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Author Topic: Gutter is Gone  (Read 9727 times)

Offline Axle

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Gutter is Gone
« on: December 26, 2011, 09:17:31 AM »
State buying 3,500 acres in Franklin Co
Largest conservation deal since the 1920's
Updated: Friday, 23 Dec 2011, 2:36 PM EST
Published : Friday, 23 Dec 2011, 2:00 PM EST

Kyle Cheney, State House News Service
BOSTON (State House News Service) - The Patrick administration has struck an $8.8 million deal to acquire nearly 3,500 acres of forest land in Franklin County in what environmental officials are calling the largest conservation of private land in Massachusetts since the pre-Depression era.

The land, spread across Leverett and Shutesbury and just to the northwest of the Quabbin Reservoir, will be protected as part of a partnership between the Department of Fish and Game, Kestrel Land Trust, Franklin Land Trust and W.D. Cowls, the largest private landowner in Massachusetts.

The 3,486-acre parcel, which includes most of Brushy Mountain, becomes the largest portion of 85,000 acres of land set aside for conservation over the last four years at a cost of more than $230 million.

“This land will forever be home to iconic wildlife, while remaining a productive working forest that supports local jobs and allows hunters, anglers and hikers to enjoy the great outdoors,” said Richard Sullivan, secretary of energy and environmental affairs, which oversees the fish and game department.

According to the Patrick administration, the 5.4-square-mile acquisition will be protected from development while providing access to hunters, fishermen, hikers and other recreation-seekers. Vehicle use will be limited to snowmobiles on designated trails.

Species protected by the state’s action include black bears, moose and bobcats, scarlet tanagers, Blackburnian warblers and Canada warblers. In addition, the northern section of the forest drains into the Sawmill River, which administration officials say is stocked with Atlantic salmon fry. Other water sources that flow through or near the forest contain brook trout.

The state acquired the land from W.D. Cowls with approximately $3 million of state funding: $1.4 million in borrowed funds targeted for open space preservation, $500,000 from the sale of fishing and hunting licenses, and $1 million from a state grant program. The remaining funds were largely gathered by the Kestrel Land Trust of Amherst and the Franklin Land Trust of Shelburne Falls, which obtained $5 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Legacy Program.

“It’s the kind of opportunity that comes once in a lifetime,” said Kristin DeBoer, executive director of the Kestrel Land Trust. DeBoer said the USDA’s funding opportunity helped bring the deal to fruition after a four-year negotiation among stakeholders. “It’s a prominent ridgeline that’s seen from the valley. It’s a place to have families enjoy the serenity of the woods,” she said.

Environmental officials say land conservation helps preserve important economic engines for rural communities, protecting locally grown products and increasing recreation options. “Statewide, forestry operations contribute $600 million annually to local rural economies in Massachusetts,” according to the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

The forest is named for Cowls’ ancestor, Paul C. Jones, who built up the company’s forestry and lumber business in 1980. The Cowls family will continue to conduct forestry operations on the land under a state-approved stewardship plan, according to the Patrick administration. The company has been conducting forestry operations in western Massachusetts for 270 years, according to its web site, beginning operations in 1741.

The news of the acquisition was welcomed by conservation advocates, who praised the governor for following through on a pledge to commit $50 million a year to land conservation efforts, reversing years in which the state was losing acres of open space every day. But one of those advocates, MassAudubon executive director Jack Clarke, worried that without a similar commitment over the remainder of Patrick’s term, conservation gains could be lost.

“Our concern is over the next remaining two years, where the administration is going to be cutting back on their bond spending. This is … a significant achievement, the land acquisition in Franklin County, but we certainly encourage the administration to remain consistent and keep going,” Clarke said in a phone interview. “There’s a lot more land that needs to be protected.”

Clarke said environmental advocates met with the governor two weeks ago to encourage him to maintain support for conservation efforts. “We don’t want him to let up,” he said.

According to Clarke, state environmental officials are in the process of zoning all Massachusetts forest land for three purposes: preservation of natural habitats, working forests harvested for resources, and recreation. The new Franklin County acquisition, he said, would likely be used for all three.

The Patrick administration unveiled a five-year borrowing plan last month that gradually reduces the state’s capital investment in energy and environmental initiatives to below $100 million in fiscal year 2016 from more than $130 million this fiscal year. In that time, the state increasingly intends to rely on “third party” funding
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Offline jps4jeep

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Re: Gutter is Gone
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2011, 12:29:42 PM »
Saw this coming a mile away, doesn't cowls maintain the powerline trails? Not that we should be there, but wouldn't they need to maintain the lines?
Dad always said "If it has boobs or spark plugs it will be fun AND will cause you problems."

