Draft amendment to Scrag Mountain Town Forest management plan

A draft amendment to the 2012 Scrag Mountain Town Forest management plan, incorporating the 110-acre “Scrag Gateway Parcel” is available for review and comment.

Waitsfield Scrag Forest Management Plan – Amendment #2 (July 2020)

The Town of Waitsfield acquired the 110-acre addition to the Scrag Mountain Town Forest in 2017.

Since then, the Waitsfield Conservation Commission (WCC) has been gathering information to inform the long-term stewardship of the property. With outside help, the WCC has completed several important baseline assessments:

  • An inventory of “natural communities” (i.e., combinations of native plants and animals that are commonly found together in particular ecological settings on the landscape);
  • An assessment of habitat conditions for native forest birds;
  • An inventory of forest stands; and
  • A forest stewardship plan that provides recommendations for future forest management and timber harvests.

Using the inventories, and with help from the Vermont Land Trust, the WCC prepared the draft amendment.

The draft amendment is available for public review using the link above or in hard copies (“to go” — please call or email ahead) at the Town Offices. The public is invited to submit comments and questions about the draft amendment through Friday, July 17th by emailing Commission Chair Phil Huffman at [email protected] and Vice Chair Leo Laferriere at [email protected], or by submitting comments at the Town Office using either the exterior drop boxes (by the doors on either side) or the mail.

The draft amendment is not a stand-alone document; changes needed to the 2012 Management Plan in light of the addition of the Gateway Parcel and other things that have happened on the Town Forest over the past eight years are described.

The 2012 plan is available on the Town’s website (please click here) or in hard copies (“to go” — please call or email ahead) at the Town Office.

The WCC will consider public input on the management plan amendment at its July 20th meeting, and will finalize the amendment for submittal to the Selectboard for final review and approval.

Once an amendment is approved, expanding the trail network on the Gateway Parcel and other parts of the Scrag Mountain Town Forest will be next. This will include engaging a trail consultant to provide a professional assessment of the best opportunities for new trails that fit with the natural resources and character of the lands, as well as work to improve trail-based opportunities.