Revised proposal for fence around Laconia Airport skips 'prime' wetlands

GILFORD — After their first plan for a perimeter-enclosing fence was rejected by the N.H. Department of Environmental Services, the Laconia Municipal Airport has proposed a second version that would not impact prime wetlands in the area, said Engineer William Stack.

The purpose of the fence, said Laconia Airport Manager Diane Terrill in December, is to protect the runway from wild and burrowing animals that have the potential to cause a collision with aircraft.

The newest proposal, that was signed by the Gilford Conservation Commission earlier this week, will be 9,500-linear-feet of fencing in two sections.

Stack said the proposed new fence will steer clear of the conservation easement held by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests on the Howe property.

He also said that the fence will not go into areas designated as "prime wetlands" as defined by DES administrative codes and designated as such by the town of Gilford in 1984.

The November denial of the permit noted that the impact caused by the high degree of development in the general area has made these prime wetlands even more important.

Stack said the new proposal has the same two brook crossings, however the latest application to the DES notes there brooks were likely man-made in the 1940s and and not unique or unusual to the area.

Along with it's acceptance of the latest application for submission tot he DES, the Conservation Commission also added a condition that the airport come up with a maintenance plan for the fence and include it in its annual report to the Conservation Commission.