Thorndike Pond Conservation Association, Inc
Box 595, Jaffrey, NH 03452
Minutes of the 2021 Annual Meeting
August 7, 2021, held at the boathouse at Camp Wanocksett
Also available via Zoom
The meeting was called to order by President Steve Magoun at 12:10.
To start the meeting Steve asked everyone present in person introduced themselves.
Jason Headlee, who had introduced himself as the point of contact for Berea, then described his organization. They took over the property that had been the Monadnock Bible Conference and then Monadnock Cristian Ministries. It will be called Camp Monadnock. Their mission is similar to that of their predecessors with a Christian focus. Headquartered in Hebron, NH, they also have property in Lyman, Maine and this is their 3rd property. They run youth camps and host church groups year around. They are currently focused on restoring the facility with the hope of opening around the first of the year. Their use of the waterfront on Thorndike, will be similar to what it has been.
Steve then held a moment of silence for members who had passed in the last year: Charity Brown, Barry Steinberg, Janet Jackson, and John Rowlands.
Steve reported that we have two new members since last year’s meeting: Brad and Pam White bought the home of Evie Hammerman, and Eman and Jackie Namati bought the home of Peter McGowan. In addition, Janet Grant is now our first contributing member in years. There are currently no properties for sale on the pond.
Steve reported that construction around the pond was taking place at the Hunt’s and Nash’s with planned development on the Foster property.
The minutes of last year’s meeting were approved on a motion by John Brouder, seconded by Lisa Frantzis.
Steve then described the actions taken by the board in the last year:
- Board member Roy Baldwin moved to Nebraska, and he appointed Jinnie Russell to fill the vacancy for the balance of the year.
- The board approved an increase in paid Lake Host hours and extended the coverage through the month of September, although we have so far had trouble hiring to fill those times.
- The board had one board removed from the dam following the record rain in July. This was done to prevent further problems caused by the high-water level. The board may or may not be reinstalled this summer, depending on the weather.
- A new role of Dam Contact was created.
- The board arranged for Gregg Potter to remove a tree that had fallen into the pond and was floating around.
- Amy Radin created a welcome package to better explain the organization for new members. A copy of the letter is attached but the package also contains a number of information flyers from the NH Lakes Organization.
On a motion by Peter Russell, seconded by Elise Strickland, the membership approved the actions taken by the board.
Next, Steve discussed the abnormally high rain in July, which prompted the board removal. He was prepared to show some pictures of the effects, but there was no projection available for the meeting. The state set a new record for rainfall in the month of July at 10-inches, but Jaffrey had the highest recorded rainfall in the state at 20-inches.
Jim Banghart then gave the treasurer’s report, a copy of which is included below. With a current bank balance of more than $100,000 it was pointed out that this could easily be consumed by any dam improvements. On the last improvements to the dam, an assessment was required to complete the work, but the bank balance at the time was necessary for the hydrology study and engineering work, which allowed us to get a bid on what the project would cost before making the assessment. There was a discussion on what and when this might be required, and if dues should be increased to avoid an assessment in the future. No action was taken, and the treasurer’s report was approved.
Jim Banghart next gave a report on the results of the water testing, a copy of which is included below. There were two parts to this report, first a summary of the state’s report on trends for lakes in NH which showed an increase in beach advisories, an increase in invasive species, and a decrease in water clarity. The second part included specific readings on the water chemistry on our pond. A simple summary is that we are better than the state average on virtually all measurements with no trends. Our pond is classified as oligotrophic, the best of the three recognized categories and for lakes in this category and our pond is unfavorable to some of the thresholds set for this quality of lakes. Steve Magoun took the opportunity to mention the Lake Smart program created and fostered by NH Lakes. Information on that can be found at https://nhlakes.org/. NH Lakes is a great resource for information and programs about lakes.
Steve Magoun gave the weed-watching report in the absence of Jim Potter. A copy of that is included below. The program is the second line of defense against invasive species and has not found any in our pond.
