Land of Wellness: Northwood's Area Health Articles and Insights

Operational Framework

On October 19, 2011 the Steering Committee approved the following changes to the Operational Framework:

  1. There will be an annual meeting each Fall where
  2. Officers will be elected for one (1) year terms
  3. The Steering Committee shall not be limited to 12 members – the number will vary based on the wishes of a majority vote by the Steering Committee
  4. The Labao Amendment was adopted:

“At the discretion of the NALMC Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary, voting on issues may be taken by electronic mail (Email). Generally voting by Email is for simple and clear issues. When vote is called by Email, the members of the Steering Committee can vote up or down for the issue or call for a meeting for the issue to be discussed and amended before voting.”

The Northwood Area Land Management Collaborative (NALMC) is an informal group of private and public* neighbors in Northwood and surrounding towns that work together across property boundaries to maintain and enhance the ecological, social, recreational, and economic resources of the local landscape (i.e., in this case the consortium of lands that comprise NALMC) for today’s and future generations. We strive to do this through cross boundary communication of land ownership goals and objectives, heightening landowner knowledge of natural resources and land stewardship, and developing on-the-ground projects that will reap benefits across the NALMC neighborhood.

*Public landowners currently participating in NALMC include the NH Fish & Game Department, the Department of Resources & Economic Development, the town of Northwood, Coe-Brown Academy, and the University of New Hampshire.

The Mission of NALMC is to:

  • Share information and ideas about our lands within the NALMC neighborhood;
  • Help landowners connect with their land and empower them to gain the knowledge and assistance they need to sustain and enhance the resources on their lands for their benefit and the benefit of the NALMC neighborhood;
  • Promote enhancement of natural resources (i.e., forests, waters, wildlife, recreation, etc.) on
  • NALMC lands through active land stewardship that also preserves the NALMC neighborhood’s capacity to maintain itself as a healthy, natural ecosystem;
  • Develop a model for collaborative land stewardship that can be exported to other parts of the state.

Guiding Principles:

  • We recognize that individual landowner goals may vary and the ultimate decision to participate in NALMC or NALMC sanctioned projects rests solely with each landowner within the NALMC neighborhood.
  • People, both landowners and the general public, have legitimate needs for the ecological, social, and economic values of forests, wildlife, and other natural resources.
  • The well-being of society is dependent on responsible land stewardship that places the highest priority on the maintenance and enhancement of resources across the landscape including wildlife and plant diversity, water quality, forest productivity, and others.
  • Maintenance and enhancement of resources across the landscape can be best achieved when lands are looked upon as a component of a landscape rather than as an entity unto itself.
  • Taking a landscape approach requires that public land and private lands complement the functions and values of one another.
  • Any stewardship activities that take place on a property should be grounded in established scientific principles and practices.
  • Our knowledge of forest resources, wildlife habitats, and other natural resources is limited. Therefore, responsible stewardship will require continuous learning based on field observation and experience as well as academic learning.

How We Work Together:

Steering Committee
The work of NALMC will be coordinated by a Steering Committee that will:

  • Establish and define the NALMC neighborhood boundary.
  • Convene meetings as necessary to develop and prioritize NALMC goals.
  • Provide direction and guidance to subcommittees that work to complete specific projects that further NALMC goals.
  • Prioritize projects for presentation to pertinent landowners.
  • Encourage collaborative relationships and active participation by landowners and other interested entities.
  • Actively seek cooperators, volunteers and alternate funding sources critical to the success of NALMC.
  • Further define specific Steering Committee responsibilities as appropriate.

Steering Committee Composition
The Steering Committee will be composed of no more than 12 representatives that will consist of the following stakeholder groups and organizations:

  • private landowners;
  • federal, state and local government land owners and managers;
  • non-governmental organizations
  •  cooperative extension;
  • technical assistance providers.

The Steering Committee will include at least 50% private landowners. Only one vote will be allowed per stakeholder group, organization, or landowner. Steering Committee meetings will be open to local citizenry or representatives from other agencies and organizations to attend.

