Town of Sutton Selectmen Meeting Minutes


Sutton Conservation Commission

Draft Meeting Minutes

Wednesday,  June 9, 2021

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

Absent: Debbie Lang.


Call to order: The meeting was held in person at Town Hall. Wally Baker called the meeting to order at 6:40 pm.


Previous Meeting’s Minutes: The minutes from the 5/12/2021 meeting were approved unanimously.

Financial Report:

Debbie had sent out a financial report before the meeting. In May nothing was charged against the SCC Admin budget. YTD total spending is still $425 out of a total budget of $7537. At the end of May, the Conservation Fund had a balance of $148,167.55 and the King Hill Fund had $1,708.04.  The Capital Reserve balance is $50,570.65.  A wide-ranging discussion about finances, expenses, and funding ensued.



  • Email from Judy Parkinson of Newbury Road asking about trenching out a brook to relieve flooding problem. See below.
  • Email exchanges with Elly Philips regarding a wetlands violation by a homeowner on Rt 114. See below.
  • Email from NHACC about a Zoom presentation on NH’s Right-to-know law, July 7th at 7:00 PM.
  • Lakeside, publication of NH Lakes, summer 2021 issue. Articles on invasive aquatic species and more.
  • Membership renewal form from NH Lakes. The members voted to send them $100, as was done before.
  • The State of New Hampshire’s Birds – A conservation guide. Book from NH Audubon.
  • Email forwarded from Elly from Michael Sigourney regarding beavers plugging his culvert near Billings Pond. She asked for our input on beaver deceivers. The verdict was that they can be effective on culverts, but they do have to be maintained. Henry suggested that the homeowner notify Fish & Game, as they must have a state policy.


Review of Wetland Applications and Issues:

  • Judy Parkinson is trying to find out if the culvert on her property was installed prior to 1969. If so, then it can be dredged without a wetlands permit. Wally did not think this was a good practice, and felt that a permit should be obtained in any case.
  • Eileen Fair of Rt 114 was told that she needed to desist in filling in the wetlands on her property and get a wetlands scientist to look at it. Elly filed a complaint with DES, and they should be getting in touch.


Review of Intents to Cut and Logging Issues:

  • Rossman, Birch Hill Rd, 35 out of 48 acres, T/L# 01-698-531, Paul Mulcahey, forester. Bonnie said this same Intent was filed last October, and she thought it had already been finished.
  • W & C Phinney, Beaver Pond Rd, 50 out of 72.25 acres, T/L# 03-016-336, Eric Oxman, forester. There are extensive wetlands on the property. Chuck said he would try to look at it with Eric.
  • Lord, Bum Carter Rd, 25 out of 167 acres, T/L# 02-190-373, River Edge Forestry, forester.

Wally said he did not get a chance to contact Chan or Hibbert about their logging operations. He said that he thought Eric Oxman did a nice job on the one on North Rd. He pulled out his fords and it looked clean.


Old business

Prioritizing Sutton’s conservation lands for public access Barb said Chuck has created a spreadsheet with data about all of the town-owned properties and properties owned by others that are under conservation easements. She has pulled copies of the deeds from the state registry, and she, Chuck and Bonnie are filling in the spreadsheet with data from the deeds and other documents. She said by the next meeting we should be ready to start the prioritization discussion.

New Business


Cutting Japanese Knotweed at Sundell Natural Area – Chris Kane told Wally that he and Ron Menning are going to cut the knotweed, and Doug Cygan will come and spray it again in the fall. Wally said it was unbelievable how dead it was after just the first spraying. He said the chemical sticks to the leaves and does not wash off with rain. Chuck wondered if it could be used on Oriental Bittersweet. Don said there is an infestation on the Enroth Gift, near the Post Office.


Authorizing Leo Maslan to write a Forest Management Plan for KHR – Chuck spoke with Leo. He said he could have a plan written by late summer or fall, and there would be no payment needed until he was done. It will cost about $3,000. A detailed point survey would cost twice as much, but we don’t need that since we aren’t trying to meet NRCS standards, and ASLPT doesn’t require it. Chuck said Leo will walk the whole property, not just section 5. Barb suggested that Chuck send Leo a copy of the conservation easement deed for KHR. Barb moved that we give Leo Maslan the authorization to proceed with writing a forest management plan with a cost of up to $3,000. Chuck seconded, and the vote was unanimously in favor.


Designating KHR a Town Forest – Chuck talked with Leo about doing this, which would require a vote at Town Meeting and would allow us to keep the proceeds from logging KHR in a bank account which could be used for maintaining the property. Without the designation, all proceeds would go into the town’s general fund. In this scenario, Leo said he would make the check out to the Sutton Conservation Commission and Henry could then deliver it to the BOS, so it was clear where the money came from and the BOS might be more likely to give us back some of the money for maintenance. Chuck said without the town forest designation, we could have Leo do the trail alterations as part of the logging job, so the cost would be subtracted from the proceeds. Regarding the need for re-routing the Nichols trail, Chuck said he looked at the deed and it does say that access is granted to the property for emergency use and maintenance. It was decided that we will think some more about the Town Forest designation.


