Town of Sutton Selectmen Meeting Minutes


Sutton Conservation Commission (SCC)

DRAFT Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Present: Chuck Bolduc; Don Davis; Lynn Wittman; Yvonne Howard and Bonnie Hill.

Absent: Henry Howell, Chair; Debbie Lang; Wally Baker, and Jim Morris.

Members of the public present: Joanna Murphy.

Call to order: Don Davis called the meeting to order at 6:33 pm.

Previous Meeting’s Minutes:  The minutes from the last meeting on October 11th were unanimously approved.

Financial Report:

Debbie sent out a financial report before the meeting. October expenses totaled $56, which was for special projects. YTD expenses are $5,995 below budget. The mowing bill for $2,040 will be paid in November. Other expenses coming due before year’s end will be for secretarial services and GIS license, as well as a large amount for the brontosaurus work at KHR. Bonnie said the SCC has not yet paid some of our traditional membership dues, including $250 to NHACC and $100 to SPNHF. Chuck said we should pay these, as they are part of our operating expenses, and that we will figure out another way to pay the brontosaurus costs. The Conservation Fund had a balance of $207,574.25 at the end of October. This was helped by LUCT payments from Harrington and Vanderwerff totaling $6,073.The King Hill Fund had a balance of $1,614.48 The TD Bank Donation Fund has $101.67. The Capital Reserve is at $69,088.00.

SCC’s appointment with the town budget committee is on November 20 at 5:00 PM. Neither Henry nor Debbie will be able to attend, so Don said he would attend the meeting, with Bonnie or Chuck as backup. The SCC budget request for 2024 is the same dollar amount as this year, but arranged differently among the line items so as to create a separate line item for Mowing & Plowing.


Trail Maintenance and Development

Trails Advisory Committee Report

KHR donation system – Chuck worked with Hilary Grimes on the town website, but she isn’t an expert in backend coding and is busy with other projects at the moment. Chuck and Bonnie will look at this together. Chuck would like to give the SCC an overview of the whole donation system and its various accounts, so that this can be captured in the minutes in one place. He will wait until the December meeting to do this, when more members will be present..


Mowing at KHR Dave Carey completed the KHR mowing about two weeks ago. As some areas were too wet, he mowed a smaller area than last year and the bill was less than expected. He mowed all of the trails that are designated as recreational trails, including 1,2,3, 9,10, the old triple,12 and 19.

Chuck also did more clearing on the Felch trail.

Appointment at 7:00 PM: Austin Capunay and Kate Misiorski

Mr. Capunay filed a Standard Dredge & Fill wetlands permit application for a driveway project at 555 Shaker St, T/L# 9-648-398, and a copy was given to the SCC by the Town Clerk. Chuck said that the DES wetlands rules have changed and it is unclear exactly what the commission’s role is in these permit applications. We have no approval authority, and there is no line on the permit for a signature by the concom. Bonnie said that Debbie sent a letter to DES informing them that we wished to review the application. Mr Capunay said that he recently bought this 15 acre parcel next to his property. It had been logged by the previous owner and was kind of a mess. He wants to construct a driveway where the existing logging road is, and has a plan designed by Michael Carbonneau of Connecticut Valley Design. The driveway will be 1500 feet and will cross three areas of poorly drained soils. The design calls for three 15 inch culverts to be installed in those areas, with silt fencing and hay bales to protect the wetlands during construction. The area of impacted wetlands will be 1292 sq. ft. No historical artifacts were found in the area, and although it is a habitat for Northern Long-eared bats, the NH Heritage Bureau said they are unlikely to be affected. Mr Capunay did not have a copy of the permit application and was advised to go back to the Town Clerk to get one or ask Mike Carbonneau for one.


Appointment 7:15: Aaron Flewelling to discuss snowmobile agreement

Chuck drafted an agreement, based on last year’s with appropriate updates, that he read aloud to Aaron and the commissioners. It has an attachment that is a new Scope of Trail Work list and includes pruning along the edges of the trails, clearing the culvert on the Hominy Pot Trail that is all backed up, some clearing of a culvert at the top of White Rabbit, and the replacement of the gate lock at the Bean Quarry to enable access to Tom’s Trail for use and trail clearing. Chuck added a list of snowmobile expectations including no riding off designated trails or under thin snow conditions, no garbage, etc. He is attaching a map showing the locations of the trail work sites. He will clean up the document and send it out for review, and then give it to Henry to sign. Aaron will then sign and return it. Aaron said that he has mapped out Tom’s Trail using existing skid roads so there is a minimum of tree clearing needed. Bonnie asked whether the gate would be kept locked when there is no snowmobiling, as she is concerned about ATVs going in there.

