Salem Conservation Annual Report 2012

   In 2012, the Salem Conservation Commission conducted 13 meetings with 15 major agenda items. This was up from 2011. Projects reviewed by the Commission included the Providence  Road bridge, Bluff St. bridge, and the Pond St. culvert replacement and drainage improvements. The Commission was very active with a full commission plus 2 alternates.

   In 2012, the Salem Conservation Commission continued its efforts to improve the Salem Town Forest. Conservation Commission members spent many hours clearing and cleaning all trails. Upgrades to Trail A continued with the addition of a culvert and some stonework for better drainage. This project and the cleanup of 114 Lawrence Rd. were completed in April by Comcast as part of their Day of Caring where over 70 volunteers devoted their time and energy. Eastern Mountain Sports also continues to donate their time to come out to do trail maintenance to help keep up the forest. The forest sustained tree damage from the Winter of 2011/2012 and hurricane Sandy but all trails remained open throughout 2012 and their use but the public is increasing yearly. We encourage everyone in town to visit the Salem Town Forest.

   In 2012, the Salem Conservation Commission continued the work on the community gardens at the Hawkins Farm property on Town Farm Road. The Commission has expanded the community gardens to 24 plots located on the property. Salem residents have the opportunity to grow vegetables that benefit their families and local organizations. The Peters family had another successful harvest of corn on the property and the trail that meanders around the property gives local residents a great place to walk. We also completed the sale of the house on the Hawkins property. I would like to thank the Blondins, especially Joan for their work in the community gardens.

    In 2012 Chris Kane completed phases 1 and 2 of his monitoring the town’s conservation easements. This process will continue throughout 2013.

    In an effort to protect floodplains and Prime Wetlands and increase flood storage, the Commission has purchased a conservation easement off Briar and Martin Avenues. This parcel is approximately 16 acres. The Commission is committed to protecting such lands in the Town of Salem. 

     The Conservation Commission received a conservation easement of 8.8 acres on Lowell Rd as part of the Meadows subdivision.

     In 2012 a parcel of town owned land at 114 Lawrence Rd was turned into the Bill Valentine Memorial Park by Eagle Scout Brian Piccarello. Eagle Scout projects are a welcome benefit to the Commission and the community.

   In closing, the Commission would like to thank all the voters and taxpayers for their support in 2012. We thank Ross Moldoff, Sue Strugnell, and Judy Day for their support.  I personally would like to thank all the members of the Commission for their dedication month after month volunteering their time and talent to make Salem a better community.

Respectfully submitted, 

William A. Dumont, Chair 

2010 Conservation Commission Annual Report

In 2010, the Salem Conservation Commission continued to be very active as a Commission. Having a full set of members plus 2 alternates, the Commission set goals to achieve. The 2 major goals the Commission achieved were an Open Space Plan for Salem coordinated by Julie LaBranche of the Rockingham Planning Commission and an updated Town Forest Management plan that was prepared by forester Ron Klemarczyk. The commission also conducted site walks and invited guest speakers that assisted members in complete knowledge of conservation matters in the state.

In 2010, the Salem Conservation Commission was active in the upkeep of the Salem Town Forest. Working with the community and organizations within the community such as Eastern Mountain Sports and Keurig, the Commission was able to complete many projects in the forest. We were able to stain the Wally Shultz Bridge, the parking lot sign board, and the sign at the entrance of the Town Forest. Many hours were spent in the maintenance of the trails throughout the forest and we made many improvements in the parking area. I would like to thank Bill Dumont for his countless hours spent on the upkeep of the Town Forest.

In 2010, the Salem Conservation Commission completed its acquisition of the Hawkins property by making its final payment to the previous owners. Our second year at Hawkins allowed us to expand our community gardens which have allowed many Salem residents to grow vegetables. The Peter’s family continued their efforts in growing corn on the property and the Hawkins trail continues to give residents a great walk in the nature. We continue to work with the Salem Housing Authority to keep the house occupied.

With the completion of the Lawrence Road bridge, the Commission will work to install a canoe launch on the property.

In closing, it is the Commission’s goal to continue its efforts in 2011 for the preservation of town land and the protection of wetlands. In 2011, we will continue to monitor conservation easements. In 2010, the commission started a comprehensive tree inventory and we will continue the efforts in 2011.

The Commission would like to thank all the voters and taxpayers for their support. We thank Ross Moldoff, Sue Strugnell, and Judy Day for their support over the past year. I personally would like to thank all the members of the Commission for their dedication month after month and their time and talent to make Salem a better community.

Sincerely,
William P. Carter - Chairman

2008 Annual Report

In 2008, the Conservation Commission continued its makeover which started in 2007. The commission lost 2 key members in 2008. The passing of Bill White our secretary and resignation of Maureen Pomeroy our vice-chair caused the Commission to seek 2 full time members. Filling those positions and filling 2 alternate positions has slowed the Commission’s business. I thank both Bill and Maureen for their service to the town of Salem. Education of new Commission members started in late 2008 and will continue into 2009. We will continue to strive to educate our Commission members on wetlands and shoreland protection issues in the coming year.

In 2008, the Salem Conservation Commission was very active in the community, offering opportunities for residents to learn and explore about issues and properties within the town. The Commission offered an Earth Day nature walk in the Town Forest in April. The Commission participated in this year’s SalemFest where we highlighted the Town Forest and our work in organizing the Bike- Ped Corridor project. We expanded our website and I would like to thank Derek Schultz for all his hard work developing the website.

In 2008, the Conservation Commission conducted a 25-acre tree harvest in the Town Forest. This was the first harvest in the Town Forest since 1994 and I believe that this harvest will help the forest regenerate for the enjoyment of future generations. The Commission made 2 key land acquisitions in 2008. First, in early 2008 we purchased the property at 114 Lawrence Road which is located along the Spickett River. Plans for this property are on going and we look for this to help in mitigation of potential flooding along the Spickett. Our second purchase was the Hawkins Farm property at 38 Town Farm Road. This 15-acre parcel located on the eastern side of Salem is one of the prime properties in our town, with wetlands, floodplain, an open farm field, and beautiful views. We all know how much the Hawkins family has dedicated to the town and the commission has many plans for the site. Farming the site will start in April. We have also started a nature path around the property and hope to start community gardening over the next year on the property. The house there will be managed by the Salem Housing Authority as affordable rental housing. I thank the residents of Salem for their support of these purchases.

In closing, it is the Commission’s goal to continue its efforts in 2009 for the preservation of town land and protection of our wetlands. We have offered our assistance to the Flood Management Action Committee in their efforts with the flooding issues in town. We are developing a gameplan to inventory all town owned lands and conservation easements in the Town of Salem. I encourage all residents in Salem to help keep our town clean.

The commission would like to thank all the voters and taxpayers for their support. We thank Ross Moldoff, Sue Strugnell, and Judy Day for their support over the past year. I personally would like to thank all the members of the Commission for their dedication month after month and their time and talent to make this a better community. 

Sincerely,
William P Carter
Chairman

2007 Annual Report

In 2007, the Conservation Commission took on a new look. George Jones, who led the Commission for most of the past 30 years, retired from public life. We thank George for his many years of excellent service and leadership. Another long-time member, Bill Valentine, passed away. Bill will be remembered as a strong advocate for environmental protection in Salem. The appointment of 2 new members and 2 new alternates changed how the commission operated We spent the first part of 2007 training the members on the Commission’s rules and regulations and getting them oriented to the typical procedures. Our goal is to better educate the commission on wetlands, shoreland protection and the better use of town-owned lands in Salem. 

Much time was spent reviewing and adopting a set of criteri
a for the acquisition of public land. The Rail-Trail continues to move forward and progress will come along in 2008. 

A wildlife habitat enhancement project at the Town Forest has been completed with the clearing of 4.5 acres surrounding Trail A, E, F, and H. The Conservation Commission is currently in the process of contracting for a timber harvest at the Town Forest, the first since 1994. This should be completed over the coming months. 

The Town Forest continues to be an area of improvements with the addition of a new signboard at the intersection of Trail A and E. I would like to thank Luke Morris and Boy Scout Troop 409 for the building of the signboard as part of his Eagle Scout project. Please keep our Town Forest looking great. If you bring anything in to the Forest, please bring it out and dispose it in a proper place. The Town Forest is a true jewel in the Town of Salem. 

Once again our thanks to you the voters and taxpayers for your support, to Ross Moldoff, Susan Strugnell and Judy Day for their help throughout 2007. I personally thank the members of the commission and our alternates who month after month give of their time and talent to make this a better community. 

Sincerely, 
William P. Carter 
Chairman

2006 Annual Report

It was a long time coming, but 2006 saw the completion of the first phase of the public information program that got underway in 2005. From this point forward, the effort to educate owners of property abutting wetlands or subject to wetland or shoreland regulations will be automatically triggered by transfers in ownership. Our thanks to the staffs of our assessing and IT departments.

 

The multimodal, non motorized, recreation trail a/k/a the Rail-Trail project has made very little progress this year. We are aware that more and more groups are expressing interest and we particularly applaud the efforts of others to repair and restore the old rail station building in the depot. We expect that facility, in restored condition, will greatly enhance not only the historic aspects of the depot, but also the recreational and alternative transportation aspects of the overall project. We encourage you to support that effort and make use of this linear park area.

 

In March, you, the voters, approved more Prime Wetland designations within the town. Thank you! We are nearing the end of the list of fifteen identified candidate wetlands in town and we again ask for your support for further designations that will be before you at the 2007 Town Meeting elections.

 

Plans are underway to carry out another wildlife habitat enhancement within the Town Forest. We are hopeful that either the ground will freeze up or more likely, dry out long enough for us to once again bring in the heavy equipment to chip another 1-2 acre patch of younger grown which will force prolific sprouting and create habitat which will encourage ground nesters and feeders to make greater use of the forest environment. We know that the forest trails are favorite places for people to walk their dogs and we ask you to remember to keep your dog on a leash as required by our usage rules. Curious and or aggressive dogs discourage the ground nesting and feeding birds and small mammals that we are trying to encourage. Thanks.

 

If you would like to assist us in the maintenance of the Town Forest please be on the lookout for notices of work days in the spring and late fall of each year. Don’t forget to join us for the annual Earth Day events taking place in the forest in April.

 

Open space acquisition continues to be a priority of the Commission. This year the Commission is sponsoring a bond article to raise sufficient funds to allow the purchase of a significant portion of the Duston Farm property located on Duston road. This farm, which was in the hands for the Duston family since the early 1800’s, is one of the very few working farms left in this town. In less than forty years, Salem has gone from a largely rural, agricultural community to a mostly urban and suburban one. For those of us who were born and raised here and for many of us who came here because it was so rural the loss has been traumatic. We hope that you will join with us in saving this important and historic piece of rural Salem.

 

Once again our thanks to you the voters and tax payers for your support, to Ross Moldoff and Susan Strugnell our staff members and to the eight volunteer members and alternates who month after month give of their time and talent to make this a better community, thank you.

 

George P. Jones, III
Chairman