Harrisville Conservation Commission
Wednesday, May 6, 2020
Members attending at town offices: Don Scott and Kathy Scott
Members attending via zoom: Harry Wolhandler, Les LaMois, Earl Horn, Diana Shonk, Andrea Polizos
Members of the public attending via zoom: Winston Sims; Barbara Watkins (for Trails Committee)
The HCC welcomed Diana Shonk as a new member.
Peterborough Open Space Trails
Members reviewed the Peterborough Trail Guide issued by the Peterborough Conservation Commission. It includes a history of open spaces in town and a write-up of the trails.
Earl Horn and Barbara Watkins are working on a map of Harrisville trails for committee use. Members further discussed the Monadnock Sunapee Greenway and Rail Trails, including their condition and how they are marked. Certain sections include privately-owned property.
Don Scott noted which sections of the town-owned portion of the rail trail, between Main Street and Brown Road, will be repaired this summer.
HCC members noted their interest in gathering an inventory of interesting and significant ecological features along the trails to be shared with residents. Chair Harry Wolhandler encouraged members to walk the trails and note the locations of vernal pools and other interesting features. The Harris Center and Keene State have mapped vernal pools in Eastview. Members also expressed interest in posting unobtrusive signs at locations that need them. For next steps, a core group of Trails Committee members will move ahead with mapping and an inventory of significant features, though all HCC members are encouraged to catalog what they find and know about. The HCC, in addition, to obtain useful ideas, has asked the Southwest Region Planning Commission (SWRPC) for samples of what other towns and groups have done.
Handling of Expedited Permits by Notification
HCC reviewed that Expedited PBNs and Wetland Permits need HCC signature but Shoreland Permits don’t. The only way to know about Shoreland Permits is to check the state website. The town gets notified but has no regulatory oversight of these projects. The HCC can submit concerns to the state. Designated HCC reviewers of shoreland projects include Don Scott, Harry Wolhandler and Winston Sims.
NH Lakes Anticipates Open Boat Ramps & Lake Hosts
State awarded $1700 for Lake hosts at Harrisville Pond. Lake Hosts are classified as “essential”. Nate Carroll of Silver Lake hopes to coordinate and possibly share contact lists for substitutions and support. The HCC Chair offered Pegg Monahan as a contact for the Harrisville Pond Lake Association and George & Bonnie Lowrey as contacts for Skatutakee Lake. In addition, the Chair noted that the 2020 Lakes Congress has been cancelled.
Rain Garden, Road & Culvert Repairs – Stormwater Management
Mr. Wolhandler reviewed the Highway Department’s anticipated schedule of roadwork and culvert projects for the spring. The Highway Department and HCC still aim for late June for the Rain Garden project.
Weed Watcher Training
Amy Smagula will lead a Zoom Weed Watcher Training with interactive discussion on June 6th. Harry Wolhandler will reach out to notify/invite other area conservation commissions. Winston Sims noted the difficulty of identifying invasive animal specials like snails. Members discussed ideas for recruiting kayakers, canoers and paddleboarders to help.
NH Association of Conservation Commissions
Members moved and voted unanimously in favor to approve dues of $250 for renewal of its annual membership in the NHACC. In a roll call vote, the decision was unanimously in favor.
Reports on actions of other town committees
Select Board – Kathy Scott the SB is considering enforcement options for ATV use on the town rail trail; She also noted work of the Gravel Pit Subcommittee is under way.
Planning Board – Zoom meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 13th. On the agenda will be Ordinance Review, including a request by the PB for HCC contribution to potentially instituting a wetland buffer. HCC will look at sample language from other areas. The SB is asking various boards to support ordinance review work.
The HCC moved and, by roll call, voted unanimously in favor to approve its Meeting Minutes of April 1st.
The meeting adjourned at 8:45 pm.