From the President
By Donald Curiale
"If horsemen in the future are to have places to enjoy riding
in natural settings, plans must be made today." ELC Resource.
The good news first.........Under the direction of Director Susanna
Colloredo, our Beaver Project is making great progress. Our beaver
man has been out in the field installing the ingenious "beaver
deceivers" in approximately 8 sites and more to follow. Check
the sites out. The Blackbrook River site is quite amazing.............The
Ipswich Map Project is nearing the finishing stages and going to
print as you read this. We are printing 5,000 copies to be distributed
in local libraries, post offices and other convenient locales. Please
remember that "private" trails are not indicated unless
absolute permission was given to ECTA to do so.............our regular
trail maintenance has been in full operation as Chip Cheston does
his fine work.......please visit the new Appleton Farm Equestrian
Trail that has been carefully posted. The new Bio Labs trail is
also newly marked and opened. It goes without saying that a lot
of work has been put in opening these trails and proper respect
and manners are expected. PLEASE, PLEASE respect the rights of others
and wave and thank the staff at Appleton Farms and Bio Labs for
the generosity. Also, you should be a member of Trustees of Reservations
to ride through Appleton Farms. When you join, be sure to designate
your membership and donations to Appleton Farms. TTOR needs to know
how much we appreciate their land........We wish to thank Holly
Pulsifer for her donation to ECTA through the Annual Waldingfield
Driving Event of July 14th. Holly sent us a check for $390. Thank
you. Now the bad news.... The beaver project is costing thousands
of dollars. I will be sending a separate fundraising letter to address
this issue. Please be kind when you receive it....The Ipswich Map
Project went over budget and the Directors have voted to finish
the map......the Pescosolido Housing Project is proceeding. The
developer is planning to submit plans to the Town of Ipswich in
September. The plan is to leave 16 of the 32 acres as open space.
A horse trail easement is included.....As a result of 9/11 and the
falling stock market, insurance companies are
Heartfelt Thanks.... Susanna Colloredo was recently honored by the
Myopia Hunt for all of her good work for trail conservation.
Membership is nearly up to 700, which includes 127 landowners and
97 new members.
DID YOU KNOW *.....
According to the American Horse Council, there are more than 6.9
million horses in the US.
One in every 35 Americans are involved with horses.
14% of horse-owning households have incomes under $25,000, 38%
under $50,000,64% under $75,000, with a median income of $60,000.
Horses are used primarily for recreation and pleasure. The most
popular breeds in order: Quarter Horse, Paint, Thoroughbred, Tennessee
Walker, Arabian, Standardbred and Appaloosa.
Trail Updates & Maintenance
Notice: Mrs. Janice Snow has requested that riders do not ride
on her newly paved driveway. Please adhere to the new permission
policy of Devon Glenn and other Donovan properties that you might
ride. The new owner of the Ski Hill requests that riders do not
use the driveway and the new ECTA trail at the top of the hill (this
trail is now closed).....Please use the old circuitous trail around
the bottom of the hill.
All subscribers to the Myopia Hunt are now required to also be
members of ECTA. Speaking of the huntÖa sign has been made
and will be set up in the Bradley Palmer parking lot (where people
who trailer in can see it). This sign will let riders know that
the Hunt will be riding through Bradley Palmer on that day. Opening
meet is September 28.
Much work has been done in Bradley Palmer, including clearing of
overgrowth from trails and mowing Moon Hill.
A new trail is open at New England Biolabs, a beautiful new bit
of land to treasure and enjoy. Equestrians should be aware there
are many dogs walking off leash at Biolabs.
New trails are now open to riders at Appleton Farms. Follow the
signs and stay off the fields -- the way is clearly marked from
the walking trails to those specially cleared for horses only. The
trails provide a convenient link to Groton House Farm and Winthrop
The Case of the Missing Horse Trails
By Meredith Goldstein (Globe Staff Correspondent) (reprinted in
part from the Boston Globe, July 14, 2002)
Riders lament loss of open space
The horseback riders in Essex County can show you where they once
traveled from Rowley to Hamilton through acres of open space.
It is land that had been untouched by developers for decades, but
within the past several years has been split into small parcels
and used for subdivisions and businesses.
"That was one trail," said Rowley resident Deb Tyler,
pointing between two rocks on a street in her neighborhood off Leslie
Road. "We used to go in through that opening, and then you
could travel way back in the woods. Now you'd wind up in somebody's
Tyler bough her home seven years ago, assuming that rural Rowley
would be the perfect spot to build a stable and ride. And it was
perfect, until dozens of large homes began sprouting up on main
roads and side streets. Soon, her routes were unavailable and she
was riding in circles.
