The Westford Town Lands is comprised of two parcels of town-owned land on either side of Brookside Road in Westford. The Maple Shade Town Forest was acquired by the town in 2018, with funding from a variety of sources, including the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board and the US Forest Service. The Westford School Forest (name pending) was acquired by the town in several parcels, at several different times.
As a provision of its funding sources, the Maple Shade Town Forest needs to have a long-term management plan in place by early 2019. There is currently an Interim Management Plan in place, which governs allowed uses on the Maple Shade Town Forest in lieu of a long-term management plan.
While the Maple Shade Town Forest and the Westford School Forest are two different parcels with distinct histories, established uses and easement restrictions, it makes sense to engage in a management planning process that will produce a long-term management plan for both. Right now we are calling the unit comprising both of these parcels the Westford Town Lands. The goal of the Westford Town Lands management plan will be to create a document that provides a robust framework for stewardship decisions in the Maple Shade Town Forest, including goals, objectives, action items and allowed uses. Questions to be addressed in the management plan will include: where/what/and how much recreation should be allowed? Are hunting and fishing allowed? How should we manage and protect Westford Town Land’s natural resources? What should our long-term vision for these lands be?
This management plan will ultimately frame the way Westford interacts with its town lands, so the goal will be to make decisions using an open, transparent, and public process, providing many ways for interested citizens to participate and provide input on this MP. This process will be facilitated by the Westford Town Lands Management Plan Steering Committee.
June 2018 – Westford Town Lands Community Survey (available online and at the town offices and library)
Saturday, June 9th – !MAPLE SHADE TOWN FOREST GRAND OPENING & COMMUNITY CELEBRATION!
July 4th Parade – Westford Town Lands Information Booth
July 21st (time TBD) – Guided Nature Walk with Ethan Tapper, County Forester
August 19th (time TBD) – Guided Nature Walk with Ethan Tapper, County Forester
Fall 2018 – Community Survey Results Released
Winter 2018 – Draft Long-Term Management Plan Released
Parcel Specific Info & Maps: