Conservation Commission Projects

Summary of Active Projects – see links for details and current status

Water Quality Study – For the past several years the Town’s Health Office and the Londonderry Conservation Commission (LCC) has monitored the West River at several points by taking water samples and sending these to the state laboratory for analysis. Year after year the results come back indicating that the West River in South Londonderry has high e.coli contamination. See 2007 Report and 5 Year Summary* E.coli is a bacteria usually associated with sewage/fecal matter and is hazardous and potentially deadly to humans when ingested. This has resulted in some popular swimming holes in town being closed. In 2008 the West River Watershed Alliance came to the LCC to form a partnership to find, identify and ultimately fix the source of the pollution. The first phase of the study was completed in the summer of 2008 with a $500 Grant from the VT Department of Environmental Conservation and matching funds of the Town. Continued efforts will need to be made but the source has been narrowed.  Click here to view the full report by the West River Watershed Alliance. Look for future events and reports..*report file is 2.41 Mb

Wooly Adelgid – Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) is a very small, non-native insect that damages and kills forest and ornamental hemlock trees. It feeds by inserting a long stylet (tube) through the base of the needles, into the twig and sucking food from the tree’s storage cells. It has devastated hemlock forests in our nieghboring state of Massachusetts.This is a pest whose population has been spreading North since introduction from Asia to Virginia in the 1950’s. It has been found in towns as close a Jamaica, VT and southward along the West River Valley. In January the LCC partnered with the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation who are tracking and keeping an eye on HWA, along with implementing eradication and control programs, conducting an public education workshop about HWA. It was well attended and participants were asked to serve a volunteer spotters for the town. So far HWA has not been located in Londonderry. Early detection is crucial in development of a response plan.

In addition to HWA there are a number of introduced non-native insects that threaten our forests and ecosystem. Both Asian Longhorn Beetle and Emerald Ash Borer have been found in neighboring States with devastating consequences for those communities.For more information go to the VT FPR website at:
http://www.vtfpr.org/protection/idfrontpage.cfm/

Invasive Species – Non-native, invasive plant species have become common in many of Vermont’s forests. Invasive species can out-compete native plants and often become the dominant vegetation type, threatening the regeneration of native species important for wildlife habitat, biodiversity, and timber production as well as having a negative impact on recreational oppotunities. As a result, the successful, long-term management of Vermont’s forests will increasingly depend on the ability of land managers to develop and implement techniques and strategies to control invasive species and restore native plant communities. In the summer of 2008 the LCC partnered with the Vermont Chapter of The Nature Conservancy to put on a public presentation, called Wise On Weeds, addressing this issue. As a follow-up the LCC plans to do a invasive plant inventory and eradication program on a parcel of town owner land in the late summer of 2009. For more information on Invasive plant species go to;

TNC Wise on Weeds 2008 workshop or VT FPR http://www.vtfpr.org/protection/idfrontpage.cfm/

Acquifer Study -The project to map the Town’s ground water resources (aquifer), was formally approved by the Select Board and the Vermont Commissioner of the State Agency of Natural Resources during 2007, and initial geological study was undertaken in the fall of 2007.This is a joint program between the Conservation Commission and the Vermont Geological Survey Office. (The State provides 75% of the cost and the Town 25%. Londonderry was awarded this project through competitive evaluation of proposals during the fall of 2006.)

In addition to the initiation of geological work, the Geological Survey Office has provided us with an new and expanded database of drilled wells in the Town. This will give us a much more accurate map of existing wells and information about those wells. The well database will be “overlayed” on the aquifer map that will be prepared by the geologists. The resulting information will be of use to the Planning Commission and others concerned with the effects of growth on our ground water supply.

A detailed surficial geology map of the Town has been completed, and the corrected location of drilled wells is shown on the map. Current work involves soil and rock analysis using drilling reports from these wells; the result of this analysis will be a geological map showing the location of the Town’s aquifers.

Shamberg Property – In 2002 the owners of a one-hundred-acre parcel of land offered to give it to the town.  The Conservation Fund was used to accept the land in 2004.  Following the acquisition of the Shamberg property, the Conservation Commission decided that a comprehensive resource survey and management plan was needed. Fortunately the State of Vermont also expressed interest in the conservation efforts for this property and agreed to undertake the long range management plan. Much work was started and completed on the Shamberg Property during 2007. A forest resource inventory was completed in July in preparation for the Long Range Management Plan, drafted in early 2008 . During the inventory process all species of plants and wildlife found were identified and documented in addition to the typical evaluation of the timber resource present. Wildlife habitat type mapping, such as wetlands/swamps and forest type, were delineated along with a preliminary natural communities map which outlines basic ecological relationships within the property. Several wildlife surveys were also conducted both for a presence/absence baseline and a course filter for rare, threatened or endangered species.. See details at Shamberg.