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Next step taken in Swamp Road conservation plan

  • A map of the Swamp Road property. courtesy Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests

  • A map of the Swamp Road property that the Conservation Commission hopes to conserve. Photo courtesy the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Tuesday, July 03, 2018 12:14PM

The Sharon Conservation Commission heard from residents last week on their thoughts on conserving a 28-acre parcel on Swamp Road.

In April, the Conservation Commission voted in favor spending $44,600 from a town conservation fund in order to purchase and conserve the piece of property on the Gridley River on Swamp Road.

The $44,600 would cover have the cost of the property, with the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests paying the remainder of the cost. The Society would then own the property and hold the conservation easement.

However, before the plan can move forward it must be approved by the Sharon Select Board.

“The Conservation Commission voted unanimously to contribute funds to the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests in aid of the purchase, so we are definitely planning to go forward with this, pending the select board’s decision,” said Anne Booth, co-chair of the Sharon Conservation Commission.

Residents at a public hearing on June 26 had questions about the allowed uses of the property, both by recreation users and the Society, Booth said.

One concern was that the Society would be utilizing its rights to log the property. While logging and other forestry uses are allowed under the conservation easement, Booth said, it’s not likely to occur on this property because the topography would make it difficult.

By providing funds towards the easement, the town of Sharon would be securing public access to the property for various types of recreational uses. Residents questioned whether motorized vehicles such as trail bikes would be allowed. A representative from the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests clarified that they would not be, Booth said.

The public hearing is a pre-requisite for expending town conservation funds.

It’s likely that the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests will close on the Swamp Road property within the month and the select board will make its final decision at that time, Booth said.

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