December 10, 2018

Catamount forest committee plans open house Saturday

The Catamount Community Forest Planning Committee invites the public to a drop-in open house Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Town Hall Annex Conference Room to learn about the proposed 383-acre public conservation and recreation area currently known as the Catamount Outdoor Family Center.


The planning committee has been meeting monthly since July to develop a management plan for the Gov. Chittenden Road property, which the Town of Williston plans to purchase next year with the help of the Vermont Land Trust, the Vermont Housing Conservation Board and the Trust for Public Land.


The open house will be an opportunity for residents to view property maps and ask questions of committee members. A light lunch will be provided.


In November, the committee began discussing what uses would be allowed in the park, including hunting, camping, dog-walking, disc golf, snowmobiling and horseback riding.


The discussion, and voting on particular uses, will continue at its next formal meeting, the evening of Dec. 18 at the Williston Police Station community room. The start time has not yet been set.


At its Nov. 27 meeting, the committee discussed the possibility of conflicts between dogs and horses, which are not currently allowed at the center, and mountain-bikers. Committee members also reached a consensus that camping should be limited to special events.


The question of hunting, which is currently allowed on the property, was tabled until the Dec. 18 meeting.


More information about the committee is available through the Williston planning office at 878-6704.


— Jason Starr

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