606 Douglas Highway
Lamoine, Me 04605
Minutes of the Meeting of April 9, 2003

The meeting started at 7:07 p.m.

Commission members present: Fred Stocking (chair), Susan Wuorinen, Nancy Pochan, Raymonde Dumont (secretary)

Others Attending: John Wuorinen

Minutes of the Previous Meeting: The minutes of March 19, 2002 were reviewed and approved by a vote of 3-0 (with a small grammar correction). February minutes re-approved after a correction by a vote of 4-0.
Rae will provide the town office with signed copies of January, February and March meetings.

Forestry Practices Ordinance update: Nancy noted that triggers for application of an ordinance need to be further defined; legal aspects of what the town has control over need to be reviewed; and ultimately, resource materials need to be developed for recommended sustainable forestry practices. The next step in this process will be a subcommittee meeting (Nancy Pochan and Ken Smith), and this will be reported at the next LCC meeting.

Rae raised the question of whether further research will be needed. Fred raised the possibility of a permitting process aimed at providing information, rather than restrictions. Susan suggested using available materials from State Forestry department. Nancy wondered about making information available to all property owners, rather than only in response to a permit application; she proposed consideration of incentives for sustainable forestry practices.

Parks Ordinance: Fred drafted a proposal. Discussion will be postponed to the May LCC meeting, and Fred will invite Stu Branch to attend as he has an active interest in the topic. Members agreed to review the draft before the next meeting.

May LCC meeting, and further work with Natural Habitats: Barb Welch, of the Frenchman Bay Conservancy, will speak on May 14 at 7 PM (during first half of regularly scheduled LCC meeting). Rae will send announcements to Stu Markoon for distribution to residents, and to the local newspapers. Fred will try to obtain a press release from the Conservancy, to be attached to the announcements.

We will have the Habitat maps available to rely on for the discussion. It is hoped that progress can be made toward conservation of valuable habitat around Mud Creek, and the Pinkham Flats meadows. Fred said Barb Welch expressed an interest. There may well be public support for this area as well. There are other valuable habitats in town, but information is needed about ownership. Susan offered to discuss with Stu how to make a copy of the tax maps for use by the LCC. Fred suggested making a grid of the town for easy reference of areas on the map.

Susan is acquiring GIS skills. Rae informed her the Habitat maps are available in GIS fromat on CD-ROM, and Susan will obtain these from the Maine Natural Areas Program in Augusta. A discussion was held about the process of compiling data (such as photographs) for Habitat maps, and the presumptions built into the map. Boy Scouts have expressed a willingness to construct plexiglass cases for the Habitat maps over the summer, for public display. The nearly blank map can be used to indicate new information as it is gathered.

Conservation projects will require funds, for materials, research, and possible acquisition of property to be protected. Grants will need to be looked into. As a first step, contacts will need to be made with residents interested in conservation, and property owners wishing to preserve valuable habitat. Presentations such as Barb Welch’s can contribute to this effort. Barb will be asked for the list of Conservancy Members who reside in Lamoine.

Gravel Pit Restoration proposal : Fred reviewed the existing ordinance and drafted proposed amendments. Susan contributed her research of the issue. It was noted that the town has the authority to enforce its own ordinance, once approved, even if it is more stringent than the State requirements.
Salient points were:

Currently, the record of a restoration agreement is not kept at the town office (but at the County Registry of Deeds in Ellsworth). All agreed a copy of the proposals should be kept in the permit file for access and review.

It was proposed that penalties should be replaced by non-renewal of the gravel extraction permit, in cases of failure to comply with restoration plans.

It was suggested that a certified landscape architect be required to inspect the premises after restoration. Susan will research what the qualifications and licensing of landscape architects entail. Discussion was held about how professional licensing may (or may not?) provide some guarantee of objective opinion, even if the gravel pit owner were to be required to hire the evaluation done.

All agreed it would be beneficial to require that a report of any restoration efforts be included with ALL requests for renewal of a permit, whether or not there had previously been a proposal on file.

Fred will review his draft based on this discussion, and a working group will take place on May 7 at 7 PM, at the Lamoine School, to complete the proposal and hopefully to submit it to the Planning Board.

Planning Board concerns : Susan reported that the lobster pound remains under discussion. An application for a permit there has been accepted as complete. Doug Gott’s application for permit a stump grinding is on hold.

The meeting adjourned at 9:01 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Raymonde Dumont
Lamoine Conservation Commission