Minutes - 11 August 2009

Minutes of the Webster Conservation Commission’s August 11, 2009, meeting~ held at town office, 7:30 P.M..
Present:~ Conservation Commission members: Mary Jo MacGowan (Chair), Jack Chwasiak, Nancy Clark, Betsy Janeway, Susan Roman, Nancy Van Loan.~ Alternate Robert Quinn.
Guests:~ Harold Janeway, Bob MacGowan, Jan McLure (TNC) and Beth McGuinn (ASLPT).
Meeting began at 7:32 P.M.

1. Blackwater Connector Project:
~~~ Ms McLure of the NH Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) presented information on the “Blackwater Connector Project” on Little Hill, where Peter McGrath and Gary Bardsley clear-cut several hundred acres.~ A conservation buyer (Mr/Mrs Young) bought the old Olsen house and has a purchase and sale agreement with Sanbornton Realty Trust on the lot next to the house and the big lot behind (to the west of) the house.~ The Nature Conservancy (TNC) will be buying two fee tracts from the Youngs, and an easement on the rest of the land (about 420 acres), which will be turned over to and held by Ausbon-Sargent Land Protection Trust (ASLP T).~ The “Blackwater Connector Project” connects the Leonard WMA, Knights Meadow Marsh, and the Blackwater Reservoir lands, forming a protected area of more than 1800 acres.
~~~ Discussed the 21 wetland violations by Bardsley/McGrath, and wondered why no notices of them have reached the Commission.

2. Trumbull Pond:
~~~ Ms McGuinn of ASLPT showed maps and informed the Commission about the plan to preserve by conservation easement Courser Family land around all but the South end of Trumbull Pond. The Courser Family will sell the easement at a bargain sale.~ The entire easement and survey costs total nearly one million dollars. With a hoped-for grant of $217,000 from LCHIP, $150,000 in one foundation grant and $100,000 in another foundation grant, the possibility of a second LCHIP grant, support from a waterfowl group called NAWCA, and from NH Fish & Game, the remainder of the funds needed will have to be raised from private fundraising efforts.~ It is hoped thgat the Town of Webster will support this conservation effort with some degree of support as well.
~~~ Discussed LCHIP grant deadlines and LCHIP’s income from real estate transfer taxes: “The money trickles in.”~ New LCHIP staff has not yet seen Trumbull Pond and a visit is being scheduled.
~~~ Discussed: Publicity and marketing the project with field trips to Trumbull Pond.~
Action: Mr. Quinn volunteered to lead field trips and to write for t he Grapevine articles about the value of the Pond and its surrounding acres, including data on wildlife.
Action: Ms McLure will gather information on the costs of community services to the Town of Webster, should these lands be developed instead of being protected..
Action: Ms McGuinn will write a clear explanation for the Blackwater Connector Project in order to set the stage for the Trumbull Pond Project’s acceptance by the Town.

3. Brintnall Driveway and Culvert:
~~~ Ms. MacGowan explained that a footbridge will be built over the ditch from which the present culvert will be removed. Electric/phone wires will lay across the top of~ footbridge.~
Decided: The Commission is in favor of this solution to the Brintnall Driveway problem.

4. Communications:~ Frost Lane Wetlands Violation;~ Bardsley Intent-to-Cut form.~
5. The date of the next WCC meeting was moved forward to Sept. 8, 2009.
6. Currier & Ives Scenic Byway Corridor along Rte. 127: a hearing will be held in Webster on the evening of September 22, 2009, Ms Roman reminded us.

7.~ Meeting adjourned at 8:47 P.M.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~(Minutes by B. Janeway)