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Conservation Commission Minutes 04/14/2008
Chichester Conservation Commission
Minutes of Meeting
April 14, 2008

Members present:  Bob Mann, Jeff Andrews, Zack Boyajian, Gordon Jones, Dawn Marshall and Secretary Jamie Pike.

Chairman Bob Mann called the meeting to order at 7:02pm

High-Value Wetlands Study Public Informational Meeting

Chairman Mann introduced the members of the Commission and the representatives from VHB (Pete Walker and Pete Steckler) to the public in attendance.

Mr. Pete Walker of VHB provided an overview of the High Value Wetlands Study that has occurred over the past 3 years.  The project started in 2005 with Phase I being the southern part of the Town.  Phase II, the northern part of the Town was completed in 2007.

The primary purpose of the High-Value Wetlands Study is to obtain an inventory of Chichester’s wetlands and to determine their relative importance in the protection of natural resources.

Mr. Mann explained that at the outset of the project there was the option of completing a Prime Wetlands study, but the Commission preferred to continue with the “High-Value” study.

Those steps conducted in the study were; data collection, screening, field evaluation, data synthesis and reporting.

The primary use of the study is as a planning tool, identifying those wetlands of value worthy of protection.

There were several questions from the audience and the Commission; those are detailed in the following.

What are the recommended wetland buffers?  It was recommended that for water quality protection a buffer of 25 feet is suggested and a buffer for the protection of wildlife should be 100-300 feet.

How were those wetlands not included in the field study observed?  These wetlands were observed strictly through aerial photography and other available information.

What is the accuracy of the mapping of the wetlands?  Pete Steckler stated that he is confident that the accuracy of the mapping is within 10 feet.

What are vernal pools and what is their importance?  Vernal pools are much more common than originally thought.  These pools are primarily areas in forested lands and are small and isolated and fill in the spring and dry throughout the year.

It was noted that the study has already served as an important tool in current planning projects within the Town.
Other Business

Chairman Mann presented Mr. Walter Sanborn with a certificate of service for his many years of contribution to the Conservation Commission.

The minutes of the March 10th meeting were reviewed.  A motion was made by Mr. Mann and seconded by Mr. Boyajian to approve the minutes as corrected.  Motion passes.

A motion was made by Mr. Boyajian and seconded by Mr. Jones to approve the payment of the 2008 Annual Dues to the NH Assoc of Conservation Commissions.  Motion passes.

A motion was made by Mr. Andrews and seconded by Mr. Boyajian to approve the payment of the membership dues to the Five Rivers Conservation Trust and the Friends of the Suncook River.

CCC Goal Review

1.      Ferman Easement – Mr. Pike had spoken with Chief Vien earlier this day.  Chief Vien stated that he is awaiting the Ferman to contact him to schedule a site visit.

2.      High-Value Wetland Study – There was discussion of how to select those wetlands of highest value, should the Unit Values or the Functional Values (quantity vs. quality) be used to prioritize the wetlands.  It was of note that depending on the Town focus either method could be used to scale the wetlands to the purposed specificity.  Mr. Andrews shall forward the final draft of the Study to the members of the Commission for review and comment prior to printing.

3.      Land Management Plans – Mr. Boyajian has met with the Recreation Commission.  Their current primary focus is the development of the Recreation Master Plan, with a focus on trails, water access, and the phasing of field expansion.

Julie Bryant of Millican Nurseries had contacted Chairman Mann concerning the unsigned complaint received by DES in December.  This letter referred to the concern of the draining of a detention pond on the property.  Any persons with concerns are encouraged to contact Ms. Bryant at the farm at any time.

A motion was made by Mr. Boyajian and seconded by Mr. Jones to adjourn the meeting at 10:00pm.  Motion passes.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jamie A Pike, Secretary

Robert Mann, Chairman

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