, Derry, New Hampshire

March 7, 2013

Derry construction plan hopes to protect turtles

Tsienneto Road developer promises protection

By Julie Huss

---- — DERRY — New construction has been steady over the last several years on Tsienneto Road, with several new buildings dotting the landscape.

With another new building plan in the mix, conservation officials hope turtles living in the area will remain safe and out of development's way.

A new, 10,000-square-foot medical building is planned at 14 Tsienneto Road. It will be built at the rear of an existing building at the site.

With many species of native turtles documented in that area, officials want developers to make sure they are safe during construction.

Conservation Commission members heard more details about the building plan at a meeting Feb. 25 and signed off on the site review. Those representing the developers were also on hand to give more information about what will be done to protect the turtles.

New Hampshire is home to seven species of native turtles, including Blanding's, Eastern box, common musk, Eastern painted, snapping, spotted and wood.

The building site does have wetland areas, according to Luke Hurley of Grove Environmental Services. If turtles were in the area, he said, things could be done to make sure they were out of harm's way during the construction process.

Hurley prepared a turtle report for commission members.

"A lot of turtles don't tend to use the land unless they are laying eggs and don't travel too far," he said. "Many are water-dependent turtles."

He said there were ways to deter turtle travel, including putting up barriers around the perimeter.

"They won't be able to cut through the parcel while work is going on," Hurley said. "Turtles wanting to go one way or another won't be able to."

Commission Chairman Margie Ives said Hurley's turtle report was a good resource to have while considering this new building plan.

Commission member Ric Buzzanga said he didn't think silt fences were necessary to keep turtles away. He said it would be an added, unneeded expense.

"I think it's a waste of money," he said. "It's not necessary."

Commission members eventually voted, 4-3, to add silt fences to the site plan.