North Adams Transcript
ADAMS -- The Conser vation Commission at a meeting Thursday night took steps to protect wetlands at the Greylock Glen they say were inaccurately marked off during the Glen project’s planning stages.
With work at the Glen under way, the commission issued enforcements at the meeting to effectively beef up the wetland boundaries at the site by 40 feet. It also revoked a commission-issued order of resource area delineation (ORAD) from September 2011 to ensure that future permits are assessed using better data.
Commission members voted unanimously in favor of the measures. They felt action was necessary because earlier data concerning the Glen’s wetlands, presented by surveyors and engineers involved in its development, have since been found to be flawed. Adjustments needed to be made, members said, to avoid larger issues down the road.
"With such a big project up there and so many moving parts, it’s not surprising that stuff is happening," commission member Corey Bishop said. " ... I’m pleased that we’re doing some enforcement to protect what we are here to protect."
Representatives from the Department and Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and site contractors will now update the commission on their progress remapping the Glen’s wetlands at a meeting scheduled for Oct. 11.
The Greylock Glen project is a multi-phased development project at one of the town’s most prized swaths of land. Road and infrastructure repairs, along with measures to combat invasive plant species, are ongoing there.
Commission Chairman Jason Krzanowksi did much of the checking of the wetland boundary data himself, using a global positioning system (GPS).
At the meeting, he said he found the data marked by "myriad errors," "fuzziness" in boundaries and "inaccurate presentation of information." Krzanowski observed deviations on the east and west sides of Gould Road, at Pecks Falls and in the positioning of vernal pools.
The revoked ORAD had been based on this information, compiled by the DCR, Guntlow and Associates and other consultants.
In need of precise wetland information, project organizers are fortunately at work on a "single plan for the entire site," Krzanowski said.
This plan would then serve as the primary document in permitting for a campsite, trail network and other developments planned for the Glen. Krzanowski called the matter a "little stumble" by planners, and said it wouldn’t hold up progress.
Thursday’s enforcements will most likely affect those fighting invasive plant species and applying herbicides at the site, as more sensitive methods will have to be used in broader areas near the Glen’s numerous wetlands. Politan Ecological services is heading up this work.
"From my perspective, [the Conservation Commission’s enforcements are] the simplest way to dress the wounds here," Krzanowski said.
To reach Phil Demers, email