The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, January 6, 2006


Land Steward volunteers offer enthusiasm, expertise

The Carlisle Conservation Commission (ConsCom) closed the old year on a high note, as they welcomed 11 applicants for inclusion in the recently announced Land Stewardship Program. Thumbing through the stack of résumés) submitted by the Carlisle residents, vice-chairman Roy Watson declared himself "stunned" at the pool of talent represented.

Included among the volunteers present at the December 16 invitational meeting were two members of the commission's ad hoc Land Stewardship Planning Committee, chairman and former ConsCom member Warren Lyman and environmental consultant Lynn Knight. In September, ConsCom had approved the planning group's recommendation for establishment of a permanent Land Stewardship Committee (LSC) responsible for maintenance and enhancement of over 1,000 acres of town-owned conservation land, under the general direction of the commission. Pursuant to these goals, the LSC will recruit a core of stewards to help in assessment and oversight of the 27 parcels involved, and/or participate in community outreach programs.

Five of the core tasks to be accomplished are:
· Conduct baseline assessments of the town's conservation properties.
· Establish and maintain active files on each.
· Develop and update both overall and specific management plans for each.
· Monitor each property and report regularly on compliance with its management plan.
· Develop an annual Land Stewardship Action Plan.

To prepare for an organizational meeting at 7:30 p.m. on January 10, the 11 volunteers were asked to study the 25-page report of the Planning Committee and an accompanying sample management plan for the 11-acre Fox Hill conservation land off Bedford Road. These documents will assist them in deciding the specific role that would best meet their interests and expertise.

Commissioner Tricia Smith pointed out that there are some parcels, like the Cranberry Bog, that are more complex than Fox Hill; some like Foss Farm are multi-use and thus complicated, and some others present minimal problems. Volunteer Tim Fohl commented that even the quiet little parcels can change over time and thus do need oversight.

Lyman recommended that the commission give the group a priority list, but encouraged volunteers to come up with activities that they might deem important. Commissioner Kelly Stringham urged them to think not only about mandated management plans, but also potential community programs.

A look at the "talent pool" so enthusiastically welcomed by Watson suggests the LSC potential for accomplishment. Besides Lyman and Knight, the following is the list (with abbreviated résumés):

· Ray Faucher, superintendent of Great Brook Farm State Park.
· Tim Fohl, trustee and former president of Carlisle Conservation Foundation.
· Elizabeth Loutrel, former ConsCom member, degree in field biology, graduate work in land use planning.
· Judy Asarkof, B.A. in zoology, M.S. in watershed hydrology, professional experience in natural resources management.
· Debbie Geltner, nine years as systems analyst, gardener with associated coursework in plant biology.
· Tom Woodward, currently Major Gift Officer at Harvard Divinity School, worked as ranger, educator, program analyst with the National Park Service.
· Timothy Donahue, B.S. and M.S. in geo-sciences with focus on hydrology.
· David Smith, president and owner Environment-based Educational Solutions, professor emeritus Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education and Environmental Studies Specialist at College of New Jersey/Trenton State College.
· Liz Carpenter, B.A. and M.A. in geography/ecosystems from UCLA, 30 years college teaching and research, U.S. Department of Transportation Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA, consultant in environmental analysis.

2006 The Carlisle Mosquito