Public Meeting on New Management Plan for Mount Toby Property Will Be Held May 5

April 22, 2005

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AMHERST, Mass. – Natural resources conservation students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will host a public meeting concerning their new plan for university property on Sunderland’s Mount Toby on Thursday, May 5.

Once the students receive feedback from the public at the meeting, to be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Sunderland Town Hall, a final plan for the Mount Toby property will be developed next fall.

The students are developing a draft management plan for the property, which consists of more than 700 acres of forest and streams, including Cranberry Pond and miles of hiking trails. The university’s department of natural resources conservation manages the area, and professor Brenda McComb said it is time to update the current plan, drafted in 1980.

Students in this year’s ecosystem management class, a senior capstone class in the department taught by McComb, are developing the plan. The class consists of forestry, wildlife, fisheries, recreation, human dimensions and arboriculture students. The students have interviewed stakeholders from the area to incorporate their views into the plan.

Anyone interested in what the students have developed and in providing feedback on the plan is encouraged to attend.