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Conservation Commission Minutes

December 10, 2014

Members present: Larry Libby, Chair; Anne LaBossiere, David Legere, Linda Penkalski, Doug Stewart

Alternate present: Larissa Thomas

Absent Alternate: Nancy Pochan

Meeting was convened at the Lamoine Town Hall by chairman Libby at 7:06 PM.

Planning Board/Select Board Concerns: There was no member of the select board in attendance, David Legere who is an alternate member of the planning board m entioned that the board is working on its own version of the gravel pit permitting process. This is being done with an eye to streamlining the process. The select board is doing the same and does have the final word on the format that is presented.

Topics Discussed:

1.  Consideration of the minutes of the November 12th meeting.

2.     Big Trees, any state or county program? Linda Penkalski reported on the findings of her research. One of her contacts was Sally Cook from the Ellsworth Garden Club which had done a “Big Tree Contest” as a part of Ellsworth's Sesquicentennial observance in 2013. Cook shared a great deal of information with Penkalski who then relayed it to the commission. To get some of the information about what constitutes a “big tree,” go to Google and enter “Project Canopy.” From there, go over to “programs” and click “big trees.” This will lead you to the Maine Registry of Big Trees. Penkalski mentioned that she wasn't sure when Maine developed this registry but the United States Registry of Big Trees has been in existence since 1940. There was a lot of discussion about how Lamoine might be able to identify its big trees and first of all, how to reach out to the community to engage them in this pursuit. It was suggested that at some point, we might utilize the town's website, face book page and Lamoine Quarterly to get information out to the public. We would also include info in the Ellsworth American.

3.     Blunts Pond: Doug Stewart reported on his meeting with Megan Facciolo, District Manager of the Hancock Soil and Water Conservation District. At the end of September, the two of them paddled on the pond to give Facciolo a first hand look at this wonderful treasure in our town. Facciolo noted that our pond wasn't included in the list of ponds and lakes in Maine. Facciolo will follow up on that omission and be sure that Blunts is added to the list.   They did a quick check of the pond's plant  and insect life and its water quality and depth. Doug reported that the pond is filled with milfoil. The good news is that it's all native. Facciolo expressed an interest in possibly doing an invasive plant survey in the spring. She also offered some suggestion of other things that might be done. The Conservation Commission is interested in understanding the “health of the pond”and plans to contact the Lamoine.Park Commission to see if they might be interested in connecting on any future activities related to the information obtained by Facciolo. We also mentioned connecting with Shawn Donovan who has developed and mapped an underwater trail of the pond. It would be good to have a copy of his trail to add to our Trails of Lamoine information.

4.     Plans for GET WET! Linda Penkalski gave us the dates for this year's program with the students in Carol Duffy's class at the Lamoine Community School. On Wednesday, January 21st, John Peckenham will meet with the students in Duffy's classroom at 9:00 AM. The water testing will take place on January 22nd. Volunteers will meet at the school at 8:00 that  morning and students will join us at 8:30. The testing takes around an hour and forty-five minutes give or take. Peckenham returns to the school in the spring to share the results with the students. Plans to do this with Ellsworth High School students are not firmed up yet.

5.    Public Meeting in the Spring: We are working to find a compatible date with Linda Welch at the Millbridge office of USFWSwho spoke at the Convergence Conference in  October that several LCC members, past and present attended. We are suggesting that she share a discussion of the impacts of climate change on  bird populations and migration patterns in or around Frenchman Bay. Specific reference to the waters surrounding Lamoine would add local interest.

6.   Other: Larissa Thomas shared her conversation with Carol Korty about working together to digitize the files residing in the LCC Archives.  Larissa said she would need to work with someone who has knowledge of the files to make it possible for retrieval later.

At 8:15 the meeting moved into executive session to discuss LCC Award.

Motions and Outcomes: The minutes of the Nov. 12th meeting were approved.                

Follow-up Actions and Who Will Do Them:

1.     Re: Blunts Pond: Larry Libby will contact Christina Bray, the chairman of the Lamoine Parks Commission to share info.

2. Re: Public Meeting: Larry Libby will contact Linda Welch to select a date.


3.     Re: Next step/s for digitizing LCC Archives: Larry will speak with Carol Korty and get back to the LCC members.

4. Larry will contact LCC members about plans for development work at the Simon Woods Trail.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:59 PM.

Minutes taken by Anne Labossiere and approved on January 14, 2015.