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The Gilmanton Conservation Commission was established by Town vote in 1966 for the proper utilization and protection of the natural resources, and for the protection of the watershed resources in the Town. 

The Conservation Commission consists of up to eleven appointed members - six regular members and five alternates.  Our activities can be generally divided into the following categories: land protection and management, interaction with the Wetlands Bureau, natural resources inventory, advisory capacity to other Town Boards, and education.  All of these activities require research on the part of the Commission. 

The Gilmanton Conservation Commission published the first Natural Resources Inventory for the Town of Gilmanton in the fall of 2004.  The Inventory took more than five years to complete and is an invaluable planning tool.  Beginning with Gilmanton’s topography, the Inventory covers soils, water resources, wetlands, vernal pools, groundwater and drinking water, agricultural resources, forest resources, town forests, natural communities, plant communities, beneficial insects, wildlife habitat, recreational trails, scenic resources and protected lands.    Portions of the Natural Resources Inventory are available online.  The complete document is available at the Academy Building.

Please feel free to contact us should you have questions concerning wetlands or other natural resources of Gilmanton.

Documents and Forms top of page
    Town Forest Ordinance - 
Natural Resources Inventory, September 2004 - 
Natural Resources Inventory Appendices - 
Bio-Solids - 
NHDES Newsletter - 
2018 Meeting Schedule - 
The Municipal EcoLink - 
Map - Natural Resource Co-occurrence - Areas where multiple natural resources occur are shown in darker shades.
New Law Banning Sale of Older, Uncertified Outdoor Wood Boilers - Effective 7/1/2017: Specifically, the law prohibits the sale, purchase, or installation of any residential OWB that is not certified by EPA.
Thompson Town Forest Trail Map - Map of a loop trail at the Thompson Town Forest at the end of Gale Road. Trail passes cellar holes, well and remnants of an old sap house and includes descriptive signs along the way.
Map - Conservation Lands - Map of conserved lands in Gilmanton as of March 2010
Map - Town Forests - Map showing location and name of each Town Forest as of March, 2008
Map - Surface Waters and Wetlands - Map showing National Wetland Inventory (NWI) wetlands and USGS wetlands.
Ella Stroud Memorial Forest Trail Map - Map with loop walking trail, snowmobile trail and unique wetlands (tupelo swamp)
2017 NH State Drawdown of Lakes - The annual fall drawdown of the lakes and ponds controlled by dams owned by NHDES will be initiated according to the attached schedule.
August 21, 2017 Joint Public Hearing Notice  - The Conservation Commission and Selectmen will hold a Joint Public Hearing regarding the disbursement of conservation funds for the acquisition of conservation land.
This is an Emerald Ash Borer Quarantine Zone! - The purpose of the quarantine is to support state management efforts to slow ash mortality caused by emerald ash borer; it prohibits the movement of materials capable of transporting emerald ash borer, unless it is in accordance with federal regulations.
Cogswell Mountain Conservation Area Trail Map - Trail map showing trails to the east and middle summit of Cogswell Mountain and to the observation platform at the beaver pond. Trail heads at the end of Lou Lane and behind the Year-Round Library.
Map - Unfragmented Lands - Unfragmented lands represent areas of the landscape that are not crossed by publicly traveled roads. Development fragments existing habitat into blocks that are often too small to support stable populations of some native species.

Commission Members
Click on the image to view a larger version
top of page
  Name Title Phone E-Mail Term Length Term Expiration
  Dick de Seve  Chair  (603) 267-6700 ex 29  2019 
  Tracy Tarr  Vice-Chair  (603) 267-6700 ex 29  2018 
  Patrick Hackley  Member  (603) 267-6700 ex 29  2019 
  Alec Carpenter   Member  (603) 267-6700 ex 29  2020 
  Sue Hale deSeve (alternate)  Alternate Member  (603) 267-6700 x 29  2019 
  Diane Marden  Recording Clerk  (603) 267-6700 x 29   

Frequently Asked Questions top of page
    What does current use mean?
Current use is a strategy aimed at making it easier for landowners to keep their open space undeveloped. Instead of being taxed on its income-producing capability. In other words, land is taxed as a woodlot, or a farm, not as a potential site for houses. Current use keeps property taxes at a lower, more predictable rate. (SPACE)

What is a conservation easement?
It is a permanent legally binding agreement between a landowner and a conservation organization or government agency that restricts the use of the land to protect its significant natural values. (PLT, SPNHF)

What is a forester?
A person trained in the science of developing, caring for, and cultivating forests. (NHPLT)

What is a Town Forest?
A Town Forest is not the same as conservation land because it has a special definition in State Law and must be voted as a Town Forest at Town Meeting. Gilmanton has seven Town Forests totaling approximately 666 acres. The purpose of a Town Forest is defined in NH RSA 31:111 as, “The main purpose of such city or town forest shall be to encourage the proper management of timber, firewood and other natural resources through planting, timber stand improvement, thinning, harvesting, reforestation, and other multiple use programs consistent with the forest management program, any deed restrictions and any pertinent local ordinances or regulations.”

