Applicable portions of Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 45, Section 21 that provide for town forest management in Sherborn read as follows:
The selectmen in the town . . . shall appoint a special town forest committee to manage and care for that portion of the public domain known as the . . . town forest . . . . The special town forest committee shall be composed of three members who shall choose their own chairman, and shall serve without compensation. One member of said committee shall be appointed each year for a term of three years .
Town Forest Description
Sherborn has about 1000 acres of public-access land, about half of which is Town Forest. As its name implies, Town Forest land is mostly wooded, and consists of a series of parcels running in a crescent belt from the Charles River in the southeast to near the Framingham border in the northwest. The public has free access to all parts of the forest and numerous trails are available for walking or riding.Maps of trails within all public access land (published by Sherborn Forest & Trails Association) are available at the Sherborn Library.
The Town of Sherborn established the Sherborn Town Forest at the Annual Town Meeting in March of 1938 and accepted a gift of 18 acres of land on Pine Hill from Henry M. Channing in honor of Robert H. Leland, who had long served as Town Counsel. In the early 1940's Henry Channing was instrumental in securing an agreement with Shell Oil Company that achieved two worthy objectives; (1) Instead of running its planned pipeline through the center of Town, Shell purchased land elsewhere and (2) following construction, Shell returned ownership of the land to the Town. Mr Channing, with help from a group of like-minded citizens, saw to it that this land become Town Forest.
Town Forest Firewood Program
With intentions of (1) reducing fire hazard within the forest, (2) improving walking/riding access, and (3) providing a service to Town residents, the Town Forest Committee has, since 2006, sponsored a firewood program. The program uses volunteers to clean up dead trees in the forest, bucking and splitting the hardwoods to stove and fireplace lengths, and delivering the product to residents for a modest fee.
Requests for delivery of the wood are accepted from September through March of each year. The amount offered is a pickup truck load, which is about 1/3rd of a cord (42.7 cubic ft). In the year 2009–2010, the program made about 60 such deliveries.