Glen Demers, James Horgan, Scott Kobe, Laura Bogardus
Tyler Smith, David Connolly, Randy Orvis
2013 was yet another active year for the Conservation Commission. In conjunction with Moose Mountain Regional Greenway (MMRG) we hosted a public forum this past spring regarding the New England Cottontail and Karner Blue butterfly, both which are on the endangered species list here in NH. Also this past spring; in celebration of earth Day; we hosted a Community Clean Up where over 1500 pounds of trash were collected from a select few roads. More forums and clean-ups are scheduled for 2014.
For Arbor Day, this Commission donated two maple trees to Valley View Community School which were planted; with the assistance of Cameron’s Home Center (Thank you Barry and Fred); in the playground area in hopes of providing future shade for the students out on recess.
About our Conservation Areas; continued work was and is still being done on the French property out on Hornetown Road. Under direction from biologists from NH F&G, “fingers” were cut leading from the woodcock singing area to a stand of alders to help provide more cover and protection. In doing this operation, this Commission was awarded a $2000 grant from the state’s small grant program. In 2014 a trail will be blazed and marked and an information kiosk will be in place. Watch for a late summer “Grand Opening Tour”!! Speaking of kiosks; there will be one at the Dubois Conservation property parking area on River Road and one at the Town Forest parking area on Bay Road.
This past summer, the Commission was honored to be able to sponsor a camper for one week up at the Barry 4H Conservation Camp. This camp gives youths the opportunity to experience different aspects of the outdoors. With the positive feedback that was received from our camper, we will entertain the idea of sending two Henry Wilson students this summer.
In 2013; in conjunction with Strafford Rivers Conservancy (SRC); this Commission assisted in the preservation of approximately 100 acres off of Meaderboro Rd. Anticipated in early 2014, again working with SRC, another 100 acres on Meaderboro and by working with MMRG another 140 acres on Meaderboro are expected to be placed into a conservation easement. Also on slate for the spring of 2014 is the purchase of 46+/- acres that sits in between the Town Forest (which is a total of 85+/-) and 177 +/- acres of woodlands that is protected by the Society for Protection of New Hampshire Forests (SPNHF) resulting in nearly 300 acres in conservation on Bay Rd abutting the New Durham Town Line!!!
We continue our relationship with Farmington High School by having students sit on the Commission and by us going into the school to give presentations. We have expanded our outreach to Henry Wilson and Valley View. Just as important as protecting our waterways and open spaces, is the education of conservation to our younger citizens.
The Conservation Commission is funded by the current use tax. The current use tax is a tax applied to land when it is taken out of current use. The idea is when land is developed the revenues can be put towards other lands to be conserved and maintained. This funding revenue again for the fourth year in a row, was negligible due to the decreased local development activity.
The Conservation Commission currently meets the second Wednesday of each month with the exception being March. We convene at 6:30 pm in the Selectman’s Chambers at the Municipal Offices. We are always seeking new members; regular and alternate; to join this fun group to help us preserve of natural resources.
David Connolly Chairman