Anne Banghart next gave a report on Geese and other waterfowl. We were unsuccessful in finding the nest for the Canada Geese in time to take any action and the result was two families of geese, a family of 4 and a family of 6. A large population of ducks has been more problematic this summer, with excrement on rafts, pads, docks and beaches. Both geese and ducks compete with the Loons which are favored by most pond residents. Our normal line of defense against geese and ducks is fencing open areas of grass and beach, best done in early spring before they mate. After that scary eyed balloons and pinwheels can help deter them from rafts, docks and beaches. Amy Radin has had success by spraying “Goose Stop” around her property, which has no adverse effect on the geese or environment but has a slight odor. The Loons were unsuccessful in producing any chicks for the second year in a row, although two nest were identified.
Steve then opened the Lake Host discussion by summarizing Jim Potter’s report, also included below. Paid Lake Hosts are the primary means of coverage and though the board has approved increased hours, Jim has not yet been able to find people to provide the coverage. He has two leads that he credited Amy Radin in getting by putting a sign up at the boat ramp. The camps are unable to support the program to minimize COVID exposure, although Tammy Fortune reported that Wa-Klo is likely to be able to participate next year. Skip Cornelius discussed the volunteer lake host efforts, and an applause went up for those who have volunteered. There was a lengthy discussion on who and how to recruit paid Lake Hosts, what they should be paid, what hours are preferred, and how this is all funded. David Nash pointed out that the program is as much a teaching program as it is an inspection or policing action. Most boater arrive at the ramp well aware of the program and know what they are supposed to do, so we should not strive to have a host there 100% of the time. There was no motion or action at the end of the discussion.
Steve mentioned that permits are required for certain activities on the pond. Mentioned were:
- Fires, including campfires require a town burn permit.
- Tree and brush removal on the along the shoreline requires a state approval and must follow their guidelines.
- Docks either new or reconstructed require a state permit.
- Beaches must comply with state regulations which says that any sand must be set back from the lake.
Steve then presented volunteer opportunities helpful to the association and asked anyone interested to contact the lead for that activity. The program that we have are:
- Board of Directors: Steve Magoun
- Lake Host: is our primary activity with many options, Jim Potter.
- Dam Oversight: Steve Magoun.
- Water testing: Jim Banghart.
- Weed watching: Jim Potter.
- Geese/Pest control: Anne Banghart.
- Whittemore Island coordinator: Anne Banghart.
- Ice in/out reporting: John Brouder.
- Loon Preservation Committee contact: Jim Banghart & John Brouder.
The meeting then had a lengthy discussion on annual dues. The board recommended an increase from the current $100/year to $150/year to cover inflation from what the membership approved over 15 years ago, to build up the bank balance in anticipation of dam repairs/upgrades, and for increased hours for paid Lake Hosts. After discussing the issues at some length, with comments pro and con by many members Carol Greenwald made a motion to set dues for 2022 at $200. The motion was seconded by John Brouder and was approved unopposed.
David Nash, on behalf of the nominating committee, nominated the following people to serve on the board:
- Jinnie Russell for a two-year term as a board member at large
- John Brouder for a two-year term as a board member at large
- Steve Magoun for a second one-year term as President
- Lisa Frantzis for a second one-year term as Vice President
- Jim Banghart to serve another one-year term as Secretary/Treasurer
There were no other nominations, and they were all approved unanimously. Steve Nash and Jim Potter each have one year remaining on their two-year terms, to complete the seven-member Board of Directors.
Peter Russell reminded everyone of the 60th anniversary social being held at his house that evening and gave parking directions.
Steve Magoun thanked the Scouts for hosting the meeting and adjourned it at 1:42.
Operational checking Account
Starting Balance $1,455.79
Dam Registration $400.00
NH Lakes Dues $300.00
Water Testing $100.00
Dam Maintenance $80.00
Bank Charges $-
Lake Host Expense $5,074.50
Filing Fees $100.00
PO Box $76.00
Ending Balance $6,316.34
Account Action Amount Starting Balance Ending Balance
Checking $1,455.79 $6,316.34
Bank Credit $72.02
Totals $82,798.81 $92,870.83
Jim Banghart, Treasurer
2021 Water Report for Thorndike Pond
The state does a thorough analysis of the lakes every 5-years. This is a requirement of the federal Clean Water Act and must be submitted to the EPA. They issued a report last August. There are 800 lakes in NH with over 10 acres of surface area. Of those 170 participate in the VLAP program and this report was based on the results of 150 of those using this data.
