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Old 11-21-2016, 07:00 PM   #35
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Default Taking action

I talked to Fish & Game today, as well as DES, and the Alton Conservation Commission, and did a little research on my own.

First, in addition to RSA 210:9 cited earlier by Shore Things, which describes beaver dam removal, there is 206:19 which makes non-compliance a violation with fines up to $1000. There is no administrative fine option such as DES has for various non-compliance issues. IMO, the goal of both agencies, when there is a problem, is to get things remediated, rather than just collecting fines. They agree. Such a violation/fine would have to be adjudicated, same as a speeding ticket. That is, somebody has to file an official complaint and take it to court where the judge would set the fine, if somebody is found guilty.

Next,I spoke to the Environmental Programs Administrator in the Wetlands Division at DES. He will check with his compliance people to see if somebody went to the site (as mentioned in an earlier post), and if so, what their findings were. At this point, I'm waiting for a return call.

Third, I contacted the Alton Conservation Commission. They are aware of the issue and it is on their meeting agenda for December 5, 2016. I would suggest Alto residents and/or property owners attend the meeting. If you are unable to attend, you should at least write a letter to them describing your interest and concerns. The chair is Ralph Bagley a long time resident. I suspect many of you know him. As a member of a commission, he generally cannot act independently, but he represents the Commission when they vote for particular action.

If remediation is called for, the Town of Alton with or through the Alton Conservation Commission would file a complaint to DES, and perhaps DOT (if they are the likely ative party; hasn't been confirmed yet. There seemed to be a question of town or state crew)). If appropriate, the agencies involved would bring the issue to the Attorney Generals office for further action. The State of NH self-insures, but it is similar to making a claim against an insurer if you suffer property damage.

There was some discussion about additional legislation that would require a permit or notification before removing a beaver dam. Possible, but it appears the NH House of Representatives in recent years has been trying to minimize new regulations and permits, etc. The bill filing deadline for the coming year is Friday, December 2 at 3:00 pm.
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