Conservation Advisory Council

Meetings: 7:30 p.m. 3rd Thursday each month

Meeting Location:  Davis House

Phone: (845) 802-4469

Fax: (845) 221-1924


  • Brent E. Feldweg, Chairman
  • Peter Berasi
  • Chip McLeod
  • Daniel Troge
  • Frederick Wells
  • Susan Townsend


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.

Mission Statement

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:

  • Conduct research into land use.
  • Seek to coordinate the activities of unofficial bodies organized for similar purposed and cooperate with other municipal bodies active in the area of community planning.
  • Advertise, prepare, print and distribute material which it deems appropriate to accomplish its mission.
  • Keep an inventory and map of all open areas within the Town of East Fishkill and obtain information pertinent to the proper utilization of open lands. These include lands owned by New York State, other municipalities within the state and by the Town of East Fishkill.
  • Keep an inventory and map of all open wetlands in like manner and recommend a program for ecologically suitable utilization of all such area to the government of the Town of East Fishkill.


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 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.