For Immediate Release Contact: Wendy Fox
April 6, 2007 617-626-1453
STATE AND LOCAL PARTNERS TO HOLD PUBLIC MEETING
PRESENTING DRAFT MANAGEMENT PLAN
FOR MOUNT WATATIC RESERVATION
The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) in partnership with the Department of Fish and Game, the towns of Ashby and Ashburnham, the Ashby Land Trust, and the Ashburnham Conservation Trust will hold a public meeting regarding the Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) for Mount Watatic Reservation. The meeting will be Wednesday, April 25, at 7 p.m. in the Ashburnham Town Hall upstairs meeting hall, 32 Main St.
Each of the six managing partners mentioned above holds an undivided ownership interest in the 281-acre reservation. The partners worked together to develop the draft RMP, which documents and assesses existing conditions and provides a framework for coordinated management of the reservation. The partners will present an overview of the RMP and invite public comment at the April 25 meeting.
The reservation was acquired in 2002 for about $2.5 million for the purposes of conservation and recreation following a successful local fundraising effort that alone raised $900,000. Acquisition was also partially funded by the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, which requires preparation of a management plan for the property with the participation of all six partners.
“The draft Mount Watatic Reservation RMP reflects successful coordination between nonprofit, municipal, and state agency partners,” said DCR Acting Commissioner Priscilla Geigis. “DCR is proud to have participated in this land protection project and the challenging management planning process that has followed. We are looking forward to receiving comments at the public meeting on April 25.”
The public comment period for the draft RMP closes on May 9. The draft Mount Watatic Reservation RMP can be downloaded from the DCR RMP Program website at http://www.mass.gov/dcr/stewardship/rmp/rmp-Watatic.htm. Copies of the draft RMP also are available in the town halls and public libraries of Ashby and Ashburnham.