When assessing lakes, they classify the lakes into one of three classes. Of those, Thorndike Pond is classified in the best class called Oligotrophic. Oligotrophic lakes are nutrient-poor (that is good), with few plants and very clear water.
The executive summary identified these trends on NH Lakes:
- The percentage of monitored beaches issued a fecal bacteria advisory and the number of days an advisory was in place significantly increased from 2003 to 2018.
- Aquatic invasive species infestations have increased from 2000 to 2018.
- Long-term analyses found water clarity significantly decreased (worsened) in mesotrophic and oligotrophic waterbodies, which they attributed to global warming and acid rain recovery.
- Ice-out on lakes is occurring significantly earlier in the year, which most attribute to global warming.
- Water temperature (at one meter below the surface) significantly increased in mesotrophic and oligotrophic waterbodies over the long-term, which they attribute to global warming.
There were many other conclusions where there were no trends.
They assessed the lakes in the following measurements:
- Chlorophyll-a is a metric for algae levels. The threshold for oligotrophic lakes is <3.3. We were 3.2 in June, 8.5 in July. The state average of 4.39
- pH reports the acidity level, threshold is 6.5-8, we were 7.36 on the surface in June, 6.1 in July. (6.1 at the inlets). The state average is 6.6. Our worst readings are at the inlets.
- Secchi depth measures water clarity, state average is 3.3m, we were 3.5 in June and 3.4 in July.
- Specific conductivity is a measure of salt and other chemicals in the water. The state average is 42.3, we were 28.4.
- Total Phosphorus measures the ability of the lake to support plant growth and I think is the single most important measurement we get. The threshold for oligotrophic lakes is <8. The state average is 11. We were 8.2 in July at the outlet, 10.4 on the surface at the deep spot. Our highest readings are at the SW Inlet and we got one of our lowest readings ever at the NW inlet in July
- Alkalinity measures the ability of the lake to neutralize acidity. The state average is 4.5 we were 3.1 in June 3.5 in July.
- Dissolved oxygen, we had no reading last year
- Water temperature, we had no reading last year.
For Thorndike Pond the report concluded that there were no long-term trends in any of the measurements. Short term increases were reported in specific conductivity and alkalinity.
At last year’s annual meeting I was asked to see why E-coli measurements were not included in the VLAP water testing that we do in cooperation with the State’s Department of Environmental Services. Here is their response.
VLAP is not a regulatory program in that we would not issue any advisories or alerts based upon E. coli sampling. The only program within DES that does that is our Beach Inspection Program. For example, if you chose to sample the beach through VLAP, I would not look up the results the next day and notify you of the levels. The Beach Inspection Program does just that. They collect samples monthly at town beaches, once the samples are analyzed, they check the results and respond quickly with issuing advisories and re-sampling if necessary. VLAP does not have the resources to do that.
I generally do not recommend bacteria sampling in the lake unless it’s a beach area, or an obvious problem with waterfowl or septic systems. Bacteria are naturally patchy in the environment and can be present in one area but not be present 10 ft. away. E. coli will die-off naturally within 24-28 hrs. unless there’s a persistent source present. The most common sources of E. coli to our lakes are wildlife and waterfowl. Humans in high abundance in small areas, such as we’ve seen this year at public beaches, are also sources. Humans have bacteria on our bodies, and if there’s no bathroom facility to use people tend to be filthy (for lack of better word). We have had complaints about babies being cleaned with lake water after changing a dirty diaper for example. Educating the public on best practices while at the beach is a good idea.
Jim Banghart, VLAP coordinator
2021 TPCA Lake Host Report
The lake host program is our primary defense against the introduction of non-native plants and animals into Thorndike Pond. These invasive species, once they get established in a body of water, are very difficult to irradicate. They often spread and overtake the local ecosystem of the lake resulting in killing off beneficial native plants and fish. They can make the water very unpleasant for swimming, boating, fishing, etc. This clearly has an impact on the value of waterfront properties.
The lake host program at bodies of water in NH is coordinated through NH Lakes, a nonprofit organization. We work with them to hire our paid lake hosts, provide us with a grant each year (based on volunteer hours spent by our members at the boat ramp) to help us cover the cost of the paid lake host salaries, provide training for volunteer and paid lake hosts, and provide uniforms (shirts, hats) and essential materials for lake hosts to be successful in their efforts.
