1. The local legislative body of any city, town or village may create a conservation advisory council, hereafter called the council, to advise in the development, management and protection of its natural resources. Such council shall direct itself toward accomplishing the following:
(a) Conduct researches into the land area of the municipality for which it was created;
(b) Seek to coordinate the activities of unofficial bodies organized for similar purposes and to cooperate with other official municipal bodies active in the area of community planning for the particular municipality;
(c) It may advertise, prepare, print and distribute books, maps, charts, plans and pamphlets which in its judgment it deems necessary for its work;
(d) It shall keep an inventory and map as defined in section two hundred thirty-nine-y of this article, of all open areas within the municipality with the plan of obtaining information pertinent to proper utilization of such open lands including lands owned by the state, any other municipality within the state or by the particular municipality itself;
(e) It shall keep an inventory and map of all open marsh lands, swamps and all other wet lands in a like manner, and may recommend to the governing body of the municipality a program for ecologically suitable utilization of all such areas;
(f) It shall keep accurate records of its meetings and actions and shall file an annual report with the local legislative body of the municipality on or before the thirty-first day of December of each and every year. Once approved, such legislative body shall forward a copy of this report to the state commissioner of environmental conservation;
(g) In addition to the foregoing, carry out any other duties, tasks, or responsibilities, consistent with the objectives of this article, assigned to it by resolution of the local legislative body creating the said council.
2. When authorized by resolution of the local legislative body, a council may accept by gift, grant, bequest, or otherwise, money or other personal property in the name of the municipality, for use in furtherance of the provisions of this act. A local legislative body may accept by gift, conditional or unconditional, grant, devise or otherwise, real property in fee, or any lesser interest, including conveyance with limitations or reversions, for the purposes of this act.
In addition, upon the written recommendation of the council the local legislative body may acquire by purchase in fee or any lesser interest, through negotiation or by condemnation, such real or personal property as may be needed to fulfill the purpose of this act.
3. Such council shall consist of not less than three nor more than nine members who shall be appointed by the local legislative body and serve at the pleasure of such body for a term not exceeding two years. Such local legislative body may, notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of law, appoint up to two members to the council who are between the ages of sixteen and twenty-one.
4. The presiding officer or chairman of the council shall be designated by the local legislative body from among the members so appointed to the council. The local legislative body shall have authority to remove any member of said council so appointed for cause, after a public hearing, if requested. A vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as an original appointment.
The local legislative body may provide for compensation to be paid to the members of the council and may provide for the payment of the expenses of the members of the council actually and necessarily incurred in the performance of their duties. Such council may appoint such employees as it may from time to time see fit, all within appropriation made therefore.
5. In the case where the local legislative body is a town board, such salaries, charges and expenses so permitted by an appropriation of the town board for such council shall be a charge upon the taxable property of that part of the town outside of incorporated villages and shall be assessed, levied and collected therefrom in the same manner as other town charges.
6. To assist a council in carrying out its functions, powers and duties, it may request the department of environmental conservation to:
(a) prepare reports outlining objectives, priorities and proposed relationships of the council to the local legislative body;
(b) prepare description of work to be undertaken, advantageous techniques to be used and suggested roles of council members;
(c) provide research on conservation facts and procedures;
(d) provide, on a consulting basis, technical and research assistance as may be required to assist the council in carrying out its work and to enable the council to offer recommendations to the local legislative body;
(e) describe particular areas of natural resources within the city, town or village, as the case may be, which require particular attention by the council.
7. Within thirty days following the establishment of a council, written notification thereof shall be sent by the local legislative body to the state commissioner of environmental conservation.
8. Any conservation advisory council heretofore created pursuant to the provisions of section sixty-four-b of the town law is hereby continued with the same powers and duties as when originally created.
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