Conservation Commission Meeting Minutes – 5/7/18

Members Present:

Alicia Flammia (Chair), Jackie Kensen, Lew Shelley, John Peska (Vice Chair), Duncan Watson, Kelli Wilson,

Alternates Present:

Myra Mansouri, Peter Palmiotto

Members Absent:

Gary Speed, Elaine Heleen, Laura Hayes

Others Present:

Steve Dalessio & Peggy Pschirrer (Selectboard Representatives), Steven Dumont (Recording Secretary), Jeff White (Guest)

Call to Order: Alicia Flammia, Chair, called the meeting to order at 7:32 PM.

Seating of Alternates: None required.

Review and approve minutes – April 2, 2018. No corrections. Lew made a motion to accept the minutes as written. John seconded. With all in favor, the minutes were accepted.

Public Business:

1. Treasury: The Conservation fund had a deposit of $9,021.32. The Forestry account had a deposit of $766.12 for the Garland Lumber invoice. The PDIP Conservation Fund account has a balance of $98,126.74.

2. Correspondence:

a. Connecticut River Conservancy is asking for donations.

b. Monadnock Conservancy is asking for donations.

c. Monadnock Conservancy survey.

New Business:

1. Cold River Local Advisory Committee has an open position. Kim Lewis is not signing up for another term. They are looking for someone to fill the position.

2. Great Brook Town Forest/Boggy Meadow: A farmer has been farming a small piece of the land for a number of years, and is now looking for formal permission to continue farming. The land is under conservation easement, with the Monadnock Conservancy as having executory interest and the WCC being the holder. The farmer (Marcus) leases his land and possibly the small land in the Great Brook Town Forest. The WCC needs more info to determine if the WCC land would be leased to someone else with money being involved. Alicia will email Marcus for details, to discuss at next meeting.

3. Merriam Forest: Lew got a call from Rebecca D., who has gotten word that there has been ATV traffic in the forest. There are two stone walls which have had sections removed. There are ATV tracks, sediment and stream crossings with sediment. Lew followed the tracks to an abutters house and spoke with the owner, who denied driving ATV’s in the forest. Lew put up signs and flagging in the traffic areas to notify them that ATV’s are not allowed in the forest. Rebecca notified NH Fish & Game, who is responsible for ATV activity. They came out and met with Lew. Fish & Game also followed the tracks back to an abutter. They spoke with said abutter and notified them of the penalties. Lew does not think this will continue to be a problem. Lew is looking for volunteers to help restore the walls and erosion.

4. Jeff White, who owns a house and property on Dearborn Circle, was in attendance. Jeff abuts the Gowdy property, and very frequently walks the surrounding fields and forests around his property. Jeff understands that the property is under conservation easement, and was inquiring about what is allowed to be done on the easement. He has noticed a large amount of forestry in that area, and he is concerned about the scope of the forestry. He voiced concern about wood duck nests and coyote dens being disturbed. Alicia told Jeff we gave permission, based upon the easement language, to do maintenance cutting in the easement. Alicia will check with Holly to see if she has any concerns, and what her comments are. No WCC members have walked the property before or after the cutting.

Old Business:

1. Reservoir Dam: No new updates/proposals. 5 Respondents have declined. Nobis Engineering is interested. Another possibility is CDL Consulting Engineers. They have worked with the town before. John will send them an email to gauge their interest.

2. Walpole Easement Database: Laura has gone through most of the files. Some easements do not have files. Laura gave Alicia a list of which ones she is missing. Alicia will touch base with Laura with information on missing easements.

3. Fannie Mason Feasibility Study: Lew has done more work and is hoping to wrap up for the next meeting.

4. Bill Callahan Land Survey: Alicia reached out to Eric and has not heard back on progress of the survey.

5. Town Conservation Maps: Laura has not had time to work on them this month.

6. WCC Appointments: John and Myra are re-appointed. Kelli is willing to stay on as a regular member but is busy and is okay becoming an alternate if someone else would like to take a regular position. Elaine is an alternate, and Alicia will follow up to see if she is interested. If not, Steven was offered the position.

7. Long View Forest Walk: Jackie and Lew were in attendance Thursday April 26th. Met with Alex and Tom from Long View. Walked forest, took pictures and did some mapping. Lots of red pine on a section of property that is ready to be cut. Reviewed logging that has recently been done. Came across a mountain bike trail through the forest. Long view is working on rapid assessment to present to WCC.

8. Trail Work Day: Saturday April 28th, Jackie Lew & Alicia were in attendance. Did some work and cleanup. There is need for further work on the trail.

9. WCC Outing Day: Just Lew, Alicia & Alicia’s daughter walking High Blue.

Other Business:

1. Proposed Gas Station, D&C Transportation: Myra, Steve & Peggy excused themselves as they are member of the planning or select boards. Jeff White also left as he is a member of the Planning Board. Alicia drafted a letter that she would like to submit to the Planning & Zoning Boards. Discussion of existing Jiffy Mart gas station and other development down the road. It was noted that those developments are commercial zoned, but Jiffy Mart received a small exception for a slight encroachment on agricultural land. John mentioned that whatever the WCC’s view is on this, it is going to set a precedent for any further development on agricultural land. Duncan made a motion to present the letter, with minor edits, with WCC members names assigned to the letter, presented at the public hearing. John seconded. All in favor.

2. Rediscussion of Jeff White and Holly Gowdy property: reaffirmation of need to contact Holly about work done. Steven noted that as of the last meeting, he didn’t believe that the easement language allowed for commercial logging, only maintenance logging. He is questioning if the logger is doing maintenance pruning, or more extensive cutting. Lew mentioned that after the meeting they determined that there can be commercial logging done, but they have to have a Forest Management Plan done beforehand. The extent of the cutting is not determined as no WCC members have been to the property. Alicia will touch base to with Holly.

Adjournment: At 9:05 Duncan made a motion to adjourn the meeting. John seconded. Meeting adjourned.

Next Meeting: Monday, June 4, 2018 at 7:30 PM.

Respectfully submitted; Steven Dumont, Recording Secretary

Note: These are unapproved minutes. Corrections, if any, will be found in the minutes of June 4, 2018.

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