Voters resoundingly back land-saving measure

Voters resoundingly back land-saving measure

SUTTON — In a special election yesterday, residents overwhelmingly approved, by a 441-83 vote, a debt exclusion to fund the town’s $280,000 share of the cost to place an agricultural preservation restriction on 314 acres owned by Whittier Farms.

“It’s a significant step to preserving a piece of Sutton’s history,” Town Administrator James A. Smith said. It also brings the town a step closer to solving its cell phone coverage problems. “It’s a win-win,” he said.

After the closing of the APR transaction with the state, the town plans to buy five acres from the Whittier’s for $24,000. The goal is to offset the town’s cost of the restriction with revenue generated by leasing the land to a cell carrier.

— Ruth Vecchione

Thank you to the Whittier Family for offering this gem to the community, to Sutton Town Administrator, James Smith, for heading up this effort, to Sutton Board of Selectman for supporting, and to you Sutton voters who came out for this single ballot item.

I would venture to say that a good portion of Whittier Hill’s 314 acres lie in the 4,288 acres of Manchaug Pond’s watershed. The Manchaug Pond – Watershed Survey conducted for the Manchaug Pond Association (MPA) by Comprehensive Environmental, Inc of Marlboro (CEI) in Spring 2005 notes the importance of land use throughout the watershed and further stresses the need for best management practices by all residents. Land conservation, open space, wildlife corridors is key to the future protection of the lake.

We applaud this partnership between land owner, community and town and state government to preserve this significant property.

Special thanks to our MPA Area 1 photographer for this stunning photo of Saturday morning’s fog on Manchaug Pond.

Comments 8

  1. Although this question has nothing to do with the last post, I visited the boat ramp last month with my dog and found a very strange site. All along the shore line about the boat ramp and more were many crab bodies. These crabs were very dark in color and ranged from a silver dollar size to about 5 inches long?All were deceast! I grew up on this lake each summer and never have seen them in the waters before. Is there a fresh water crab? How could I have missed this before? Can anyone tell me if they seen these also and are they from the ocean and someone just dumped them there? Or was I dreaming? Thanks Joe

  2. On the photo, I totally agree it is a beauty! It is a favorite! I extend my thanks again to the MPA Director who sent it in. Her next series of three from Area 1 is also perfect!

    Glad to see some work besides my own!

  3. Joe, thank you for telling us what you observed at the state boat ramp.

    I visited the ramp after your post only to find evidence of the new Asian Clam infestation (very small clams) and not the large dead crabs you describe. I am not aware of any studies or reports of crabs in our lake nor have I witnessed anything that large … which leads me to believe they were brought in.

    I am preparing an entry with photos of our native species for a future post… has anyone else observed anything strange? anyone get photos?

    Joe, in the future, you or anyone else can email the MPA right away at or post anytime regardless of the subject matter being discussed. Sightings such as these are very important to the health of our lake and the future of the native species – the MPA will check it out right away. You or the MPA can also report findings of concern to the local conservation commissions and MassWildlife.

  4. OK will do! I will try and go back to the locations and see if I can relocate any of these crabs. I will also take some photo’s if I find any. I hope they were not thrown in there. There were many of these crabs to say the least and I wonder if they would of adapted to the fresh water but not the cold?
    Thanks for the help.

  5. Joe, I looked only at the ramp area where one launches a boat. Were they down along the shore? toward the dam or toward the main part of the lake?

    I was hoping someone picked them up after reading your post. I can take a more thorough look tomorrow. Email photos if you can! Sounds like a fresh water creature – keep me posted and we will get them identified.

  6. They were located right at the boat ramp on both sides of it. All were located at the very edge of the water also. Sorry, I haven’t had a chance yet to go there but when I do I will take one and also some photo’s. Joe

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