Minutes of October 12, 2010

Present:  Christa Patterson, Randy Smith, Roger Sweet, Eric White, Hilliare Wilder, Chip Woodbury and Becky Cummings.  Also present were two members of the Planning Board – Ann Sweet&Bob Switzer and Jeff Littleton, speaker.

The minutes of the September meeting were accepted as read.

Eric reminded people the Annual Meeting of NH Conservation Commissions is coming up soon.  If any members would like to attend, let him know ASAP as registration is due by the 28th.

Town Forest clean up will take place this Saturday at 9am.  Park behind the fire station.  At 1:30 on the same day commission members will meet with Swift Corwin to have a preliminary discussion about the new forest management plan for the Town Forest.  

Eric introduced Jeff Littleton of Moosewood Ecological, a conservation ecologist as the guest speaker to discuss Sullivan’s recently completed Natural Resource Inventory.  Jeff has worked helping many communities with their NRI’s.

Jeff explained that an NRI is an index of natural resources, including maps of a community.  The NRI will change over time and today’s highlights what is happening now.  It should be used for education and planning.  “Get people in town to take ownership of the valuable resources they have.  It is not to say we don’t want development but to identify special places…how to best use the land we own as well as the land around us.” 

He had some suggestions for future revisions and up-dates:
    Mapping of ecological “hotspots”.
     An up-dated map of land parcels as in a habitat map.  See the NH Fish & Game website for the one they have for our area.
    A section on rare species in Sullivan.  See the NH Heritage website for their inventory of Sullivan.      An unfragmented lands map showing Class 1 – 5 roads in town.
    A soils map.  Take the landcover off of our soils map so people can easily see the soils.  Make maps as simple as possible.
    He would like to see two soils maps – one for agricultural soils and another for other significant soils, as in forest soils.
    Have a reference number for each map that is mentioned in the NRI.
 
Jeff also suggested meeting with nearby town conservation commissions to learn how and what they are doing.  And, very important…the Planning Board should incorporate the NRI into the Master Plan to “give it teeth”.

Do not target land-owners but the parcels.  Make a plan for land that is desirable for protection and that that is not so desirable.  Roger asked about detailed studies of parcels…identifying vernal pools, etc.  Jeff agreed this would be a valuable tool and at the same time impressed upon the commission that it is important to always ask permission to go on the land of another.   

A brief question and answer period followed after which Jeff praised the commission for their work on the recent NRI.   

Respectfully Submitted,
Becky Cummings