EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

January 18, 2013

'Bronto' helps improve Salem forest

Excavator mows through part of town forest


“I’m surprised how fast this is going,” Dumont said, watching as tall trees disappeared with a single swipe.

John C. Brown & Sons does work in several states, including Florida, according to supervisor of operations Steve Snook, Richard’s brother. Bronto — one of 17 used by the company — is commonly used to clear areas for power lines.

How did it get its name?

“It kind of looks like a brontosaurus and it eats trees,” Steve Snook said.

Fred Borman, a natural resources specialist for the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, served as an adviser for the project. The Bronto makes a tough job much easier, he said.

“It can take down trees and shrubs in seconds flat,” he said.

The work at the town forest was supposed to end this afternoon, but it was obvious the rapid, roaring Bronto would be done well before then.

Part of the site is along the Hitty Titty Brook, which was shrouded from view by tall, drooping trees until Bronto made its visit.

“The stuff grows fast,” Dumont said. “It was at the stage where you couldn’t see through it, but you knew (the brook) was there.”

Clearing the trees will also make it easier for wildlife to see and reach the brook and a nearby pond for drinking water, he said.

The work also provides more space for hikers, snowshoers and cross-country skiers who use the forest on a regular basis, Dumont said. Several people, including a couple on snowshoes, stopped by yesterday to chat and inquire about the large machine, he said.

“It’s a nice place to snowshoe,” he said. “I love it out here.”

Salem’s town forest, tucked off Shadow Lake Road, is a secret to many, Dumont said.

“A lot of people come down here and say, ‘I never knew this was here,’” he said.

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