Chesterfield Conservation Commission is a town commission as authorized under RSA 36-A for the Town of Chesterfield, New Hampshire. It is an advisory and educational body.
The Chesterfield Conservation Commission focuses on environment protection, educational activities, hiking trails, enhancing visual and wildlife characteristics in town, collaborating with the zoning/planning board and assisting the State of New Hampshire through the wetland and shoreland permit process.
Chesterfield Conservation Commission meetings are held on the fourth Monday of each month at 7:30 pm at the Chesterfield Town Office (unless otherwise posted).
Our mission has been to preserve and enjoy the town’s incredible natural resource, its land. The Commission feels strongly that access to our public lands is essential to the appreciation of their value, and has helped establish and maintain trail networks throughout town. Maps are provided on this site.
CCC Annual Report
Updates & Announcements
CCC Annual Report
The Chesterfield Conservation Commission (CCC) continues to focus on environment protection, educational activities, hiking trails, enhancing visual and wildlife characteristics in town, collaborating with the zoning/planning board and assisting the State of New Hampshire through the wetland permit process.
In 2020, the Chesterfield Conservation Commission supported the efforts to protect Spofford Lake contributing $6,500.00 to the successful Spofford Lake milfoil prevention program and commended the work of the Spofford Lake Association in their efforts to reduce erosion and maintain the high water quality. As board members of the Spofford Lake Association (SLA), Susan Donahue and Lynne Borofsky serve as liaisons to the SLA. Pam Walton measures the lake level and reports the level at the CCC meetings. In addition, she serves as a liaison to the Working Group of the DES 319 remediation grant. A letter in support of a second 319 grant was sent to Jeff Marcoux at DES by the CCC.
This year we agreed to update our Natural Resource Inventory using the Moosewood Ecological LLC services to maintain a current index of our town’s natural resources. Pam Walton has begun to involve the Chesterfield School students and parents in a bioblitz working with the Chesterfield School Outdoor Education Committee (OEC).
The CCC continues to partner with the Monadnock Conservancy to protect lands critical to the Town’s values and visual character as identified in the town master plan. An important achievement in protecting the agricultural character of Chesterfield was accomplished in 2020 with the Evans Farm easement. This 37.5 acre parcel forms part of the scenic gateway to the Chesterfield village when approaching from the south along Rt. 63. With scenic views to the Vermont hills, this active farm is now permanently committed to agricultural use and public access.
Another achievement accomplished over the past year is the transfer of Otter Pond Forest from private ownership to the Town of Chesterfield. This 134 acre easement protected parcel consists of forests and wetlands with an extraordinary diversity of wildlife. Additional details on both of these properties can be found on the Conservation Commission website.
On October 20th in conjunction with the Friends of the Chesterfield Library, the CCC sponsored a Zoom program (presented by naturalist Suzy Spikol from the Harris Center) on coexisting with coyotes, fisher and bear. One hundred and twenty-four people signed up for the program and over 60 attended.
The CCC continues to maintain hiking trails in the Friedsam Town Forest and the Madame Sherri Forest, thanks to the work of the much appreciated trail adopters for their volunteer efforts. This year we replaced the bridge to Audrey’s Meander/Doug Sargent Trail entering at the Upper Lot, the sign and bridge walkway on the Ancient Oaks Trail entering on the Rte 63 Lot. In addition, the Wantastiquet-Monadnock Trail now has a primitive campsite near the Swanzey Road, Beal’s Road and Stone Mill’s as part of the fifty mile trail system. A successful trail workday cleared the Ann Stokes Loop and Daniel’s Mt. Loop in the Madame Sherri Forest preparing it for safe winter travel. The volume of visitors to the Madame Sherri Forest during this pandemic has been beyond any anticipated use. We are proud that our town provides the needed outdoor recreation during these time.
The CCC has launched an updated website which includes information on the events, trails and naturals areas and informational links. Please visit www.chesterfield-conservation-commission.com.
Ending the year 2020, the CCC members include:
Lynne Borofsky, Kathy Thatcher, Pam Walton, Bruce Jacobs, Susan Donahue, Chris Oot (alternative) and Fran Shipee as Selectboard Representative.
Thanks to all of our volunteers this year, you all made us look good!
Have you ever wondered what that strange bug is called or the name of a plant you often see hiking?
iNaturalist is an easy-to-use free app that can answer those questions.
Go to iNaturalist.org and set-up an account, next download the app to your phone or ipad. Go out into your yard and surrounding area taking pictures of the plants, insects and animals that you observe. After taking the pictures submit them to iNaturalist. Often in seconds the iNaturalist community will identify your subjects, make suggestions on their identities or confirm what you thought. You can then choose to share your observations adding to your community's data base. In addition, you can choose to "explore" in the app and see what your neighbors have observed.
Your observations and additions to the data base will help the Chesterfield Conservation Commission and Jeff Littleton of Moosewood Ecological to update the Chesterfield Natural Resources Inventory.
Thanks to Paul Link for the incredible clean-up in the James O'Neil Forest !!