Ashley Community Forest Town Meeting votes

The voting took place at virtual Town Meetings via Australian Ballot or in person in Strafford on and before March 3, 2021, and in Sharon on and before May 8, 2021.

The results were:

Strafford: 399 YES 70 NO

Sharon: 232 YES 72 NO

To the voters of Strafford and Sharon –

Thank you for your strong support for the town accepting the gift of the Ashley Community Forest. The next step involves a member from each of the two Selectboards, and a member from each Conservation Commission to negotiate the terms of the transfer, details of the conservation easement and the creation of a co-managment structure. The group will also check in with the Alliance for Vermont Communities, the Vermont Land Trust, and the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board. Your vote of support speeds along the process that soon will make the Ashley land a thriving community forest.

As always, we welcome input from the community. Please reach out to us with any questions or feedback- info@alliancevermont.org
You can also follow us on Facebook at-  https://www.facebook.com/alliancevermont
In the meantime, we hope you are able to visit and enjoy this wonderful community resource.

With great appreciation, Alliance for Vermont Communities

Micki Colbeck, Strafford
John Dumville, Royalton
Judith Falk, Strafford
Amy Frost, Tunbridge
Jennifer Hayslett, Tunbridge
Warren Johnston, Sharon
Suzanne Long, Royalton
Michael Sacca, Tunbridge Erik Skarsten, Sharon

Ashley Community Forest Committee

JT Horn, Strafford
Warren Johnston, AVC
David Paganelli, Strafford
Matt Perry, Sharon
Dick Ruben, Sharon
Michael Sacca, AVC
Vermont Land Trust

Informational Meetings

Two informational meetings were presented in February to help inform the voters of Sharon and Strafford of particular articles regarding the Ashley Community Forest Project to be voted on at Town Meeting. Ashley Community Forest Committee and Alliance for Vermont Communities members shared goals and details about the project which was followed by discussion and questions. Watch the meetings recorded on –

February 17, 2021 pw ab42+%s3

February 23, 2021 pw K6z@kVGA

The two nearly identical articles requestied the voters to decide to accept the donation of the 256.4-acre parcel as well as a $20,000 amount to seed a Management Fund. Please note that the article language did not clearly inform the voter that the Ashley Community Forest is to be acquired by donation.

Strafford Article: 7

Shall the voters direct the Strafford Selectboard to acquire from the Alliance for Vermont Communities approximately 105 acres of land (Strafford land parcel number 05.488), contingent upon the Selectboard’s subsequent agreement:
• on the terms of a conservation easement for the property;
• on the terms of an agreement for the acquisition of the property; and
• on other terms relating to future management of the property with the Town of
Sharon (owner of an adjacent land parcel in Sharon), the Alliance of Vermont
Communities, and the Vermont Land Trust and the Vermont Housing and
Conservation Board?

Sharon Article 6:

Shall the voters direct the Sharon Selectboard to acquire from the Alliance for Vermont Communities approximately 149.7 acres of land (Sharon land parcel number R1758S2), contingent upon the Selectboard’s subsequent agreement:
• on the terms of a conservation easement for the property;
• on the terms of an agreement for the acquisition of the property; and
• on other terms relating to future management of the property with the Town of Strafford (owner of an adjacent land parcel in Sharon), the Alliance of Vermont Communities, and the Vermont Land Trust and the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board?

Have a question? send it to info@alliancevermont.org and we will get back to you.

 

Let’s put Ashley Community Forest on the map!

Ashley Community Forest Press

Valley News-November 3, 2020
Sharon, Strafford will decide ownership of Ashley Community Forest next year
By ANNA MERRIMAN Valley News Staff Writer

For more information go to http://www.alliancevermont.org/ashley-community-forest or contact Michael Sacca, President, Alliance for Vermont Communities at mfsacca@gmail.com.