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Cowls newspaper article

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Cowls newspaper article

Postby thepinktaco » Sun May 17, 2015 6:49 pm

http://www.recorder.com/home/16911680-9 ... o-its-land

W.D. Cowls Inc., the Amherst-based company that owns thousands of acres of forests throughout western Massachusetts, is warning against increased illegal activity that might prompt it to make some of its property off-limits.

A dozen or more old computers were illegally dumped on a tract in Conway, and in Orange, at the Lake Rohunta site, debris left behind has included junk cars. A local group that has used the area to ride recreational all-terrain vehicles built a fence to keep junk cars from being left there and members cleaned up the parcel, Jones said.

Cowls President Cinda Jones and Evan Jones, president of Cowls Building Supply, issued a statement this week expressing concern that some recreational use of woodland in both Hampshire and Franklin counties may be curtailed if such behavior — including illegal dumping and digging for minerals — continues.

“We regret to report that recent, inappropriate public activity on our land is now jeopardizing its continued public use,” the Joneses wrote. “We are working in cooperation with local police departments and utilizing surveillance devices in effort to stop these dangerous and illegal activities.”

Public use of the company’s land is governed by a “leave no trace” covenant, which restricts cutting down trees, damaging wetlands, removing natural resources or dumping garbage.

Cinda Jones said Thursday the statement was put out as a preemptive measure to remind the public about the natural resources they can enjoy.

“I really think and hope we won’t ever have to post our forestland, but we’d more likely prosecute violators of the law and trespass individuals who are abusing their privileges,” Jones said.

Incidents have occurred on parcels in several area communities, Jones said.

In addition to the incidents in Conway and Orange, the company has already put up signs to keep people out from an area where individuals appear to be using pick-axes to dig for minerals in Pelham.

In Belchertown, Cowls has worked with police officers to remove area youths who are hanging out on the land and to identify landscapers who have dumped woody debris without permission.

Hikers, snowshoers, snowmobilers and ATVs are all currently allowed on Cowls land and its logging roads, Jones said.

Cowls has added signs in recent years reminding people when they are venturing onto the private land. Some signs read: “Tree farm, Private property, Public welcome!” and state that some of the managed land has been open to the public for more than 265 years. These signs list prohibited activities and provide company contact information. Other signs read: “Respectful public use welcome.”

The illegal activities can harm the green certification status for the company’s timber and also would run counter to forestry stewardship plans.
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Re: Cowls newspaper article

Postby navman » Sun May 17, 2015 9:14 pm

Is there any property still open for us to use at this time? I know people here have spoken with her to try and work something out, but do we currently have any access? I do find it interesting that without the nea presence things have gone astray. Just goes to show the influence of having organized groups around.
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Re: Cowls newspaper article

Postby Eric » Mon May 18, 2015 5:43 am

Chuck and I met with cinda and her forestry team a couple years ago. They really wanted us to lease their parcel adjacent to catamount state forest but the numbers were rather high and the property is more off the beaten path than others.

We also talked about their land in belchertown. They were also open to letting us use that property but wanted us to get permission from the state and towns before building new trails.

I hiked both properties including 14 miles in the belxhertown land. There is plenty of potential. You can find detailed reports from my scouting in the land use section.

If anybody wants to pick up the ball then say so and I will make the introductions.
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Re: Cowls newspaper article

Postby thepinktaco » Mon May 18, 2015 6:12 am

The spot in orange has always been a dumping pit. We did a cleanup there years ago when we had access to the gutter. They have plenty of properties but harder to suit our needs. Acessable with trailers, parking, and enough terrain to keep interested for a day.
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Re: Cowls newspaper article

Postby Rafikie » Mon May 18, 2015 8:48 am

Perhaps some clean up days are in order again? Maybe it'll help access their properties again for less $$$->free? If nothing else it be a nice thanks for letting us use the property while we could. If this was to be setup I'd suggest promoting the hell out of it. Pick a day and give enough time for folks to make plans to be there.
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Re: Cowls newspaper article

Postby Eric » Mon May 18, 2015 9:25 am

^ Sounds like a good idea to me. I'd recommend the Belchertown tract. Do we have volunteers to take the lead and make it happen?
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Re: Cowls newspaper article

Postby Orangeamc13 » Wed May 20, 2015 10:45 pm

Posted UJ
Denny Renaldi
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Re: Cowls newspaper article

Postby cmerrick » Fri Jun 05, 2015 12:39 pm

I could coordinate...
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Re: Cowls newspaper article

Postby Orangeamc13 » Fri Jun 05, 2015 2:51 pm

I'll show up for a clean up. 8)
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Re: Cowls newspaper article

Postby BILLYjp2 » Sat Jun 06, 2015 11:33 pm

I was at the belchertown property before the snow fell and a snowmobile club has been busy cutting and putting up signage on several new trails on the south side of the property especially.
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Re: Cowls newspaper article

Postby Eric » Sun Jun 07, 2015 7:26 am

Pick a date and make it happen!
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