Town of Sutton Selectmen Meeting Minutes


Sutton Conservation Commission

Draft Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

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

Absent: Wally Baker, Jim Morris. Lynn sat in as a voting member.


Call to order: The meeting was held at Town Hall. Henry Howell called the meeting to order at 6:35 pm.


Previous Meeting’s Minutes: The minutes from the 10/13/2021 meeting were approved unanimously.

Financial Report:

Debbie had sent out a financial report before the meeting. In October 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 October, the Conservation Fund contained $168,731.62. The King Hill Fund had $1,708.76.  The Capital Reserve balance is $50,570.65.  Debbie asked if we were in agreement to send membership dues to NHACC, NHLakes, and SPNHF, and Henry said yes, that money was already budgeted. Debbie will ask Lorri to send out the checks. Chuck said Lorri asked Leo Maslan to fill out a tax form; she needs that before she can pay his invoice for the forest management plan. Chuck said he would draw up a contract for Leo, based on one we used before. Chuck said he went with Travis Perkins to KHR to clear out the culver, which will cost $360. In the meantime, the first big culvert washed out again, and Chuck will try to get Travis to get up there before the end of the year to fix it, using the rest of the $1000 that the SCC already agreed to spend on these culvert repairs. Chuck said he will be submitting some expenses for reimbursement: $100 for a GIS license, and $43.03 for good quality flagging tape. He already flagged the boundaries for the area to be logged at KHR, and he walked the entire KHR boundary with the four different easement monitors who do the four sections of KHR.

Henry reported on the budget hearing. There was a meeting with the BOS on 10/18 to review the 2022 admin budget. They were supportive, and approved the budget. On 10/25 there was a meeting with the Sutton Budget Committee. Henry asked for the same amounts as last year, and explained how things went with this year’s admin account. For example, the amount spent on conferences was less than we requested, due to covid-related cancellations. The budget committee approved every line item, with a small COLA increase for Secretarial. They also recommended that $7,000 be added to the Conservation Capital Reserve Fund.


  • Email from Lorri Himes regarding inquiry from resident Chappy Thomas about Beaver Pond Rd property. Henry responded to him.
  • Email from Alexander Simoneau of Colby-Sawyer College informing the SCC of a community-based research project which will consist of an assessment of Kezar Lake, and attaching the report on Messer Pond from last year. The project scope document was passed out at the meeting. Lynn said they are looking for volunteers to help with the water testing. She said there will be a presentation at Colby-Sawyer on December 2nd, and we will receive a Zoom link in email to attend it remotely. There will also be a newsletter coming. She said they need people to sign up for free testing of their well water, as part of the study.
  • NHACC October eNews announcing the Annual Meeting and Conference, workshops, grant opportunities and more.
  • Email from Betsy Forsham with information about LUCT tax amounts through history.


Review of Wetland Applications and Issues:


  • Copy of a Letter of Compliance from NHDES to J. Hastings and M. Gross, Shaker St, T/L#09-668-062, File #2020-02531, regarding Restoration Plan Approval letter. Henry said this project is a great example of the right way to do things.


Review of Intents to Cut and Logging Issues:

  • and K. Prime, Corporation Hill Road, T/L# 06-123-424, 1 acre out of 20.4, Nicholas Rowe, logger.
  • and J. Rosenthal, Corporation Hill Road, T/L# 06-188-443, 1 acre out of 2.66, Nicholas Rowe, logger. Don vouched for Nicholas Rowe as a responsible logger.


Old business


Report on NHDOT response regarding I-89 paving project – Chuck has had no answers to his questions yet from Meli Dube of NHDOT.


Status of Horse Beach KLNA: 1) engineering designs and 2) landscaper designs – Lynn and Wally met at the lake. Lynn said she would like to have Peter Blakeman’s input on Wally’s parking lot plan. She doesn’t want to just patch up the parking lot and have the same issues every year. Regarding the KLNA parking area proposal, Henry said Bob DeFelice told him that he wouldn’t have sold us that land if he knew we were going to put a parking lot on it. He said other people have expressed the same sentiment, so this matter is not settled. He said we’ll discuss it more next month, when Wally is here. As for the landscaping, Lynn said Ernie Brake agreed to help design a raingarden. She suggested to Wally that they use old telephone poles instead of granite edging, to save money, and Wally agreed. Henry said those poles can’t be used any more as they are considered hazardous due to the creosote.


Beaver Pond Road property – Henry Howell made a motion that discussion regarding ‘0 Beaver Pond Road’ be conducted in a nonpublic session per RSA 91-A:3,II.   The motion was seconded by Debbie Lang.  The following commission members were in favor of the motion:  Don Davis, Barbara Hoffman, Bonnie Hill, Debbie Lang, Lynn Whitman, and Henry Howell.  There was no one opposed.   A discussion was then held.

