APPROVED 08/10/2011
Sutton Conservation Commission
Meeting Minutes
July 13, 2011 @ 6:30 p.m.

Present: Betsy Forsham, Chair, Don Davis, Ron Murray, Rachel Ruppel and Leslie Ward (Jean LaChance, Garrett Evans and Ricia McMahon were absent). Also present was Wally Baker, interested citizen.

6:30 p.m. Chair Betsy Forsham opened the meeting. As the secretary, Jennifer Swett, is on vacation, Betsy will take the minutes. She appointed Ron to sit in for Jean.

Previous Minutes:
A Motion was made by Leslie, seconded by Ron, to accept the minutes of June 8, 2011 as written. Unanimously approved.

Financial Reports:
Betsy reported that the Town account balance, as of the end of June, was $2,209.18 which is 75.92% of the budget. There were no expenditures. The Conservation Fund account total was $83,037.31, with $72,647.16 in the Conservation Fund and $10,390.15 in the KHR sub-account. The $3,000 check cut on May 27th for a land use change tax did not get deposited until July 5th and is therefore not reflected in this month’s statement.

– Brochure from North Country Resource Conservation & Development entitled “Community Roadmap to Renewable Woody Biomass Energy”. Rachel gave us more information about it.
– Miscellaneous

Review of Intents to Cut and Logging Issues:
– Complete Forestry Notification, File #2011-01276, dated 6/9/11, received for the K. West cut, T/L#9-437,245, Shaker St.
– Mock/Santi/Smith, T/L #4-944,286, Newbury Reservoir (Loch Lyndon). 22.8 of 22.8 acres. Christopher Mock, logger. Only accessible from Newbury’s Poor Farm Hill Road. Betsy will inquire if Newbury received an intent to cut as well.

Old Business:
Betsy noted that the land previously discussed on Chalk Pond/Baker Hill Road now has a “For Sale” sign on it. The asking price is $125,000. The SCC will not be pursuing this further.

A Right to Know seminar for Town boards/departments and employees will be held on Thurs., July 21 from 6-8pm. Five SCC members indicated they wish to attend; Betsy will so inform Town Hall.

Had a brief discussion of possible candidates to fill the two open alternate positions. Leslie agreed to make an inquiry.

New Business:
Don discussed the “Geocaching” rage which has arrived in Sutton. His concern is that caches are being placed on private and Town owned lands, without permission from the owners. He will be contacting the geocaching folks about this. Rachel said she would let the ASLPT know about it as well. See for more information.

Betsy has been informed that the ASLPT, Matt Tarr, Tim Fleury and others are looking to host an all day program in Sutton, in October, on creating wildlife habitat. Betsy discussed this with Matt, who thought that it did not make sense to duplicate efforts by having the SCC’s program in Sept. SCC members agreed. We would, however, like to co-sponsor the program in October, and Betsy will discuss this with the other participants. She will be meeting with Tarr, Fleury and others on 7/22 @ 9am to look at possible sites to be used for the program. Other SCC members are welcome to join us.

Review of SCC Properties and S-R-K Greenway Reports:
Betsy reported on her walk with Tim Fleury on 6/22/11, at the Town Tree Farm on Wadleigh Hill Road, to review what needs to be done for recertification. Tim felt the 10 year old management plan needs to be updated. He also indicated that while we don’t have to do any harvesting to maintain our Tree Farm status, it would not hurt to “punch a few holes”, for wildlife enhancement. Leslie agreed to speak with Dave Anderson, who did the last update to the plan, in order to determine his willingness to help with a new one. It was suggested that at some point, we consult with a local forester about where it might be appropriate to cut.

Members resumed the discussion about cutting and spraying the Japanese Knotweed infestation on the Sundell lot. Ernie Brake is willing to spray if we cut. It was felt that by cutting down to 2-3 nodes, the spraying could be more concentrated and not drift around to other vegetation. It was agreed to do a section to determine if it works. Betsy indicated that it should be done before the plants flower, so she will check on the area and set a work date soon.

Betsy asked if she could call the Gagnons about mowing the Enroth gift driveway and parking area. The Board agreed and she will do so.

Betsy and Ron reported that on 6/20, they viewed the KHR warming hut with a cell tower official from Verizon and his construction guy. While the latter expressed his willingness to knock the building down within 2 or 3 days of our visit, he said it might cost us $500 (which we don’t have). In addition, there was a nesting robin just inside the door whose nest would be destroyed. So, Betsy & Ron thanked them for meeting with us but told them we had reconsidered. There has since been some feedback about trying to preserve the building, and Ron pointed out that it could be a life saver for someone in trouble on the trails some winter’s night. It was suggested we hold a public hearing about it to determine interest, with an eye to fund raising enough to get it stabilized. Betsy and Ron didn’t think the interior is in that bad a condition.

Betsy indicated she had applied for the Fish & Game mowing grant. We can only receive $445, as that is the end of our allotment. We will no longer be eligible for funds, as we have reached the 10 year grant limit.

Regarding the parking area at the Maple Leaf Natural Area, Wally & Don indicated they will pursue this with Kevin Rowe and get back to the members with a price, by the next meeting.

Two site visits were discussed and the following dates were set:
Mon., 7/18 @ 5:00 pm – Meet at the Hominy Pot Rd. entrance to the KHR with Peter Stanley, mower, and representatives from the Ridgerunners snowmobile club, to review mowing needs and trail work.

Mon., 7/22 @ 5:00 p.m. – meet with Ralph Spofford regarding a bridge for the Webb/Crowell parcel. Meet at the Link Trail parking area on Kearsarge Valley Rd., in order to view a bridge across the road, then proceed on to the Crowell site. Betsy will confirm both dates by email. Leslie will inform Dave Anderson about the visit, as he has expressed a willingness to help with the project.
8:45 p.m. A motion was made by Ron, seconded by Rachel to adjourn the meeting. Unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,

Betsy Forsham
Acting Secretary