Town of Sutton Selectmen Meeting Minutes


Sutton Conservation Commission

Draft Meeting Minutes

Wednesday,  January 13, 2021

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

Members of the public present: Glenn Pogust, Jim Morris, Jack Esteves, Alyson Cornbower, Mike Daley.

This meeting was held remotely via GoToMeeting due to the Covid-19 emergency.


Call to order: Henry Howell stated that the meeting was being held remotely because of Covid-19, and summarized the rules for conducting remote meetings. Every person attending identified him/herself by name, gave their location, and listed other people that were or might be present. Henry called the meeting to order at 6:41 pm.


Welcome to guests: Henry welcomed Jim Morris and Glenn Pogust. Jim lives on Stone House Rd and has expressed an interest in being involved with the SCC. He served on the Open Space Committee in Hingham, MA. Glenn is the president of the Mountainside Homeowners Assoc. Wally Baker took over running the meeting at this point.


Previous Meeting’s Minutes: Chuck made a motion to approve the minutes from the 12/9/2020 meeting, and Debbie seconded. The minutes were approved by roll call vote.

Financial Report:

Debbie said there is not much to report. We spent all of the 2020 administrative budget except for the 10% that we were requested to give back to the town. The bank statement has not yet been received. Wally asked about the $400 bill he submitted for crushed gravel, and Debbie said she would let him know after asking Lorri Himes. That money will have to be taken out of the Conservation Fund.  Henry suggested we move through the remaining items quickly since the most important topics (KHR issues and logging) were at the end of the agenda.


  • Email from Elly Phillips about a resident’s inquiry regarding ATV use on Eaton Grange Rd from the Webb/Crowell lot. Wally said the town can’t allow ORHV’s on Class VI roads. Glenn said this came up at the Planning Board last night, and that NH prohibits OHRVs on Class VI roads unless a Town Meeting vote allows it. He said the Planning Board has no interest in this.
  • Email from Lorri Himes notifying us of a change in mileage reimbursement rate from 57.5 to 56 cents per mile for 2021.
  • Email from Lorri Himes asking that a W-9 be submitted to her before submitting bills for any new vendors. Don asked how we would know if a vendor is already in the system, and Debbie said she would ask Lorri how to handle this.
  • Email reply from Elly Phillips regarding tax-deeded lot T/L# 4-212-391. Bonnie said she has no new information yet from Elly on this one, but two new properties have been tax-deeded to the town, and one of them looks to be of interest as conservation land, according to Betsy Forsham. There is a three-year wait, however, before action can be taken. Henry said that lot 4-212-391 should be analyzed against our list of criteria for easements, to see if it would qualify for funding.
  • NHACC December 2020 eNews newsletter with info about NHACC’s 5-year plan, new NHDES website, glass recycling, invasive plant educational series, and more.
  • NHACC notice about Lunch & Learn Zoom presentation on “Prescribed Fire in NH”, 1/27 at 12:00 PM.
  • Invitation to SCC from Gabe Roxby of the Forest Society to attend a Zoom meeting they are hosting on Wednesday, February 17thfrom 4:00 to 5:00 PM regarding logging methods. They will at least partially focus on the intersection of wildlife habitat and timber harvesting.


Review of Wetland Applications and Issues:

  • Copy from DES of a Forestry Statutory Permit-by-Notification for T. Hibbard, North Rd, T/L #03-470-314, DES File # 2020-03089.
  • Copy from DES of a Time Extension Agreement on Shoreland Permit Application for M. McDade, Watkins Rd, T/L #02-709-412, DES File # 2020-00735. Debbie said this concerns a dilapidated building right on the water that is being torn down.


Review of Intents to Cut and Logging Issues:

  • Girl Scouts – Camp Wabasso, Wrights Hill Rd, 34 out of 35.6 acres, T/L #04-712-217. Bonnie said the access road is very long, all the way from Wright’s Hill Rd to the top of Brown Rd. Chuck said he walked this with Eric Oxman. It is an improvement cut, and follows an improvement cut that was done 15 years ago.
  • Wally reported that the 3 or 4 cuts going on on North Rd near him look good, and are being cleaned up.


