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July 30, 2013

Keeping the forest healthy

City begins tree harvesting program at Clement Farm Conservation Area


Timber being removed has been sold through a competitive bid process to Hopkinton Forestry & Land Clearing, officials said. A condition of the sale is that Hopkinton will provide seven cords of fuelwood for use by the city in its pilot “Home Fuelwood Program.”

Moore said logs of 22 feet in length will be brought to the Highway Department for bidding by residents, with the goal of having seven different winning bidders.

The mayor said proceeds from timber sales, estimated to be around $11,000, will be deposited into the city’s Municipal Open Space Management Fund to cover the forestry costs already incurred by the city and to fund a sustainable forest management program for the rest of the city’s forested areas, officials said. Following the completion of the work, the Clement Farm Conservation Area will be re-opened to the public for passive recreational activities and the full use of the ball fields.

Much of the wood that Hopkinton Forestry & Land Clearing will keep will go to a saw mill for lumber while unusable sections of trees can be used as firewood or be chipped to be used as fuel, Moore said.

Coarse debris that will be left behind would provide habitat for species such as salamanders that like living under logs, he said.

“When you clear out areas you create new and more diverse growth and a new habitat for wildlife with new shelter and new food sources,” Moore said. “It might not be at Clement, but we could put up birdhouses or boxes for wood ducks to nest.”

The plan also includes developing an educational forest stewardship trail that could involve adding informational signage or a demonstration area showing types of trees or what a cord of wood is.

Another goal of the plan is to improve passive recreational opportunities.

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