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To: Duxbury Conservation Commission

Pause Deforestation on Summer St. Duxbury Conservation Land

Pause Deforestation on Summer St. Duxbury Conservation Land

In the Jan 26th front-page Duxbury Clipper article, “Working toward solutions to climate change impact,"
Town officials are citing the Town’s Climate Vulnerability Action Plan and imploring residents to take this crisis seriously and protect the Town’s natural resources.

We agree wholeheartedly. We are struck by Town officials' incongruous approach to climate change concerns when it comes to Summer St Conservation land. Any day now – seven additional acres of forested wetlands will be taken down – in order to install a new farm.

Amy MacNab, Select Board Chair is quoted in the article, “We’re committed to address [climate change]…As a board when we approach every project we’re taking a green approach”.

Yet - Town boards and officials resoundingly rejected Article 5 (Summer St. Citizen’s Petition) at Special Town Meeting Nov. 8, 2021.

Article 5 simply requested the Town Conservation Commission to pause plans to deforest and till up land around vernal pools — until further studies could be done.

1)The Town needs an Agricultural Strategic plan.
2) Field studies need to be done in and around the vernal pool cluster. There have been none to date. Data must be collected on which species are relying on this ecosystem to feed, breed, and nest. Without such baseline data – typically done in the spring – there is no way to determine if changes made to the ecosystem effected the health of wildlife that depend on it.
(www.duxburypeeps.com for more details)

Article 5 is 100% in line with Town strategic plans – such as Open Space & Recreation Report 2017, Envision Duxbury 2019, & Duxbury Climate Vulnerability & Action Plan 2018 – and inarguably a sensible approach. A view endorsed by many voters at STM and several readers via Opinion pieces in the ensuing months.

In the Jan 26th article Joe Grady, Con Com Administrator references the 1969 Greenbelt Plan “The town hasn’t allowed development along the greenbelt system along riverways and the watershed.”

We applaud the Greenbelt plan and disagree with Mr. Grady’s assertion.

Summer St. Conservation land is in the Western Greenbelt, along Jones River watershed, atop our aquifer, and is slated for development by ConCom. Taking land from its natural state to something man-made is development - whether it’s a parking lot, housing, or new farmland.

We risk flooding, poor water quality, rising ground temperatures due to loss of tree canopy, less carbon sequestration, shrinking wildlife biodiversity and habitat. Town officials must be honest about this.

Climate change is upon us.

We urge the Town to reconsider Summer St plans and to apply an even evidence-based approach to decisions that impact our environment - as described in Article 5 Citizen Petition.
It is nonsensical for the Town to be cutting down forests on the West side, yet be yelling for buckets of water on the East side to put out climate change fires.

Duxbury Conservation Commission, Select Board, pause deforestation. Listen to residents and voters. Listen to science. It is not too late to do what's right - together.

Why is this important?

Duxbury voters and residents, the ONLY way to effect change is to make some noise and use your voices.
And NOW. Deforestation can happen any day.

This petition is NOT anti-farm. We are asking Duxbury to take the imperative step of creating a proper Agricultural Strategic Plan for the town BEFORE taking nature down.

Email Duxbury Conservation Commission. Write a letter to the Editor. Sign this Petition. Make a peep.

Updates

2022-03-14 17:36:52 -0400

10 signatures reached