Members Present: Alicia Flammia, John Peska, Jackie Kensen, Lew Shelley, Laura Hayes, Steven Dumont, France Menk, Cheryl Mayberry, Selectboard Representative, Peggy Pschirrer, Selectboard, Jean Kobeski, Recording Secretary
Members Absent: None
Alternates Present: Gary Speed, Peter Palmiotto, Kelli Wilson
Call to Order: Alicia called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. in Town Hall.
Review and Approval of Minutes: John asked that in the June minutes, in the paragraph regarding the Reservoir Dam, the last sentence read: They (F and O) have received it and are reworking the data in order to get the permit to have the culvert relined. John then moved; Kelli seconded, and all approved passage of the minutes with that correction.
Correspondences: Alicia shared publications she received about drinking water and Covid-19 and the Conservancy stewardship. Another from the Monadnock Conservancy featured the Wood and Pratt properties in Walpole. There was a brochure from the Monadnock Regional Rail Trail Collaborative and a publication on Wetland Best Met Practices from the NH Department of Environmental Services.
Treasury: Forestry Account – $31,063.71
Conservation Account – $142,939.61
Walker Road Account -$3,375.76
Fanny Mason Non-expendable – $16,963.96
Fanny Mason Expendable – $411,542.13
New Business: The group agreed that repairs and work need to be done on the Reservoir Dam before stocking the pond with fish.
Alicia tried to set up a meeting with Josh Beer of the Hooper Golf Club to discuss Cranberry Meadow and the Hooper Golf Course Pond. Alicia thinks there might be a letter from around 1992 or ’93 when Harold Putnam came to the WCC asking to draw water from the Cranberry Meadow Pond pond for the golf course pond. Gary stated he thinks it was probably a gentlemen’s agreement. Kelli offered to look through WCC files from those years to see if such a letter exists. John stated that now Mark Houghton has oversight over the water level of the pond at the golf course, and the water is split between the fire department and the golf course. Gary pointed out that the golf course pond is no longer town-owned. Cranberry Meadow is in the Hooper Trust. The Commission will have to approach the Hooper as a private entity in regard to the pond.
Alicia said she got the cost for logging and invasive control but did not have the figures at the meeting. She will email them to everyone. She stated that blazing of property boundaries needs to get started. France, Alicia, Jackie, and Laura offered to do this. Alicia said they need to go back through the rapid assessments and choose the ones that are of greatest concern.
Steven shared the legal guidelines, which state that you never paint over, but on top of, existing marks. Lew said the best time to do this is in the fall.
At the next meeting Alicia wants to choose the properties and set up a plan for blazing the boundaries. Steven offered to reread the rapid assessments to prioritize the locations based on Alex’s list of things to do.
Alicia reported that she received an email from Sarah Downing stating that, according to a 2015 article, the WCC should have 7 members and 3 alternates. Presently there are 7 members and 6 alternates. She said next year, the terms of 3 alternates will be up, so that would be the time to try to get back on track.
Lew said he spoke to Fish and Game last week about off-road vehicles using class 6 roads. Only registered vehicles can use the roads, and Fish and Game is in charge of enforcement. Some ATVs are registered Ag, but if the vehicles are not being used for Ag purposes, then it is illegal for them to be on the road. Laura said she would check with the Town Clerk to get the list of guidelines for vehicles applying for Ag plates.
Old Business: Lew reports that keys to the padlock on Walker Road have been given to Mark Houghton and the Gowdys. Lew has the master key, and there is another one for the WCC. Lew presented an invoice for $13.95 for the keys. John moved; Laura seconded, and all approved payment of the invoice.
As far as camping on town property, John stated that there are residents who have been camping responsibly in some areas their whole lives. He suggested having a public forum on this topic.
Peggy said the Selectboard has received letters from residents and scouting organizations stating an ordinance banning camping would be defeated.
France stated the WCC opposes camping for two reasons: fires and human waste. She suggested letting the camping continue and addressing specific complaints. Laura proposed having a set of guidelines for camping on town property.
John said many people who camp, do so responsibly. Out-of-staters and campers engaged in illegal activities often camp on the land along the river, causing problems. Alicia asked how you distinguish between vagrants and responsible campers. Gary suggested camping by permit only; Laura agreed. A permit would give a record of who is camping and where. There would be no charge for the permit. Lew suggested having restricted zones or certain properties where camping would be prohibited. France also said that there should be a designated distance from bodies of water.
John suggested having a guidelines packet that people would be given when applying for the permit. France offered to make a guidelines sheet.
Steven asked if the area by the Cold River can be gated; John answered no because it’s also Ag property.
Alicia asked how a public forum should be conducted. Peggy said she would take this back to the Selectboard. She agrees with Lew – education is key. What does no trace camping mean?
Alicia sent everyone copies of the Bertin Town Forest report. the last report from Alex. Now planning for logging and invasives control can begin. Laura asked if Alex had information on the lumber market. He did not, but Gary stated that there is no market now for timber.
John met with Steve, Ben Northcott, Fuss and O’Neill, Mark about the Reservoir Dam project. F & O will submit the permit for the culvert work and the Fuzzy Brothers will resubmit a work plan based on the new information.
Alicia said she received a bill from the New Hampshire Association of Conservation Commissions. She will check to see if it has already been paid.
John asked for a new WCC roster with phone numbers and mailing addresses. Jean will take care of that.
John moved; France seconded, and all voted in favor of adjourning the meeting at 8:32 p.m.
The next meeting will be August 3 at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall.
Jean Kobeski, Recording Secretary
*** These minutes are in draft form until approved by the Commission in August.