Town of Sutton Selectmen Meeting Minutes


Sutton Conservation Commission

Draft Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Present: Henry Howell, Co-Chair; Don Davis; Debbie Lang; Amy Highstrom; Chuck Bolduc and Bonnie Hill.

Absent: Wally Baker, Co-Chair; Barbara Hoffman. Bonnie sat in for Wally.


Call to order: Henry Howell called the meeting to order at 6:37 p.m.


Previous Meeting’s Minutes: Debbie made a motion to approve the minutes from June 12th’s meeting, and Don seconded. As there were no issues with the minutes, the vote was unanimously in favor.


Financial Report:

Debbie reported that we paid $200 last month for ASLPT and NH Lakes memberships, and that $1103 has been spent so far this year. As of the end of June, the Conservation Fund contained $144,857.21 and the KHR fund contained $2748.77. There is still $14,000 in LUCT money yet unpaid.



  • SRKG Newsletter for Summer 2019. It said the trailhead for the SRKG Link trail has been re-opened.
  • Letter of thanks from ASLPT for $100 membership renewal.
  • Invitation from ASLPT to annual progressive dinner on July 25th.
  • Letter of thanks from NH Lakes for $100 membership renewal.
  • Abutter notice from the Town of Sutton for a public hearing on July 17th at 7:00 PM at Town Hall concerning a request for a variance for a woodshed on T/L #07-933-325. The members discussed this briefly and had no objection to it.
  • Letter from NH DOT regarding roadwork on I-89 between mileposts 24.2 and 28.7, with questionnaire. (See discussion below).
  • Letter from NH DOT regarding roadwork on I-89 between mileposts 20.5 and 24.2, with questionnaire.
  • Forwarded email from the Andover Conservation Commission regarding a public event at 4 PM on July 20th at the Andover Community Hub. The presentation will be given by Andrea LaMoreaux, vice president of NH LAKES.  It will introduce a new program by NH LAKES called LakeSmart, which is designed to engage lakefront property owners in lake-friendly landscaping to reduce polluted runoff and other steps that attendees can take to maintain and improve the health of the lake (water quality, fishing, swimming and visual appearance). (See discussion below.)
  • Forwarded email from NHACC saying that on September 26-27, UNH Extension will be offering a 2-day intensive training in Enfield on invasive plant ecology, management and stewardship planning.
  • Announcement from ASLPT (via Debbie) that they will be holding a Conservation Options Workshop for Landowners program on September 12th at 7:00 PM at the Bradford Library.
  • Email letter from the BOS dated June 3rd concerning proper recording of motions within meeting minutes. Bonnie said she would do her best to comply.

Review of Wetland Applications and Issues:

  • None.


Review of Intents to Cut and Logging Issues:

  • Prime, T/L# 06-123-424, Corporation Hill Rd, 12 acres out of 20.4, Tim Wallace, forester. This was discussed, and it was agreed that since a forester is involved, we would not worry about it.


Old business

Update on invasive species found in Smiley Grove stream in 2015 Bonnie handed out printed copies of the Oenantha Javonica management plan that was written by Amy Smagula of DES. She showed the group a water celery plant that was plucked from the stream this morning. As background info, she said the plant was discovered in the stream by Chris Connors in 2015, and that DES had sent biologists and interns down to do some hand-pulling of the weed in 2016 and 2017, but that it seems to have fallen off the radar after that. Since the plant is not on the state list of  invasives for NH, DES does not have the resources to devote to it. Bonnie exchanged email with Walt Henderson, a DES biologist, who answered her questions about how to remove the weeds and what to do with them. Amy and Debbie volunteered to help Bonnie do some hand pulling of the plants on Monday, July 15th at 9:00. Debbie suggested that Bonnie contact Walt Henderson to see if he would be interested in joining the effort and providing guidance, and to find out if it is all right for us to do this work without DES involvement, and Bonnie agreed to contact him. Henry asked if Kezar Lake was endangered by the plant, and if the landowners should be alerted.