Like many self-proclaimed "horse people" in the area,
she mourns the loss of the acres of land she used to get from town
"There clearly is a problem," said Susan Moses, a land
consultant who serves on the Rowley Open Space Committee. "I
know that many trails that have been used by the riders were on
private properties. Many of the large parcels have been sold and
developed and those trails are gone. A lot of the links are now
Moses said that many residents who now own homes on the once vacant
lots do not want horses on their land. Despite a state statute that
says the opposite, some homeowners fear that if a horseback rider
fell on their turf, they would be liable. Others bought homes in
towns such as Rowley for privacy, and say they don't want trespassers
of any kind.
"It's just been a casual relationship, î Moses said.
"Before Rowley was discovered, there was so much land here
that no one cared. Now there's value to the land and they do care.
They don't want the horse trails. They don't want people going through
their yards. They don't want the hassle."
When Chris and Larry Cassenti opened Chrislar Farm off Haverhill
Street in Rowley in 1978, they had no neighbors. A year and a half
later, a house had been erected on the east side of their property,
which blocked the trail leading into the Georgetown- Rowley State
Forest, a trail horseback riders had used for more than 20 years.
Riders created a new trail, which they have used for years. But
now, with more development on the way, that land is in jeopardy
Riders have started to organize to protect the trails that are
The Essex County Trail Association was created in 1982 to protect
the network of trails in the area and to help property owners understand
their rights. The group had originally spent most of its time educating
the public about how trails should be used.
Now, the association ñ which has several hundred members
ñ is also helping horseback riders better understand how
they can save trails. Riders have developed relationships with real
estate companies who are developing and selling properties. They
have also attended local planning board meetings to ask for easements
and riding permits for open space that is slated to be turned into
"We've had some success," said Leslie Brooks, who is
the first vice president of the association and serves on Ipswich's
Planning Board. "It's kind of challenging. Different people
have different perspectives about what should be done with the land.
And generally, we don't have any power, really. Anyone who owns
the land can do what they want to with it."
Brooks said cluster zoning ñ which some towns use to allow
developers to build on smaller lots in exchange for creating open
space ñ has helped riders protect trails. In Ipswich, several
developers recently incorporated the wishes of horseback riders
into their plans.
Turner Hill Preservation Associates recently purchased a 300-acre
estate in Ipswich and plans to build a fitness center, some housing,
and a golf course on the property. When horse enthusiasts in the
area told Turner Hill owners they feared they would lose their trails,
the developers incorporated a bridle trail where riders will be
able to continue to ride.
Cliff Pierce of the Rowley Planning Board said he recommends that
horseback riders pay close attention to development proposals. Now
that towns have cluster zoning regulations and are negotiating more
with developers for special permits, there are more opportunities
to force those developers to grant easements and consider open space
protection. Riders should be prepared to attend meetings and speak
out about their concerns, he said.
"If they don't have to preserve a horse trail, they're not
going to do it just to be nice," Pierce said.
Susanna Colloredo, the founder of the Essex County Trail Association,
said that one of the group's current projects is to create maps
of horse trails in the area. For years, the trails were undocumented,
especially informal routes on private land.
Colloredo said that when the trails are on paper, the public and
the developers can see how riders use the open space and what land
should be protected. "We have to make them aware of what our
critical pieces are," Colloredo said. "It's a constant
Sea View Farm Fire
By Jill Davis Amaral and Sandra Stone Akers
A fire that swept through one of Sea View Farm's landmark barns
has brought old friends together with new. Rockport's tight-knit
community is rallying to express its gratitude to Charlie and Miriam
Lane for generations of sharing their farm with local horse enthusiasts.
"Roper, Tico, Mingo, Muscles..." we rattle off names of
horses from four decades ago. "Go-Go Girl, Becky, Patches,
Baby Sue, Omaha, Soapsuds, Autumn, Monkey..." the list is endless.
It doesn't matter that we're no in our 40s (+), anyone who grew
up at Sea View Farm still feels ten years old the moment they walk
up the lane. It's just about the best childhood any horse-crazy
kid could have wished for.
Astride our well-loved horses, we kept up with the best. We explored
Dogtown Common, practiced for the summer horse shows and gymkhanas,
bundled up in winter and hoofed it to Long Beach ñ you couldn't
keep us out of the saddle. We were resourceful and dedicated. Up
at the crack of dawn to do stalls; bringing the cows in to be milked;
perfecting the art of "being in school on paper" ñ
yet somehow successfully hopping over the stone wall to catch our
favorite horse for the "free" ride.
