Town of Sutton Selectmen Meeting Minutes


Sutton Conservation Commission

Draft Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Present: Henry Howell, Chair; Barbara Hoffman; Don Davis; Lynn Wittman; Wally Baker; Debbie Lang; and Bonnie Hill.

Absent: Chuck Bolduc; Jim Morris.

Members of the public present: Pat Tivnan; Charlie Forsberg.


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


Previous Meeting’s Minutes:  The minutes from the last meeting on July 13th were unanimously approved.

Financial Report:

Debbie sent out a financial report before the meeting. There were no new expenditures in July. We have spent $2,637 year-to-date out of our budget of $7,612. At the end of June the Conservation Fund had a balance of $166,934.29 and King Hill Fund had a balance of $2,061.09.  The Capital Reserve is at $57,581.34.

Trail Maintenance and Development

Trails Advisory Committee Report

>KHR Donation System

Jim was absent, but sent out a proposal in email, which Henry read aloud.  It proposed:

  1. Interim use of the conservation fund to receive donations.


  1. BOS approval of donations received into the Conservation Fund will be given on a quarterly basis. The SCC will supply a list of donations received during the prior quarter for BOS acceptance.


  1. On the basis of points 1 and 2 we can test the donation system.


  1. Given the donation system is acceptable and functional we propose to create a revolving fund for purposes of accepting donations for KHR maintenance.  This would be taken up for Town Meeting approval next spring.


Wally said this was discussed at the last BOS meeting, and the quarterly approval seemed like the simplest plan. Henry said the KHR fund should be used as the interim fund instead of the Conservation Fund. Barb made a motion that we approve Jim’s proposal, with the interim fund changed to the KHR fund, and submit it to Elly and the BOS. The motion passed unanimously. Don suggested that we change the name of the KHR Fund to the Trail Fund, so that maintenance of all trails is included. This would need to be done next year at Town Meeting. Henry agreed, and said the QR code at the trailheads should also lead to a message saying that the donations will be used for the maintenance of all of Sutton’s trails.


>Snowmobile access to KHR

Henry said there have been two proposals made. One is for Brillig’s Run (Trail 3) to be added to the list of trails that allow snowmobile use. This would be a two-way trail. The other is for Tom Paul’s trail through the Bean Quarry to also be added to the list, so that a one way route could be used by snowmobiles going up Trail 3 and down Tom’s trail. Aaron Flewelling, the president of the Sutton Ridgerunners snowmobile club (SRR), has asked that these trails be opened. In exchange, the SRR would provide maintenance of the trails, including mowing. Barb asked for what trails they would provide maintenance. Henry said it would be the trails that they use; the Hominy Pot and Penacook Path trails both need major culvert repairs. The culverts on Hominy Pot are clogged and useless now. Some should just be pulled out and replaced with water bars. The other issue, he said, is the maintenance of the other ski trails, which involves keeping the woods from moving into the trails. If the SRR members have a brontosaurus, that would be helpful. Bonnie suggested that a contract be drawn up with a detailed list of the specific maintenance projects that the SRR agrees to do, with consequences stated if they do not live up to their end of the agreement, as has happened in the past. Wally said just put everything in a list, with specifics, as a formal contract for year’s trial. Henry said he can give a specific list of the needed work. He asked that a subcommittee be formed to handle this. Bonnie will walk the trails with Wally, once they get the list from Henry, and Barb will lend her expertise in crafting a contract from their observations.


Appointment 7:00PM:  Andy Deegan regarding the updated ASLPT Conservation Plan

Andy said the ASLPT is updating their Conservation Plan that was last updated in 2012. Since then, the state’s Wildlife Action Plan has been updated, and the Nature Conservancy has done a resiliency study. This new data has been incorporated into the ASLPT’s plan. They have created a co-occurrence map with layers of various kinds of data. Andy handed out copies of the map, and asked the SCC if there is anything we feel is worthy of being considered for conservation that is not shown on the map. He said unfragmented habitat is especially important. Barb asked if he had compared the ASLPT map with the SCC’s co-occurrence map, and he said he would do so, now that he knows we have one. (It is on the SCC website under Strategic Plan.) Wally said he is concerned about the aquifers in Sutton, of which a very small percentage is under conserved land. The members discussed some other properties of interest. Regarding wetlands, Don said it is naïve to think that if a property has wetlands it won’t be developed. Andy said we had given him a lot of useful information. He said he would schedule a workshop on land conservation for property owners, and issue some invitations. It would be open to the public, with refreshments.


Review of Wetlands Applications and issues


  • Report on KLPA Watershed-Based Plan Lynn would like to invite Polly Crocker to our October meeting to talk about this. Ways that the SCC could help would be with water quality monitoring and money. She said the plan will probably cost around $100K, and the grant application deadline is September 30. She said this is not only for the benefit of Kezar Lake, but for everything in the watershed, which is a large area. With a plan, grants can be obtained, and grant money can be used to get the town’s highway department to fix erosion problems that are affecting water quality.


  • Watershed-Based Plan for Blaisdell Lake – Debbie said that Jenn McCourt has been working with NHDES on a culvert issue, and she found out that if you have a watershed plan, it is possible to get a variety of grants.


Review of Intents to Cut and Logging Issues:

Peacock Hill Rd LLC,  East Sutton Rd,  T/L #1-173-97,  90 acres out of 99,  Chuck Rose, logger. Don pointed out that there is a stream that bisects the property, and there are very steep slopes in the western half of the lot, so it is hard to imagine how they can cut 90 acres. Henry said the Planning Board is keeping a close eye on this development project. We can notify DES and state our concerns, but Henry thinks it is better to let one agency (the PB) handle it. He will send an email to Glenn Pogust and Chuck Bolduc on the PB and let them know our concerns about the steep slopes and wetlands.


