In 2014, the Buck Hill Conservation Foundation and the Buck Hill Falls Company jointly hired a forester to prepare a forest management plan for 4,330 acres of Buck Hill Falls, including Chestnut Mountain. The study by Green Leaf Consulting provides a comprehensive assessment of the property and lists recommendations for the conservation and restoration of the forest. The Plan suggests such strategies as adopting an aggressive herbicide control plan for invasive exotic species and the planting of such seedlings as red spruce, white spruce or other conifers on treated sites. The aim is allow seedlings to grow and shade out invasive hay-scented ferns and other unwanted vegetation.
As you ascend northwards along the lower half of the Blue Trail, look for wildflowers that are now competing with the invasive plants. The plan suggests that open, sunny areas could be converted to wildflower species, fruit bearing shrubs or saplings—all to attract wildlife species.
The degree to which we step in to shape the regeneration of this land is a decision that lies ahead. Meanwhile, nature is working to reclaim Chestnut Mountain with the native species that once thrived there.
The Buck Hill Forest Management Plan can be found at buckhillconservation.org.