Town of Sutton Selectmen Meeting Minutes


Sutton Conservation Commission

Draft Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Present: Henry Howell, Chair; Lynn Wittman; Chuck Bolduc; Jim Morris; Wally Baker and Bonnie Hill.

Absent: Barbara Hoffman, Don Davis, Debbie Lang. Jim and Lynn sat in as voting members.


Call to order: The meeting was held at Town Hall. Henry Howell called the meeting to order at 6:40 pm.


Previous Meeting’s Minutes: The minutes from the 9/8/2021 meeting were approved unanimously.

Financial Report:

Debbie had sent out a financial report before the meeting. In September there were no new charges against the SCC Admin budget. YTD total spending is $1139.88 out of a total budget of $7537. As of the end of September, the Conservation Fund contained $158,318.40. The King Hill Fund had $1,708.62.  The Capital Reserve balance is $50,570.65.  An additional $10,400 in LUCT money will be coming in to the Conservation Fund, due to the development on Kearsarge Valley Rd.

Debbie also sent out a spreadsheet showing estimated expenses for the rest of the year, to help in filling out the 2022 budget worksheet. Chuck said it looks like the mowing will not be able to be done this year as it is too wet. Other money that will come out of Special Projects will include $1,668 spent by Henry on trail maintenance supplies, $1,000 to Leo Maslan as a first installment for the KHR forest management plan, $1,000 to Travis Perkins for excavator work at KHR, and an estimated $200 for 4th quarter snow plowing. Chuck said that he felt we could justify keeping the Special Projects Fund at its current level, and Henry agreed, saying there is plenty of future work that needs to be done, including culvert repairs at KHR. Because of Covid-19-related cancellations, our expenditures on conferences are way down. The SCC will be meeting with the BOS on October 18th at 5 PM and the budget committee on October 25th at 6:15 PM, at the fire station. Jim made a motion to submit the 2022 budget at $7,537 (same as last year) and Chuck seconded. The vote in favor was unanimous. Henry will present the SCC budget at these meetings and urged other members of the SCC to attend in support. Wally asked Bonnie to provide a report on LUCT money and taxes on conserved land.


  • Email from Elly Phillips with 2021-202 budget meeting schedule for SCC
  • Email inquiry from John Roberts of Richmond, VA about a Tippy Rock in North Sutton, and reply from Don Davis with historical information about a Balancing Rock near the summit of King Hill.
  • Email inquiry from Barbara Calvert about community service opportunities for KRHS students. Chuck said trail maintenance is always needed, and he is willing to mentor another student doing a GIS project. Lynn said HS students could help with the rain garden project at Kezar Lake Natural Area. Henry will respond to Ms. Calvert.
  • Email from Debbie Lang following up with info regarding The Conservation Fund. This is a source for 100% collateralized loans for land purchases.
  • Email from NHACC announcing the Lunch & Learn presentation on “Assessing pesticide hazard and risk: Glyphosate, A Case Study” at noon on 10/20.
  • NHACC September eNews announcing that the Annual Meeting and Conference will be virtual again, on Nov 6th, grant opportunities and more.
  • Email request from NHACC to fill out a 2022 Municipal Lake Issues survey. It was decided that the SCC members will fill this survey out individually.
  • Note from Barb Hoffman thanking SCC for memorial donation to NH Food Bank.
  • Notice from ASLPT about next quarterly roundtable discussion for CC chairs, which will be held virtually on October 28th at 6 PM. They have opened it up to all interested CC members. Henry will send us the Zoom link.


Review of Wetland Applications and Issues:


  • Copy of a Request for More Information letter from NHDES to NHDOT regarding their Standard Dredge & Fill Wetlands Permit Application.
  • Jim Morris emailed us his summary of NHDOT I-89 Dredge & Fill application 42419. This application specified $109K in potential ARM funds. See below for NHDOT’s response regarding the funds.


Review of Intents to Cut and Logging Issues:

  • Woodlot & Grange LLC, Eaton Grange Road, T/L#s 01-338-510 and 03-406-095, 60 acres out of 238.1, Nicholas Brunet, logger. This land is under a conservation easement held by SPNHF, and contains wetlands. Henry took down the contact info for Nick Brunet.


