Brush Clearing at DRLT Wildlife Preserve

Plant and wildlife diversity is a critical aspect of landscape conservation and preservation.  We work with experts to help us make decisions and take actions toward this goal.

What's Happening

Many people have been interested in exactly what is happening to the DRLT property on Main Street, with numerous requests for explanations requested of the Town Hall staff.
The Trust has retained the services of Monadnock Forestry Services to assist in the restoration of certain areas of the property, to its condition when acquired about thirty (30) years ago.  Over this period of time, the Trust has maintained trails for hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing through much of the wooded area of this property.  During this period of time however, major portions of the open areas have become overgrown with brush and "too densely" populated with white pines; to the point that few could survive.
When the property was acquired in 1974, there were three (3) major open areas, containing 25-30 acres of land that have disappeared.  With that growth, there have been disappearances of certain species of birds and animals that do require and thrive in open space as habitat.  The DRLT, through cost-share dollars from the United States Department of Agriculture, is restoring these open areas for the return of such birds and animals, taking into account the numerous trees and bushes, both dead and alive, each providing food and shelter for specific birds and animals.  Fruit and nut-bearing trees have been retained to provide a food source to habitat remaining and anticipated to return.
Among the birds benefiting from this process are songbirds, meadowlarks, bobolinks, warblers, sparrows and certain hawks.  It is hoped that pheasants and partridge, once prevalent and in abundance, will return.  The areas that deer graze have been diminished as the open areas have been reduced.
This is a project that will encompass a three to four (3-4) year process; the major work being completed on January 3, 2005; the cutting, chipping and removal of the overgrowth.  The chipped materials are not wasted; these materials are recycled and used for generating electricity at plants in Bridgeport, New Hampshire and Westminster, Mass.
This segment of the project is definitely the most noticeable with the removal of the once green growth and disruption of the once smooth roads because of the changes in the weather and lack of frost cover.  The piles of what appears to be debris have been left in numerous locations are designed to provide nesting places for small animals such as mice, squirrels, chipmunks and rabbits.
Over the next couple of years, these roads will be brought back into their former shape, some naturally and some requiring some slight work with equipment to restore, but nothing major.  Each year, the DRLT will mow and/or brush hog the improved areas to perpetuate the benefits that are desired, the restoration and maintenance of a natural habitat for animals that had previously lived on this property and surrounding areas.