Offline Axle

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Re: Gutter is Gone
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2011, 02:55:43 PM »
no. it is not open to motorized anything. the power co. would maintain the lines.
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Offline j-dawg

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Re: Gutter is Gone
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2011, 08:13:00 PM »
it says snowmobiles would be allowed...lame

Offline RMFJ78

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Re: Gutter is Gone
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2011, 08:27:07 PM »
it says snowmobiles would be allowed...lame


my toyota has a nh "snowmobile" sticker that I had to get, will that be good enough?

Pretty soon the only wheeling we will be able to do will be our own backyards or renegade wheeling.  This state sucks

Offline Axle

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Re: Gutter is Gone
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2011, 08:37:17 PM »
snowmobile have the advantage of never actually touching the ground.
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Offline RMFJ78

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Re: Gutter is Gone
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2011, 08:44:28 PM »
snowmobile have the advantage of never actually touching the ground.

they also are going much faster than us but im sure this argument holds no ground with the people that make the rules.  You know the ones who have no idea what it is we actually do.

Offline mud rover

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Re: Gutter is Gone
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2011, 09:48:27 PM »
pretty soon its just gonna be ORV parks.this sux
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Offline rich98tj

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Re: Gutter is Gone
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2011, 08:26:27 PM »
Is it time to ask a friend few friends at the statehouse to file legislation re: wheeling and "discriminatory" practices being accepted within the state ie: smowmobiles are acceptable but 4 wheelers are not?  sellv it as a possible revinue/dcr funding source charging $xx for a off road sticker similar to NH. 

How much does NH charge?

This is the time for the 2012 legislatve session for new legislation to be filed.  Also if you live in ma on of the few, and I mean FEW privilages we enjoy is the ability to file our own legislation.
...there is no Form of Government but what may be a Blessing to the People if well administred; and I believe farther that this is likely to be well adminstred for a Course of Years, and can only end in Despotism as other Forms have done before it, when the People shall become so corrupted as to need Despotic Government, being incapable of any other.
 
Benjamin Franklin: Speech on Sept. 17 1787

Offline dave07

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Re: Gutter is Gone
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2011, 08:45:43 PM »
Is it time to ask a friend few friends at the statehouse to file legislation re: wheeling and "discriminatory" practices being accepted within the state ie: smowmobiles are acceptable but 4 wheelers are not?  sellv it as a possible revinue/dcr funding source charging $xx for a off road sticker similar to NH. 

How much does NH charge?

This is the time for the 2012 legislatve session for new legislation to be filed.  Also if you live in ma on of the few, and I mean FEW privilages we enjoy is the ability to file our own legislation.

mass has a sticker program now. just no one buys it.

Offline RMFJ78

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Re: Gutter is Gone
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2011, 11:42:13 PM »
Is it time to ask a friend few friends at the statehouse to file legislation re: wheeling and "discriminatory" practices being accepted within the state ie: smowmobiles are acceptable but 4 wheelers are not?  sellv it as a possible revinue/dcr funding source charging $xx for a off road sticker similar to NH. 

How much does NH charge?

This is the time for the 2012 legislatve session for new legislation to be filed.  Also if you live in ma on of the few, and I mean FEW privilages we enjoy is the ability to file our own legislation.

mass has a sticker program now. just no one buys it.

didnt know that.  same rules as NH? no reg/insurance you need a sticker?

Offline mattamd_xp

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Re: Gutter is Gone
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2011, 12:08:37 AM »
Is it time to ask a friend few friends at the statehouse to file legislation re: wheeling and "discriminatory" practices being accepted within the state ie: smowmobiles are acceptable but 4 wheelers are not?  sellv it as a possible revinue/dcr funding source charging $xx for a off road sticker similar to NH. 

How much does NH charge?

This is the time for the 2012 legislatve session for new legislation to be filed.  Also if you live in ma on of the few, and I mean FEW privilages we enjoy is the ability to file our own legislation.

mass has a sticker program now. just no one buys it.

Pretty sure that only applies to atv's and such. Not applicable for anything over 1,000 lbs per http://www.mass.gov/dcr/recreate/ohv_policy.pdf
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Offline Axle

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Re: Gutter is Gone
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2011, 09:11:12 AM »
no, it applies to 4x4s as well
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Offline mattamd_xp

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Re: Gutter is Gone
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2011, 11:44:14 AM »
Got a link? I've tried looking for it and can't seem to find the right search combo.
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Offline Axle

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Re: Gutter is Gone
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2011, 11:52:09 AM »
i'll look on the NEA
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