The meeting started at 7:03 p.m.
Commission members present: Fred Stocking (chair), Pat Wallace, Nancy Pochan, Raymonde Dumont (secretary)
Others Attending: Sally Smith, Jo Cooper, Michael Garrett, Joan Bragdon, Jim and Lucia Michielli
Minutes of the Previous Meeting: The minutes of January 8, 2002 were reviewed and approved by a vote of 4-0.
Presentation by Barbara Charry, Wildlife Biologist for the Maine Audubon Society, on Natural Habitats and the impact of development.
“Beginning with Habitat” is a cooperative statewide effort involving a number of conservation agencies. It documents the impact of development on wildlife, which includes 1. Direct loss of habitat, 2. Fragmentation of habitat and barriers to wildlife travel, 3. Reduction of undisturbed lot size below the area needed for certain species, 4. The effects of roads as barriers, as causing roadkill, and as bringing in additional development, and 5. Increased “edge effect”, which favors species that thrive on the joining edge of different habitats, including several predators, over other species which require more specific habitats.
Barbara delineated considerations for planners who wish to minimize the effect of development on wildlife, such as preserving areas of open space large enough to sustain sensitive species, including 250 acre parcels to support area-sensitive bird species; 50+acre grassland parcels; and at least one 5-7000 acre parcel per larger eco-region for animals species like the bobcat, moose, turtle and others.
She also drew our attention to the special habitats which exist in Lamoine. These include 1. A plant species of special concern, the Seabeach Sedge; 2. The presence of vernal pools which are essential to the reproduction of species like frogs, who in turn play a vital role in the food chain; 3. Old fields and grassland parcels greater than 50 acres, which support bird species such as the meadowlark; 4. Wetlands. She noted that both young succession forests and old forests are in decline and that their preservation in Lamoine would be beneficial.
Finally, Barbara made a number of habitat maps available to the Conservation Commission, the Planning Board, and the citizens of the Town of Lamoine. These maps show the locations, to the extent they are known to “Beginning with Habitat”, of riparian habitats (i.e. adjacent to water) which harbor 75% of existing species in an area, and of high value habitats which support an additional 5% of species. Remaining large undeveloped areas are also mapped, as are wetlands.
Available Resources and upcoming conservation events: A discussion was held regarding possible ways to utilize the above information, and to gather additional information from citizens (such as hunters and fishermen) who know the area well. It was decided that a workmeeting would be held to this effect on February 19, at 7PM. In addition, the possibility was considered of setting up a table at the Annual Town Meeting, to make the data and the maps available to the residents of Lamoine. Fred Stocking will write a memo to the selectman about the “Lamoine Habitat Maps”. He will also invite Barb Welch to be our next public speaker, and discuss the Frenchman Bay Conservancy. Rae Dumont will contact Boy Scouts to inquire whether they are interested in a project to set up a website for the Conservation Commission.
Discussion of the Park Ordinance proposal: Fred compiled a draft for an ordinance, based on the discussion of a workgroup held in December. After review by other members, this will be further discussed at the April meeting.
Report from the Forestry Working Group: Nancy Pochan indicated that she and Ken Smith are working on a draft for a Forestry Ordinance proposal. Another workshop to discuss it will be scheduled in March (date to be determined).
The Planning Board meeting of last week was reported on by Fred Stocking. The Pettigrow lobster pound is still being debated. Two subdivision proposals came up for consideration, for a total of 24 new units. This highlights the development pressure in Lamoine. Jo Cooper reported that one of the proposed developments contains an old apple orchard, including heirloom apple species (notably, the “Marlboro Apple”) which deserve preservation. The proposal for the Aquifer Protection Zone was modified in response to public concerns, and will be presented at a hearing before the March Town Meeting and referendum. The Planning Board noted the work of the Conservation Commission, which addresses issues the Planning Board does not have the time to pursue in depth.
Concerns of those attending: The display of the Lamoine Habitat Maps was discussed. Joan Bragdon indicated that the GIS map of the APZ disappeared while being displayed in the Town Office. A more secure display would be desirable. Rae will contact Boyscout Leaders Doug Jones and Ted Duffy about the possibility of constructing a Plexiglas display case.
The preservation of the Mud Creek area will be placed on a future agenda.
Jo Cooper discussed the possibility of Cable Television broadcasting of all Town Meetings and Commission meetings.
The meeting adjourned at 9:02 p.m.
Lamoine Conservation Commission