Town of Sutton Selectmen Meeting Minutes


Sutton Conservation Commission (SCC)

DRAFT Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

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

Absent: Debbie Lang; Jim Morris; Lynn Wittman; Wally Baker;

Call to order: Chairman Henry Howell called the meeting to order at 6:35 pm.

Previous Meeting’s Minutes:  The minutes from the last meeting on February 8th were unanimously approved.

Financial Report:

Debbie sent out a financial report before the meeting. In February we spent $210 on plowing. The Conservation Fund had a balance of $195,330.91 at the end of February. The King Hill Fund had a balance of $1,582.35. The Capital Reserve is at $57,581.34. The budget committee cut our 2023 Capital Reserve allocation down to $3,500 from the original $7,000.


Trail Maintenance and Development

Trails Advisory Committee Report

KHR donation system – Since Jim could not attend, Chuck reported on his behalf. After a lot of going back and forth, and a lot of vetting, SCC now has a Blackbaud account, and Jim has a user account for it. We now need to figure out how to embed this in our SCC website, so that when a trail user clicks the QR code they will be taken directly to a page on our website. Chuck said there are a lot of tutorials for how to do it, and after he gets access to the account he will look into this.


Status of Keyser St/Penacook Rd parking lot owned by Muster Field Farm (MFF) – Chuck said Wally hasn’t gotten to talk to Adam Hurst about plowing this. Chuck drove by to look at it and said the lot is all snowed in. The Webb/Crowell lot has not been plowed either, and since March 1st the Class 6 part of Eaton Grange Road has been closed to wheeled vehicles.


New KHR trail map – Chuck showed us his latest iteration of the new map, with even more new features. He is going to make some more updates to it to make it easier to read. Then it will be laminated and mounted at the trailhead kiosk at KHR, under the plexiglas, and the page of rules that Chuck wrote up will be mounted next to it. Chuck is going to have the map on display at Town Meeting, along with some small copies for people to take. He’s also going to have a stack of the Forest Carbon and Increasing Forest Resiliency pubs from UMass, and a sign-up sheet for volunteers.


Forestry concerns – Henry read us part of an article written by a Vermont land trust that talks about some of the climate-change-related issues that we are learning about. The author discussed managing forests for resilience, and advocated leaving some areas unmanaged, so that a comparison can be made over time with the managed areas. Henry thought we might want to take this approach, with Leo Maslan’s help, and have KHR serve as a study area or demonstration for other land owners. Chuck expressed some doubt about the feasibility of doing this at KHR, given that it consists of several relatively small sections, each with different forest types, and some of which are difficult to access. He says a timber harvest at KHR would be close to breaking even financially, and putting more restrictions on it would remove logger incentives. and require us to pay money rather than break even. As an alternative study project, he suggested looking at where logging has been done in the past, and doing a comparison between these areas and the areas that have not been logged since the forests came back. Maybe a Colby Sawyer student would be interested in this.


Wetlands Review


  • Lucas J. Brown Trust, Camp Kemah Rd, Standard Dredge & Fill permit application, T/L# 02-448-231, replacement and repair of grandfathered dockage structures with no increase in footprint, plus installation of boat lifts. Henry and Debbie reviewed the application and looked at the site, which abuts their properties. Henry said everything but the boat lifts is a direct replacement of an existing structure, and the boat lifts don’t have an impact on water flow. They had no objections, so the SCC will not file a report with NHDES.
  • Copy of letter from NHDES stating that the above permit application was received and is administratively complete. NHDES file number 2023-00411.
  • Henry and Bonnie attended the third session in the NHACC Wetlands Training series today, and found it to be packed with information.


New Business

Discuss responding as a commission to the governor’s licensing proposal – This would eliminate more than 30 professional licenses and certifications in NH, including Forester, Soil Scientist and Certified Wetlands Scientist. Barbara Richter of NHACC has written a letter to the governor outlining the reasons to oppose this plan for the three professions mentioned above. Bonnie read the letter aloud, and the SCC members present agreed with what was said. Chuck brought up the additional point that conservation easements require a forest management plan to be created by a certified Forester before a timber harvest can be done, so if there were no certified Foresters, there could be no timber harvesting on conserved land. Chuck moved that Henry endorse the NHACC template letter on behalf of the SCC, and send it to the appropriate representatives, including our own comment about foresters being needed for logging on conservation easements. Barb said she would edit the letter and send it to Henry for him to review and send out.

Saving Special Places registration is now open – The conference will be held in a hybrid format this year. Virtual keynote and session will be on March 30 and April 7, and the in-person conference will be on April 15. The registration deadline is 3/28 for virtual, 4/6 for in-person.

Old Business

Update on road salt reduction – Debbie said Jenn McCourt had an update from Doug King of NHDOT, who said “We have field reviewed the section and need to meet internally to discuss. ” Henry said the current issue of the NHLakes newsletter has an article about how bad salt is for the lakes.

Update on Horse Beach Parking Area – As a director of NSIS, Don said he will be meeting with other parties to discuss parking issues, and he wanted to know what the SCC’s stance was on using KLNA land for parking. Chuck said he does not want a parking area to extend back into the conserved wetlands, but it could extend through the grassy area near the road that connects to the boat launch parking area. Bonnie said she is not in favor of extending the parking area beyond the area that is now being used for parking.


Status of SCC membership term “swearing-in” for Henry Howell, Chuck Bolduc & Barb Hoffman – Henry said that the BOS will not be re-appointing people until after Town Meeting, and only then can the swearing in be done at Town Hall.


Butterfly Count – Henry said there will be a butterfly presentation at the LSPA by Heidi Holman and Amy Highstrom on March 20th at 7:00PM. Bonnie said there is a big effort being made this year to recruit and train people to gather butterfly data, including a 4-part series of webinars by UNH Extension.

User input on trails – Don had an idea to solicit input from the people who hike our trails. A QR code on the back of the trailhead kiosk could take the user to a form on our website where they could enter data like animals they saw or flowers currently in bloom along the trail. Henry pointed out that we do have an iNaturalist project for Sutton’s conservation lands that would provide one way to do this. Bonnie said hooking up to a form on our website would be difficult, but perhaps the QR code could link up to iNaturalist.

New Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan for New Hampshire (SCORP) – Don said that this is updated every five years, and it is due to be updated this year. The SCORP focuses the state’s efforts to provide outdoor recreation opportunity throughout New Hampshire while also assuring that the state remains eligible to apply for Land and Water Conservation Fund grants administered through the NH Department of Natural and Cultural Resources in partnership with the National Park Service.



  • Email from Sutton Budget Committee with amounts in the 2023 budget.
  • NHACC February eNews, with good article about how to make the most of Town Meeting, news of other concoms, notification of next wetlands training programs on March 8 and March 31, many grant opportunities.
  • Letter sent to NHDES notifying them of SCC’s intention to investigate the above-mentioned wetlands permit application.
  • Email from LSPA inviting concom members to attend the NHACC wetlands training sessions at the LSPA Center for Lake Studies, with lunch provided.
  • Two Emails from NHACC with action alerts regarding conservation-related legislation in the State House.
  • Letter from Merrimack County Conservation District about Spring fundraiser. Orders due 3/21.


Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 8:18 PM.

Next Meeting: Wednesday, April 12th, 2023, at 6:30 PM, at Sutton Town Hall.

Respectfully submitted,

Bonnie Hill, Secretary