Lyndeborough looking to conserve land

LYNDEBOROUGH – The Conservation Commission, saying the preservation of Cold Brook is a high priority, approved donating up to $50,000 toward the preservation of two parcels owned by the Proctor family in North Lyndeborough. Easement on the properties would be held by the Piscataquog Land Conservancy, of New Boston.

The donation, approved Wednesday, July 19, is contingent on the PLC obtaining the needed $350,000, plus the agreement of all parties on the final wording.

The smaller 21-acre lot is landlocked and abuts a previously conserved lot. The larger parcel – between 60 and 90 acres – is along the south side of Mountain Road.

In 2015, the commission pledged $30,000 toward the preservation of the former Woodmont Orchards at Perham Corner, but “that deal fell through, and private donations were returned,” Chairman Sharon Akers said.

The commission formally rescinded that vote before making the new pledge.

The wording of the easement includes hunting and fishing access. Selectman Fred Douglas, however, speaking as a resident and a hunter, said he found some of the wording vague as to allowing the land to be posted if an activity “puts the public at risk.”

He used a Milford case as an example: Hunters were banned from a property after protests by horsemen.

Douglas said he wondered, “Who defines public safety? Deer hunting happens in the fall, when people like to go hiking. It’s not right to post the area to hunters” at the request of nonhunters.

PLC spokesman Chris Wells said this property has long been used by hunters, and that he didn’t see it as a problem.

As a selectman, Douglas added, “The Conservation Commission should know that an intent-to-cut application has been filed on neighboring property. Logging trucks are not going to be allowed on the new asphalt on Mountain Road, and they will have to go out the other way” using the Class 6 Richardson Road and a stone bridge over Cold Brook.

Wells said that property, identified as “Grossman lot,” is under PLC easement and therefore “they will be using a forester” who will oversee the work. All necessary permits will be obtained.

But the preservation of Cold Brook was the main interest. It is a small, cold-water brook that harbors native trout, and keeping it shaded and pristine is a priority.

Some concern was raised regarding a portion of the land along the brook currently being used to pasture cows.

Closing on the smaller portion, for $50,000, is on Dec. 31, with the larger piece to be finalized next summer.

Commission members wondered whether there are other ways to raise funds, such as the Rose Mountain Ramble, a bike event in August.

A “walk-around” of the property was scheduled in connection with Community Day on Aug. 19.

A meeting of the Selectboard, scheduled for immediately after the hearing, was canceled for lack of a quorum.