Town of Sutton Selectmen Meeting Minutes


Sutton Conservation Commission

Approved and Amended Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Present: Henry Howell, Chair; Barbara Hoffman; Don Davis; Debbie Lang; Chuck Bolduc; Lynn Wittman and Bonnie Hill.

Absent: Wally Baker and Jim Morris.

Members of the public present: Fred Sladen.


Call to order: The meeting was held at Town Hall. Henry Howell called the meeting to order at 6:37 pm.


Previous Meeting’s Minutes: The minutes from the 12/8/2022 meeting were approved unanimously.

Financial Report:

Debbie had sent out a financial report before the meeting. Last month’s spending from the Admin account came to a total of $3,276, which included $615 for Secretarial Services, $45 in Dues/Memberships, $43 in Expenses, and $2,573 in Special Projects. Total spending for the year was $6,226 out of a total budget of $7,537. As of the end of December, the Conservation Fund contained $166,759.67. The King Hill Fund had $1,709.04.  The Capital Reserve balance is $50,570.65.  The bank statement shows that a check for $1,000 was paid out on 12/10/2021 from the Conservation Fund. Henry said that he told the BOS and the Budget Committee why our expenditures were lower than what was allocated, and they were understanding.


  • NHACC December eNews with news about efforts by other ConComs, a downloadable guide called “Engaging Landowners in Conservation”, training opportunities, grant info (NH Fish & Game Habitat Improvement Small Grants) and volunteer opportunities for Citizen Science with Treeversity and the Native Plant Trust.
  • Email newsletter from Colby-Sawyer College community-based research team with updates on the Kezar Lake watershed analysis project.
  • Updated edition of New Hampshire’s Municipal Conservation Commissions Handbook from NHACC. Bonnie will order 3 more copies of the handbook for interested members.
  • Article on how neonics pesticides threaten our environment. Henry read a short article from Nature’s Voice saying that the EPA has finally done an analysis on neonics after being sued by the NRDC, and has found that imadicloprid, the most widely used neonic, likely harms 80% of all endangered and threatened species – not just bees, and is helping to fuel the ongoing biodiversity crisis.
  • Notice about opening of application period for 2022 NH Coverts Project Training. Henry, Debbie and Lynn have all completed this training, and highly recommend it. Applications are due March 1st.
  • Forest Notes, magazine of the SPNHF, Autumn 2021 issue.


Review of Wetland Applications and Issues:

  • Copy of letter from NHDES re: Forest Statutory Permit-by-Notification for S. Lord, T/L# 02-190-373.
  • Copy of letter from NHDES re: Forest Statutory Permit-by-Notification for C. Courser, T/L# 05-815-136.
  • Abutter notification letter for shoreland permit application from Susanne Smith-Meyer, PLA, ASLA for work at 9 Keyser St. Lynn said the landscape architect is doing the right thing here. Henry said the fire pit is above ground, and that nothing should end up in the lake.


Review of Intents to Cut and Logging Issues:

  • Harkins, Meeting House Hill Road, T/L# 04-244-418, 4 acres out of 31.9, logger unknown. Bonnie said this was finished weeks ago and did not appear to involve any wetlands.


Old business


Report on NHDOT response regarding I-89 paving project – Chuck never did hear anything back from Meli Dube of the DOT. He thinks they will be starting the project this summer.


Horse Beach parking plan update – This was moved to next month when Wally will be back. Lynn said she would like to approach Peter Blakeman and get his input on the plan. Chuck said he is on the Planning Board.


Report on visit to KHR with Matt Tarr to discuss field management options – Henry handed out copies of a report that he wrote after the visit. He summarized it by saying that the old ski trails numbered 1 through 12 will be managed as recreational trails, while those numbered 14 through 19 will be managed for wildlife habitat. Trail 13 will be unmanaged and allowed to return to a natural state.  Don said the old T-bar trail should also be left alone, as it contains old lift abutments that present a hazard. Don said there is a massive ledge outcrop near the junction of Trails 17 and 18 which is home to a large number of porcupines. Trails 10 and 12 and the Hominy Pot trail will continue to be used by snowmobiles.


The status of Trail 19 is currently under discussion. Both Henry and Chuck have talked to Glenn Pogust about the situation with it, which is that the abutting homeowner has been treating it as an extension of his own property. He has been mowing this wide trail down to lawn height in the fall, and has been driving snow machines on it extensively during the winter, along with others who are presumably his family or invited guests. Chuck has talked to the homeowner and said he is supportive of the SCC. Bonnie and Henry both said they were against this snowmobile use, while Chuck said he would like to work out some kind of agreement with the homeowner. Chuck said that according to Matt Tarr, snowmobile use is not as impactful to habitat as it may seem. Henry expressed concern about the effect of heavy use of motorized vehicles on the native pollinator-friendly plants described at the bottom of page 3 of his report. Henry said that we will be getting a management plan from Leo Maslan which will include management of the fields, and we will be able to vote on it. He suggested we wait for Leo’s plan before taking any next steps. When asked about the timeframe, Chuck said Leo has finished the field work, and he expects writing the report will take a couple of months.


