The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, April 30, 2010

Conservation Commission approves Foss Farm sled dog guidelines

At its April 15 meeting, the Conservation Commission (ConsCom) adopted a set of guidelines intended to enable sled dog training and other activities at Foss Farm to proceed smoothly while easing the noise concerns of an abutter.

Last fall, after receiving a complaint, the ConsCom invited the New England Sled Dog Club and abutters to discuss training approaches and problems. (See “ConsCom meets with sled dog trainers, hears noise concern,” Mosquito, October 30, 2009.) This led to the guidelines, which were spelled out in a February 25 memo to the Board of Selectmen.

The memo indicates that the ConsCom sees dog sledding as an appropriate activity on the property – an historic and established use, included since the parcel was acquired in 1971. It points out that documents by which Carlisle obtained the land listed sled dog training as “an activity that should be allowed and supported.”

The memo emphasizes that with all conservation lands the ConsCom “strives to be a good neighbor” and “recognizes the importance of monitoring and regulating the activities of the land in a manner that minimizes disruption to abutters.”

The guidelines require those with teams of four or more dogs to obtain a land-use permit and to load, unload and hitch up their dogs by the community gardens whenever the roadway is passable. They limit sled dog activities to daylight hours and the period between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. They also indicate that when plowing the parking lot, the town should try to pile the snow on the Bedford Road side as a sound barrier.

Vice-chair Kelly Guarino described the guidelines as part of “an ongoing effort to make the best decisions and the best accommodations to all people who are nearby and using Foss Farm.” ∆

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