If you are planning any landscaping or building within 100’ of a wetland or 200’ of a stream, please contact the Conservation Office to determine whether you will need a permit. Please call us before you break ground or cut trees!
The Douglas Conservation Commission (ConCom) is the official agency specifically charged with the protection of the natural resources in the Town of Douglas. The ConCom also advises other boards and departments on conservation related matters as they may pertain to projects.
The first powers given to the Commission (ref Conservation Commission Act of 1957 - MGL Ch.40 sec. 8C) focused on "promotion and development of natural resources… and protection of watershed resources". In 1972 Conservation Commissions were authorized to administer the State Wetlands Protection Act (MGL Ch 131 sec. 40), the first act of its kind in the nation. Additionally, the Conservation Commission is charged with administering the Town's Wetland Protection Bylaw. (Approximately 40% of the communities in the Commonwealth have enacted some form of local wetland protection bylaw.)
The Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act prohibits any filling, excavation, or other alteration of the land surface, water levels, or vegetation in wetlands, floodplains, riverfront areas or other wetland resource areas regardless of ownership without a permit from the local Conservation Commission. There are many procedures for various proposed activities. The Conservation office would be glad to describe and explain which is best for your circumstances.
Since September 1, 2006, the Conservation Commission requires the use of straw bales or a pre-approved non-invasive alternative to erosion control hay bales. Please plan accordingly.
William J. Cundiff, P.E.
Stephen D. Zisk