Town of Sutton Selectmen Meeting Minutes


Sutton Conservation Commission

Draft Meeting Minutes

Wednesday,  February 10, 2021

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

Members of the public present: Glenn Pogust, Mike Tardiff, Craig Tufts.

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


Call to order: Wally Baker called the meeting to order at 6:35 pm.


Previous Meeting’s Minutes: Wally made a motion to approve the minutes from the 1/13/2021 meeting, and someone seconded. The minutes were approved by roll call vote.

Financial Report:

Debbie said at the end of January the Conservation Fund had a balance of $148,105.66 and the KHR Fund had a balance of $1,649.35.  The Capital Reserve account stood at $48,415. No expenses have been processed going against the SCC Operating account. Henry reported that at the budget hearing, the amount approved for SCC’s administrative budget was $7,554. This is $17 higher than last year due to a $17 COLA increase in Secretarial Services. All other categories are funded at the same level as last year, including $4,000 for Special Projects, and $7,000 is proposed for the Capital Reserve fund. Wally said that Bob DeFelice and Bob Wright were very supportive of the SCC. Jim asked about the use of the Capital Reserve Fund, and Henry explained that outlays from it must be approved at Town Meeting, whereas we may spend from the Conservation Fund at our own discretion.


  • Letter from ASLPT thanking the SCC for renewing membership for $100.
  • Letter from Friends of Mt Sunapee with donation/membership form. The SCC decided to send them $50, as we did last year.
  • Email from Lorri Himes with SCC Town Report balance sheet for 2020.
  • Email from Lorri Himes clarifying policy for W-9s for new vendors – just check with her.
  • Letter from Bob Wright, community outreach chair of the Warner River Local Advisory Committee, explaining the mission of WRLAC and welcoming comments and suggestions relating to the river and its water quality. Debbie urged the members to check out the WRLAC website.
  • Copy of a letter from Bob Wright to Ken Milander, chairman of WRLAC, stating that he will be looking for a replacement for himself to represent Sutton on the WRLAC from either SCC or the Planning Board when his term ends in May.
  • Email from Elly Phillips with 2021 budget presentation document.
  • NHACC January 2021 eNews newsletter with info about conservation-related bills in the NH legislature, invasive plant educational series, and more.
  • Email from Gabe Roxby of Forest Society sending a Story Map explaining timber harvesting.
  • The Beacon, publication of the Lake Sunapee Protective Assoc., Fall/Winter 2020 issue.
  • Lakeside, publication of NHLakes, Winter 2021 issue. Info on wake boats, cyanobacteria.
  • Forest Notes, magazine of the NH Forest Society, Autumn 2020 issue.
  • Chatter, publication of the ASLPT, Winter 2021 issue.
  • NH Town and City, publication of NH Municipal Assoc., Nov/Dec and Jan/Feb issues.
  • Letters from local members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses to Henry and Wally containing copies of The Watchtower, as part of their campaign to deliver it to all government officials.


Review of Wetland Applications and Issues:

  • After the Fact Standard Dredge and Fill Wetlands Permit Application for J. Hastings and M. Gross, Shaker St, T/L #09-668-062. DES File # 2021-00047. Our receipt of this was delayed past the 14 day deadline for review. In addition we received copies of DES notice from 1/11 that the application was administratively incomplete and a notice from 1/28 that the application was received and determined to be administratively complete. The issue here is that the previous owner of the lot put in a driveway without a wetlands permit.


Review of Intents to Cut and Logging Issues:

  • Copy of a Forestry Statutory Permit-by-Notification from DES for the Girl Scouts of Eastern MA, NHDES File #2021-00021, Wrights Hill Rd, T/L #s 04-712-217,4-742-037, 2-798-448. Bonnie said the SCC never received an Intent to Cut for this. Chuck said this is close to being finished. Eric Oxman is the forester. It is an operation using large-scale equipment and is a periodic harvest. He said the Girl Scouts own this land for producing income rather than for recreation. Bonnie said there was a trail on this land.
  • Hedstrom, Pound Rd, 3 out of 7.24 acres, T/L #05-960-028, Jon King of Hopkinton Forestry, logger.


Old business

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


New Business

Vote for Jim Morris to be SCC ‘Alternate Member’ Jim said he had served on the Open Space Committee in Hingham, MA, working to identify opportunities to purchase land to conserve, and he is hoping to bring that expertise to the SCC, along with his ideas. Wally asked where he lives, and the answer was Stone House Rd. Wally expressed a hope that Jim would have an opportunity to speak with his neighbors about land conservation. Chuck thanked Jim for his help with setting up the KHR boundary markers. Jim was voted in as an alternate member of SCC by a unanimous roll call vote.


