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PEPPERELL — The Conservation Commission is reviewing a complaint of alleged tree-cutting in a protected area along the Nashua River.

Conservation administrator Ellen Fisher brought to the commissioners’ attention a complaint from a Nursery Road resident who reported heavy equipment being used to shred trees on property under an existing conservation restriction near the Nashua River.

“We discovered a tree shredding tool. It had worked along the tree line in this area,” said Fisher, who had visited the site with Commissioner Rob Rand.

The restriction, which has been in place since 1987, prohibits the cutting of trees, grass or other vegetation within 275 feet of the river bank.

Fisher noted that a search of town conservation records revealed no agreement on file that might allow for the cutting, despite the owner’s contention that he and his partner had permission.

“That doesn’t hold much water,” said Fisher, who had taken some measurements of what was going on in the area. Fisher noted that a visit to the property revealed approximately 40 feet of property was cut back in the restricted area. She also found a structure in the restricted area, which is also prohibited by the conservation restriction.

The commissioners agreed to ask the owners to appear at the March 20 meeting of the commission. — Paul MacDonald

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