Second Trail Bridge Proposed to Conservation Commission

HAMPSTEAD – Brent Ebner, who built a covered bridge at Darby Brook, told the Conservation Commission he is interested in becoming a member.
He was asked to write a letter of interest and to attend Monday night’s Board of Selectmen meeting for action on the board’s recommendation. Another resident had sent a letter of interest earlier but has not followed up on it.
Ebner did not attend Monday’s selectmen’s meeting.

Ebner, as a volunteer, built the bridge that Conservation Commission Chairman Tim Lovell called “beautiful.”
Ebner also asked the commission at its Wednesday, Nov. 20 meeting, for permission to make a sign for the bridge. The sign would read something like the following first draft he offered to the commission: “Welcome to the Covered Bridge at Darby Brook. Darby Brook, also known as Kelly Brook, was the source of power for several mills in Hampstead from around 1730 into the 1800s. Further upstream is the site of the dam, which held back water to power the sawmill. Two other dams, including one at this site, powered shingle mills before entering the spillway. One hundred percent of the wood used to build this bridge was milled on site from storm-felled trees. The bridge was then constructed by local mountain bikers, hikers, the Hampstead Conservation Commission, and volunteers, who share a love of the outdoors and the thrill of exploring these woods and the many trails within them.”
The commission gave its approval for him to make the sign and cover it with Plexiglas.
Ebner has a rough design for another bridge he wants to construct at another location that will open up a trail to mountain bikers as well as hikers. The design is more complicated and specialized to address bike needs as well as people using it to cross a muddy area.
The commission will get legal advice on whether the design might pose a liability. The bridge would prevent motorized vehicles from using the area.
In other business:
• The Emmert property sales and purchase agreement is nearing completion, Lovell said. It has taken much longer to accomplish than anyone anticipated.
• Hunting on town property was discussed. Neil Emerson has lodged a complaint about what he described as target practice firing of guns or pistols in the Town Forest off Witcher Road that abuts his property. Hunters were seen at the Stage Road Conservation lands and a gutted deer was found near the West Road Conservation parking lot.
The Conservation land is posted for No Hunting, and Lovell said if anyone sees someone hunting on Conservation land, they should call the Hampstead Police. He said he was unsure about whether No Hunting can be posted on town-owned land but that anyone hiking the trails during hunting season should be wearing bright orange.

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