Minutes for the Regular Meeting of the
Walpole Conservation Commission
December 4, 2017
John Peska (Vice Chair), Jackie Kensen, Peggy Pschirrer (Selectboard Representative), Lew Shelley,
Kelli Wilson, Laura Hayes,
Elaine Heleen, Gary Speed, Myra Mansouri, Peter Palmiotto
Steven Dumont (Recording Secretary)
Call to Order: Mtr. John Peska, Vice Chair, called the meeting to order at 7:33.
Seating of Alternates: As a quorum of regular members was present, no seating of Alternates was
Review and approve minutes – November 6, 2017. Corrections; It was noted that Laura Hayes’s name was spelled incorrectly on page one and Steven Dumont’s name was spelled incorrectly on page 2. Later in the meeting, it was also noted that Mrs. Pschirrer did not “find” the information regarding what costs the WCC should cover in terms of fees for conservation easements. She wrote the memo herself. Mr. Shelley moved to approve the minutes as corrected. Mrs. Mansouri seconded. With all members in favor, the minutes were approved as corrected.
1. Treasury/Budget Report: Mr. Peska reported that he did not receive an accounting statement for
the account the PDIP funds went into. This will be followed up with next month. The forestry account has a balance of $64,592.34. The Conservation Fund has $148.87. A copy of the bank statements were passed around for review.
a. Letter from the Robert Hubbard Conservation Commission Conservation Fund: the
charitable distribution rate will be lowered from 4.24% to 4% for 2018. Peter will follow up to ask why rate is being lowered, considering how well the stock market is doing.
b. The Connecticut River Conservancy is asking for donations. The Walpole Conservation Commission (WCC) has not previously donated.
c. The NH DES “Supply Lines With The Source” newsletter was distributed. Included is a profile on Mark Houghton.
d. The Monadnock Conservancy Fall/Winter newsletter was passed around.
e. NH DES Wetlands Bureau: the WCC received a letter from them denying a permit for a small culvert repair project. The project will be put off until next year.
1. Land Donation – Bill Callahan: The selectboard has completed the two hearings and two letters
required for the selectboard to vote to accept the property. The vote will take place on December
14th. If approved, the Conservation Commission would cover the cost of the legal and survey fees
with funds from the Fanny Mason Trust Fund. The property abuts the Fanny Mason Forest.
2. Recording Secretary: Steven Dumont was introduced as the new recording secretary for the
3. Mrs. Pschirrer introduced a memo she wrote outlining the potential policies of the WCC in
regards to the distribution of conservation monies. Mrs. Pschirrer recommends that the policies of
other Conservation Commissions be looked into as well. The memo was distributed.
1. Reservoir Dam: Mr. Peska visited S&W Soils in Charlestown. They are not interested in putting
together a proposal for the dam engineering work. Mrs. Flemmia sent Mr. Peska a list of
engineering firms that do this type of work. Mr. Peska will contact them. The goal is to get two or
three proposals. The funds for the repair of the dam would be taken from the Forestry Fund. Mr.
Peska spoke with Mark Houghton, who has been unable to contact Brian Fletcher, to clear the
trees/brush along the dam. It would be preferable to have Mr. Fletcher do the work in lieu of Mr.
Houghton’s crew. Mr. Speed will contact Mr. Fletcher to see if he is interested. It was mentioned
that the town of Walpole’s highway department has a new piece of equipment that may be able to
do most of the work. Mrs. Kensen proposed that the WCC fund the brush cutting of the dam, by
either the Walpole Highway Department, or rMr. Fletcher. Mr. Shelley seconded the motion. With all in favor, the motion passed.
2. Antioch University Internship: Ms. Hayes & Mr. Palmiotto noted that there has not been any
interest, but a new cycle of students is coming. If Ms. Hayes does the work, as she is on the
WCC, there will not need to be office personnel with her. Ms. Hayes may be interested but needs
to check her schedule and give it further thought.
3. Monadnock Conservancy/Neerie Easement: Mr. Peska would like to move forward and resolve
the outstanding request of $9,000 from the Monadnock Conservancy (MC) to cover costs for the
easement. It was noted that Alstead donated $4,000. It was also noted that Mr. Neerie is donating
$4,000 of his own money. Mr. Peska believes that $9,000 is a high amount for this easement. Mr.
Shelley spoke with Ryan from the MC. Ryan said that $7,500 is the flat fee, and $1,500 is for
special building rights. ⅔ of the $7,500 will be invested in the stewardship fund, and ⅓ will go
into the enforcement fund. Mrs. Pschirrer mentioned that the fees are real and based upon real
needs. Mr. Shelley made a motion to pay the $9,000 the MC is requesting. Ms. Hayes seconded
the motion. Mr. Peska noted that he thinks the full amount is excessive, and he would like to see
no more than half of that. Mr. Speed said in his opinion, $7,500 is reasonable, and that he doesn’t
believe the special building rights is the responsibility of the WCC. With Mr. Shelley’s motion
still on the table, Mrs. Kensen made an amendment to the motion to pay $7,500 to the MC. Mrs.
Wilson seconded the amendment. Mr. Shelley, Ms. Hayes and Mr. Peska approve. With all in
favor, the amendment to give $7,500 to the Monadnock Conservancy passed.
4. ARM Grant: Mr. Peska noted that the ARM Grant funding is limited due to the upcoming Route
12 expansion, and it is not worth pursuing funding for the repairs of the deficient reservoir dam.
5. Garland Lumber: Mr. Peska spoke with Mr. Speed. It seems that the cutting work that Garland
Lumber did was not cleaned up properly. They left some downed rotting trees. It was noted that
although it is unsightly, it is good for wildlife. Mr. Dumont asked if the specifications in the
forestry contract covers cleanup procedures. Mr. Peska noted that Walpole has recently switched
the Town Forester.
6. Town Forests – Long View Forest: Mr. Shelley noted that Long View Forest would like to
schedule a Rapid Forest Assessment of the Hooper Forest with members of the WCC, and would
like to hear back from members by Friday Dec. 8th. Date of the walk TBD.
7. Trail Work Volunteers: Mr. Shelley is in charge of organizing volunteers for trail work. He would
like to reschedule for March. He noted he also needs to finish the mapping. Mr. Peska has not yet
contacted the High school for volunteers. The WCC will sponsor a student from Walpole for
conservation camp. Mr. Shelley will come up with a March date next meeting for the trail work.
8. Fanny Mason Feasibility Study: Mr. Shelley is holding off until January.
Adjournment: Meeting unofficially adjourned at 8:55.
Next Meeting: Monday, January 8, 2018 at 7:30.
Respectfully submitted; Steven Dumont, Recording Secretary
Note: These are unapproved minutes. Corrections, if any, will be found in the minutes of January 8, 2018