Report on trail work status – Henry wants to schedule a trail work day with plenty of notice, and the group agreed to August 3rd, from 9 to 12. He said KHR, Webb/Crowell and Lefferts all need work. The paths are full of ferns and he wants to cut them. Don said the DR mower that is stored at Gerry Putnam’s can get in there. Amy said she has a brush hog with a limber, and Henry said that would be really useful. Debbie asked about having students help with the trail work, and Henry said yes, he plans to do that once school is back in session. Don said he talked to Tim Fleury (the county forester) about using kids for trail maintenance. Tim said that if a Nature Groupie group was formed for our area, that would allow kids to get access to tools and training, and they could work through the summer. The members also discussed using kids to help with invasive species pulling, but it was decided this was not a good idea for the water celery because of the sensitivity of the area and the deep mud.


Update on Amy’s Butterfly talk – Amy said she is going to try to get community involvement in collecting butterfly data at KHR. She has seen some uncommon species there already. The rotationally-mowed fields are excellent habitat. Regarding publicity for the talk, Don said he would call Annette at the InterTown Record tomorrow. Henry will call WSCS and ask them to announce it. Bonnie will post the poster on the town website. Amy will bring some refreshments, Debbie will bring food and paper goods, and Bonnie will borrow the Historical Society’s cooler and make lemonade.


New Business

NH Lakes Event – Don said that New Hampshire’s lake laws are very political and do not necessarily do what is best for the lakes. As a Conservation Commission, he feels that we need to be supportive of the various lake organizations when they try to create rules that go beyond what the state mandates. Some of the lake orgs have gotten into fights with their members over this sort of thing. Programs such as LakeSmart are very important in this effort. Henry said someone from SCC should attend the event in Andover. Debbie offered to contact NH Lakes and see if they would be willing to give one of their talks here in Sutton.

Discuss NHDOT paving project – Henry read aloud the letter from NHDOT. Don commented that it doesn’t specify a distance from the Right of Way when speaking of the area of concern. He pointed out that there is either a brook or wetlands in the ROW for the entire length of the project. He said if herbicides are used it will affect a drinking water aquifer. Henry said we need to raise their awareness of our concerns regarding the wetlands. Debbie asked if we should hire Jen McCourt to look at the area and give some advice, since she has done work with wetlands mitigation. Chuck said the highway department is already aware of the wetlands; what they want from us is more specialized, local information. Henry read the questionnaire out loud to the group, and said we are just as capable of answering these questions as a hired engineer would be. He asked how we should approach this, and put out three options: 1) hire an engineer 2) form a sub-committee to address it 3) divide up the questions among the members. Amy added that we could do some hikes to look at the area in question. Don said it is hard to get to the area around I-89, as a lot of the land is posted. He did say you can see the culverts at Chadwick Meadows. Bonnie said the work being done by Barb’s subcommittee to come up with the top 10 list will answer one of the big questions. Amy said we should think about ways to make the water management under the highway better, as it was done so long ago, and maybe consider a wildlife corridor under the highway. Regarding the question about adjacent conservation land, Don said Chadwick Meadows is in the ROW, and some other conservation land is not far from it, such as Black Mountain and KHR, and Tim Davis’s ASLPT land. Chuck volunteered to look at the questions and list out the conservation assets in the area of the project, using Dan’s map. He will bring the results to the next meeting. The date of the project is August 2021, so we have time to figure this out. Henry said we need to list out our priorities (preventing water contamination, wildlife corridors, not disturbing the drainage system, etc.) Meanwhile, everyone should drive down that stretch of highway to see it. Chuck will scan the questionnaire and send it out, and everyone can email Chuck their feedback.

Tax-Deeded properties – The town is interested in selling some of its tax-deeded properties, but before they go ahead with it they would like us to report back which properties abut our conservation land and should be kept by the town. Elly gave us a list of the tax-deeded properties along with copies of their property cards. Bonnie said she would look at the map and figure out which of the properties abut our land.

Adjournment: Debbie made a motion to adjourn, and Amy seconded. The meeting was adjourned at 8:32 PM.

Next Meeting:  Wednesday, August 14th, 2019, at 6:30 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Bonnie Hill, Secretary