Minutes for the Regular Meeting of the
Walpole Conservation Commission
June 6, 2016
Present: Tom Beaudry (Chair); John Peska, Lew Shelley, Joseph Aldrich (Selectboard Representative)
Alternates: Elaine Heleen, Myra Mansouri
Not Present: Regular Members: Duncan Watson, Kelli Wilson, Alicia Flammia
Alternate Members: Peter Palmiotto, Gary Speed
Call To Order: Mr. Beaudry, Chair, called the meeting to order at 7:30 PM.
Seating of Alternates: Mr. Beaudry requested that alternate members Elaine Heleen and Myra Mansouri sit on the Board for this meeting.
Review and Approve Minutes: Mr. Shelley moved to accept the Minutes of the May 2, 2016, meeting as presented. Mrs. Heleen seconded the motion. With all in favor, the minutes were approved.
Mr. Peter Rhoades – Water Company Timber Harvest and Town Forests: Mr. Rhoades did not attend this meeting. Hopefully he will be able to attend the July meeting.
Report From Chair:
Treasury / Budget: Mr. Beaudry reported that as of May 31, 2016, the balance of the Walpole Conservation Commission Savings Account is $88,421.90 and the Forestry Conservation Account is $12,354.07.
Mr. Beaudry received the following correspondence:
- Monitor – Conservation Easement Stewardship Newsletter – Spring 2016;
- NH Town and City – May/June 2016;
- Society for the Protection of NH Forests publication.
NH DES Route 12 Repairs: A letter was received from the NH Department of Environmental Services (DES) advising that there will be a Public Hearing on the re-design of the Route 12 Project on Wednesday, June 8th at the Elementary School in North Walpole. Doors will open at 6:30 PM for folks to look at the revised design and the Public Hearing is at 7:00 PM. Now the State is not moving the railroad tracks. Mr. Peska plans to attend and will report next month.
Fanny Mason Forest: Mr. Beaudry received a letter from Mr. Palmiotto. There is a graduate student at Antioch College who is working on her Environmental Studies Master’s Degree. Her thesis will focus on the effects of road salts on terrestrial and stream salamanders. In order to conduct her study, she will be searching for salamanders under cover objects, such as logs and rocks, in forested areas near roads. She asked if the Conservation Commission would allow her to use a portion of the Fanny Mason Forest to conduct a portion of her research. Mr. Beaudry had given her verbal permission to do so.
Mr. Peska moved to allow the Antioch College student to use a portion of the Fanny Mason Forest for her study. Seconded by Mrs. Mansouri. With all in favor, the motion was approved.
Garland Lumber Company: Mr. Beaudry advised that they now have an extended Timber Sale Agreement between the Town of Walpole and Garland Lumber Company. The Selectboard made and approved a motion to sign the extended agreement for twelve (12) months; it will expire on March 31, 2017.
Mr. Peska moved to recommend to the Selectboard that the Garland Lumber Company extend the Timber Agreement for twelve months. Seconded by Mrs. Mansouri. With all in favor, the motion was approved.
Terms of Office: Mr. Beaudry reported that they now have a full Board as Mrs. Jackie Kensen of Drewsville has expressed an interest in being a WCC member. A lot of her interest is in agriculture. She was on the Hooper Commission for many years but this was another opportunity to serve the Town.
Mr. Duncan Watson was also re-appointed by the Selectboard as a regular WCC member.
Current Use Change Payment: There was no new information on this. Mr. Aldrich will check into it.
TransCanada Dam Relicensing: Mr. Beaudry attended a meeting with the head of the re-licensing for TransCanada. The meeting was at Wilder Dam. Mr. Beaudry’s concern is erosion along the river bank. TransCanada is looking at environmental issues. They are required to have a minimum flow in the river at all times. Everything is set in parameters. The meeting was very interesting. TransCanada is trying to balance the flow all the way through. They did the dredge project in the North Walpole harbor last summer. One study was done on the erosion and a second one is due in July. They are complicated and costly. This is a 40-year re-licensing by FERC. There is a lot of information on the TransCanada web-site.
Mr. Shelley reported that there are camp sites all along the River. Now there is a new camp site in Westminster a little below Allen Bros. TransCanada has something to do with it.
Mason Forest – Clean-Up: Mr. Shelley proposed two dates for the Mason Forest clean-up; June 18th or June 25th. He would like to work toward June 18th. They could meet at 10:00 AM; it will probably take about two hours. Mr. Beaudry suggested getting the Boy Scouts involved.
Boy Scouts: Mr. Shelley advised that two Boy Scouts will be doing projects in Town. Adam Terrell is asking for a letter of support from the WCC to allow him to ask for donations of material for his work at Mill Pond. Mr. Beaudry asked Mr. Shelley to follow-up on this by writing the letter and then emailing it to him. Benjamin Haefner will also be doing work in Mill Pond but on a different project than Adam Terrell.
Mr. Peska moved to approve and sign the letter of support for Adam Terrell. Seconded by Mrs. Heleen. With all in favor, the motion was approved.
Mr. Gary Speed came into the meeting.
Sludge: Mr. Beaudry acknowledged receipt of a letter from the DES to Charlie Hansen, Resource Management. The DES did an inspection and found that the property owner did comply with the concern of sludge in Langdon and Walpole. Mr. Speed noted that nothing was going into the Cold River. The DES also did an inspection on the bio-solids for the odor.
Vilas Bridge: Mrs. Mansouri heard on the news that Bellows Falls was bringing a court case against the State over the Vilas Bridge. Mr. Beaudry pointed out that the bridge was supposed to be done about ten years ago but the State kept moving it down their Ten-Year Plan and now it is off that list. Mr. Aldrich reported that the Selectboard members attending a recent joint meeting with the Town of Rockingham and Village of Bellows Falls on the Wastewater Agreement and the issue of the Vilas Bridge was brought up. It is a State issue between New Hampshire and Vermont.
ATVs: Mr. Shelley advised that the Governor signed the bill that private land owners can now file claims for damages caused by ATVs. Mr. Beaudry noted that 4-wheelers also cause property damage. This might make people think twice because now they are financially responsible for property damage.
Private Driveway Culvert: At the last meeting the question came up about a driveway culvert. Mr. Shelley called Mrs. Marsha Galloway about that and she said all the work that was done by the Snowmobile Club was run through the Monadnock Conservancy. He also asked her if they pursued any Grant money. They felt the State should take care of it. Mr. Shelley offered to write a letter to the State and bring it back to the next WCC meeting when they can vote on it.
Alyson’s Orchard: At the last meeting there was a question about Alyson’s Orchard and a subdivision. Mrs. Mansouri feels that was a Boundary Line Adjustment. She will check with Marilou Blaine the Planning Board Secretary.
Gravel: At the last meeting Mr. Shelley mentioned there was a pile of gravel in Christian Hollow. He discovered that it was for re-doing the roads.
Next Meeting: Because of the Monday, July 4th holiday, the next meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 11, 2016, at 7:30 PM.
ADJOURNMENT: Mrs. Mansouri moved to adjourn this meeting. Mr. Peska seconded. With all members in favor, the meeting was adjourned at 8:16 PM.
Regina Borden, Recording Secretary
(Note: These are unapproved Minutes. Any corrections will be found in the July 11, 2016, Conservation Commission meeting.)