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January 31. 2014 11:29PM

Collette's Mountain donation nears completion, awaits Derry council's approval

DERRY — All of the necessary paperwork has been completed for the acquisition of the 67-acre Collette's Mountain conservation area, according to Conservation Commission officials.

The land was recently donated by 14 heirs of the property owner, Commission Chairman Margaret Ives said Thursday. All that remains is for the town council to approve acceptance of the land Tuesday.

"It was wonderful of the family to get together to do this," Ives said Thursday.

She said family members Doug Dixon and Joe Scioni were instrumental in moving the project forward.

"They were the ones who reached out to the other heirs," Ives said.

Collette's Mountain will be used for walking, nature trails and camping, hunting and recreational purposes. Because there's a lot of rock on the land, the property really isn't developable, Ives said. All-terrain vehicles and dirt bikes will not be allowed on the property, according to restrictions added as part of the transfer.

The property is near the 200-acre Webber conservation area in town and abuts a conservation property in Hampstead. By adding Collette's Mountain, the town will help create a larger area for wildlife.

"We are trying to get preserved properties around Derry so that the wildlife will have an ecosystem that's connected," Ives said.

The property is also near Island Pond and will act as a buffer for the lake.

"It's good protection for the lake," she said. "It doesn't abut the lake, but it's very close."

Collette's Mountain is actually a hill that is about 350 feet at its highest point. It has a variety of trees, including hemlock and maple, said Ives, who has climbed it.

She said she was surprised to find that some of the trees are stunted.

"I thought, 'What, this is what I find when I go to the White Mountains — stunted trees.'"

hmcgee@newstote.com


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