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Conservation Commission



Contact: Rick Ball, Land Use Technician
Address: PO Box 310
143 Main Street
Belmont, NH 03220-0310
Phone: 603-267-8300 x 125
Fax: 603-267-8307 
Hours: Monday-Friday, 7:30am-4:00pm 

 



Members

Benjamin Crawford (2021) Laurel Day (2021)  Claude Patten, Jr., Ex Officio (2020)
Scott Rolfe (2020)  Denise Naiva,
Chairman 
(2019) 
Keith Bennett (2021) 
Paul Schmidt,
Vice Chairman 
(2019) 
Lynne Lowd, 
Alternate
 (2019) 
Michelle Youtsey-Dunn,
Alternate
 (2020) 
Bobbie Jean Bennett,
Alternate
 (2021) 
   

The Commission consists of seven members and three alternates appointed by the Board of Selectmen for three-year terms. The Commission encourages anyone interested in conservation to consider applying for vacancies on the board.  A membership application is available. No prior experience is necessary.
 
Meeting Schedule
Meeting Agendas Meeting Minutes
Open/Conserved Lands

Ken Knowlton Presented LRPC Community Service Award

A Community Service Award was presented to Ken Knowlton who served 17 years (15 years as Chairman) providing guidance and leadership to the Belmont Conservation  Commission and the community in making sound, environmentally progressive decisions.

While employed with the State, Ken elevated the junkyard inspection and certification program into an effective method of protecting the environment. Ken has supported town projects sensitive to the environment through his 18 years on the Budget Committee, 8 years on the Public Works Advisory Committee, as well as participating on the Master Plan, Capital Improvements Plan, and Town Hall Study committees. (Pictured· Ken Knowlton and Warren Hutchins, LRPC Executive Board Chair.)  Planning Commission lauds locals  Citizen 7/31/15



Mission

The Conservation Commission was established by the voters of the Town of Belmont on March 18, 1967, in accordance with the provisions of NH RSA Chapter 36-A for the proper utilization and protection of the natural resources and for the protection of watershed resources of the Town. Natural resources include the air, land, surface and ground waters, fish, wildlife, plants, wetlands, soils, minerals, and scenic quality.  Rules of Administrative Procedure have been adopted to guide the Commission process.


Services


  • Consult with property owners regarding methods and values of preserving land.
  • Consult with property owners regarding wetlands permitting process and best management practices regarding development or construction projects.
  • Consult with the NH Department of Environmental Services regarding wetlands issues within the Town of Belmont.


Functions
  • Conduct research (studies) into local land and water areas and seek to coordinate the activities of unofficial town bodies organized for similar purposes.
  • Keep an index (inventory) of all open space and natural, aesthetic or ecological areas, with the plan of obtaining information pertinent to proper utilization of such areas, including lands owned by the State or lands owned by the Town.
  • Keep accurate records of its meetings and actions and shall file an annual report, which shall be printed, in the annual Town Report.
  • Advise the Selectmen, Planning Board and other local boards on all conservation matters.
  • Inter-community conservation and preservation efforts
  • Receive gifts of money and property, both real and personal, in the name of the town, subject to the approval of the Board of Selectmen, such gifts to be managed and controlled by the Commission for the purposes set forth.
  • Acquire, in the name of the town and subject to the approval of the Board of Selectmen, by gift, purchase or otherwise the fee in such land or water rights, or any lesser interest as may be necessary to conserve and properly utilize open spaces and other land and water areas within the town, and manage and control the same, but the commission shall not have the right to condemn property for these purposes.
  • Manage all natural resources on all town-owned conservation areas. By action of the voters at the March 12, 1994, town meeting the Commission is specifically charged with the management of the Town Forest.
  • Advertise, prepare, print and distribute books, maps, charts, plans and pamphlets necessary for the Commission's work.
  • Review all Dredge and Fill applications submitted to the Wetlands Bureau in accordance with applicable Rules and, if necessary, request to intervene in the Bureau's review of said project in accordance with RSA 482-A:11.
  • Review all earth excavation and other applications submitted to the Planning Board for approval.
  • Appoint such clerks and sub-committees as it may from time to time require.


Links and Bookmarks

Board
Functions  Mission Services 


References
A Three Infrastructure Approach to Land Use Planning in NH  Logging BMPs  Natural Resource Inventory 
NH Wildlife Action Plan and Mapping  Prime Wetlands Assessment Stormwater Management - Why Should I Care?
Energy Conservation - Keeping Cool!  Japanese Knotweed  New Hampshire's Return on Investment in Land Conservation  
Forest Products Road Manual NH DES - Do You Need A Permit? Have You Tested Your Drinking Water? 
NH DES - Got Permits? Shoreland Homeowners Guide to Stormwater Management Stormwater Management for Homeowners
Biosolids  Belmont Wildlife
Spring Slither 
Understanding, Avoiding & Checking for Ticks! 
Invasive Species  What's Happening Around NH - A Three Infrastructures Presentation Waterfront Construction Activities 


Outreach
Audubon Society of NH Belknap Range Conservation Coalition Granite State Clean Cars
Clean Car Labeling Program for NH
Natural Resource Conservation Service in NH NH Department of Agriculture NH Land & Community Heritage Commission (LCHIP)
NH Wildlife Federation  Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests UNH Cooperative Extension Service
US EPA-Office of Wetlands, Oceans & Watersheds NH Association of Conservation Commissions  

News

Newsletter, Fall/Winter 2006  Newsletter, Summer 2007   2017 Annual Report 



Belmont Protected Lands and Open Spaces


Mitigate human-bear conflicts



USDA Wildlife Services works closely with the NH Fish and Game Department to mitigate human-bear conflicts throughout the state. They are reaching out to towns in NH in the hopes that they can get some information about black bears and mitigating bear concerns on town websites and Facebook pages.

Prime black bear habitat includes deciduous forests (oaks, maple, beech etc.), wetlands, and riparian (along rivers) zones. The natural areas surrounding your town provide very good habitat for black bears. Many human-bear conflicts arise when bears frequent properties to access food attractants that are found around homes. The most common attractants are birdfeeders, unsecured garbage, and compost piles which include food scraps. Livestock, such as chickens and pigs, can also attract bears when not properly protected. Electric fencing is the most effective way to protect livestock. In most cases removing the attractant the bear(s) are utilizing eliminates the bear problem. It is also helpful to harass bears with noise, such as banging pots and pans, or using compressed air horns to scare them away.  Read their Report for links to relevant sites. Photo NH Fish & Game

Climate Change in New Hampshire - Connecting the Dots

New Hampshire’s climate has already changed and will continue to change over the next several decades. Communities in our state have experienced losses and damages from extreme weather events. Many communities have already begun to adapt to these changing climatic conditions and we all need to continue to do so to ensure that the current and future impacts of climate change do not significantly impact the health of our residents, the strength of our economy, and the character of our natural environment. Adaptation actions need to be evaluated and implemented as necessary. Remember that actions can be implemented in a phased approach; addressing the most vulnerable areas first and planning for future needs.

Climate Change in New Hampshire: Connecting the Dots

Older Presentation on YouTube


Birding

Bird Friendly Techniques

The State of New Hampshire's Birds

Important Forestland Birds



Conservation Projects

Glossy Buckthorn Removal Day 
Tioga River Conservation & Wildlife Area
490 Depot Street

November, 2015  On Saturday, November 14th, members of the community, the Conservation Commission and staff  assisted in an Invasive Species removal day.  

Conservation Commissioners Laurel Day, Paul Schmidt & Ben Crawford were joined by volunteers Paul O’Connell, Lewis Loud, Dennis Lowe, Dave Foote & John Lefebvre from around Silver Lake, and Land Use Technician Rick Ball.

Courtesy Picture: Paul O’Connell and Lewis Loud pull the invasive Glossy Buckthorn

Thank you for Volunteering Your Time!


High School Seniors Construct and Donate New Bridge
Jeff Marden Town Forest

June, 2015  With donations Alexandra Lugar and Chayleigh Cadarette, Belmont High School Seniors, have constructed a new bridge in the Jeff Marden Town Forest.  The Forest is managed by the Belmont Conservation Commission and this bridge creates another leg in the Commission's goal of making the Forest accessible.  BHS Students build footbridge in Marden Town Forest as "Community Contribution"  Daily Sun 5/19/15





Logging

Are You Considering Logging Your Land in Belmont?

The Belmont Conservation Commission reminds owners of forest land that your timber is a valuable asset. Be wary of unsolicited offers to log your land or buy timber. Before you have your property logged, review these recommendations.

Be sure your logger will be using the Best  Management Practices found in the handbook, Good Forestry in the Granite State by the NH Department of Resources and Economic Development, Division of Forests and Lands and UNH Cooperative Extension.

Protect your land and maximize your harvest value.

Best Management Practices for Erosion Control on Harvesting Operations in NH New Hampshire Slash Law  Timber Trespass
Best Management Practices for Forestry: Protecting New Hampshire’s Water Quality Guide to New Hampshire Timber Harvesting Laws



NH DES Recommends Testing Private Water Wells
Have You Tested Your Drinking Water?


Hundreds of cases of cancer of the lung, bladder, or skin could be avoided in New Hampshire by convincing private well users to test and treat their water to remove naturally occurring arsenic, according to a report prepared by Dartmouth College for the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) and New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (NHDHHS).  The study was conducted by a team of researchers from Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering, Geisel School of Medicine, and Superfund Research Program. Funding for the study came from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report is available online under "Hot Topics.”  For more information about the study, please contact Paul Susca, NHDES at (603) 271-7061 or Mark Borsuk, Dartmouth at (603) 646-9944.

NHDES Commissioner Thomas Burack noted, "It has been clear for a number of years that drinking water from untested, untreated private wells is a significant public health issue in New Hampshire, where nearly half of the population uses private wells, and about one in five of those wells have unhealthy levels of arsenic.  Radon is even more prevalent than arsenic, and there are other contaminants of concern as well.  NHDES urges all private well users to have their water tested, consult water treatment professionals, and then install and operate appropriate treatment systems.”  Read Suggested Water Quality Testing for Private Wells for more information on testing.