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Board Member, Evelyn Strawn, led Friends of Myles Standish State Forest in a priority setting exercise. The following report shows the breakdown of the projects members at the September meeting found most important. A comment from the FMSSF President, Sharl Heller, is posted below.

Given: Fund raising needs to be a priority in order to accomplish the objectives of the Friends of the Myles Standish State Forest

Equestrian issues (total 13)

                  Better parking for equestrians llll

                  Take over Charge Pond C lllll

                  Extend camping season l

                  Facility upgrade lll

Preservation of natural habitat/endangered species llllllllll (12)

Stop erosion on peninsula in College Pond l

                  Stop erosion at Fearing Camping area 1 & 2 l

Build and Maintain Trails l (9)

                  General cleanup and maintenance of trails including signs lll

                  Trail access and maintenance lll

                  Additional marked trails ll

Enforcement of laws re: ORV’s llllllll (8)

Bike path maintenance llll (8)

                  Remove trash & brush

Fix the paved bike trails lll

Improve signs lll (7)

                  Gates and signs at intersections with pubic roads llll

Get a good map lllll (5)

Preservation of CCC projects lllll (5)

General beautification lll (4)

                  Re-vegetate picnic areas l

Enforcement of illegal dumping llll (4)

New bridge from Headquarters to south camping areas llll (4)

Develop educational programs that increase awareness/interaction with nature l (3)

                  Interpretive center volunteer ll

Fire prevention lll (3)

                  Controlled burning

Ensure accessibility for physically challenged ll (2)

Help Rangers when they are overloaded in their work ll (2)

Cross-country ski trails (flat) l

Road repairs l

Trash pick-up

Pond/Beach cleaning

Encourage fishing

Encourage use by dog “mushers”

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Comments from FMSSF President:

Already FMSSF and DCR have made progress in addressing this list of needs and goals. Here are some of the things we are doing.FMSSF is now officially a nonprofit. Donations are tax deductible. We can begin fund raising!

Transfer of Charge Pond Camping area “C” for equestrian use is underway. Improvements to the sanitary facility are on the DCR schedule. With the aid of FMSSF board member, Thom Gifford, and many local equestrians, the parking area entrance is now wider to allow for horse trailers.

We are still working on extending the camping season through November. Hunters, we feel, would benefit most but many people would enjoy camping in the less busy season, especially given how beautiful the forest is when in full fall color.

Requests are in to DCR to improve the roads and bicycle trails.

The first work party to save the Civilian Conservation Corps building at Fearing Pond happened on October 20. Fourteen people spent 4 hours removing debris from the building. It’s a good start but we must have a roof right away if the building is to survive! Help us preserve this bit of CCC and MSSF history. We need money/materials for the new roof.

FMSSF is doing all we can to deter illegal off-highway vehicles in the forest. Want to help? Please tell your local law enforcement officers to make it their priority to stop illegal OHV use. Find more information about what DCR is doing to change regulations regarding OHV use through the Off-Highway Vehicle Enforcement and Education Working Group by clicking here.

Please leave a comment for DCR on this issuer at: OHV.comments@state.ma.us.

FMSSF is doing its utmost to raise consciousness about the danger of wildfire in Pine Barrens. Our October meeting will host Ron Aseltine, Fire Warden District 2, to show us how to prevent the disaster that is now ravaging California. Think we can’t have that kind of thing happen here? Think again. Pine Barrens are the third most dangerous areas for out of control fires. It has happened here and it will happen again. Come to one of our fire-management tours and attend our presentations. Don’t wait.

Trails, trails, trails and more trails! That’s what we want. The trails committee is working now to create a fine system of trails throughout MSSF. Keep posted for progress reports. Bob Bentley is our Trails Chair. He and our VP, Tim Scholz, are working with the District Supervisor, Don Matinzi, to layout the new trail. Then the work will begin! Trail work is more technical than one might expect. Working with trail experts provides a great learning opportunity and results in pride in a job well done. Join the Trails Committee and be part of the team. Our enhanced trail will include an accessibility section. Every month we will hold a trail maintenance or forest cleanup workday. Check fmssf.com website for the next work party and come get dirty with us!

Our Beautification Committee, headed by Maggie Luongo and Beth Nixon, is planning a project at the East Entrance. For our landscaping improvements we will use only native plants. As our project develops we hope to help educate our neighbors as well as ourselves in the beauty, usefulness and advantages of replacing high-maintenance yards and gardens with the more ecologically responsible native varieties. We need help from gardeners and landscapers who know about gardening with native plants for our front entrance “model garden”. FMSSF needs more members to address these priorities. Please join us. We will make MSSF the wonderful park it deserves to become! Sharl Heller


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