Friday, May 2, 2003
Shorts from the Conservation Commission, April 24
· Forestry management as a conservation technique. Calling forestry management a "wise conservation tool," three representatives of the New England Forestry Foundation, Inc. a nonprofit group that has headquarters in Groton and is active throughout the New England states, discussed their activities in consultation and sustained yield forest management. The group has been active consulting with both private and public individuals and groups for over 40 years. Under the Department of Environmental Management's Forest Stewardship Program funds have been available for reimbursement of management programs which permit timber harvesting and preservation of habitat at the same time. Carlisle has 500 acres of forest,and ConsCom members expressed an interest in seeing what would be involved in a more active stewardship of this land. They plan to consider the matter more fully at their next meeting.
The Foundation has been involved with individuals interested in easements, conservation restrictions, and in Massachusetts with landowners who seek tax advantages under Chapter 61 state tax programs. They have also consulted with communities, such as Pepperell, that wish to plan better management and use of conservation land and, in fact, prefer to manage in partnership with other conservation groups in order to preserve contiguous areas of land that is managed in an environmentally sensitive way. The foundation may be reached at their main office in Groton, 1-888-367-3780 and at their website, www.newenglandforestry.org.
· Greenough Land. Conservation administrator Sylvia Willard reported a call from the police department notifying her that the first and second spillways at the Greenough site were collapsing. A site visit indicated that the supporting system is cracked up, and that there are 8-9 inch potholes around one of the bridge supports. It was agreed that "we shouldn't have any liability for anyone driving over it" and the group agreed to post it with a no motorized vehicles sign. The tenant on the property had already been instructed not to drive over it.
· Foss Farm. There was happier news about Foss Farm, where the gate to the garden area had been vandalized. Due to the happy coincidence that the person who drove into the gate also dropped his license plate at the scene, police were able to locate the person responsible, a local man "who didn't know he hit something" when the gate was damaged but who returned to repair the gate after the police contacted him.
· Cranberry Bog. The streamlet discharging excess water from the cranberry bog was observed to be discharging "turbid material" and spreading gravelly debris during a recent trailwalk in the area. Willard and Commissioner Tricia Smith walked up the streamlet and determined there was a point-source discharge from the site, in Smith's words, "not a good situation at all." Smith told Mark Duffy, who farms the cranberry bog and would therefore be responsible for the quality of discharge, "There is a tradeoff between your operation and making certain that we ensure downstream water quality."
Duffy stated that there was no water flowing at the present time, but the commissioners felt that both a temporary and a permanent solution to the problem would be required so that the runoff would be properly directed and the water would be clean. After some discussion Duffy agreed to put more haybales and entrenched filter fabric at the site as an immediate measure. However, these measures were not considered a permanent solution to the problem and Duffy was advised to "do some monitoring after storm events."
· West Street, Fiske Street NOIs. The continued hearing of a Notice of Intent from Philippa Shiach of West Sreet was approved, with a special order prohibiting ABC fill on the site. A Notice of Intent from Doug Torgerson, 251 Fiske Street,for grading associated with installation of a new sewage disposal system was continued until a Board of Health decision on the sewage sytem had been made. Two extension permits were granted.
· Warrant Articles. ConsCom has four articles on the town warrant. One is to enable them to capture fees for the Foss Farm garden plots so they can be used for maintenance of the property. Two articles about the Wetlands bylaw make it consistent with changes in the state wetlands by law, and a fourth article resolves a conflict in terminology which makes it possible to collect fines under the local bylaw. There was no need for further discussion of the articles.
· Next Meeting. The next regular ConsCom meeting will be May 8 and the Conservation breakfast will be held on the first Tuesday of the month, May 6, in the Clark Room at Town Hall.
© 2003 The Carlisle Mosquito