OTISFIELD — The Otisfield Conservation Committee has agreed to whittle down a total of 39 restrictive signs at Two Ponds Nature Area in an attempt to save money and be more practical.

“Go big or go home,” Selectman Rick Micklon suggested when Bob Blake met with the board on December 18 to discuss the placement of the signs that will restrict snowmobile and ATV use of the multi-trail paths that will link the 180-acre Saturday Pond and the 196-acre Moose Pond.

The development of the new Two ponds Nature Area trail system was initiated last year. Officials received a two-year Department of Environmental Protection permit to clear the area.

Trail clearing on the nature area began last spring. By August, town officials had expressed concern that all-terrain vehicles were beginning to tear up the ground.

Blake has been working on the signage, which he estimates will cost about $300, to prohibit ATVs, snowmobiles, motorcycles and horses from trail use. The restrictions are expected to be placed at the Fox Run Road, Evergreen Drive and a trail off Hidden Lake Road, all of which have access to Two Ponds’ trail system.

The reflective “No snowmobile” signs will redirect snowmobiles, ATVs and such from entering the Two Ponds Nature Area.

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Both Micklon and Selectmen Chairman Hal Ferguson said limiting the number of signs and placing the restrictions on one large board, like the one used at the town beach, would be more practical. Additionally, the board suggested that the Conservation Commission use local signmakers when possible.

Blake told the board he would like to put the restrictive signs up this winter once the weather gets better.

Additionally, he suggested placing boulders on the trailheads to prevent large machines from accessing it — but the board nixed that idea for safety reasons.

A new kiosk and park benches may be put in place this coming spring.

“The trails are already getting a lot of use,” Blake said.

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