The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, March 1, 2002


New committee to investigate Town Forest uses and boundaries

A new committee was formed by the selectmen at their February 12 meeting to investigate the boundaries and permitted municipal uses of the Town Forest. This was prompted by a proposal from the Carlisle Housing Authority to use part of the land for affordable housing.

Appointed to the committee were Jane Anderson, Tom Brownrigg, Beverly Humm and Alan Lehotsky. Melissa Mannon was also appointed as a non-voting, advisory member. She is working for the library as a consultant to help them with archival research. All of the voting members of the adhoc Town Forest committee also represent other groups: Jane Anderson is a member of the municipal land committee, Tom Brownrigg is on the conservation commission, Beverly Humm is a member of the citizen group called "Friends of the Forest," and Alan Lehotsky is a member of the Carlisle Housing Authority.

The town first obtained the land in 1852, when about 160 acres were acquired for a town poor farm. In 1923, Town Meeting voted "that 46 acres of the poor farm be reserved as it now is, for a Town Forest, and let nature take care of it." Three years later Carlisle voted to sell the Poor Farm, but wound up selling only 90 acres of it, leaving about 22 acres adjacent to the 46-acre Town Forest tract.

While the Town Forest is not under the administration of the conservation commission, the Massachusetts State Legislature passed a law (Amendment Article 97 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth) in the 1970s which said that public land used for forestry could not have a change in use without approval of the state legislature.

2002 The Carlisle Mosquito