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Cape Elizabeth Conservation Commission starts work on land management plan

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Cape Elizabeth Conservation Commission starts work on land management plan

CAPE ELIZABETH — The Conservation Commission has started working on a land management plan to identify, maintain and classify the nearly 10 percent of town acreage that is municipally owned open space.

Charged by the Town Council at a April 12 meeting to create a management structure for the greenbelt trails and open space, the Conservation Commission held a public meeting Wednesday, June 16, to gather feedback from residents.

Conservation Commission member Mike Duddy said the group has been active, but has not yet attempted to draft a management plan. He said the plan is necessary for people to have guidelines for use, maintenance and mapping along the trails.

He encouraged the public to contact the commission with ideas about allowable uses and regulations for dogs, snowmobiles, mountain bikes and horses on the trials. 

He said the management plan should address abutter encroachments, fencing, unauthorized construction or plantings that make it difficult to identify the trails or that discourage use. Other areas the public is encouraged to weigh in on are hours of operation, funding sources, signs and access.

Conservation Commission Chairwoman Dana DeSena said one goal is to have people be able to walk all the open space in town using connectors.

Councilor Jessica Sullivan, the Town Council liaison to the Conservation Commission, said the management plan is expected to be complete and presented to the council by the end of the year.

The commission will hold another public forum in the fall to gather additional public information, and welcomes input via e-mail or phone calls to Town Planner Maureen O'Meara at 799-0115.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net