PEPPERELL -- The Town Forest Committee is continuing work on a logging project in the forest between River Road and Elm Street as part of a 10-year forest management plan.

Hopkinton Forestry & Land Clearing, Inc. was hired by the committee to do the project, which began in April. The logging has been delayed due to heavy rain, which prevents the company from cutting, but will be completed sometime this summer.

Paula Terassi, conservation administrator for the Pepperell Conservation Commission, said that there are two main goals of the logging -- income and forest health.

The 90-acre forest, which was planted in 1925 with a government grant, has never been cleared, leading to overgrowth and diseased trees, she said.

"Having all trees be planted at the same time isn't a good idea for a forest. We are only cutting some trees, and after this, we will cut others in another five or 10 years, to stagger their growth," Terassi said.

Terassi said that the management plan calls for periodic selective cutting in order to ensure the health of the forest.

The tops of the trees will be used for wood chips, and the rest of the tree trunks will be sent to sawmills. The revenue from the sale of the wood will go to the town, and may be used to make improvements on the land, such as the installation of fire roads in the forest, which would allow trucks to enter the forest to put out a fire.

Terassi said that before the clearing of the forest began, a fire could have been very destructive.


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"If the forest would catch on fire, there'd be no way for them to get in and put out the fire because there are no fire roads. We've got safety in mind," she said.

Follow Chelsea Feinstein at Twitter.com/CEFeinstein.