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To the Editor:
We urge those who treasure The Valley's natural beauty and who have read with concern about the proposed development on Ward Hill in Duxbury to come to next week's meeting of Duxbury's Development Review Board to register their concern.
The proposed development encompasses only four lots, which puts it below the Act 250 radar, but if it is approved it is hard to see it not opening the way to further development. The four lots, amounting to a little over 100 acres, are part of a 2,000-plus-acre parcel which was farmed at one time -- there are some old stone walls -- but has been forest land these past 100 years. The parcel is specifically mentioned in the Duxbury Town Plan as an area that should remain in forestry use. An attempt by a previous owner to open up the whole area for development was turned down by the state environmental board in 1992.
The whole area is above the 1,500-foot contour line. It slopes upwards in easy stages and runs without a break into the Camel's Hump State Park. It is both a priceless natural habitat -- populated by deer, moose, bear and snowshoe hares -- and an inviting recreational habitat. Logging trails make it readily accessible to hikers and cross country skiers. Because of the logging, one gets uninterrupted views to the east. Mount Washington is visible on a good day.
The land is owned by a forestry company headquartered in Wisconsin. Our concern is maintaining the natural beauty of The Valley. Let's not allow this precious tract in Duxbury to be nibbled away.
The DRB's meeting next week is on Tuesday, March 11, at 7 p.m. at the Duxbury town office.
Mary and Robert Weatherall