Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


May 15, 2014

Forum to unveil 'Healthy Forests Project'

Tree-clearing plan targets town reservations

The Andover Conservation Commission is holding a special meeting on Saturday, May 17, to explain a tree-clearing program it wants to implement in several of the town’s forests.

The so-called “Healthy Forests Project” is an effort to evaluate 600 acres of conservation land encompassing Fish Brook North, Wood Hill — Bald Hill, and the Virginia Hammond reservations. The goal of the project is to increase the health and biodiversity of the properties through specifically tailored sustainable forestry and land-management practices, according to a press release issued by the group.

The private group Trustees of Reservations has undertaken similar measures in North Andover and at the Ward Hill Reservation in Andover/North Andover. There, 15 acres of trees were cut down to create meadow ecosystems that attract a variety of bird life, like the bobolink.

The forum will run from 1 to 3 p.m. on the third floor of Memorial Hall Library, 2 North Main St.

The commission will unveil proposed land management plans that have been prepared by a licensed consulting forester hired using a grant from the Massachusetts Forest Stewardship Program and secured by Kevin Porter of the Conservation Commission.

Gary Gouldrup, a forester from New England Forestry Consultants, Inc., studied the properties involved and prepared the Forest Management Plan. Both Gouldrup and Laura Dooley, a managing forester with the state Bureau of Forestry, which will oversee the project for the state, will attend to answer questions.

For more information, email or call the town conservation office at 978-623-8311.

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