Andover Conservation Commission Minutes – November 11, 2020

November 11, 2020
Condensed from approved minutes
Members present: Jesse Schust, Nancy Robart, Lee Wells, Jerry Hersey, Tina Cotton, Jenny Bodwell

Role of Chair: Could we have co-chairs?  Mary Anne sent out a list of responsibilities of the Chair. Nancy would be willing to help Jesse out.  Alan might be willing to co-chair in the summer.

2021 Budget:  Jesse submitted our budget but hasn’t heard back from Town Office about it. Action item: Jesse will check with Marj on 1. our budget submission, 2. allocation of $5,000 for Beaver Deceivers to be maintained by Skip, and 3. formally request the Highway Department to do annual prioritized routine maintenance.  Town budget meetings are late January/early February.

Beaver Deceivers (BD): Jesse, Nancy, Alan, and Tina have been checking and documenting with photos each month.  It is easier to see that they are working with the higher water levels; the water seems to be flowing well (Switch Road, Emery Road, and Flaghole Road). There is some debris collecting on the outside of the Emery Road BD. There is a wooden structure at the end of the pond – a man-made dam? 

Jesse checked Valley Road and the two Elbow Pond Road BDs.  The Valley Road one is still flowing, but it is slow – the culvert seems too small.  Skip mentioned that it and the culvert may need to be remade.  One of the Elbow Pond BDs has significant blockage on the box that shields the BD – the water can still get over the top.

Clearing the BDs should be an annual event for the Highway Department.  We should get confirmation from Skip that the Highway Department could pull out the debris. Need to check on how Bridge Road is doing without a BD; the remaining one is Proctor’s responsibility.

Monitoring Obligations 2020: Nancy filed the easement forms that have been monitored in 2020 at Town Hall  and will let us know which ones still need monitoring. The Newman easement has a form that needs to be filled out and filed with the Select Board and the state to Steve Walker with the conservation stewardship program (LCIP).

White Oak Pit Mapping: Jesse has made arrangements with Earle Chase to map the boundary and the 50-foot buffer. He’ll start around 9 AM on Tuesday, November  17th – Nancy, Lee, and Jesse will help him.  Date and time may change depending on weather.  Jesse will head out and pre-mark the relative boundary markers.  There are two wetlands on the property. Nancy will bring a smartphone that can use apps that help with mapping. We have a survey map; Jesse has sent pictures to Earle.

Environmental Opportunity Grant Program (NH Charitable): Could this be used for beaver deceivers? Game cameras for the BDs? Interpretive loop at Fenvale or Mountain Brook Trail? If we come up with an idea, is there someone who could type up a grant proposal? Nancy will call to see if we are eligible – we would have to be a 501(c)(3) organization or have a 501(c)(3) organization as our fiscal sponsor. Jesse will talk with ASLPT about trail development or interpretive trails.

Wetlands Ordinance for Andover: No progress. We will revisit in January.

Bog Pond: Jesse has taken a look, especially where the Highway Department made incursions.  They have moved piles around, but there are no new incursions. We can join Jesse at a lunchtime walk on trail from Belletetes.

Beacon Articles: Jenny can send in the Puller Bear article for spring.

Ausbon Sargent: Jesse went to their online quarterly Zoom meeting.  They are very excited about the property on Mountain Brook, which they own outright.  The new person working with Andy Deegan is Ann Payer, who has been out to look at the property and is looking for people to help monitor the property.  They will be purchasing the Messer Farm in New London.

Jesse will follow up with Marj about using the Town’s Zoom account.