Conservation Commission Minutes: February 8, 2017

Condensed from approved minutes

Present: Mary Anne Broshek, Nan Kaplan, Jerry Hersey, Alan McIntyre, Tina Cotton, and Jesse Schust.

Correspondence: Chatter Newsletter (Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust), Merrimack County Conservation District Newsletter: Equipment available for farmers to rent, and funds available to landowners to increase, restore, and enhance habitat for endangered turtles.

ASLPT: Nan will ask for the report that ASLPT offered to us.

Town Report: Mary Anne will get the Co-operative Extension Report that has been offered for inclusion in Town Reports and we will send the Co-operative Report  to the Beacon to be considered.

Bradley Lake Logging: Jerry is looking for the latest DES Non-compliance letter. If he doesn’t find it, Mary Anne will call the DES.

Town Maps and Mapping Tools: Mary Anne received a copy of the updated SHAPE files for the Andover tax map, and sent it to Laura Alexander. Laura has the co-occurrence maps (we need to locate the last overlays). Marge Roy will check if the new tax map should have included the wetland detail and conservation detail.

Wetlands Protection: HB486 is a proposed piece of legislation designed to provide better protection to wetland buffers throughout the state. Mary Anne has written a draft letter in support and the CC agreed that we are in favor of submitting this letter. We are concerned that there is no local process in place to inform Andover residents of state law regarding wetlands, and therefore that they may not be made aware if the construction they plan will violate state law. We will continue to consider if there are simple solutions to this.

Sandy Crystal has done an educational session on wetlands matters in the past, and Mary Anne will see if a new session can be scheduled. Alan made a suggestion of a checklist that might help. Mary Anne will ask the DES for recommendations.

Federal Flood Plain maps may help residents to be aware of some wetlands areas on their land (this would relate to FHA loans and insurance). Mary Anne is looking into what is meant by the regulation that people can’t impact a wetland without permit: Does this apply to impacts that originate outside of the wetland boundary? We are not clear about this. We noted that an up to date poster and/or factsheet from DES may be helpful for Andover residents

Bog Pond: Jesse has not contacted the State Prison regarding the price of manufacture of wetland boundary signs. He will do so when he is able. On March 20, Jesse will present to the Select Board a map of the changes in land use near Bog Pond. He will print some copies of the map. Jesse noted concern that snowmobiles were not able to use the link from the Rail Trail to Circle K. He will check this out.

Cemetery Corner: Jesse will try to find out if intent to cut was filed. Also, he will ask Nancy Teach if there is a procedure for the Road Agent to notify the town of excavation work.

Town Meeting Day Table: We will put out leaflets and maps and set up the table as it has been in previous years. The voting period is 1 1AM to 5 PM, and members volunteered for various time slots. Alan will contact the Moderator to secure the table and space, Larry will provide the mounted maps.

Barry Conservation Camp: The selection of a recipient for funding was made and he will be attending the camp this summer.

Items from Larry: Larry proposed to speak about the Old Town Hall at a future meeting of the CC. We agreed that we would like him to do that. Larry also proposed the CC might co-sponsor, with the Andover Energy Group, a walking tour of Proctor Academy’s new dining hall, in order to show the ecological and energy conservation measures. Alan will be speaking with Larry about this.

Other Business:

Jesse and Alan will be exploring options to hold a film event with a speaker. Films may include Chasing the Ice and a film about population displacement due to climate change.