Derry Conservation Commission considering Weber Forest timber harvest
DERRY — The Conservation Commission is looking at the possibility of harvesting timber from the Weber Forest conservation area for the first time in nearly a quarter of a century.
In August, the commission is planning on meeting with consulting forester Charlie Marino about a preparing a management plan for the 200-acre forest.
“One of our really good land stewards, Arthur Karras, suggested we keep track of areas that might be available to us and to think of timber harvests in the future,” said commission chair Margaret Ives. “The last time Weber was harvested was in the late 1980s.”
The proposal would be similar to one Marino prepared for the town’s Shepard Farm conservation area.
The report would include mapping and aerial photos of the property as well as information on invasive plants, water resource protection areas, and wildlife habitats.
The projected fee for the report and management plan is $4,200, according to Ives.
Commission member Paul Dionne said he likes the overall idea of the management plan, provided the commission implements the timber harvesting plan and reaps the profits from the timber.
“That is a quite a bit of money,” said commission member Dennis Wiley. “I agree with Paul that if we do this, we can’t file it and let it sit there.”
Dionne agreed that it would be beneficial to have Marino come before the commission in August to discuss the proposal.
“Would we recoup the amount of the study from the timber harvest?” asked commission member Richard Tripp.
Ives said the timber harvest should easily cover the cost of the study, noting the harvest at the Shepard property netted several thousand dollars.
She also noted that Weber Forest has much to offer the town in addition to the recreation trails that run through it.
“It’s a wonderful forest,” said Ives.