The Steering Committee will be lead by a chairperson, vice-chairperson, secretary, and general Steering Committee representatives. The Steering Committee will appoint a chairperson and vice-chairperson from the representatives by majority vote for a two-year term. Either the chairperson or vice-chairperson should be appointed from among the private landowners participating in NALMC. A public landowner should represent the remaining position. The chairperson and vice-chairperson will share responsibilities for coordinating Steering Committee meetings and coordinating with ad hoc NALMC subcommittees to ensure projects are being completed in a timely manner. The secretary will be responsible for scheduling meetings in collaboration with the chairperson and vice-chairperson, taking and distributing meeting minutes, and maintaining a database of NALMC participants.

Steering Committee members will make themselves available at mutually agreeable times for continuing consultation to discuss the conditions covered by this Operating Framework.

Steering Committee members will share pertinent information, encourage and promote collaboration, and keep communication open and frequent so all representatives are informed on the status of the issues that may affect working relationships.

The Steering Committee will operate by a majority with a commitment to collaboration across property boundaries. A quorum consisting of at least 50% of existing Steering Committee representatives will be required for any vote.

Any NALMC Steering Committee representative may terminate their relationship with NALMC in whole, or in part, at any time by giving prior notice to the chairperson of the NALMC Steering Committee.

Subcommittees shall be established by vote of the Steering Committee for any purpose deemed necessary for the fulfillment of the purposes of NALMC. Any landowner participating in NALMC may be a member of a subcommittee. Each subcommittee shall report to the Steering Committee at each regular meeting. Subcommittees shall serve until new subcommittees are appointed in their stead or until the duties assigned to the subcommittee have been accomplished.

Funding Projects
How project support funds are administered will often depend on how the funding source administers their grant program and the scale of the individual project.

NALMC Wide Projects: If a project will benefit the greater NALMC neighborhood, such as an ecological assessment, then the Bear-Paw Regional Greenways of Deerfield will act as NALMC’s fiscal agent, receiving and dispersing funds as directed by the Steering Committee.

Projects Involving One or a Few Landowners: The most common source of funds for on-the-ground projects comes from Farm Bill Conservation Programs like the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program and the Wetlands Reserve Program or the NH Fish & Game Department’s Small Grants Program. These programs will cover a significant portion of the cost to implement many types of projects including old field maintenance, planting shrubs for wildlife, restoring natural communities, and others. Also, these programs generally require an agreement with each individual landowner. In these cases, the landowner will be responsible for administering project funds. Members of the NALMC Steering Committee may be able to provide technical assistance to landowners on administering these types of projects. Any funds that may be generated from on-the-ground work (e.g,. commercial timber harvests) will belong solely to the landowner on whose land the work was accomplished.

Signature Authority
The NALMC Steering Committee chairperson or vice chairperson will have authority to sign any agreements required to further the work of NALMC. Signature authority will be granted on a case-by-case basis by the Steering Committee.

Additional Provisions:

This document may be revised or deleted by majority vote of the Steering Committee. If modified, the latest revision of this document will be forwarded to Steering Committee representatives and all NALMC participants.

Steering Committee representatives and other landowners participating in NALMC agree that NALMC will not be responsible for payment to contractors or any damage that may occur to persons or property during the completion of any projects on an individual’s or organization’s property that may fall within the NALMC neighborhood.

Commencement/Expiration Date
This document is duly executed once the majority of Steering Committee members concur with the contents hereunder. The framework will remain in effect as long as NALMC is in operation.

Conflict of Interest
No Steering Committee representative shall participate in a vote if that person has a potential conflict of interest. Any representative who has a potential conflict of interest shall disclose that fact to the Steering Committee. A conflict of interest occurs when a Steering Committee representative has a direct personal or pecuniary interest in the outcome of a vote.

This document was duly executed via a majority vote of the NALMC Steering Committee on May 14, 2008.

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