WCC Meeting Minutes
18 November 2008
Present:~ Mary Jo MacGowan (Chair), Sally Embley, Nancy Clark, Nancy Van Loan, Susan Roman, Betsy Janeway,
Guest: Adam Bronstein
1. Secretary Appointed: Betsy J.
2. Minutes from Sept. Meeting: Sue moved to accept, Betsy seconded, all in favor.
3. Webster Town Maps: Adam Bronstein presented three large and colorful maps showing: 1. Conservation Lands; 2. Soils & Steep Slopes; 3. Water Resources (including pollution source sites, wellhead protection areas, and aquifers).~ Two more maps yet to be madce will show: Wildlife & Forest Resources; Aerial Imagery.~
Everyone was very grateful to Adam for these beautiful, useful maps, printed at the Forest Society at no cost~ to the Commission or Townx!
Action: Mary Jo will write a letter of recommendation for Adam.
Grant: A letter from Adam Bronstein suggests the Commission apply for a Moose Plate Conservation Grant to finish the Natural Resource Inventory.
Blackwater River: Cindy Romano’s letter from Salisbury CC invites Webster CC to join them to discuss wetland buffers along the Blackwater River. To set a time and place to meet, call Cindy at 648-6064 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senate Bill 381: Forest Society letter to CC suggests putting on the Town Warrant at March ‘09 Town Meeting an article to accept SB 381 modifying RSA 36-A. SB 381 allows the CC. with Town’s approval, to give money to a land-protection organization holding a conservation easement in the Town; and also allows the CC, with Town’s approval, to give money to support conservation of land outside of the Town’s boundaries. Rationale for the latter is that protecting land in a border town may be crucial to protecting water or other important natural~ resources in our town.
5. General Updates:~ WCC is now able to get internet connection in Town Office! Agendas and minutes will from now on be accessible on the Town web site.
6. WCC Membership Updates:~ Tom Vernon has left Town. Bob Quinn would like to be made a CC alternate. We would like Nancy Van Loan to be made a full CC member.
7. NH Water Plan Survey:~ Discussed. Action: Susan will find out (Nov. 20 Planning Bd.Meeting) if Planning and Select Boards are also filling out this same survey. CC is concerned over whether survey might be used FOR or AGAINST the Town in case of an attempt by a bottling plant to withdraw lar ge amounts water for sale.
8. SPNHF Easement Monitoring: Plan for the weekend after Thanksgiving.
9. NHACC Annual Meeting: Please see next page for notes and comments.
10. New Business: Ron Frost has inquired about selling a conservation easement on land along the Blackwater downriver from Mock Forest to Clothespin Bridge.~
Action: Mary Jo to email Ron and ask for details.
Susan informed CC about SB 153 which forms a Water Commission to study issues of groundwater:~ local control over withdrawal; ability to regulate withdrawals of less than 50,000 gal. per day. Public participation allowed. Peg Foss & Sue on subcommittee.
~Susan informed CC about a Workforce Housing Bill that makes towns provide affordable housing. Sue said that conservation subdivision and zoning for farmland and timberland are the answers to how we protect the environment from over-building.
11. Meeting adjourned 9:28 P.M.~ Minutes Respectfully Submitted by Betsy Janeway.
Notes, Comments and Inspiring Ideas from Nov. 1, 2008, Annual Meeting of NH Association of Conservation Commissions, by B. Janeway for Webster CC.
HAVE MORE FUN!
CCs should have fun, get more families involved, have more field trips and programs.
Field Trip Ideas: Moonlight Snowshoe; Daytime Snowshoe; Walks for Wildlife; Vernal Pool Prowl; Boundary Bushwhack; Wetland Wade; Marsh Meander; Shoreland Protection Act Explained On the Shore!~ Bogs and Peatlands of Webst er.
WORDS for explaining SB 381 Warrant Article:
~~~ “Sometimes what worries us or affects us is happening outside of our town.”
A landfill upriver would affect our drinking water; a big land-preservation project on our border would be good for our town too.
~~~ SB 381 does two things: 1. Resolves two areas of uncertainty.~ 2. Puts clear language into State statutes that permit towns to put money to support organizations and lands affecting your town.~ Until Town passes the warrant article, you cannot support efforts that help your town.~ Town doesn’t have to pass BOTH parts of the warrant article: can do one, both, or neither.
~~~ IF a donation is made to be spent ONLY within the Town, this money can be put aside for this purpose only. Town can hold these monies separately. Selectmen would have to agree.
~~~ You should NOT change the warrant article language.
WORKSHOPS Betsy Attended:
WILDLIFE ACTION PLAN written in 2006. NH’s WAP is THE most comprehensive WAP in the entire USA!
A tremendous resource.~ A Wildlife Action Plan is being written for every state by Fish & Wildlife Depts. See it on the Web. (Printed version is a massive document)
Purpose: to preserve biodiversity.
Gives strategies to address threats to biodiversity.
The biggest threats are: habitat loss; roads; invasive exotic species;
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ &nbs p;~~~~ pollution & sedimentation; climate change.
Conserve and Connect Large Habitat Areas.
Learned ways to protect wildlife and wildlife habitat, conservation strategies, smart growth plan, protecting agricultural lands, forming an Ag Commission. A CC should be aware of people wanting to farm and farmers who are growing old and need to retire.
A workshop entitled “KEEPING FARMLAND IN THE FAMILY” will be well-attended; one entitled “Forming a Town Ag. Commission” is much less of a draw!
Learned about grassland types and grassland bird species. Which birds nest in which height of grass for instance.~ Very interesting!~