter 901 of the NYS General Municipal Laws of 1970.
The CAC joined other county CACs in the quarterly sampling of creek water. Samples were taken at designated sites. They were analyzed at a central testing laboratory and county-level data was compiled and forwarded to the DEC for used in a statewide watercourse contamination study.
The CAC participated in the countywide freshwater wetlands field survey. Results were used by the DEC in developing the 1978 (Green) preliminary registered freshwater wetlands maps.
The CAC began reviewing development applications for environmental impact in June 1982, submitting written analyses and appearing at public hearings as appropriate. This activity continues.
The CAC investigated the concept of computer-assisted mapping in 1983 to automate the storage and maintenance of a Natural Resources Inventory (NRI). A demonstration was prepared with AutoCad and Presented to the Dutchess County Environmental management Council (EMC). This prompted an EMC study which determined that a Geographic Information System (GIS) would best meet the mapping needs of the environmental community. ARC/INFO software was identified as providing the most options and a copy was purchased from Natural Systems Research Institute (NRSI), the developer, in 1986. Hardware was purchased and installed by an EMC member-at-large and the Chairman of the TEF CAC installed the software. The EMC GIS system is still operational and supports the environmental mapping needs of the EMC staff and membership.
An office was opened in Town Hall in July 1987, which was manned full time by a CAC volunteer. Office staffing was reduced to half-time in July 1996.
The CAC installed a GIS system utilizing ARC/INFO in September 1989. A Tax Parcel coverage was created in house. A Contour coverage was purchased from a GIS consultant. Most other coverages were obtained from the EMC without charge. The library of single-theme coverages include floodplains, state and federal wetlands, water bodies, streams, soils, contours, tax parcels, zoning, agricultural zones, school districts, fire districts, election districts and many other geographic and environmental themes. These coverages may be combined as overlays to theme maps. A GIS computer network was created within Town Hall in 1994. ARCVIEW (AV) software was chosen as the data access vehicle. AV is a menu-driven system, which utilized ARC/INFO coverages to produce theme maps and print them on a local color printer. AV has been particularly valuable to the Assessor's Department in responding to information requests from the public. Administration of the GIS system was transferred to a newly formed GIS Department in 1995.
The CAC is currently staffed by five regular and three ad-hoc members. Advocacy for environment protection and review of applications for development continue as primary activities.