Locally we manage our own lake host efforts through a team of TPCA members who volunteer their time. For 2021 the TPCA lake host leadership team is:
● Lake Host coordinator - Jim Potter
● Volunteer coordinator - Skip Cornelius
● Camp coordinator - John Brouder
● Grant writing, administration, including entering timesheets + boater data - Paul Santos
We have had some successes and some disappointments in our efforts this year. Our goal was to hire at least 2 paid lake hosts, initially for 24 hrs/wk. Later we decided to increase coverage to 44 hrs/wk. We successfully hired 3 paid lake hosts but were not able to get much more than 28 hrs on our best week. Then we lost one of our paid lake hosts in July, but we are in the process of hiring another one now. We have a few good prospects for next year. Volunteers have been stepping forward to fill some of the gaps and we wish more members would do the same. Thank you to all the volunteer lake hosts. You are performing a valuable service for our pond and also helping to increase our potential grant from NH Lakes toward the paid lake hosts next year. Unfortunately, the camps are still not able to assist us with any lake host hours.
The really good news is that we continue to have an active lake host program here and we have so far succeeded in keeping aquatic invasive species out of our beautiful Thorndike Pond.
Jim Potter, TPCA Lake Host Coordinator
2021 TPCA Weed Watching Report
Maintaining the beauty of Thorndike Pond is of vital importance to all of us. Keeping invasive plants and animals out is an important aspect of doing so. The first line of defense is the lake host program which is designed to prevent the introduction of such unwanted species. The second line of defense is the weed watching program which is designed to identify invasive species early so that efforts at eradication are easier, more effective, and less expensive.
The TPCA weed watching team for 2021 includes Jim & Anne Banghart, Eve Share Banghart, Emily Carr, Alisa Nash, Jim Potter, and Roberta Schnoor. Each member of the team has an assigned section of shoreline to monitor on a regular basis, observing for new or suspicious plants or animals. Reports are logged monthly, but anything raising questions is addressed immediately. We have the resources of the NH Dept. of Environmental Services to assist us in positive identification of any questionable samples we collect.
I am happy to report that as of this date we have not discovered any suspicious plants or animals in Thorndike Pond. This is welcome news, but it is not a guarantee of things staying the same in the future. Every year more and more bodies of water in NH get contaminated by invasive species, including several that are nearby. We must remain vigilant and the more of us involved in the process the more effective it will be. Weed watching is easy to do. Training is available locally and the process involves simply kayaking along a small area of shoreline to keep track of the plant and animal growth in the water. We need more TPCA members to help with this program to make it more effective. Please consider joining us.
Jim Potter, TPCA Weed Watcher Coordinator
The following properties were represented at the meeting
Baker: by Jodie via zoom
Banghart: by Jim and Anne
Banghart: by Eve
Berea: by Jason Headlee and Nate Cook
Birge/Hacker: by Jonathan in person and Michele via zoom
Brouder/Greenwald: by John and Carol
Carr: by Emily
Cooper: by Wayne via zoom
Cornelius: by Skip
Davidson/Webster: by Wendy via zoom
Dahl/Frantzis: by Lisa in person and Ophelia via zoom
Epstein: by Stephen via zoom
Grant Reiman: by Linda via zoom
Hunt: by Greg
MacKenzie: by Kevin and Kathy
Magoun: by Steve
Mansfield: by Fred and Tom in person and Richard viz zoom
Melzer: by Bob via zoom
Moore/Hanley: by Joan viz zoom
Nash: by Dave
Pearson: by Linda and Eric
Penny: by Phil via zoom
Plent/Denman: by Stephanie and Pepper
Potter: by Patti and Jeremy
Radin: by Bob and Amy
Roman: by Ken via zoom
Russell: by Peter and Jinnie
Stuart/Santos: by Anne and Paul via zoom
Schnoor: by Roberta
Silbert: by Pat via zoom
Strickland: by Don and Elise
Wa-Klo: by Tammy and Dennis Fortune
Wanocksett: Will Neville and Andy Collins
White: by Brad and Pam
Winiecki: by Marc
Also, in person was contributing member Janet Grant