WARWICK — The Warwick Town Forest just got a little bit bigger, thanks to a $100,000 earmark in the 2014 Environmental Bond Bill secured by state Senate President Stan Rosenberg.
Town Coordinator David Young said the sale of approximately 88 acres without road frontage located adjacent to Warwick’s existing town forest was finalized Monday. A. George Day Jr., a member of the town’s Open Space Committee, said the purchase expands Warwick Town Forest from 277 to 365 acres.
Rosenberg announced the funding to preserve the forest land in July. According to a release from Rosenberg, the Warwick Town Forest has the largest population of black gum trees in Massachusetts.
Now that the purchase has been finalized, Young said the town is coordinating with an abutter in hopes of securing access by foresters for timber harvests.
“We fully intend to manage it as forest land and grow good timber on it, and eventually cut it and sell the timber for the benefit of the town,” Young said. “We average more revenue off of our town forest than would be generated had it been taxable as classified forest land.”
Young cited examples of timber sales this year for $4,700 and for $10,020 in 2010.
Young said the town is very appreciative for Rosenberg’s support, as well as town volunteers who helped secure the sale.
No trails or facilities will be developed, Young said, keeping with the nature of the previously existing forest, which is publicly accessed by narrow roads used by foresters. However, there are plans to remove an outbuilding.
Young said the Open Space Committee will be meeting to organize a commemorative open house event for the new forest land, though the public is able to use it immediately.
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