Newry Conservation Commission nears launch
With former selectman Steve Wight at the helm, a nascent Newry Conservation Commission will meet for the first time next week.
The committee will advise selectmen on topics ranging from land acquisition to erosion control to habitat issues, Wight said.
The future of a parcel of land may be an early agenda item.
The Mahoosuc Land Trust, a board on which Wight also serves, was contacted last spring by a property owner interested in donating his 250 acres of land to the town for conservation, he said. The MLT has been advising the landowner on options.
“One possibility might be to make it a town forest,” Wight said, and the NCC could help guide that process, if that was the choice of townspeople.
Town forests are generally established to offer nature trails and other recreational opportunities, and may also be managed to provide some harvest income for the town.
Federal and grant monies may be available to aid the property owner in making the gift, he said.
Another task of a new NCC might be to advise on erosion control projects, such as recent work in the Sunday and Bear rivers, he said, as well as on locations of habitat, such as “chop and drop” brook trout habitat work.
Among residents who have expressed interested in serving, said Wight, are Susan Herlihy, Brooks Morton and Bob Lowell. Others who are interested may contact the Town Office at 824-3123.
The first order of business at the Oct. 13 meeting will be to craft an ordinance to formally establish the commission and outline its responsibilities.
The commission will meet at 7 p.m. at the Town Office.