The Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity to Create a Newbury Town Forest
The Vermont Land Trust, the Newbury Conservation Commission, and several community members are working together to protect the forestland on both sides of Tucker Mountain Road. The Leach family has generously offered the Tucker Mountain property to the Town of Newbury at half of fair market value, so that it might become a 635-acre Town Forest. Most of the funds needed for the Town to own the land have already been raised, but first, residents of Newbury will vote on the proposal for a Town Forest at a special Town Meeting on Tuesday, September 26 at 7:00 p.m.
If you are a resident of Newbury, please take this survey to share your thoughts with us.
This opportunity would:
- Secure permanent public access for recreational uses such as hiking, hunting, picnicking, and snowmobiling.
- Generate revenue from forestland managed for timber harvests and maple tapping. Our calculations suggest that the forgone municipal tax revenues would be on the order of approximately $6,100. However, we have estimates of timber values that would offset the loss of tax revenue.
- Improve protection of wetlands and the West Branch of Halls Brook, ensuring clean water and healthy brook trout habitat.
- Allow for area school outings and opportunities for learning and natural resource management training.
- Give the community control over uses on the property, and those uses could evolve over time as community evolves or learns what is working and what is not.
- Mean that Newbury joins other Vermont communities, 168 out of our 251 towns, in owning a town forest.