Andover Conservation Commission Minutes – August 12, 2020

By Lee Wells

Condensed from draft minutes

Present: Tina Cotton, Jerry Hersey, Jesse Schust, Lee Wells, Alan McIntyre, Nancy Robart

• Letter from New Hampshire Fish and Game (NHF&G) about improvement of a Class 6 road that leads to Lead Mine Road. Logging had been done there (corner of Andover and Salisbury near Kearsarge Mountain Road). Road has sunk a bit into the wetlands area due to beaver activity. Elevation of road needs to be raised six inches with riprap for doing more logging in future. It will be reviewed by New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES).
• Copy of letter from Arch Weathers to Select Board about the Class 6 road that is the continuation of Beech Hill Road. Logging trucks were given permission by the Select Board to use this road that cuts through his property. Road is designated a scenic road. Nothing we can do, but be observant of the logging process.

ASLPT Update: They are working on a fundraiser to protect Messer farm, adjacent to Springledge.  We can let people know about the fundraiser.

Mountain Brook Trail: Signs prohibiting motorized vehicle access mounted onto pine boards and installed. Alan will submit invoices so Jim McKenna can reimburse.  Next step: get in touch with Fish and Game first (Heidi Murphy) – it is their responsibility to oversee off-road vehicles in the woods.  It is private, conserved land. Walking and hiking allowed, but no motorized vehicles allowed. Alan will get in touch with Heidi at Fish and Game, notify Andover police, and let Andy Prokosch and Susan Schnare know, as they are the ones most likely to see violators.  Alan will submit a photo with blurb to Beacon. 


Now that the signs are clear, the consequences should be clear too. Encourage people to not use motorized vehicles and let others know as well.   Jesse will let ASLPT know that we are doing something.

Skip Lisle’s visit: Good turn out. Attending the tour on August 5 were Jenny Bodwell, Nancy Robart, Lee and Ken Wells, Skip Lisle, Vicky Mishcon, John Kenny, Jon Champagne, Shawn Upton, Jim Hanson, and Marj Roy.

Summary from Alan: We met at Valley Road site and then proceeded to Emery Road and Elbow Pond. Discussed basis for beaver deceivers and how they are planned and installed.

Critical observations:
Sedimentation built up at Valley Road needs to be addressed.
Emery Road site was blocked – made for a good example why communication and regular inspection are needed.
Elbow Pond situation further supported the need for regular communication and maintenance by Skip and the Road Agent.
All involved wanted more done. Culvert sizes are too small, beavers too wily, maintenance too infrequent.
Concerns that the damming will continue to back up water and create problems. When do we solve this problem?
Is it more cost effective to clear culverts mechanically versus what we have now?
Why are there no measurements of water table heights before, during, and after Beaver Deceiver installation?

Beaver Deceivers work, but do not solve all problems.
The perception of Beaver Deceiver failure is hinged on the lack of regular, frequent inspection and maintenance.
Jon Champagne and the Town need to either support a local volunteer group to monitor and clear sites or monthly inspections and reports to Skip and the Conservation Commission.
Documentation needs to happen by Skip, Jon, and Conservation Commission about any work or reports on these sites.
A review of the NH town culverts study is needed.
When we hire a wetlands specialist, that person may be able to provide impartial observations that can guide and settle concerns better.
A more close examination of costs and reporting on culverts with Beaver Deceivers needs to be investigated.
Conservation Commission should review videos, discuss, and work toward drafting a clear reporting and inspection regime from the Road Agent and Skip.
Conservation Commission should invite Skip to the next meeting to discuss realities of inspection and management of culvert sites.

Jon Champagne and Skip Lisle are going to need to communicate to work things out, and we may need to help with that. The systems are working, saving money for the town. Skip is fairly self-deprecating, didn’t say much about how the Beaver Deceivers are enhancing wetlands and are very valuable in that regard.  


We need documentation – written report of Skip’s visits and the work that he does, as well as work that the Road Agent does. Try contacting other towns that have Beaver Deceivers.  


Some misunderstanding as to how they function in town – they are not maintenance-free. Monthly reports from Road Agent on how they are doing is a reasonable request.

Marj would like to see Conservation Commission manage oversight of Beaver Deceivers – cost of that is part of the Highway Department budget.  Cost has gone down over the years. We need to make it clear that the costs are not just installation, but funds are needed for maintenance. 


Road Agent could do some of the maintenance with Skip checking on how they are doing. Have to accept the reality of more flooding events with climate change.

Need to communicate with Marj, Jon, as to how they want us to help manage this so that we are not stepping on anyone’s toes. 

Bank account: Advice from Shirley Currier, Town Treasurer; information from Bar Harbor Bank. Should invest the CD as they recommend. All in favor.

White Oak: Jesse will try to visit the site.  Alan will ask Marj about status of White Oak. Lee and Nancy would like to visit the site.

Morey Pond Trail: Jay Lyon’s proposal approved, NHF&G and NHDES need to approve.

Hopkins/Adder Pond testing: There is a loon biologist that checks the pond regularly, but they don’t check water quality.  Geoff Lizotte (Lake Sunapee Protective Association) said he would be interested in helping. They may know if there is someone who is testing the water. Amanda McQuade from state was involved in the past. Is anyone testing Elbow Pond? Action item: Nancy will get in touch with her.

Wetlands Ordinance for Andover and Bog Pond: Jesse will work on this for our next meeting.

Beacon Articles: Jenny can work on Pullerbear Pro article for later.

Alan has made a Google map including Beaver Deceivers mostly around Proctor. Alan could expand it to include all of the Beaver Deceivers in town. Alan could list in his article as to where the other Beaver Deceivers are.  Alan will have the map ready to share for next meeting.