In 2013 the town of Middleton started the process of returning 16 parcels of conservation land to town ownership. This land, located throughout the town of Middleton belonged not to the town, but to the state, under control of the Division of Capital Assets Management (DCAMM). Much of the land abuts the Ipswich River, and though there are marked out as conservation land, the current developments regarding the Department of Environmental Protection and the Environmental Protection Agency make leaving any conservation land in the hands of the state worrisome. As has been discussed in earlier posts, as well as in The Boston Globe, the DEP, under the strain of reduced funds and staff, are having difficulty performing the inspections and follow-through that are crucial to keeping conservation land protected.
Happily, through the efforts of the Middleton town leadership, the Middleton Conservation Commission, and the Middleton Stream Team, which included a good deal of tromping through muddy woods, the land has recently been placed back into the town’s ownership.
The transference of ownership places it under the management of the Middleton Conservation Commission rather than the DCAMM, assuring that the primary mission of those overseeing decisions is environmental conservation. For those who wish to expand opportunities for education and exploration of our natural areas, future plans for trails or changes to the landing sites can now be dealt with through the MCC and the Planning Board, without having to go through the state.
Congratulations and thank you to the Town of Middleton for their accomplishment.
Follow Middleton’s example! Conserving the open spaces in your town is the most effective way of helping protect the River.
Click here for a map of the transferred land