July 9th brought all of those memories rushing back as we scrambled
to keep some 40 horses safe from a horrific fire. As flames shot
from the barn and smoke billowed above, we watched helplessly and
wondered what could be done to help. Those in a position to headed
to the paddocks to assist with panicked horses. Meanwhile, the Rockport
Fire Department had been alerted and rapidly went in to action.
Witnesses to the volunteer department's response watched in awe
as their friends and classmates geared up to go into the burning
One very close call, some very heroic actions, and an outstanding
response from all kept the devastation to a minimum. The flood of
help from so many, including our alumni veterinarian and vet technician,
was heartwarming to behold. As we all fought back tears, we focused
on keeping the animals safe and helping in any way we could. Neighboring
fire departments were called in to assist with Rockport's efforts.
The Red Cross and Salvation Army set up sideline support trucks
to provide aid. Returning firefighters shared much needed good news
that all of the horses and our friends were safe.
Almost 24 hours later, as the last fire truck left, everyone marveled
at the outcome. To lose 2,000 bales of hay and incur significant
damage to a historic 160-year-old barn is sad, but not the tragedy
that most onlookers had feared. We all felt overwhelmed but extremely
lucky and grateful. Thank God Charlie is fine and wasn't harmed.
He had led the horses in the adjacent cow barn to safety at 95 years
young. We are so grateful to those that aided in the initial efforts
to clear the stable. Their quick and calm response led to the successful
rescue efforts that saved the horses from perishing.
Walking down the lane now reveals the damage to our beloved barn.
We hope to preserve the spirit of this farm and to be able to pass
along to future generations the enjoyment and opportunities that
horseback riding has brought to us.
In the aftermath, many have come forward with offers to help.
We are impressed and hopeful. A community outpouring of support
for a place and people who have meant so much to so many. Most of
Charlie's kids are now adults (when we're not on the farm!) with
skills, businesses, equipment, and a sincere desire to give something
back to Charlie and Miriam Lane for the endless hours of handing
out at riding at the barn.
The "Sea View Farm Fund" has been established at Rockport
National Bank. Anyone wishing to contribute may send donations payable
to: The Seaview Farm Fund, Rockport National Bank, Eastern Avenue
Branch, Gloucester, MA 01930, Attn: Christie Kilman. Anyone willing
and able to contribute skills, equipment, or materials may contact
Pat Kustra at 978-546-2256 or Jill (Davis) Amaral at 978-546-8598.
Efforts will be coordinated through our general contractor, Steve
There will be numerous fund raising efforts headed by barn personnel.
Please look for upcoming notices and enjoy our events while showing
your support for Sea View Farm and the Lanes. All are working toward
a common goal ñ to rebuild our barn for generations to come.
Beavers, Beavers, Everywhere
By Skip Lisle
Wildlife Biologist, Beaver and Flow Device SpecialistThe Essex
County Trail Association has recently begun an effort to beaver-proof
their trails. Largely due to the resourceful efforts of Susanna
Collorado-Mansfeld, a specialist (me) has been hired to address
this issue. So far, three "flow devices," which allow
water to pass regardless of the presence of beavers, have been built
at stream-trail intersections on Black Brook. Sites like this are
vulnerable because beavers are economists: they love to build on
other people's work. Roads and trails that cross streams are dams
that are 99% complete. In the absence of flow devices, they can
be quickly finished by clogging the culvert, bridge, or overflow.
Then, presto! A beautiful wetland home is created at little energetic
Ancient residents of the North Shore (and most of the continent),
beavers have only recently returned after an absence of several
hundred years. They were eliminated from this area shortly after
the Fur Trade began in the early 1600s. From an ecological perspective,
their reappearance is a godsend. Beavers are a keystone species
with an elevated ecological value. The wetlands they build, maintain,
and enrich are extremely valuable habitats.
Beavers are now a fact of life. They wont be extirpated abain the
way they were during the Fur Trade. Thatís a good thing.
We are living in a world that is steadily losing its ecological
integrity. The rate of species loss is without precedent. It is
rare that we can celebrate the return of a native species, particularly
one that benefits many, many other native species.
The return of beavers, and the inevitable conflicts, leaves us with
a basic management choice: to eradicate (on a local scale) or accommodate.
