By Julie Huss
---- — LONDONDERRY — Tree stands in the Musquash Conservation Area are not uncommon during hunting season.
Conservation Commission members want to somehow monitor who puts them up and where they are located.
Commission Chairman Deb Lievens said she wants the town to regulate the tree stands that are a common sight in the Musquash.
“They are there, if not illegally, then without permission,” Lievens said.
State statute requires people to get permission from a landowner before erecting a tree stand.
In this case, the town of Londonderry is the owner and Lievens wants more regulations in place to help keep track of where the stands are and who puts them up.
Lievens said her group could put up signs near the Musquash kiosk areas to let people know they must take the tree stands down once hunting season is over.
“We will give them time to take them down and then proceed in the future with asking people to ask permission,” she said. “I’m not sure if everyone will catch that, but that’s our best hope.”
Londonderry Town Manager Kevin Smith said he spoke to town counsel about the tree stand issue.
The legal answer was that the state rules were in line with what the conservation group wanted to do, Smith said.
“And the less formal the process, the less our liability will be,” he said.
Smith said it would be best to post two things: one asking anyone wanting to put up a tree stand to notify the Conservation Commission, and then giving a certain date to take the stand down or have it taken down by the town.
Right now, there is nothing officially spelled out that gives the town an idea of who is placing a tree stand anywhere on town land.
Councilor Joe Green said he wondered how the town would even keep track of the tree stands in order to enforce any rules. There could be 30 or 40 stands out in the wooded areas during hunting season.
“How do we know what belongs to who?” Green asked.
Another topic came up, that being who is the enforcer when it comes to handling tree stands that are popping up without the town’s knowledge.
“What are the steps?” Council Chairman John Farrell said. “It doesn’t seem like we should just give permission. How do we keep track?”
People putting up stands could put their name on it, or other contact information to help the town keep track. Farrell said the state rules are clear and easy to follow when it comes to handling tree stands.
The tree stand issue will go back to the town’s attorney for more review before heading back to the Conservation Commission.
“The Conservation Commission can then act in accordance with the legal direction,” Farrell said.