Goshen Municipal Forest

A Town Treasure…

The Goshen Municipal Forest spans 1,050 acres of land located along the southern edge of Town. Much of what is now called the Municipal Forest, was deeded to Brandon Fire District #1 by Shirley Farr, to be used as a watershed/water supply area, though the land was used by Brandon the deeded land lay within Goshen Town Boundaries.

The Town acquired the land in late 1979 and 1980 through the efforts of two former listers, George Brush and David Gale. These listers determined that the Town of Brandon was not managing the land in accordance with best management practices nor in accordance with the terms of the Shirley Farr deed. After a successful court challenge the Goshen Select Board put that portion of the Shirley Farr land located in Goshen into a trust. The Municipal Forest serves two fold; as a place of wildlife preservation and as a source of renewable income for the Town.

Part of the Town’s goal for the Forest is to  “sustainable population of deer, bear, grouse, woodcocks, rabbits and other, small game animals in ecological balance with a well-managed, regenerating forest with clean water sources”. The Forest is a rich habitat for many different plant and animal species, offers  town residents and the public to enjoy a variety of dispersed, low intensity recreational actives, and contributes added funds to the Town through forest timber sales.

Proceeds from Goshen Municipal Forest timber sales are deposited and a portion thereof may be utilized for forest management activities as well as for specific town projects in which voters must approve for on Town Meeting Day.

Additionaly, the Town may borrow principal from the Goshen Municipal Forest accounts in lieu of borrowing from a commercial lender. Funds are loaned to the town at interest rates below the prevailing commercial level, but above the rate paid by Certificates of Deposits where the funds would normally be invested. Through this arrangement both the town and the Goshen Municipal Forest Accounts benefit.

The Town’s people today are thankful for the efforts and foresight of those before us in preserving this vast stretch of land.  The Selectboard and Forest Board work dilligently to continue to preserve and safeguard this treasure as both a haven for wildlife and a renewable monetary resource, and as stated in the original terms of the Shirley Farr will, the property will continue to be used “under good forestry and husbandry practices forever.”

Goshen Town Forest Management Plan 2005

Prepared by: Hutchison Forestry, Inc.