Londonderry councilors tread lightly on Town Forest cleanup, leery of liability
The property stretches from the Town Common all the way to the town’s old cemetery overlooking Mack’s U Pick on Mammoth Road. As it stands now, the plan is to clear downed trees and fallen branches, as well as poison ivy, brambles and invasive bittersweet vines.
“I think it would depend a lot on what exactly we’re having these volunteers do,” said Town Manager Kevin Smith, noting that the use of brush cutters and chain saws would probably be out of the question.
Councilor Jim Butler said volunteers are already tasked with caring for the town’s many miles of walking trails.
Both the council and the commission agreed that the final decision should rest with Smith.
“He said our decision should really depend on our plans for the Town Forest,” Smith said.
“One of the issues here is do we want this place to be a forest or to be a park,” he said.
Over the years, the Town Forest has been selectively harvested on several occasions, with the most recent one occurring in 2009. At that time, a section of the forest behind the Town Common wall was cleared to accommodate a small picnic area.
And while Fire Marshal Brian Johnson expressed concerns over forest fires and the risks posed by excessive debris, Speltz said forest fires also occur frequently at the much larger Musquash Conservation area, off High Range Road.
Town officials agreed to investigate the matter further, with a final decision on the project to made during an upcoming firstname.lastname@example.org
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