Conservation Commission Minutes: April 12, 2017

Condensed from approved minutes

Present: Nan Kaplan, Jerry Hersey, Tina Cotton, and Jesse Schust.

Minutes: Tina made a motion to approve the March minutes with small corrections/additions, Jerry seconded, and all were in favor.

Correspondence:

Newsletter from Wadsworth Woodlands.

Supply Lines 2017 newsletter.

Merrimack County Conservation District notification of Annual Dinner/Farmer Appreciation Night.

Letter and booklet dated February 21, 2017, from DES, Beyond the Beaver Dam: The Success of the New Hampshire DES Aquatic Resource Mitigation Fund.

ASLPT: There will be a workshop for landowners considering placing property into a permanent conservation easement, on April 14.

Peter Bloch has been assisting ASLPT with monitoring by drone. Initial indications are that this will prove a very helpful tool to augment existing monitoring procedures. A large area can be viewed in a short time and significant disturbances will be apparent from the air, e.g. building construction, unauthorized logging, etc. Monitoring by drone will be done on large properties approximately every 5 years or so, but won't replace “boots on the ground” for yearly inspections

Nan reported that State Foresters are developing a map of all undeveloped town-owned property above 10 acres in size.

Two significant donations of land have been made to ASLPT: one on Messer Pond, and the other a property in Bradford.

Town Meeting: It was noted that the cell tower article passed at Town Meeting. The location is near to Bog Pond but not immediately adjacent to the wetlands.

We reviewed the map of wildlife sightings from our Town Meeting table and noted an abundance of wildlife sightings occurred in proximity to areas identified as high quality habitats, and also in locations near people’s residences (where people were more likely to spot wildlife).

Bradley Lake logging: Jerry is still finding out what is happening.

Monitoring: Tina has filed the Fenvale monitoring form. Jesse will contact someone in Andover who may be able to assist with future monitoring of large properties using a drone, and we may consider asking Peter Bloch for advice or assistance. The use of a drone would not replace walking in the property, but would provide additional help and information. Sometime in the past, a local pilot assisted by viewing properties from the air, and this was helpful. A drone would likely provide similar information.

Saving Special Places: Jesse attended the conference this year and found it very informative and useful. Tina proposed that Jesse be reimbursed $65 for the conference registration, Nan seconded and all were in favor.

Future Events: Jesse suggested the possibility of talks about tick safety and about vernal pools. Both of these talks were held in neighboring towns with great success. The speakers were from the UNH Extension. Jesse will try to contact them.

We have held a Fenvale walk in the past, and we thought this would be a good event to hold again. The previous walk was guided by Lee Carvalho, Derek Mansell and Paul Fenton, and hopefully one or all would be willing to guide another walk.

Jesse suggested that Alan McIntyre might be willing to offer an interpretive bird-watching walk.

Bog Pond: Derek will return mid-April. Mary Anne, Jesse and Derek will speak with the Select Board to review the situation and find out what the future plans are for this area.

 

Other Business:

Jesse proposed that he and Nan get in touch with the neighboring Wilmot Conservation Commission to inform them of the success of the Andover implementation of beaver deceivers. Jesse knows of two culverts in Wilmot that concern local residents and might be excellent candidates for installation of a beaver deceiver by the town.