Henry’s report also discussed access for logging. The first alternative is via the Hominy Pot / Nichols Trails, which is over two miles. The second, which would be much shorter and less disruptive, would be to come in from King Hill Rd in New London and use an old log landing and logging road on private property in both New London and Sutton. The Sutton property is owned by someone in Maryland. Glenn Pogust has attempted to contact him, to no avail. Barb is going to find out who owns the New London property, after Henry draws her a map in Gaia showing the location of the old logging road.


New Business

SCC Annual Report – This has been submitted to Elly for the Town Report. Henry thanked Barb for writing this report for us. Lorri Himes sent out the SCC’s year-end financial report, and Debbie said she would double-check the numbers.


Salting roads adjacent to our lakes – Henry said the state DOT salts Rt. 114 heavily, and part of this road passes within 20 feet of Blaisdell Lake, with no vegetation buffer between the road and the lake. Rt. 114 also passes right along our Town Wetlands, which drain into Kezar Lake. Don said there is a brook that runs along 114 and ends at the Lane River that is also a concern. Henry described a swath of roadside tree death that he witnessed in Lake Placid, NY when a highway was heavily salted.  Barb said that when asked about this issue, Dan Sundquist said the sand used on the roads is laced with salt to keep it from freezing into chunks. She said that the town of Warner has some areas of roadway that have been designated as low or no-salt zones. Henry said his concern is more with the state roads than the town ones. Henry thought this was something the Lake Properties Association for Blaisdell might want to bring up with the state. Neither he nor Debbie are members of it. He said the SCC should offer our services to the Lake Association. Regarding Kezar Lake, Lynn said she will talk to Nick Baer from Colby-Sawyer, as salinity is one of the properties being measured in their watershed analysis. Debbie said the Messer Pond area in New London had an issue with road salt, and she will find out more about what was done. Chuck said there are alternative substances that can be used on roads, but they are more expensive than rock salt.


Property Committee Report

Henry brought to our attention the New England Forestry Foundation’s Pooled Timber Income Fund (PTIF). PTIF participants donate their land to NEFF, and the timber on that land is contributed to a pooled income fund. In turn, donors receive an even stream of lifetime income and tax benefits. All donated land receives permanent protection and is managed to NEFF’s Exemplary Forestry standards. This could be an option for landowners who wish to conserve their land but still get income from it.

Henry Howell made a motion that the following discussion be conducted in a nonpublic session per RSA 91-A:3,II.   The motion was seconded by Don Davis.  Fred Sladen was asked to leave the meeting, as he hasn’t been officially appointed yet to the commission. A roll call vote was taken, with the following commission members voting Aye:  Don Davis, Lynn Wittman, Barbara Hoffman, Debbie Lang, Henry Howell, and Bonnie Hill.  There was no one opposed.   A discussion was then held.

Trail Maintenance and Development

Trails Advisory Committee Report

>Installation of snowmobile signs, boundary markers, & volunteer help

Henry said that he and Glenn Pogust posted boundary markers, and that Glenn is very much in favor of this, as it lets everyone know where they are allowed to go.

>Snowmobile access to KHR for KHR property abutters

Glenn is working on an alternative snowmobile access route for people in the Summit Road development, so that they do not drive on the KHR trails other than Trails 10 and 12. (Snowmobilers from the Mountainside development already have access via the Hominy Pot Trail.) Glenn will be talking to one of the homeowners to see if he would allow his property to be used as the access from the Summit Road circle to the junction of Trails 10 and 12, which is right near the property boundary. The homeowners would be responsible for trail maintenance. Don said he thought people might resent it if some people have special access to KHR. Chuck countered that anyone can access KHR through Hominy Pot.

>Need for trail creation across top (western) boundary of KHR

Don said there used to be a trail connecting the heads of Trails 13 through 18 that was maintained by an individual who has since passed on. It is probably quite overgrown now.


>The remaining topics were deferred until next month, and will be placed higher up in the agenda.


Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 8:47 PM.

Next Meeting:  Wednesday, February 9th, 2022, at 6:30 PM, at Sutton Town Hall.

Respectfully submitted,

Bonnie Hill, Secretary