The Conway Conservation Commission (ConCom) works with the community to protect wetlands, preserve open space, and bring an environmental perspective to the ongoing dialogue about quality of life issues in Conway. As the local representative of the state Department of Environmental Protection, we are also charged with the implementation of the Wetlands Protection Act (WPA), which includes the Rivers Protection Act. The goal of these laws is to protect and enhance the health of Conway’s and the Commonwealth’s abundant, yet fragile natural resources and ecosystems.

It is our responsibility to advise landowners and homeowners whether the requirements of the Act apply to their projects and to work with them to balance their needs and rights with those of the WPA. At first, this may seem to be contradictory, but one simple truth remains — when we respect our environment and work with it, rather than trying to control or ignore it, the end result is a “win-win” situation for both the landowner and the environment.

Members

  • Bruton Strange (Acting Chair)
  • Grace Larson
  • Tony Cappabianca
  • Bob Nowak
  • Bob Armstrong

Contact

Bruton Strange, brutonstrange@gmail.com

E-mail: concomm@townofconway.com

Hours

  • Regular meetings are held the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, beginning at 7:30 pm at the Town Hall. Additional meetings are on held on an as-needed basis.

The Conway Conservation Commission (ConCom) works with the community to protect wetlands, preserve open space, and bring an environmental perspective to the ongoing dialogue about quality of life issues in Conway. As the local representative of the state Department of Environmental Protection, we are also charged with the implementation of the Wetlands Protection Act (WPA), which includes the Rivers Protection Act. The goal of these laws is to protect and enhance the health of Conway’s and the Commonwealth’s abundant, yet fragile natural resources and ecosystems.

When to contact the ConCom
To avoid confusion and possible delays, we urge people planning to build on or develop their land to contact the ConCom as early as possible in the process. We will work with you to determine whether ConCom review and approval are required.

When a project may affect a wetland, stream or river, so called “resource areas,” applicants are required to file either a Request for Determination of Applicability (RDA) or a Notice of Intent (NOI) with the Commission before work can proceed. Details on both are found in the Commission’s “Policies & Procedures” (see link below).

The Franklin County Cooperative Inspection Program now requires that conservation commissions sign off on all building permit applications for projects that require any excavation, whether it be a full cellar or a single concrete pier.  It is our policy to go out to the site to assess the situation. If there is any question whatsoever whether a resource area or buffer zone may be near the proposed work, we will request that the applicant file a Request for Determination of Applicability (RDA). Again, early contact with the ConCom can help you avoid delays for your project.

The Conway Conservation Commission Policies and Procedures

Please download the Conservation Commission Policies and Procedures by clicking here.

Helpful Links

    • MA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
      The Department of Environmental Protection is the state agency responsible for ensuring clean air and water,  the safe management of toxics and hazards, the recycling of solid and hazardous wastes,  the timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills, and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.
      Link to Home Page: http://www.mass.gov/dep/
      Link to applications and forms: http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/massdep/water/approvals/wetlands-and-waterways-forms.html
    • The Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program (NHESP)
      Although not charged with enforcing the NHESP regulations the ConCom makes every effort to make the general public and landowners aware of the regulations and its potential impacts on land use, and is mandated by the ConCom policies to notify NHESP when activity that appears to be in protected habitat comes before that ConCom. The Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program (NHESP), part of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, is one of the programs forming the Natural Heritage network.  NHESP is responsible for the conservation and protection of hundreds of species that are not hunted, fished, trapped, or commercially harvested in the state. The Program’s highest priority is protecting the approximately 178 species of vertebrate and invertebrate animals and 264 species of native plants that are officially listed as Endangered, Threatened or of Special Concern in Massachusetts.
      Link to Home Page: http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dfg/dfw/natural-heritage/
    • Massachusetts River and Stream Crossing Standards – Massachusetts Riverways Program
      The mission of the Riverways Program is to promote the restoration and protection of the ecological integrity of the Commonwealth’s watersheds: rivers, streams and adjacent lands.
      Link to Handbook: http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/dfg/der/pdf/stream-crossings-handbook.pdf
    • MA Wetlands Protection Act Brochure