Repository of shared documents on Google Drive – As part of the properties documentation project, Barb created a shared folder on Google Drive for SCC to store documents, as an alternative to digging through the file cabinets in the basement. It is the free version of Google Drive, so it has some limitations. Chuck researched getting a paid account through Dropbox, which would provide a serious file sharing system, but it would cost over $1000 per year. He created a hierarchy of folders, and said that careful organization of the folders will be key for making this work. Barb put all the property deeds on the drive, and Chuck added the properties spreadsheet, the forest management plans for KHR and other relevant documents.


Focus projects for SCC in 2021 – Since Henry wasn’t here yet, we skipped this for now.


Horse Beach Parking / Landscaping at Kezar Lake Natural Area – Wally said there was a well-attended public hearing regarding parking at Horse Beach.  He said North Sutton Improvement Society (NSIS) controls the parking lot, and Kezar Lake Protective Association (KLPA) has 125 feet of road frontage.  He said if the lilies by the roadside at Smiley Grove could be pushed back, this could create more room to park along the road. Lynn said this can’t be done because the Smiley Grove easement says it can’t be used as a parking lot. Potential solutions were discussed, ranging from the use of nearby parking areas to sending pictures of Wadleigh Hill Rd on a busy weekend to the DOT. Wally asked for permission to ask an engineer that he knows to lay out 2 versions of a design for KLNA, with head-in parking and parallel parking, as a favor. Barb moved and Henry seconded to have Wally look into this, and the vote was unanimous.  Don said someone should talk to Muster Field Farm (MFF) about improving the parking lot they own on Hominy Pot Rd, as lake walkers can and do park there. Wally said spending public money on private land is allowed. Chuck suggested using geo-grid in the parking lots. It is expensive, but if it were laid down under gravel the parking lot wouldn’t have to be repeatedly re-graded and graveled, and money would be saved. He said maybe the MFF lot could be a good first test of its use, and he offered to find out about the cost. Wally said he would measure the area of the MFF parking lot.  Lynn said there is a local landscaper who has offered to do planting at KLNA. Lynn and Henry expressed a vision of a beautifully landscaped area in back of a small parking area, leaving the rest as conservation land. Others advocated for a larger parking area there. Chuck said that, after any parking is created and landscaping done, a sign that this is SCC property would generate good will for the SCC. Bonnie suggested that at the same time, someone write a press release saying that this land, that the SCC paid $83,000 for, is being used to satisfy public parking demands.


Placing Port-a-Potty on conservation land at Horse Beach – The Port-a-Potty has been placed in the KLNA, and is there for a three-month trial period. The KLPA is paying for it. Wally said he will place a piece of stockade fence in front of it.


Upcoming public hearings of interest to SCC:  Bonnie said there are 3 hearings that people might be interested in attending. The first concerns the OHRV ordinance and is on 6/14 at 5:30. Wally said the ordinance has been revised; it now requires the property owner to request a permit, for one vehicle. The next concerns a request for a variance from the ZBA to build a structure in a wetland buffer area. It is on 6/16 at 7:00. The third is a Planning Board hearing concerning the proposed Cluster Subdivision on East Sutton Rd, and is on 6/22 at 7:00.



The “Big Tree” program – This is a program that challenges people to find, record and recognize the biggest trees in the state. Henry suggested that we implement this as a way to publicize the SCC. Volunteers need to take a lesson from UNH Extension on how to measure the trees. He said it could be a way to get people thinking about land preservation and the ecosystem.


Trail Maintenance and Development

Trails Advisory Committee Report

Report on Trail Work Day, May 15th – Henry said we didn’t get much help from the general public, but a lot of work was done. Lynn worked with Glenn Pogust on trail clearing at KHR. Henry did a lot of chain-sawing of downed trees. Debbie and Bonnie and Donna Catanzaro stained the boardwalk at Webb/Crowell. Chuck worked on unclogging a culvert on Penacook Path. He got it flowing but is planning to do more work in that area. Wally said he would talk to the road agent about whether they can help with that culvert. Henry said in the future we need to get more outside people to help. Lynn suggested doing a trail day in the fall, with advertising in the InterTown Record, the Shopper and the SCC website.

GIS map of KHR – Chuck said that Matthew, the KRHS student, finished the map he did as his senior project. Chuck wants to create something himself that has more info and can be easily updated and put on the website. He and Henry will work together on this, and then make a large version on metal that can be put in the kiosk. Chuck is also doing the updating of Sutton’s conserved lands for GRANIT. He also plans to do a trail map for Webb/Crowell.


Donation system for KHR to help with mowing, plowing and maintenance costs – Chuck said Elly told him the town has to track every credit card transaction, so it would be a big headache to have to deal with a lot of one dollar donations.  She said cash and debit cards are easier for them to handle. Lynn said she has set up a donation system for KLPA and it was easy. Chuck will talk to Elly again about it.


Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 PM.

Next Meeting:  Wednesday, July 14th, 2021, at 6:30 PM, at Sutton Town Hall.

Respectfully submitted,

Bonnie Hill, Secretary