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Letter to the editor: Voting for a Town Forest the first step in establishing a lovely recreation area

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To the editor:

Around 30 people joined the Lebanon Conservation Commission on Sunday afternoon for a walk at the proposed Hebo Hybo Community Forest. Lebanon residents will vote on Tuesday to decide if the 275-acre town-owned parcel off the Hebo Hybo Road will be designated as a community forest and managed by the Conservation Commission.

Future plans include creating trails that will be suitable for hiking, cross country skiing and other light recreation, and managing the lot for wildlife and sustainable forestry.

"In my position as Scoutmaster for the Lebanon Troop 369," says Norm Sirois, "I am looking forward to having this space in town. The Scouts could play a role in its development." Sirois envisions Scouts doing trail work and mapping the trails.
"Utilizing the skills they are learning will help build them into better Scouts. All youth of the town could also benefit from this space."

Scout Eli Tetreault adds, "There is a lot of good that could happen from having a community forest."

There is concern among some Lebanon residents that the Hebo Hybo Road and the Hebo Hybo lot are a safety hazard due to uncontrolled off-road vehicle use, illegal dumping and fires. The Lebanon Conservation Commission believes the community forest designation is a positive first step toward helping to create a space that is well maintained and benefits the town and future generations.

In the 1980s, the Hebo Hybo parcel almost became a major landfill site, but ultimately town citizens rejected and defeated the plan. The Hebo Hybo Road was a commonly used road that connected Lebanon to Acton until the 1920s. The area contains significant wetlands, encompasses Sacapee Pond, and forms an important part of the headwater for the Little River watershed. Three Rivers Land Trust has designated this lot and surrounding property in Lebanon and Acton as one of its focus areas, meaning it has significant conservation value.

- Ruth Gutman,

Lebanon Conservation Commission

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