BETHEL — Harvesting $15,000 worth of timber from the 100-acre town forest lot off Route 2 every 15 years is about the only value to be gained from the parcel, selectmen learned at their Dec. 21 meeting.

At the board’s Nov. 23 meeting, selectmen asked Town Manager Jim Doar to look into the possibility listing the parcel on the real estate market.

“It has questionable value for selling,” Doar said Dec. 22. “So the board decided to timber it this year.”

According to a Dec. 1 feasibility study by Geographic Information System technician Sarah Tucker, a former Bethel Planning Board assistant, the land is tax exempt and therefore not in tree growth.

Additionally, Tucker stated that the majority of the parcel is in a deer wintering yard, thereby limiting any development.

A Dec. 9 letter to Doar from consulting forester Sherman R. Small of New England Forestry Consultants Inc. of Bethel, cited the deer yard as “the biggest complication to harvest income estimates.”

Although there are no regulatory limitations on harvesting the area, Small said that after speaking with wildlife biologist Chuck Hulsey with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife he believes that Hulsey would recommend very limited cutting in the deer yard.

Small, who developed a forest management and harvest plan for the town forest lot in October 2008, estimated the value of timber alone on the property at $90,000.

“The value would be for all the timber on the property and does not reflect the value that could be cut at one time,” Small wrote Dec. 9.

Additionally, Small said Maine’s Forest Practices Act and other regulations would limit the amount of timber that could be harvested in a short time.

That’s why he said he anticipates harvests on a 15-year cycle for the property.

And although Tucker said nearly 2,000 feet of the lot’s southern boundary fronts Route 2, there are two entrances from the east-west highway to the forest, but no Maine Department of Transportation entrance permits. Any change of use would require the permits.

Tucker said that further development detractions include no indication there is water available for wells on the property, the area isn’t served by public water, and Bethel uses the southerly portion as a sludge dumping site by the Bethel waste water treatment plant per conditions mandated by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

In a Dec. 21 memo to selectmen, Doar said, “As you can see, the value of the land for anything other than timber is questionable and, given the current real estate market, may not be in the near-term best interest of the town.”

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