Conservation Meeting Minutes – 10/3/22

Members Present:  Alicia Flammia, John Peska, France Menk, Peter Palmiotto, Laura Hayes, Steven Dumont   

Members Absent:  Lew Shelley

Alternates Present:  Kara Dexter

Visitors Present:  Kelli Wilson, Wendy and Will Grossman, Peggy Pschirrer and Cheryl Mayberry (Selectboard liaisons), Jean Kobeski (Recording Secretary)

Call to Order:  Alicia called the meeting to order at 7:04 p.m. in Town Hall.  This meeting was


Review and Approval of Minutes:  Peter asked that, in the fourth paragraph under the Gateway Update of the September 12 minutes, the last sentence be amended to read: Alicia said as soon as there is signage, Surepack, and a split rail fence, the gate will be unlocked  (rather than left open). John moved to accept the amended September 12 minutes.  Steven seconded, and all voted to approve the minutes.

Public Business

Report from the Chair:   Alicia reported that she sent an email to the Selectboard requesting a line item on the 2023 budget for the Rail Trail.

Alicia received an email from Samantha stating she is stepping down from her Alternate position on the Commission.  Alicia will forward the email to the Selectboard.  There is now an open position available for an alternate.

Treasury Report :                  Mason Expendable     $448,075.62

                                        Mason Non-Expendable.      $18,905.61

Alicia will forward the rest of the report to Jean when she receives the figures from Rich.

Correspondences:  Alicia received a copy of Supply Line from NH DES, which she passed along to the group. She received two letters, one related to a Utility Permit by Notification and the other a Forestry Permit by Notification in N. Walpole.  

New Business:  None at this time

Old Business

Hooper Forest:  Alicia has not yet heard from Alex Barrett regarding a contractor to do the logging.  She said she will contact him if she hasn’t heard anything by the end of the week

Commission Website:  Kelli Wilson attended the meeting to show the Commission the mock-up website that she has put together. She showed and described the various features she has created, especially the feature that enables commissioners to make comments. She has asked everyone to review the website and send comments by the next meeting.  She receives an email alert every time someone posts a comment. She also said commissioners can email their comments directly to her, if they prefer.

Kelli would like 2-3 commissioners to work with her on the website.  She will train them how to use Word Press to change content, add events, post pictures, and upload trail maps.

Wendy said trail committee members might also like to preview the site and make comments, but they don’t have logins like the commissioners do. Steven has a list of trail committee members and can send those to Kelli.

Wendy asked if the Town web page will have a link to the commission’s website.  Kelli said she will talk to Sarah Downing about creating one with good visibility.

France offered to take a new group picture of the commissioners for the website.

Peter asked about expenses so they can budget for this website.  Kelli answered that the cost of the domain name and hosting would be about $100/year. Kelli will find out the exact amount and email it to Alicia.

There was a discussion about including pictures and information about the easement properties, but Laura stressed that they can legally only include ones they own (unless they get permission of the property owners). Alicia said that gathering such information could be a good task for interns.  They could go through the conservation files to find it.

Kelli distributed hard copies of directions for making comments on the website. Alicia stated she thinks the trail committee should take on the page describing the trails, writing the content.  Kelli offered to help. France asked for deadlines.  Steven suggested, and Kelli agreed, that comments on the website as it stands and ideas for additional content should be made by the November 7 meeting. Kelli said she would email Alicia and Steven a list of tasks that should be completed that could be delegated or voluntarily done.

Gateway Update:   John will talk to Mark Houghton about the Surepack by the next meeting.

There was a brief discussion about the possibility of a rapid change in water level and the decision was made to post a warning about this both on the kiosk and at the turnaround.

Other Business

Trail Subcommittee Report:  Steven reported that Lew purchased the brush clearer. He also said that a few people are going to do a trail clean-up at Fanny Mason this weekend. 

Steven said he wants to make a work plan for the year at the next trail subcommittee meeting.

Easement Monitoring:  Alicia sent an email to the subcommittee, including Laura, John, and Peter, (and Alicia) about meeting this month to make plans to complete a few easements this year.  Steven suggested having an explanation of what a conservation easement is on the website. France suggested interviewing property owners to tell the the story of what they are doing with their land.

Reservoir Dam:  No update, though John learned from Steve Dalessio that there is 5 million dollars in grant money available from the state for dam repair.  Walpole has submitted a grant application for some of that money.


3 interesting facts:

  1. John saw someone with hay bales practicing archery at the Gateway.
  2. Wendy and Will saw two bears on the Rail Trail between Hall’s Crossing and River Road.
  3. Kara and her husband saved a duck caught in a fishing line on the Mill Pond.

At the November meeting the budget will be discussed.  Cheryl reminded Alicia that the budget needs to be in by the Selectboard budget meeting in December.

Alicia adjourned the meeting at 8:15 p.m.

The next meeting will be on Monday, November 7, 2022.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jean Kobeski, Recording Secretary ** These minutes are in draft form until approved at the November meeting.

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