Scott Kobe, Kathy Spangler, James Horgan, Arthur LeClair, Sarah Cantwell, Tyler Smith, Richard Ballou
Neil Johnson, David Connolly, Randy Orvis
This past year, this Commission was involved in many “behind the scenes” activities. The Dubois Conservation Easement property on River Road received habitat enhancement and timber harvesting as per its’ management plan; which netted the Commission’s Conservation Fund over $30,000. We hosted several public events. In February we co-hosted with Moose Mountains Regional Greenway, a snowshoe/wildlife walk featuring naturalist Sally Cornwall at the Town Forest on Bay Road. Again with MMRG, a public forum was held in April informing the attending public about conservation easements and what they mean to both municipal and private parties.
The last Friday in April was Arbor Day, and with contributions from Cameron’s Home Center and help from the local Boy Scout Troop and our very own Department of Public Works, four (4) trees were donated to the Town and Recreation Department which were planted at a ceremony at Ferland Park. This Commission would like to keep this event going again in 2013 and we are looking for suggestions on where a tree would be most needed.
Upon request from a local resident, this Commission embarked on a data gathering mission which entailed locating the various Town Boundary markers and recording those markers for a future perambulation. Unfortunately this mission came to a halt because of a “late night” bill that was passed in Concord named HB514.
In keeping with this Commission’s mission to educate the public, we participated in Hay Day which was a huge success. Adding to our presentation was MMRG and Strafford Rivers Conservancy.
Yet again from a request from a local resident, this Commission sponsored Farmington’s first Community Clean-Up Day on November 10. Resident Abby Pagan-Allis spearheaded this adventure and with the help of over 40 volunteers (some who were town officials and employees) 5 roads totaling 12 round-trip miles; netted over 1.3 tons of trash !!!!! A special thanks to the local and state businesses and organizations that donated needed supplies and refreshments. A spring 2013 Clean-Up event is in the planning stages, so stayed tuned.
While on the subject of trash; with cooperation from our Police Department, 4 individuals were prosecuted in 2012 after being caught littering and illegally dumping on conservation lands. If you see any of this type of activity taking place; please contact the Police Department so appropriate action can be taken.
This Commission has been blessed in having the membership that we have. For two years in a row; we have had a full board which consists of 7 regular members and 1 Selectman’s Representative. Also on board is one of three alternate seats. New for 2012-2013, working with FHS, we are proud to welcome two (2) student representatives who will sit on the Commission and act as liaisons between us and the High School.
The Conservation Commission is funded by the current use tax and by proceeds of timber harvesting done on properties managed by the Commission. 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 for 2012 was negligible due to decreased local development activity. The revenues from the timber harvesting helped offset this decrease, however we won’t see that kind of income now for approximately another ten years.
The Conservation Commission currently meets the second Wednesday of every month; with the exception of March. Although we have a full board membership; we are always seeking those who wish to contribute to our cause.
David Connolly Chairman