New Business

Review of ASLPT conservation commissions regional meeting – Debbie attended the meeting and reported on what some of the CC’s are working on. Wilmot is trying to map their wetlands, but the system they used is no longer accessible. Danbury is dealing with beavers. Grantham is trying to extend its hiking trails by filling in some wetlands. Bradford has junkyard issues. Several towns are frustrated that zoning ordinances are not being followed. Henry asked the other CCs about land acquisition issues. He found the meeting helpful. Debbie said Barbara Richter of NHACC always attends, and is very knowledgeable and helpful.


Visit to KHR with Matt Tarr to discuss field management options – After our discussion about mowing at KHR, Chuck reached out to UNH Extension for some advice. Matt Tarr agreed to meet with us at KHR on 12/9 at 9:00 AM to walk the fields and discuss some options. He told Chuck there is no one right way to do it, but that we need to set priorities and manage based on those. Chuck asked us to think about what our priorities are, before meeting with Matt.  He said his own sense is that we should use a different approach for the two ski trail areas. The old ski trails in the SW part of the property are very popular for winter recreation, especially back country skiing. These trails are less steep and easier to mow, and he feels that we should consider prioritizing this area for recreation, and mowing it every year to keep the trails open. The area in the NE section is steeper and more difficult to mow, and a lot of vegetation has already grown in. He suggests that we let the middle of these ski trails grow in, and prioritize them for providing diversity of wildlife habitat. Bonnie pointed out that mowing the SW trails every year will cost us more money. Chuck said he is hoping that putting in a donation system will bring in some money to offset those costs. If people don’t donate, then that means they are not interested in supporting the trails, and we can rethink things. Henry asked the members what they thought about Chuck’s ideas. Don said the NE trails are steep and not great for recreation anyway. They are also the site of our problems with the abutters. He said we need to discourage snowmobile use there, including by the property abutters. He said this plan might lessen the need to create a new trail crossing the top of those trails to avoid the private property, since we wouldn’t need to access the area for mowing. Bonnie asked if anyone knew which of the ski areas was the one where Amy Highstrom said there was exceptional butterfly habitat. Debbie suggested someone ask Amy for her input on the plan, and Henry said he would contact her. Barb said she thought it made sense, and she will try to get out there to look at the fields. Lynn wondered whether we could plant milkweed in those fields, since Chuck said he has not seen much there. Henry said this might be a good project for KRHS students.  Henry said he likes the idea of designating a recreation area and a conservation area. He said if we were to craft a sophisticated plan for the habitat area, we could get students to help implement it, and hold Volunteer Days. Much of the habitat maintenance will involve manual rather than mechanized labor. He said the trails adjacent to the Nichols trail aren’t used as much by skiers, and we need to put up signs for the snowmobiles. Chuck asked if signs were something we could purchase out of this year’s budget, and get them up this winter. Henry said it takes time to get the signs made. Don said Fish & Game might have some.


Report on LUCT payment history – Bonnie handed out copies of her report showing amounts of LUCT money deposited to the Conservation Fund since its since inception, as well as tax information about the major town-owned properties. Henry said the LUCT money was not mentioned at the budget hearing, but it could be at Town Meeting. Henry said he attended an excellent webinar on Conservation Fund Best Practices, given by the NH Municipal Association, and he will send the link to us all so we can view it. He will also send us a link to a presentation by the Trust for Public Lands about New Hampshire’s return on investment for conserving lands, explaining how land conservation benefits not only a town’s flora and fauna, but also its people and financials. He said we should all read it; it is science-based and will give us backing and support for when we are challenged on the need for conserving land.


Trail Maintenance and Development

Trails Advisory Committee Report

>GIS map of KHR – Chuck said he will incorporate people’s comments and put together the big kiosk version of the map. He has been working on map adjustments, since both the GRANIT map and the one from ASLPT are wrong, in different ways. Chuck has also worked to update the GRANIT map layer for Sutton’s conservation lands with data from the deeds that Barb placed on the SCC’s shared Google drive. Henry asked if an overlay of conservation properties could be added to the town’s property mapping system. Chuck said the layer from GRANIT does not match the town’s tax map in all places. With his type of GIS license, he could not be paid by the town to update the data layer. A commercial license is prohibitively expensive.


>Donation system for KHR – Chuck said he met with the woman from SPNHF who implemented their system. She got hung up on the same issues regarding the payment processor. Chuck looked into a different pay processor called Blackbaud that sounds promising.



Terms expiring – Henry asked Bonnie to notify the BOS that Debbie and Barb’s terms are expiring in 2021.


Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 PM.

Next Meeting:  Wednesday, December 8th, 2021, at 6:30 PM, at Sutton Town Hall.

Respectfully submitted,

Bonnie Hill, Secretary