New Business


iNaturalist Guide for Sutton – Henry has created a project within iNaturalist called “Sutton NH’s Natural World” that is just for Sutton and includes three of our conserved properties with trails – KHR, Webb/Crowell, and Enroth/Lefferts. You can access it from the SCC website under “SCC News” or “Resources and Links”. Data collected in this project will be included in the pocket guide to Sutton’s flora and fauna that Henry is working on. Information about the iNaturalist project will be posted at the trailhead kiosks.


Beaver-related erosion at the footbridge on the Putnam trail at KHR – Pat Tivnan has sent us several pictures of the beaver dam and flooding at this footbridge. Wally spoke to Gerry Putnam, who is concerned about it. One end of the bridge is on his land and the other is on KHR. Lynn spoke to Jim Ceers from Fish & Game, who told her that we need to take down the dam and kill the beavers. He said it is more humane to kill them than to relocate them to a new area where they could die a slow death by starvation. Wally said dam removal is tricky; if there are other dams further downstream, removing the top one can cause a domino effect where the lower ones get blasted by the resulting rise in water pressure. Bonnie said she is against killing beavers just for the sake of a hiking trail, but that Pat Tivnan had pointed out that this situation could also damage the watershed.  Pat, who was present at the meeting, said that erosion was causing silt to get into the stream, and that there is some kind of bad-looking red growth developing (algae?). Wally said he would call Gerry Putnam and discuss how to proceed.


Thistle Brook culvert on Main St – Bonnie said that while doing VRAP testing, she and George Beaton noticed that this culvert had mounds of sand in front of two of its three pipes, which would block the passage of fish. George told George Embley of Trout Unlimited and Ben Nugent from Fish & Game. George E. asked Bonnie to contact our road agent. She emailed Adam Hurst and sent him pictures, and Lorri Himes called him, but the condition of the culvert looks the same as of today. Wally said he would talk to Adam.


Property for sale of conservation interest – Henry appointed a sub-committee consisting of Barb, Don and Bonnie to investigate this property and report back at next month’s meeting.


Old Business


Update on Low Salt Road issue – Debbie had to leave early, so Bonnie read aloud this report Debbie had sent: Monday BOS meeting on August 15th at 6:00 to discuss with police, fire, etc.  I am planning to attend as well as a couple of folks from the lake association. Last week Jenn McCourt, Steve Domber (president of lake association) and I met with a woman from DES.  She wrote a cover letter of support to go along with our application to NHDOT assuming it goes well on the 15th.  She also agreed to do an analysis of other lakes which have put in a low salt area on local roads around here, with before and after numbers.”.  Henry said he plans to attend the hearing on Monday.

Turtle Crossing Signs – Since the breeding season has ended, the turtle signs have been collected and stored by Bonnie until next May, when they will be put up again. Four of the signs seem to have wandered off.


Preparation for November 9th SCC meeting – Henry appointed a sub-committee to figure out how to set up our November meeting, which will be totally dedicated to the discussion about logging in KHR. He said that since we are having professionals come to the meeting, we need to be really well organized. The subcommittee will come up with a plan and start advertising for the meeting, which will be a forum. Bonnie will post the agenda for the November meeting on the town website now, so that it will be on the town calendar and will generate an email message to all who are signed up for town emails. Don asked if any other towns in NH have held a discussion like this, and Henry didn’t think so. Don said it was fitting for Sutton to be the first town to do so, since Sutton was one of the leaders when the Forest Society was started. Wadleigh State Park, Smiley Grove, and the Sutton Pines were all preserved in order to save the trees.


Horse Beach Parking plan update – Wally said Peter Blakeman is going to look at the Horse Beach parking lot and the lot at the Kezar Lake Natural Area. They are going to get together next week. Wally said we may need to kick in money for the engineering costs.


Eaton Grange Rd maintenance – Wally went on to say that he was approached on Monday to ask the SCC to contribute 4 or 5 loads of gravel for repairs to this Class VI road that leads to Webb/Crowell. The other property owners are going to match this. The cost will be about $300 per load. Wally moved that the SCC allocate up to $1500 for 5 loads of gravel towards repairs on Eaton Grange Road, to be expended from the Special Projects account. Bonnie said she would agree to it only if the road will be closed next year during mud season, to prevent having to do this all over again. Wally said it would. The motion passed unanimously. Henry said he hopes that Mike McManus will plow the Webb/Crowell parking lot for us, and Wally expressed optimism.




  • NHACC July eNews, announcing date for annual meeting and conference, with news about efforts by other ConComs, training, grant opportunities (Moose Plate, Fish & Game, Local Source Water Protection) and more.
  • Email from Elly Philips announcing public informational meeting about low salt road proposal
  • Email from Sonja Suitor inquiring about the public logging discussion
  • Email from NHACC announcing the fall Lunch & Learn series. September topics include Using GPS for Easement Monitoring, and Learning about LIDAR
  • Emails from Bud Vazquez regarding Balance Rock at the Bean Quarry, and beaver damage at KHR
  • Email from Pat Tivnan with updated pictures of beaver damage at KHR


Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 8:58 PM.

Next Meeting:  Wednesday, September 14th, 2022, at 6:30 PM, at Sutton Town Hall.

Respectfully submitted,

Bonnie Hill, Secretary