What is a vernal pool?
Env-Wt 101.99 “Vernal pool” means a surface water or wetland, including an area intentionally created for purposes of compensatory mitigation, which provides breeding habitat for amphibians and invertebrates that have adapted to the unique environments provided by such pools and which: a) Is not the result of on-going anthropogenic activities that are not intended to provide compensatory mitigation, including but not limited to: 1) Gravel pit operations in a pit that has been mined at least every other year; and 2) Logging and agricultural operations conducted in accordance with all applicable New Hampshire statutes and rules; and: b) Typically has the following characteristics: 1) Cycles annually from flooded to dry conditions, although the hydroperiod, size and shape of the pool might vary from year to year; 2) Forms in a shallow depression or basin; 3) Has no permanently flowing outlet; 4) Hold water for at least 2 continuous months following spring ice-out; 5) Lacks a viable fish population; and 6) Supports one or more primary vernal pool indicators, or 3 or more secondary vernal pool indicators Env-Wt 101.71 “Primary vernal pool indicators” means the presence of physical evidence of breeding by marbled salamander, wood frog, spotted salamander, Jefferson-blue spotted salamander complex, or fairy shrimp. Env-Wt 101.82 “Secondary vernal pool indicators” means physical evidence used by wildlife biologists or certified wetlands scientists who are familiar with vernal pool habitats as evidence of the presence of a vernal pool, if primary vernal pool indicators are absent and other vernal pool characteristics suggest vernal pool habitat. Secondary vernal pool indicators include, but are not limited to, caddisfly larvae and case (Limnephilidae, Phyrganeidae, or Polycentropodidae), clam shrimp and their shells (Laevicaudata, Spinicaudata), fingernail clams and their shells (Sphaeriidae), aqautic beetle larvae (Dytiscidae, Gyrinidae, Haliplidae, and Hydrophilidae), dragonfly larvae and exuviae (Aeshnidae, Libellulidae), spire-shaped snails and their shells (Physidae, Lymnaeidae), flat-spire snails and their shells (Planorbidae), damselfly larvae and exuviae (Coenagrionidae, Lestidae), and true fly larvae and pupae (Cuculidae, Chaoboridae, and Chironomidae).

What is a wetland?
Those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwaters at a frequency and duration sufficient to support and that under normal circumstances do support a prevalence of vegetation adapted for life in saturated soil conditions, as defined by the Field Indicators for Identifying Hydric Soils in New England, New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (as amended) and the Corps of Engineers Wetlands Delineation Manual, Technical Report Y-87-1, Environmental Laboratory, Department of the Army, 1987. (Gilmanton Zoning Ordinance and State Law). Please see the Wetlands Bureau’s website for more information and fact sheets.

What is conservation?
The use of natural resources in a way that ensures their continuing availability to future generations. (PLT)

What is preservation?
To preserve the natural environment from the effects (both positive and negative) of human intervention. (The Encyclopedia of the Environment, Eblen)

What is SPACE?
Statewide Program for Action to Conserve our Environment (SPACE) is a not-for-profit coalition of natural resource conservation organizations, agricultural groups, recreational user groups, and concerned landowners and individuals dedicated to the conservation of New Hampshire's farms, forests, and open space through an effective Current Use taxation program. (SPACE)

What may I do in a Town Forest?
All Town Forests are open to the public. Please see the Town Forest Ordinance and Town Forests Map listed under documents on the Conservation Commission’s page.

When do I need a wetland permit?
The need to obtain a permit from the Wetlands Bureau is dictated by the following State Law; RSA 483-A:3, “ No person shall excavate, remove, fill, dredge or construct any structures in or on any bank, flat, marsh, or swamp in and adjacent to any waters of the state without a permit from the department. Please see the Wetlands Bureau’s website for more info at for more information or contact the Gilmanton Conservation Commission.

Links top of page
    Audubon Society of New Hampshire

Belknap Range Conservation Coalition

Five Rivers Conservation Trust

Gilmanton Land Trust

Healthy Drinking Water

Information on Trees, Forests and Forest Pests

New Hampshire Association of Conservation Commissions

New Hampshire Children in Nature Coalition

New Hampshire Fish and Game Department

New Hampshire Wildlife Action Plan

New NHDES Coastal Atlas Can Help Make Your Summer Weekend Plans

NH DES - Municipal EcoLink September 2017

Private well users - Healthy Drinking Water

Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests

SPACE (StatewideProgramofActiontoConserveourEnvironment)

State Announces Its 2013 Fall Drawdown of Lakes

State Announces Its 2016 Fall Drawdown of Lakes

State of New Hampshire DES - Shoreland Protection

State of New Hampshire DES - Wetlands Bureau

Trail Maps for the Belknap Range