Review of Intents to Cut and Logging Issues

  • Paruta Land Trust, Baker Rd, T/L# 7-080-513, 25 acres of 101.5, Anita Blakeman, forester. There are extensive wetlands and a brook at the Kearsarge Valley Rd frontage (the only road frontage for the parcel), but the Intent gives Baker Rd as the access road. Don pointed out that the area near the junction of Kearsarge Valley Rd and Baker Rd. Is above an aquifer. It is a divide point with some water flowing to Stevens Brook and then into the Warner River, the remainder flows into Cascade Brook and then into the Blackwater River. He recommends that harvesting be done only when the ground is frozen.  


Wetlands Review

  • Copy of letter from NHDES regarding Administratively Complete Expedited Minimum Impact wetlands permit NHDES file number 2023-02752 for project on Keyser St. This is for the bridge replacement near the Sweet property. 

New Business

Report from KLPA regarding excursion to see watershed best management practices (BMPs) implemented around Messer Pond in New London – Lynn reported that this was a very good meeting that included Bob Harrington, the New London road agent; Adam Hurst, Sutton’s road agent; and John Doyle, the head of Messer Pond Protective Association, along with several other interested parties. We toured some of the BMPs including culverts with vegetative buffers, catch basins and check dams. Adam was able to get an idea about the kinds of road projects that can be done with water protection grants that will be available in Sutton once we get a Watershed Based Plan completed for Kezar Lake. As that is a few years away, Lynn has suggested to Adam that he come up with a project that would protect the watershed and would therefore be eligible for a Moose Plate Grant.

Report from the NHACC annual meeting and conference, and Lunch & Learn sessions – Yvonne reported that she attended the conference with Henry, and that it was a very full day packed with information. She got to hear about what other conservation commissions are doing, and about the problems in southern NH with development going on without any regard for conservation. She said the last session was a presentation of all sorts of conservation-related resources, and we are hoping that will be posted on the NHACC website. The keynote address was by our local turtle naturalist, David Carroll. Bonnie attended the Lunch & Learn session on How to Pass a Conservation Bond and said that some towns in NH have actually done this successfully, including a $6,000,000 bond in Andover.

Possible logging this year on Wells Conservation Easement – Bonnie explained that there are three non-contiguous parcels off Dodge Hill Rd that are owned by the Wells family and are under conservation easement since 2007. The easement is held by the SCC through the Town of Sutton, so it is unique in that it is not held by a land trust. Don said that George Wells wanted it done that way. Bonnie said the easement monitoring is the responsibility of the SCC, and she has been doing it on a mostly casual basis as the properties are near her house. She said Jody Wells is hiring Eric Oxman to do a timber harvest on 2 of the parcels this winter. One was logged 10 years ago and the other more like 16 years ago. We have a copy of a detailed Forest Management Plan for the first parcel (T/L# 4-323-231) and a less detailed Forest Stewardship Plan for the other (T/L# 4-437-367), with a document stating that it is the management plan for the property and was prepared in compliance with the easement. Both were written by Eric and Allan Oxman in 2012. Eric was the forester in charge of the timber harvest 10 years ago. The conservation easement deed states that the forestry must be performed by a licensed forester in accordance with a Forestry Management Plan that is less than 10 years old. Chuck suggested that Bonnie write a letter to the Wells family informing them that their plans need to be updated, and that this must be done 30 days before logging commences, according to the easement deed. He said he would talk to Eric about it. Joanna asked what recourse we have if the logger does not follow the guidelines in the management plan, as happened with the Johnson conservation easement. Bonnie said there is a section in the deed about dispute resolution. Don said we should ask the BOS to have town counsel look at this section in the easement deed, as this is can be a very delicate matter. Joanna asked how often the forester will visit the logging site, and Chuck said that Eric checks on it pretty often. Chuck will go there with him to see it. Bonnie said she will also be monitoring the operation, as one parcel is directly across the road from her house.

Old Business

Update on road salt reduction – On October 16 the NHDOT held the public hearing about creating a low salt zone on Rt 114. Bonnie and Chuck were there and said there were no negative comments from anyone attending. The reduced salt zone will extend along Rt 114 from Jolly Farm Rd to Watkins Ave. Bonnie said the reduction of salt is left to the plow operator’s discretion, and Chuck said they do plan for salt reduction at the time of dispatch. It appears that no further action needs to be taken on this.



  • Email from NHACC announcing that the NHDES wetlands rules updates went into effect on 10/13/2023.
  • NHACC’s October eNews with reminder about the 2023 annual meeting and conference, news from other concoms, source water protection grants, and the remaining sessions in the Lunch and Learn Zoom series. The next one is “What you need to know about PFAS” on 11/15.
  • Invoice from NHACC for membership dues of $250.
  • Lakeside, quarterly magazine of NH Lakes, Fall 2023 issue.
  • Email from NHACC announcing NHACC Exchange listserv.
  • Email from Dane Headley recommending a good land clearing company if we need one – Danbury Clearing & Chipping LLC of Danbury, NH. 

Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 8:17 PM.

Next Meeting: Wednesday, December 13th, 2023, at 6:30 PM, at Sutton Town Hall.

Respectfully submitted,

Bonnie Hill, Secretary