Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

May 15, 2014

Forum to unveil 'Healthy Forests Project'

Tree-clearing plan targets town reservations

By Bill Kirk
bkirk@andovertownsman.com

---- — 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 kjporter725@comcast.net or call the town conservation office at 978-623-8311.