OHRV Rules for Busch Farm in Newton | Gallery | carriagetownenews.com – carriagetownenews.com

Windy with rain showers. High 51F. Winds W at 20 to 30 mph. Chance of rain 50%. Higher wind gusts possible..
Showers early then continued cloudy and windy overnight. A few flurries or snow showers possible. Low 29F. Winds WNW at 35 to 50 mph. Chance of rain 50%.
Updated: April 1, 2022 @ 12:56 pm
(Photo courtesy Alicia Geilen)

(Photo courtesy Alicia Geilen)
NEWTON — The Newton Conservation Commission is seeking input and support to better manage the Busch Farm Conservation Property location on Route 108, near New Boston Road.
The 47-acre property was acquired by the Town of Newton in 1998 to preserve as open space. It is under the care and custody of the Conservation Commission, whose primary responsibility is protection of Newton’s natural resources. The Busch Farm Conservation Property was established by the Commission as a multi-use conservation and recreational property, with a Loop Trail for walking, bird watching, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, etc., as well as, mountain biking, horseback riding, and Off-Highway Recreational Vehicle (OHRV) use.
Unfortunately, the property has a history of periodic damage by OHRV users going back to the early 2000s. However, the situation got worse starting in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Multiple illegal “mud runs” were made through wetlands, unauthorized trails across the fragile meadow were created, and areas re-graded to create jumps and circuits. These unauthorized activities have significantly damaged the property, are in conflict with other uses, and threaten important wildlife habitat. OHRV damage to wetlands makes the Town of Newton liable for tens of thousands of dollars in state fines for wetland violations. Other damage to the property during COVID-19 includes the destruction of several bird nest boxes, and resulted in the death of baby birds. The Kingston Conservation Commission generously donated and installed new nest boxes, which was greatly appreciated!
The Newton Conservation Commission is reaching out to local residents to alert them of this ongoing problem, and to share the OHRV rules for Busch Farm, created in 2003.
1. Full sized vehicles are not permitted beyond the designated parking area.
2. OHRVs must be registered with the State of New Hampshire, and operators must be in compliance with State OHRV regulations.
3. Operating an OHRV is not permitted between dusk and 9:00 a.m.
4. OHRVs are permitted on marked trails only.
5. Alteration of landscape is not permitted.
6. State law prohibits the operation of OHRVs in wetland areas.
Conservation Commission asks everyone to please respect and obey the rules.
This spring, the Conservation Commission plans to post the OHRV rules onsite, clearly mark the original Loop Trail, restore wetlands and areas of the Loop Trail damaged by OHRV use, repair two damaged culverts, and block all trails into wetlands on the property to stop on-going violations. Finally, the Commission will begin the process of removing non-native invasive plants that degrade wildlife habitat, specifically Japanese Knotweed at the parking area, and Autumn Olive in the meadow.
Looking forward, the Commission plans to assess which of the numerous unauthorized trails located outside of wetland areas should be formalized and properly marked. Please let us know which trails are most important to you. The committee will use this information to establish the formal trail system beyond the original Loop Trail. Ultimately, they hope to create a well-maintained trail system with a map posted on-site and online.
If you have suggestions for better managing the property, would like to know more about their planned work, or want to volunteer for trail maintenance, please email conservation@newtonnh.net or come to one of the Conservation Commission meetings, which are held at 7 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month in the back of Town Hall.
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