Old business


NH Bioblitz status – Bonnie reported that 6,920 observations were made, 1,165 species were found, and there were 302 observers participating in the state. Sutton was very well represented and ranked 6 out of 105 participating towns in terms of number of observations. There is to be a report coming out at some point with town-specific information, and Henry said he would use that data in his pocket guide to the Sutton town lands.


Report on NHDOT response regarding I-89 paving project – Chuck had asked Meli Dube of NHDOT about possible mitigation funds available to Sutton. She replied that neither of the two paving projects meet the criteria of the Stream Passage Improvement Program (SPIP) in terms of linear feet of permanent impacts to stream channel/banks, so the money was placed in the ARM fund instead. Chuck asked her whether Sutton would receive any preferential treatment in the distribution of the ARM funds. He also asked where we can express our comments on the number of trees being taken down, and what the deadline is for commenting. He will let us know when he gets a response from her on these questions.


Status of Horse Beach KLNA: 1) engineering designs and 2) landscaper designs – Wally has laid out a parking lot design that is 70 feet long and enough for 7 cars. He will talk to the Planning Board. To put granite edging around the parking lot would cost a couple of thousand dollars. Henry questioned whether we would have to pay for that, or if it should be in a warrant article. Chuck pointed out that the pervious parking lot with rain garden would serve an educational purpose, as an example of best practices. Lynn is talking to Ernie and Sondra Brake about a design for the rain garden.


Funds for conserving property – Henry said the SPNHF has many projects in the works and no money to spare. Chuck said there are source water protection grants available, but these require matching funds. Wally pointed out that only 5% of the water supply in Sutton is protected by conserved land right now. Chuck talked about how conserving land makes the town a nicer place to live, and provides places for people to go for outdoor recreation, which has seen greatly increased demand since the pandemic. Wally said that people who put conservation easements on their land pay the same taxes as if it were in current use, so there is no loss to the town.


New Business


NH Fish & Game/UNH Extension call for milkweed pod collection and donation – The NHDOT will be using the pods for planting a pollination corridor along roadsides. There are collection points in Concord, Newport and Boscawen, among other places, through the end of October. Bonnie said Rob O’Neil allowed collection on his fields, and she and Debbie both went there to harvest a good many pods. Henry mentioned an article in Northern Woodlands magazine about the Ecotype project, which seeks to restore native pollinator plants. He has corresponded with Amy Highstrom about this subject, and she provided a lot of scientific information, which he will forward to the rest of the SCC.


Fundraising idea – Debbie reported in email that she saw a boardwalk at Plum Island that had people’s names on the boards that were put there as memorials, in exchange for donations. This seems like something we could do the next time we build a bridge or boardwalk. Henry said we could also have signs with the names of trail adopters. They wouldn’t be donating money, but would be donating time and labor.


Trail Maintenance and Development

Trails Advisory Committee Report

>GIS map of KHR – Chuck passed out a draft of the map of Sutton’s conservation lands, showing the level of public access, and asked for us to send him our comments. He said he can color code it to show Sutton-owned lands. He has updated the GIS layer in GRANIT so that the database is now complete, and he is going to meet with Sue Andrews of ASLPT about some mapping issues. He had sent out drafts of the KHR and Webb/Crowell hiking maps in email, and asked for our feedback on those, as well.


>Donation system for KHR –– Henry showed a picture of a sign for donating by phone to SPNHF at the Andrew Brook trailhead.  Chuck is meeting with the woman who set up that system for SPNHF. The first thing required is a bank account, and we can use the KHR account, which would replenish that account so that it could be used for KHR maintenance.  Next is a payment processor. Jim found one (Givebutter) that allows the use of several different pay methods – Venmo, PayPal, Apple Pay, etc. None would cost us anything, as they take a cut of the donation. The next thing needed is a web page for people to land on after they donate, with a good trail map and info about volunteering. The page would need to be optimized for mobile devices so that the map could be viewed clearly on a phone. Chuck has a friend who has offered to do this, if Bonnie can’t. This will need to be cleared with the town counsel and the BOS.


>Mowing at KHR – Chuck said he thinks the mowing at KHR should be done more frequently than it has been in the past, as he doesn’t want the trails to be lost for recreation and habitat. (The strategy up to now has been to mow every three years, to provide maximum value for habitat with minimal disturbance.)


Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 8:56 PM.

Next Meeting:  Wednesday, November 10th, 2021, at 6:30 PM, at Sutton Town Hall.

Respectfully submitted,

Bonnie Hill, Secretary