Logic argues on behalf of the latter option. Eradicating beavers
from Hamilton, for example, would be expensive (at least $200/beaver
for a professional trapper), would leave the streams relatively
sterile and unnatural, and with beavers occasionally dispersing
along the Ipswich River, would be an ongoing "investment."
Left unprotected, the culverts would still be clogged occasionally,
creating potentially enormous road or trail maintenance costs. The
scope of the problem also favors accommodation (e.g., flow devices).
Linked to water, beavers can never occupy more than a tiny percentage
of the landscape. The number of conflict points, therefore is finite
and manageable. In the average town, it is quite possible that a
handful of high-quality flow devices at key spots can largely end
the problem for years or decades. Furthermore, flow devices allow
beavers to remain in the ecosystem accruing subtle ecological and
hydrological values for society.
A word of warning: no matter how good a flow device, or a flow
device builder, it is not simple to steal water away from the greatest
hydrological engineers the world has ever known. Flow devices represent
a delicate equation in an incredibly dynamic environment. There
will be setbacks, and trapping may be advisable at times, but all-in-all
beavers can be outsmarted as surely as our bulbous craniums are
bigger than their flat, more hydrodynamic ones.
The presence of beavers can quickly be turned from a negative into
a positive. In the future, as well as having a more interesting,
natural countryside to ride through, the Trail Association can enjoy
the satisfaction of providing a model of tolerance, economic common
sense, and excellent land stewardship.
Trail is located in Pingree woods in Hamilton. It is owned by Greenbelt
and local landowners.
Letter to ECTA
As we near the completion of the Ipswich trails mapping project,
I though that I would share a fantastic piece of news that I discovered
today. I know you will be impressed!
While merging all the GIS trails data – both public and private
– into a master trails layer, I was able to calculate the
total (linear) distance of new trails mapped by the volunteer GPS’ers.
It turns out that these folks helped to map over 65 MILES of previously
unrecorded trails in th etown!!! WOW, is all I can say!
Please note that this figure does not take into account topography,
so the true, on-the-ground distance exceeds 65 miles. And again,
let me emphasize that this is 65+ miles of new trail alone! The
calculation does not include the vast network of trails in Willowdale
State Forest, Bradley Palmer State Park, or on The Trustees of Reservations
properties. These were all mapped sometime before our project began.
Please share this statistic with the ECTA members who helped out
and again congratulate all of them on a job well done. The accomplishment
speaks to the incredible dedication of trails enthusiasts in the
area and speaks to the real potential of community-based mapping
Coordinator of GIS Data
ECTA is fortunate to have on its board ten very special people
who act as advisors to our organization. Our advisors have a strong
influence in our area and have a strong connection to our trails
and conservation. Their backgrounds combine to give us assistance
and professional advice in the many facets of trail preservation.
Each has an individual connection to the trails ECTA maintains.
In this issue of our newsletter weíd like to introduce you
to two of our advisors.
Wayne is a life long resident of Ipswich who has been interested
in trails and conservation since childhood. He is General Manager
of Appleton Farms in Ipswich, after serving as regional ecologist
for the Trustees of Reservations (Appleton Farms is now a TTOR property).
An advocate of open space protection, Wayne is also an avid user
of trails. He hikes, skis, rides a mountain bike, and walks his
dogs on the trails.
You might say his entire education and career has been dedicated
to the ecology. He holds a BS in fish and wildlife biology and an
MS in Oceanography. He has served as a member of the Ipswich Conservation
Commission, the Open Space Committee, the Shellfish Board, and the
Ipswich River Watershed Assoc. Board of Directors. He is a member
of all local environmental groups. He was a biologist for the Massachusetts
Department of Fish and Wildlife prior to joining TTOR.
A subscriber and active participant in the Myopia Hunt for the past
eight years, Bruce has probably seen just about every riding trail
in Essex County. He is also an active trail rider who eschews ring
work and opts for the open space accompanied by his fiancee, Susan,
an accomplished sidesaddle rider who also hunts. They stable their
horses in Ipswich and frequently ride from Sagamore Hill to Bradley
Palmer, and south to Hamilton. Bruce is in the process of moving
Bruce has also been a member of the Hamilton-Wenham Rod & Gun
Club since 1990. In addition to being a member of ETCA and advisor
since 1999, he is also a member of The Trustees of Reservations
and Essex County Greenbelt.
He also uses the trails for mountain biking with sons Ben, Nathan
and Jonathan. "I wish I could ride as well as they do!"
he says. Bruce has been President of Enterprise Investments in Beverly
Farms since 1988 and holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
with minor in Mathematics.