Grazing Will Need Wetlands Delineation

Jon Roth plans to clear the land he owns at 119 Dexter Lane so his horses and cattle can graze there.

            First, however, he needs his Notice of Intent to do so approved by the Rochester Conservation Commission because the action will mean thinning out the undergrowth and overgrowth of the nonwetlands area of the parcel.

            This is why Roth met with the commission on Tuesday night when he learned there are a few steps left to go before gaining that permission.

            Roth said he would like to clear the field overgrown with invasive plant species so his animals can enjoy the land, and he can perhaps someday seek a permit to build a barn there. But now his work will go no closer than 25 feet from the wetlands buffer zone and “no structures will be anywhere near there.”

            Conservation Agent Merilee Kelly pointed out that the Natural Heritage Foundation will need to approve the plan because the area is a designated priority habitat. She added, however, “I do think clearing out invasive species would be something they would like.”

            Conservation Commission Chairman Christopher Gerrior agreed that the commission would first want to hear from Natural Heritage before granting any approvals, and he said the commission would have to prepare a specific Order of Conditions.

            Roth said he will comply with waiting for word from Natural Heritage. In the meantime, he said he will immediately engage a wetlands specialist to mark the property’s wetland lines.

            The commission then reviewed changes to the plan for the Fox Den Solutions firearm range at 0 County Road, which is being built on property whose wetlands had to be replicated nearby.

            Owner Steven Morrell’s design consultant with G.A.F. Engineering explained the original plan was to separate each outdoor firearm training bay with wire cages filled with sand. But, because of supply-chain issues, G.A.F. will need to replace those dividers with concrete blocks instead.

            The commission unanimously approved this minor change plan.

            The Rochester Conservation Commission then scheduled its next public meeting for Tuesday, December 6, at 7:00 pm at Old Colony Regional Vocational-Technical High School library.

Rochester Conservation Commission

By Michael J. DeCicco

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