Old business

Report from Property Advisory Committee Barb had nothing to report this month.


SCC contribution to Sutton 2020 Town Report This was done by Barb, who sent it out to the members for review. Henry displayed the group picture of SCC and asked Bonnie to put it on the website.


Perambulation of Sutton’s boundary with Wilmot – Bonnie reported that she did this on December 11 with Tim Wallace (the perambulator) and two other representatives from Wilmot, and all the markers were found.


New Business

ASLPT Outreach Committee representative from SCC Don said he has served in this role for many years and would like to step down. The committee meets every quarter, with the next meeting in April. Debbie is the committee chair, but she said Sutton should have another representative. Bonnie and Chuck both volunteered.


Warner Conservation Commission SurveyThis is a survey ending on Jan 15th, asking what conservation priorities should be in Warner. Chuck and Bonnie both filled it out and said it is quick to do.


Publicity: SCC Website – Henry urged everyone to submit notes, pictures, comments, etc., to Bonnie for the website. He said this is a wonderful way to publicize what we do.


Trail Maintenance and Development

Trails Advisory Committee Report

Update on sign-making for our conservation lands – Henry said the two new kiosks are in good shape.

Snow plowing for trailhead parking: (A) KHR Hominy Pot, (B) KHR Maple Leaf,  (C) Webb/Crowell –

  • KHR Hominy Pot – Henry said this is plowed and being heavily used.
  • Maple Leaf – This has not been plowed, but Henry said he was able to drive into it.
  • Webb/Crowell – Henry said this has been partially plowed and so far it’s been done for free. He will talk to Mike McManus about a stipend.

Upgrade of Maple Leaf parking with crushed stone & terrace-step up to kiosk – Wally said the crushed stone was spread and the ditches were filled in with it, and the usable area of the existing parking lot footprint has been increased by about 50%.

Boulder replacement needed at Webb/Crowell – Wally said this will have to wait until spring.


Henry’s review of KHR – Mountainside Community boundaries – Contrary to what we had thought, Glenn said the deeds to the abutting Mountainside lots do not show that Frank Stewart gave permission to the public to cross those properties to hike the Nichols Trail. Instead, it says the property may only be accessed for emergency use or maintenance. One of the property owners, Alyson Cornbower, said it is fine with her if people walk there, as long as there is better signage. Henry apologized for not including the abutters in our activities by the border. Glenn and Henry walked the boundary and found every pin. Henry said good border signage is needed to make it clear to the public that they must respect the private property. He said examples of this can be seen at Mt Sunapee’s Andrew Brook Trail and the SRKG. Glenn said our trail comes down towards a private carriage trail that looks very enticing but is not open to the public to use to get back to Hominy Pot trailhead. Henry said he needs to order signs, and he will show us pictures of what he intends to do with them. Alyson and Glenn both volunteered to help put up the signs when they are available. Henry said this is labor intensive, since the small boundary markers need to be placed fairly close together. Henry asked Chuck if the mowers are going on to private property when they mow White Rabbit. Chuck said no; Dave Carey knows the properties really well. He does do mowing for some of the homeowners. Glenn said we need to figure out some way to mark the boundary in the wide ski trails – something more than just signage. He will talk with the other owners about ideas for this. Chuck said the homeowners make snowmobile trails from KHR to their own land, and then other people follow these trails. Henry said it is almost impossible to tell when the ski trails suddenly go on to private land. The homeowners need to put up signs on their land, and we need to make it clear where our property is. We also need to make it clear that the backcountry skiers need to go an alternate way. They either need to go all around by Hominy Pot, or they can go via the Penacook Path from Maple Leaf. This provides wonderful access to the ski trails, but parking is a problem if the lot is unplowed. Abutting homeowner Mike Daley joined the meeting at this point and said he is tired of hearing that it is his fault for making snowmobile trails from KHR on to his land. Speaking in defense of the graffiti on our signs, he said that there are no private property markings shown on our maps. Henry said the maps with graffiti have been replaced on the Hominy Pot kiosk and now show clearly where the private property boundaries are. He did this himself last night, by headlamp. Mike said that disrespect from the trespassers is his biggest complaint. He said if we don’t put signage up in 30 to 45 days he will close public access to trails that cross his properties. He is going to send a letter to Henry and the BOS stating that. Wally suggested that if the signage isn’t working, maybe we should move the Nichols Trail. Glenn said he doesn’t think the problem is the Nichols Trail; it is the ski trails. People see those big, wide open ski trails and don’t know where to go. Chuck asked whether snow fencing might work. Glenn said maybe boulders, and later, a physical barrier of vegetation left to grow in. Mike Daley said those are the exact areas of his concern – the edge of the Nichols Trail where the five ski trails join it. He wants signs at all five ski slopes at the edge of the Nichols Trail. He doesn’t want snow fencing and said it would be an eyesore. He said he already has ASLPT markers all along the back of his property.  Henry said he is thinking of using long, thin private property markers at each boundary pin, and smaller ASLPT markers in between. He said the boundary needs to be marked well for the loggers, too. Chuck said the most important thing is to get out there and flag the boundaries. He talked to ASLPT today and they would like to put up their own markers. They always place them facing out, though, so that doesn’t help with our problem. Henry asked Mike to look at the kiosk. Glenn said let’s move forward with the signs. Henry thanked the people from Mountainside for coming. He said KHR is getting a lot of use now because of Covid-19. Wally said we need to show movement quickly on this, and he asked how many signs we need to order. He said the signs would probably need to be 50 to 100 feet apart. Barb pointed out that Mike Daley is going to tell us exactly what he wants for signs. Wally said we need to know the total number, including for the other properties as well. Glenn said he would try to find out from the other abutting property owners. There are two others besides Mike Daley. Henry will email out pictures of the signs for us to look at.


