Andover Conservation Commission Minutes – June 9, 2021

By Lee Wells

Condensed from draft minutes

Members Present: Nancy Robart, Sooze Hodgson, Tina Cotton, Jerry Hersey, Lee Wells, Alan McIntyre, Donna Duclos

Motion made to have Sooze be a full voting member for the purposes of this meeting: all in favor

ASLPT Update: Nancy will be attending a one-on-one training with one of the staff. Sooze monitors the Cline and now Costanzo easement on Raccoon Hill and Shaw Hill Roads. Lee monitors Broshek, Munene/Bye.

Wetland Buffer Signage: Prison sign shop is very busy; they will get to it as soon as they can.

Beaver Deceivers: Stakeholders meeting was held on May 10. Main issues are transparency, communication, and education.

Select Board is very concerned, but seems to think that Beaver Deceivers (BD) are better than doing nothing in terms of protecting the roads and culverts.

Historical perspective: Previous Road Agent did not have any big problems with them and had the perspective of the situation before and after they were installed. 

There has not been good communication between the Road Agent and Skip Lisle. Costs have not been communicated to us. Jesse and Nancy have not received any feedback from their letter.

Andover Conservation Commission (ACC) is just monitoring; we have no budget or training for maintenance. 

Misconceptions about BDs: 


  • The ACC is “in charge of BDs.” Marj has asked ACC to “take them over.” That needs to be clarified; BDs are town property.

  • BDs are “maintenance free.” They need to be maintained. Skip has come to maintain them for free.


  • “They don’t work.” Those who are against the BDs tend to be louder than those who are supportive; need to work on PR.

BD aesthetic and appearances: People see sticks and silt around the BD receiver fence and assume it isn’t working, when it is working well. Need to be aware that when clearing is done, unsightly debris can be washed downstream.

Committed individual stakeholders can make a huge difference. At Elbow Pond; Dave Pilla’s work at Proctor.

Currently good fish run along Sucker Brook.

There are lots of ways to manage beavers; they all take work.

Can we get a wetlands inspector from the state to check out the BDs? Nancy will check with DES.

Would the Select Board like to see us at a Thursday work session?

Our mission is to preserve the rural character of the town, and that includes hunting and fishing, but we also want to protect the wildlife and the wetlands, which are environmentally critical. 

Abutter e-mail: Concerned about maintenance and the debris after Skip cleared the Memorial Day Weekend problem with the Emery Road filter; the beavers had packed it with mud. Situation complicated by a state-inspected dam at the end of a pond that feeds Sucker Brook and Webster Lake.

ACC needs to come up with a specific plan re: maintenance (regular and emergency) and education. Ask Skip to help with the plan/schedule with help from volunteers, and a budget for it. We should tackle them site by site, as each one has its unique needs.

Action item: Check our BD info on our website, and get back to Alan on it.  The ACC website, managed by Alan, is great. Need to get more people to check it out.

BD locations: Valley Road, Emery, Switch, Flaghole, two at Elbow Pond, Proctor (disabled two years ago), and Bridge Street (removed).

Commission membership: Jesse and Tina need to renew in July, Alan in August, Jerry in September. See Bonnie to be sworn in.

Monitoring update: Alan has printed all of Derek’s monitoring reports. They are in the filing cabinets in Town Hall, and they are linked to our websites. We are current on our monitoring.

Tools: For digitally accessing tax maps, intent to cut, wetlands applications, and other matters.  Jesse will work on a time to do a workshop.

Nancy will ask Vicky Mishcon if interested in joining ACC.

Community Outreach: Beacon articles, events, website updates. Nancy Slosser is doing a composting workshop sponsored by the Hub. Andover now has a Garden Club. Merrimack County Conservation District: they might donate plants?