The Waitsfield Conservation Commission is issuing a final call for public input on the Waitsfield Scrag Forest Trail Design Report.

The town of Waitsfield Conservation Commission (WCC) is wrapping up Phase I of the recreational trail development process for the 640-acre town-owned Waitsfield Scrag Forest (WSF). Scrag Forest contains over a mile of the Northfield ridgeline and much of the scenic vista forming The Valley's east side.

Guided by existing goals and objectives set forth in the Scrag Forest Management Plan, the WCC has contracted with Sinuosity LLC to complete a Trail Design Report. The ultimate objective is to expand the current trail system, address existing problem spots and create more accessible recreation opportunities on the west side of the WSF. Phase II will encompass the actual implementation of the plan.

In addition, a timber harvest with the objectives of improving and creating wildlife habitat as well as generating revenue and/or timber and firewood for community projects is in the contract phase. The trail design has taken into consideration the harvest so as to realize efficiencies with addressing erosion issues and site access.

The work by Sinuosity included conducting on-site research and discovery, completing a draft trail layout and summarizing an inventory and construction plan into the final Trail Design Report. The final deliverable of the contract is to introduce the project to the community and overview the report to acquire final input and support prior to the build phase.

All are invited to join the Conservation Commission for a public presentation of the Trail Design Report at 7 p.m. (refreshments at 6:30 p.m.) on Wednesday, January 28, at Waitsfield Elementary School. Discussion will include a brief overview of the timber harvest status followed by a comprehensive overview of the Trail Design Report. Final plan revisions will be based on this public input. Everyone is invited to come learn more about the forest and what is planned for its future and to share thoughts and ideas. Questions? Contact Waitsfield Conservation Commission chair Leo Laferriere at 496-2515.

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