Logging of KHR – Chuck had sent out documents about logging aesthetics for the members to read, and today he sent out Leo Maslan’s write-up of his thoughts on logging Section 5, after walking that section with Chuck. Chuck said he wants to avoid getting too much into the details of what the logging site will look like. He said the next step is for us to pick a forester, and he asked both Eric and Leo to submit a list of their past projects for us to drive by and look at. They will both attend our February meeting so we can ask them questions. Henry said that now that everyone has the info, he recommends setting up a subcommittee of three people to pick a forester and a plan that can be presented to the whole commission. Chuck said he thought that everyone should participate in choosing the forester, and in looking at Section 5 to make sure that is where we want to start. Henry said it seemed like Leo has more relevant experience, with the trail system at Colby Sawyer, and supervising the logging and cleanup. He asked if Leo logs it himself or subs it out, and Chuck said both foresters sub out the actual logging work. Chuck agreed that Leo is interested in the trail system aspect of the project, but he said both foresters will be able to do whatever we specify. Chuck said he would write up a blurb for each of the logging projects and tell us what the purpose was and where we can walk. Chuck asked the commission members if everyone was still on board with this, and everyone assented. Henry said it was in accordance with the original easement deed. Chuck assured Glenn that we would keep the Mountainside homeowners informed of our plans. Glenn said that people are mainly concerned about what they will be seeing from their property. Henry said that Section 5 is far away from the lower Mountainside development but does abut the upper one. He assured Glenn and the other homeowners that we are very concerned about aesthetics and keeping buffers, etc., and care about that just as much as they do.  Barb asked Henry to send out a map showing where Section 5 is. Glenn asked to see it, too, and Chuck said he would send it out to everyone. Chuck said there were a few housekeeping items to report. He found out that the money from the timber harvest will indeed go into the town’s general fund. This means we will need to make sure everything is taken care of (cleanup, trail restoration, etc) before the financial reckoning is done at the end of the harvest, so those costs are subtracted from the yield. He checked with ASLPT about their list of approved foresters, and although Eric Oxman is not on the list, they are fine with him. He looked into grants from NRCS, but these are really for homeowners rather than for municipalities. Chuck thanked Glenn and the others for coming, and Glenn thanked the SCC for being communicative.


Jim Morris further involvement with SCC – Henry will ask him if he wants to be an alternate member.


Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned around 8:40 PM.

Next Meeting:  Wednesday, February 10th, 2021, at 6:30 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Bonnie Hill, Secretary