Conservation Agent Laurell Farinon and the Conservation Commission met Tuesday evening and discussed a plan for a “controlled cut” of some of the forestry surrounding Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School and on adjacent property that is owned by Rochester.
There are many reasons for the cut, including the promotion of forest diversity (of trees as well as animals), fire control and prevention of overgrowth. Any potential revenue from lumber would go to the town and the school, as well as to Phil Benjamin of Benjamin Forestry Services, who has been the consultant on project.
“What we’re trying to do is manage it,” said Commissioner Laurene Gerrior, adding that this happens in a lot in areas of dense forest.
Farinon said that grants were awarded to the town and to the school a few years ago under the title of a “Forest Stewardship Program,” and that officials would try to work the program into the curriculum at Old Colony, potentially as some sort of forest and timber management program, as well as potentially using some of the wood for the carpentry department.
Benjamin has already prepared forest plans for both properties, and several stages of work are scheduled to take place over the next few months starting in late September. There will be a public education session held at Old Colony on November 16 from 9:00 to 11:00am. The logging operation itself is scheduled to take place from December to February.
Commission officials stressed the fact that this is a controlled cut, and not a clear cut. Officials also warned that people who normally walk those woods, though few in number, should be aware of the cutting.
By Nick Walecka