Thursday, January 10, 2002

Study looks at Haigis wildlife

Published in the Current

The Scarborough Conservation Commission has hired Woodlot Alternatives of Topsham to organize already existing data on wildlife in the Haigis Parkway area for use by town officials and property owners as they plan development there.

Stephanie Cox, chair of the Conservation Commission, said the group does not have the power to require landowners to take certain actions, and doesn’t want that authority. What the commission does have is a desire to locate and distribute solid information about wildlife.

“Not to come up with recommendations,” Cox said, “but to give us some scientific information.” Woodlot Alternatives is collecting information from the Greater Portland Council of Governments, state authorities and other sources for its report, which Cox expects to receive in February.

“As a community, we have an open space resource here that with a little bit of forethought and planning … we may come up with solutions that are win-win for people and for wildlife,” Cox said.

She emphasized that nobody is trespassing on any property along the Haigis Parkway, and said the information the study collects will be made available to landowners as well as town officials to help them make decisions about where to leave open land and where to develop.

If the Conservation Commission has any agenda at all, Cox said, it is two-fold: to provide good information about the land and wildlife, and to “encourage landowners to plan for the needs of wildlife.”

Cox invites comments from the public, either by phone or note to Town Hall, or at Conservation Commission meetings, which are held the second Monday of each month at Town Hall at 7 p.m.