Appointment 7:00 PM: Mike Tardiff,  Executive Director of the Central NH Regional Planning Commission, to discuss the Master Plan Update and future trails planning.

Mike was joined by Craig Tufts, principal GIS/Transportation Planner of the CNHRPC, and Glenn Pogust of the Sutton Planning Board. Mike said he wants to make sure that the Master Plan incorporates what the SCC is working on. He started by looking at the Strategic Action Plan, and then met with our Trails Advisory Committee. He said they work with the DOT and on rail trails, and may be able to help us implement some trails along I-89. He explained that the Sutton Master Plan supports a rural atmosphere, community friendliness, and the Sutton villages, and is concerned with future land use. He said that the Special Exception concept can allow a lot of flexibility, and he is interested in a town-wide trail plan. He asked what else we want to prioritize, and Wally said we are interested in protecting the land that lies above our aquifers, as little of that is currently protected. Don said he gave Mike a map of walks and trails to incorporate. Henry said that what a good trail system does is get people out into the woods so that they learn to support environmental issues. He is also interested in promoting the educational side through such concepts as Citizen Science. He said we have people coming to KHR from all over creation to use the trails, and we need to think about the impact of this use on the land and on the neighbors. He said we currently have three main trail areas: KHR, Webb/Crowell, and Enroth/Lefferts, plus the Sutton portion of the SRKG. He said what we don’t have is a group of people to help us maintain and develop trails. Mike said other towns have the same issue. He asked about our focus areas, the co-occurrence areas on the strategic map. Henry said we have the highest-priority areas marked in red on the map, and the issue is to convince the property owners to put an easement on their land. He said the SCC will help people with easement expenses. Mike said they try to emphasize areas of greatest interest. Jim said that in Hingham they identified high-interest parcels and developed an inventory. Chuck said we have a great map created by Dan Sundquist, but we don’t want to publicize the map with tax lots marked on it, out of sensitivity to the owners. Jim agreed that one has to be super-delicate. He said they would maintain a list of 10 properties, in order to drive activity, and that the properties were ones that were brought to their attention. Glenn suggested that for purposes of the Master Plan, we identify the objective without listing specific properties, and keep the watch list in the background. Barb said the SCC’s Property Advisory Subcommittee started doing something like this last year, making a list of properties with the intention of inviting the owners to an educational talk on land conservation. That plan was derailed by Covid-19, but she said it is still something we plan to do.  Mike asked Chuck if it is possible to get the GIS data behind our map. Chuck said the data was not from Dan’s Forest Society time but was from work he did through his own company, GreenFire. He said he would reach out to Dan’s wife Sarah. Mike wants the map to be put into the Master Plan. Craig said that a list of map and lot numbers can be linked into the GIS data. Wally suggested asking Elly if she knew what happened to Dan’s work. Chuck said he wants to make sure we never have this (the loss of the GIS data) happen again. Mike said they would love to be involved with the trails stuff even after the Master Plan is done. Henry said the trails committee is Chuck, Wally, and himself. The property advisory committee is Barb, Henry and Debbie.


Wally asked Mike about the parking issue at Kezar Lake. He asked for input on the idea of using parking at the state park. Glenn said that he has observed that a lot of people from out of town park at the beach and walk into the park to avoid the fee. He suggested eliminating the fee. Don pointed out that NH state parks are self-funded, and depend upon the admission fees. Glenn suggested the town subsidize the fees. Lynn wondered if KLPA could subsidize Wadleigh. She suggested only allowing Sutton residents to park at Horse Beach, but Don said that can’t be done since it’s a state road. Mike said the Master Plan can lay out that issue. Glenn said if we could find out how much money the state park brings in, we would know what would need to be subsidized. The other issue is that that lot would need to be plowed in winter.  Wally said the parking lot at Horse Beach is on private property, so parking there could be restricted to residents. He said next summer we also need to address the problem at KLNA, where people are encroaching over the old parking boundaries. Glenn said the parking in the Horse Beach lot needs to be organized, as it is being used inefficiently, and the same is true at the lot owned by Muster Field Farm. Lynn suggested we identify other places that people can park and post that info on the kiosk. Henry said this isn’t just SCC’s issue. Lynn said the police are issuing parking tickets now, and Henry said there is no signage there saying people can’t park. Glenn said this can be addressed in the Master Plan as an issue for making Sutton more recreationally friendly. At 7:47 the SCC thanked Mike and Craig, and they left. Wally said the parking problem is a town issue and has been for 4 or 5 years. Henry asked if it should be brought up at Town Meeting, and Wally said yes.


