Stid Hill plan aimed to boost wildlife

About 40 people with a stake in what happens on Stid Hill in the towns of Bristol and South Bristol turned out Tuesday to learn about a plan to revive some of the hill’s nearly 700 acres of forest. Like other areas of the state’s High Tor Wildlife Management Area, the hill is overwhelmed with old-age forest, snuffing out new growth and stressing wildlife.

As part of what the state Department of Environmental Conservation calls a “young forest initiative,” the plan involves controlling invasive plants, removing certain older trees and maintaining grasslands and shrublands. The 10-year plan aims to raise young forest cover to 12 percent within 10 years, and maintain a balance of at least 10 percent young forest.

“It’s not just a New York state thing,” said DEC Wildlife Biologist Michael Palermo. He said plans to revive wildlife management areas are being done across the United States with the support of conservation groups and those concerned with outdoor recreation. “Everyone is on board,” he said.

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