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Out-of-town visitors plague Mason Quarry

  • The Mason Select Board is discussing stricter enforcement measures for visitors parking on Scripps Lane to access the Mason Quarry. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 7/16/2020 11:10:51 AM

The Mason Select Board is contemplating stricter enforcement for the area surrounding the Mason Quarry, after the area was swarmed with visitors over the summer.

Selectman Charlie Moser said Wednesday that the quarry, which is owned by the town and managed by the Conservation Commission, is only for Mason residents and their guests, but began seeing a huge influx of out-of-town and out-of-state visitors this year, overflowing the small parking area and clogging Scripps Lane, as well as camping in the area overnight and starting campfires, which isn’t allowed.

“It got out of hand,” Moser said. “We had a problem this summer with people parking up and down both sides of Scripps Lane.” He said one resident reported as many as 70 cars in the area.

“We needed to take a break and a breather and see if we could bring it under control,” Moser said.

While the Mason Police Department regularly patrols the area and warns non-residents about trespassing if they’re not with a Mason resident, Moser said the issue has been particularly egregious this year, as with other popular swimming holes and water features in the area, such as Purgatory Falls in Lyndeborough and Garwin Falls and the reservoir in Wilton, all of which have been topics of discussion for Select Boards in those towns due to parking issues and social distancing concerns.

“It’s happening here, too,” Moser said.

The Select Board made a decision at a recent meeting to close the parking area of the quarry. Mason residents can still use the land if they walk in or are dropped off. The board also formed a committee, which includes a member of the Conservation Commission, Selectwoman Louise Lavoie and the police and fire chief to review management and parking enforcement in the area.

Moser said it’s likely that the town will have to post the area and start ticketing cars who continue to park along the road.

“We have to gain some level  of control,” Moser said.

 

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.




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