Trail Maintenance and Development

Trails Advisory Committee Report

Report on KHR boundary marking work session 1/30 The crew included three homeowners (Glenn, Jack Esteves and Mike Daley), Henry, Chuck, Jim and Bonnie. Henry used oak 1by1’s with 2 metal signs attached, saying “KHR Property Boundary” and “Please Respect Private Property” (or words to that effect).  These were placed in the ski trails area at the eastern edge of the Mountainside lower community. Henry said it was very productive, and the homeowners were very appreciative. He said we still need markers for the upper community. Glenn thinks the snowmobile club has marked it and it is less of a problem. He said he would contact people and get back to us. Regarding the back-country skiers, Jim suggested a permit system, for people to buy who are from out-of-town. Henry said we’re not there yet. He said we don’t advertise, but people find out by word of mouth. Lynn said parking is an issue – the lot on Hominy Pot Rd is already overflowing. Enforcement would be a problem. Chuck said some of the skiers suggested we have something at the kiosk where they could scan with their phone and make a donation of a dollar or two. Several SCC members liked the idea of a donation box. Don asked about the boundary with the Nichols Trail, at the northerly end. Glenn said the two property owners (Daley and Esteves) whose lots are crossed by the trail were satisfied with the ski trail markings. They are not as worried about the Nichols Trail itself. Henry said one complaint was about the trail maps on the kiosk, and he has updated those maps to show the private property very clearly, and larger.


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

  • KHR Hominy Pot – Chuck said this is being plowed and is being used all day and even at night.
  • Maple Leaf — In response to a suggestion that Glenn had made, Chuck asked Travis Perkins how much it would cost to have him plow Kings Hill Rd all the way up to the Maple Leaf lot. Travis gave a rough estimate of $125 to plow and $50 to sand, and since it is an actual road, it would have to be done every single time it snowed, regardless of amount. Chuck thought that Craig Angeli might be willing to plow the Maple Leaf lot itself. Wally offered to run this by the BOS. Glenn said whoever plows the road should have the Town of Sutton added as an additional insured on their insurance plan. Chuck said this is a complicated issue. He said Craig Angeli counted 900 people up there in January, even without the parking lot being plowed. Henry said this would help alleviate the parking shortage at Hominy Pot, and take some of the pressure off Mountainside. He said it’s better for the back-country skiers, and if we have to spend some money on it, it’s worth it. Chuck said we can push the town to come up with a more creative solution in the future. Glenn pointed out that this is politically difficult – two years ago the proposal to have the town plow that road was defeated at Town Meeting. Henry said things have changed since then; now it’s about providing access to a town park. Chuck said this is something the whole town will benefit from, while the proposal two years ago was only for the benefit of a couple of homeowners. Wally said that if the SCC is paying for it, then the town shouldn’t have any problem with it. He said there could be issues with damage to the roadbed in the spring, and the fact that the laybys were never put in. Chuck said doing it this year would open it up immediately, when people need it. Wally asked Chuck to talk to Travis about the insurance, and he said he would talk to Elly and get on the agenda for Monday’s BOS meeting. Bonnie said she was not in favor of doing this. She sees it as a recreation issue that shouldn’t be the SCC’s responsibility to fund out of our Conservation Fund, the purpose of which is to conserve land. She said there were two 1-inch snowfalls in the past few days, and there might be one every couple of days for the rest of the winter, and at $175 per snowfall our Conservation Fund will waste away. Henry said why would we buy land if we aren’t going to let people access it for recreation, and Bonnie said that not all conserved land should be open to human access; that there are many other reasons to conserve land, such as preserving wildlife habitat. Don said he, too, would vote no on this if it came to a vote. He said for many years there have been people in the audience at Town Meeting who have tried to find ways to get us to spend our money on things that would take us away from our conservation mission. Wally said maybe we can get the town to plow the road. He asked Chuck to look into the costs and insurance. He said we’ll put it before the BOS, and maybe later we’ll share responsibility. We need to provide access to public property. Chuck said he agrees with some of what Bonnie said. If 900 people are already using the area, we will still have an access issue even if the road is plowed.


Logging of KHR – Next Wednesday at 4:00 we have the Zoom meeting with the Forest Society that will give us more information about timber harvesting. Chuck said Leo and Eric will meet with us at our March meeting, and he is working on a list of projects for us to view. He said he spoke with Leo today, who said the New London Conservation Commission does a lot of forest management on their properties. This helps the town and gives positive publicity to the Commission. Chuck said there is no hurry, but he wants to keep the momentum going with this.


Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned around 8:45 PM.

Next Meeting:  Wednesday, March 17th, 2021, at 6:30 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Bonnie Hill, Secretary