Andover Conservation Commission Minutes – April 7, 2021

By Lee Wells

Condensed from approved minutes

Members present: Lee, Jesse, Nancy, Sooze, Jesse, Derek, Tina, Alan, Jerry

Welcome to Sooze Hodgson.

ASLPT Update: Lee attended the meeting. Highlights:
Co-op Extension: milder weather is resulting in more pests damaging trees, hemlock disease for example.
Sunapee is looking into a more environmentally-friendly alternative to road salt.
Bradford: land being sold for back taxes is first offered to abutters with the stipulation that the land not be developed.
Newbury is getting a new conservation easement.

Sunapee passed a warrant article adding $55,000 to their Conservation Fund.
ASLPT’s accreditation has been renewed. It is closing on three easement/ownership projects this year.
UNH BioBlitz in September: mapping of invasives. Sign up on UNH website.
NHACC is also doing workshop on invasives: check out website.
State legislature: two bills that ASLPT had been hoping would be defeated did not pass, but are being retained. They are HB82, which allows landowner to change the terms of a conservation easement, and HB621, which allows registry to retain 10% of LCHIP money.

Wetland Buffer Signage at White Oak Pit: Nancy moved that we go with yellow and green lettering at the given price, seconded by Jenny; all in favor. Follow up is for aluminum rather than plastic.

Beaver Deceiver Stakeholders meeting on Monday, May 10. Set up by Select Board. They would like a list of people to invite. Could put something in the Beacon. Ask interested parties to submit their concerns before the meeting.

Over time, culverts will need to be enlarged, and the Town budget needs to take care of that, especially Elbow Pond Road and Valley Road.  With climate change and more extreme weather, we will need to plan better for future Beaver Deceiver needs. It would be good to have accurate figures from Jon Champagne re: cost of clearing culvert as well as cost of trapping.

Alan contacted Tyler Davison: he said he would not be a good person to be an outside expert, but he recommended we try someone from New Hampshire Fish and Game. Heidi Murphy might be a good choice, but she is from Andover; we might need an outside, non-partisan person.

Skip has recommended that we be in charge of Beaver Deceivers. Jesse is thinking that it might be possible to get teams to take care of the maintenance.  Michelle Lambert is willing to clear the Elbow Pond Road Beaver Deceiver this month.

Commission Membership: Three-year term renewals, according to state guidelines. Jesse, Alan, Jerry, Tina, Derek, and Sooze need new appointments, and Jenny, Nancy, and Lee expire in 2022.

Monitoring Obligations: There aren’t that many properties that we do, and some are hybrid things: Fenvale and Newman.  We’d like to keep a record of Bog Pond and other properties that are not under a formal conservation easement. Derek would be happy to work with someone else on the database so it is not so dependent on him.

Bog Pond: Meeting proposal from David Blinn. Derek, Jesse, Marj, and David met a while ago to discuss protecting the land and possibly putting it into conservation easement.

Community Outreach: Beacon articles and events: Article on Beaver Deceivers and beavers (Nancy); Drought situation and that people may be eligible for well assistance (Nancy); Pullerbear Pro article (Jenny).

Website Updates: Still need biographical info. Add Beaver Deceiver information, but without abutter names.

Motion made by Jesse to make Derek, Sooze, and Tina as alternates for the Conservation Commission. Seconded by Jenny, all in favor.

Tina received information about vernal pools from the New Hampshire Fish and Game on identifying and protecting vernal pools. Dr. David Patrick in Wilmot, who works for the Nature Conservancy, is happy to give a Zoom talk about vernal pools.

The public is reminded that all are welcome to join the Andover Conservation Committee meetings, which are taking place via Zoom for the time being.  To attend these meetings, log into Zoom and sign in to Meeting ID: 840 4526 9389  Passcode: 835044 at 7 PM on the second Wednesday of the month.