Campton Conservation Commission Meeting Minutes For June 13, 2012; 7:30pm
Members present: Jane Kellogg, Lea Stewart, Tammy Wooster
Others present: Campton resident Alisoun Hodges
It was Lea’s turn to run the meeting which was opened with the acceptance of last month’s minutes. Jane made a motion to approve the May meeting minutes and Lea seconded the motion. All were in favor. Tammy showed the group a binder she brought containing hard copies of all of the past CCC meeting minutes since she has been Secretary. The binder will reside on the bookcase to be used for reference during future meetings.
1) Bog Pond Mail Responses:
On May 23rd a work session was held to prepare the Bog Pond outreach letter for sending. Letters with response postcards and self addressed stamped envelopes were sent to about 27 Bog Pond Area landowners. Jess compiled a summary of the 5 responses received to date which were reviewed by the group. One of the landowners made reference to Robartwood Pond which Jane believed to be the NH Fish & Game name for the pond. The remaining responses revealed an interest in learning about the Wildlife Action Plan, conservation easements and sharing wildlife sightings and knowledge. One respondent politely expressed having other priorities at this time.
All agreed that based on meeting availability feedback any planned gathering should take place on a Friday afternoon. Pat Barker’s response was the most comprehensive and she graciously offered to host a meeting at her home. Discussion of whether to wait for more responses before planning a meeting was had and names of landowners who were expected to respond but hadn’t yet were brainstormed. It was decided to tentatively schedule a meeting for August 17th and Jane will contact Pat Barker to accept her offer and see if this date works for her. In the meantime, Jane will call or e-mail a few of those who hadn’t responded in writing but had previously expressed an interest in meeting. A work session was also scheduled for July 3rd, 7pm at Jane’s house. The focus of the work group will be to review the Wildlife Action Plan Website and view the GIS maps together in preparation for the Bog Pond Landowner meeting. All agreed that it would be beneficial for CC members to begin reviewing the plan on their own and Tammy will e-mail the link to all. Alisoun suggested we ask someone from Fish & Game to speak to the group about the Wildlife Action Plan relative to Bog Pond. Tammy will call Fish & Game to see if this is a possibility. Lea suggested that if Fish & Game agrees to speak to the group, a new mailing to landowners might be a good idea. As a final note, Jane said that Ann Marie had communicated that the Select Board were supportive of the Bog Pond outreach initiative.
2) Website Updates:
Jess recently mentioned to Jane that the CCC website information needs updating, in particular Brian Middlekauff and Melissa Greenawalt-Yelle need to be removed from the membership list. Tammy said that she will ask Beverly Chappell to make the changes but noted that Beverly is currently immersed in making the switch from PC to Mac and it may take some time.
- a. Livermore Falls Update:
On March 22nd Jane and Tammy attended a meeting to address issues relative to Livermore Falls at the request of Holderness Select Board and Conservation Commission member Shelagh Connelly. The Town of Holderness has been expending significant resources dealing with safety and littering issues in this area and is working to secure assistance. The meeting was mostly attended by law enforcement officials from many agencies including local and State Police, Fish & Game, and the Division of Forest and Lands. Grafton County Executive Councilor Ray Burton also attended as well as a representative from DRED. Discussion focused on whose responsibility it was to manage the property which turns out is complicated since the property is not being used in accordance with its original intent. The Livermore Falls Beach area is a Fish & Game property but was initially established as a fish hatchery and has evolved into a swimming and recreation area popular with college students and vacationers. DRED is involved because it manages the downstream pumpkinseed bridge which people jump off of into the river. When asked if the bridge should be removed, the DRED representative said that the bridge has historic significance in that is the last of its kind remaining standing in place in the world. Illegal drinking, parking, public safety and littering were all discussed as major issues and small steps have already been taken to resolve some of them including litter cleanup work days and new signage. Consensus was that patrols needed to be ramped up on hot days and all of the law enforcement groups agreed to do their part. The formation of a “Friends” group consisting of local volunteers was discussed and many at the meeting cited examples of this being an effective management tool at other popular recreation areas. . Jane suggested that if a friends group is established, the CCC should be a part of it.
- Nature Nights Program:
Lea reported that she was successfully able to secure the $500 needed to give to the Rey Center in support of the Nature Nights program thanks to the generosity of donors. Donations were provided by Leah Gray, Woodpeckers, Frank Freeman, Ski Fanatics, The Halm Family, Ehlers Management Group, Mountain Mapping, and three anonymous donors. Lea will send thank you notes to the donors. All were pleased with her successful fundraising effort. During the fundraising time period the CC sought advice from the Local Gov’t. Center (LGC) regarding the legal use of the Conservation Fund because the Select Board recommended against using CF funds to support the Nature Nights program. The group reviewed the LGC letter of response which confirmed that this was an appropriate expenditure. All agreed that the letter will substantiate future CF expenditures in support of educational programs and negates a precedent being set to require fundraising.
Newsletters were received from the Squam Lakes Conservation Society and the DES Groundwater and Drinking Water Bureau. Also received was a copy of the Blair Bridge Wetlands permit which was filed with the rest of the Blair Bridge application package. Tammy reported that she read in the Select Board minutes that an invasive species survey was completed by a private consulting firm as part of the Blair Bridge repairs project. The report identified one plant of Japanese Barberry present in the Southwest quadrant.
- d. Other:
Jane shared that she had recently dug up some young Japanese Knotweed plants in 3 or 4 spots at the BWNA which were bagged and disposed of.
At the end of the meeting, Alisoun Hodges was asked if she was interested in joining the CC to which she responded yes. Alisoun described her background as having worked for the Squam Lakes Society and the Loon Preservation Society. Alisoun also served as Holderness Town Clerk and currently works at the Forest Service in Visitor Information Services. All were pleased to welcome Alisoun and Jane made a motion to ask the Select Board to appoint Alisoun Hodges to the Conservation Commission for a 3 year term effective immediately. Tammy seconded the motion and all were in favor. Lea will communicate Alisoun’s interest in joining the commission to Ann Marie.
Meeting adjourned: 9:10pm
Next meeting: July 11th; 7:30pm