Pelham - Windham News June 17, 2011 - 5
Selectmen Discuss Pelham Forestry Work
by Lynne Ober Forestry Committee member Deb Waters and Mike Powers of Baystate Forestry Services discussed the new management plan for the Costa Conservation area, which is located off Dutton Road and consists of approximately 117 acres. Powers reviewed the Forest Stewardship Plan
(10-year planning period) drafted in 2009 by Brian Johnson, and said the reason it had been delayed was due to difficulty with access. The plan included a general description of the property, its access, forest types and harvest history, soils, terrain, and hydrology, as well as the landowner goals. There was a topographical map, stand map, soils map, and aerial photo included. Powers discussed the timber on the property and the proposed management schedule. He explained the forestry process and the importance of having goals and objectives for town forest. Waters discussed how money
was generated through timber harvest, so the taxpayers were not asked for any funds to care for the conservation areas and Town forest.
When Selectman Hal Lynde asked if a bid specification had been done, Powers said they hadn’t begun that yet because he was still in the process of reviewing the boundary lines. Lynde then asked if there was a timeline. Powers replied if they could get the boundary lines squared away, they could potentially start marking the trees and tallying them to be harvested. The sale would be put out possibly late summer or in the fall.
When Board of Selectmen Chairman Ed Gleason stated that the money recovered from forestry went back into the existing trust fund and every year via a warrant article a request was made to spend a portion of that money for conservation work, Waters answered yes. Gleason commented that the
schedule was regulated and subject to the voter’s approvals. Waters responded the whole idea was to do harvesting and be able to generate work and keep the care going. Gleason questioned how much was currently in the Forestry Management Fund, and Waters said she believed there was over $100,000. She said when they drafted their 10-year financial plan, they wanted to keep some money in reserve for unforeseen circumstances (i.e., forest fires, infestations, and wind events). Lynde stated that the Forestry Committee in conjunction with the Conservation Commission had done a great job of reinvesting proceeds into the lots to create paths of recreation for the town, marked/blazed trails, created maps, and paid attention to the general health of the land. He said at the same time they had to fend off people who didn’t respect the properties. Selectman Bill McDevitt asked if there was frontage onto Frontier Drive. Waters answered yes and noted that the entrance point would be located there. A small woods road and landing would be made off the beaten track in the back. Once the work was done, the area would be converted into a small parking area for use by the public who wanted to use the property. Town Administrator Tom
Gaydos said this update provided the Selectmen with the opportunity to ask questions. He said the agreement with the Forestry Committee was they would always tell the Selectmen what was going on. In turn, the Selectmen could say whether they agreed or disagreed. The Selectmen concurred with the management plan as presented. The discussion next turned
to Raymond Park. Powers provided a status update of the harvesting work and said there was approximately two or three weeks of work remaining, after which the cleanup would occur. Waters stated that one half of
Raymond Park was put out to bid; the accepted amount was $27,936.67 (for the timber to be sold). They planned to put the second harvest out to bid in the fall. Waters explained that the reason they had come in front of the Selectmen was because they had said they wouldn’t put all the money into their fund from Raymond Park, that they would turn back any excess. She said there was a town understanding that what’s done on Raymond Park stays on Raymond Park; therefore, they would not ask for the profit for Raymond Park it
would be turned back into the park. When Gleason asked how this type of situation
was typically handled, Gaydos said it occurred to him that it would be a donation from the Forestry Committee. He said the Parks & Recreation Director may have comments regarding other areas he’d like to see done. He said there hadn’t been a lot of work on the trails. Gleason wanted clarification; typically, the Selectmen authorize the Forestry Committee to do work and they took their fees out as a normal operating expense.
Gleason said he didn’t believe that the Selectmen typically authorized safety modifications to a site out of forestry; he believed it was done separately and asked if protocol would be violated by doing it differently. Gaydos said they had done work in the past to improve trails and eliminate safety hazards; it was part of the care and maintenance of the forest and Waters noted that they had done similar work on Muldoon Park that wasn’t exactly forestry-related, but they felt it was important to
spend the money because it contributed to solving problems for access and wetland. She reiterated that there were concerns at Raymond Park and the Forestry Committee wanted to make sure that the recreation piece of the forest was paid attention to.
Gleason said the Raymond Park Fund specifically indicated that any proceeds from the sale of lumber/gravel had to go back into the
Continued to page 6
| Page 2
| Page 3
| Page 4
| Page 5
| Page 6
| Page 7
| Page 8
| Page 9
| Page 10
| Page 11
| Page 12
| Page 13
| Page 14
| Page 15
| Page 16