I do not believe, for one moment, that the Darby Tract somehow qualifies as a “preserve”.
In fact, it is an insult for certain individuals to put that statement out to the Bridgewater public.
I would lay good odds that the land “the Darby” sits on was active farmland, from the time the township was settled in the 18th century, until about 1950. (From the looks of those trees, most of them are under 50 years old.) Therefore, the Darby Tract was a giant field at some time in the early 20th century — probably lined with corn. Maybe dairy grazing land.
I get tired hearing the “ancient forests” argument in Bridgewater. The land was farmed —- any acre that could be. Sure, there are 100-year old trees, etc. But most of these “eternal woods” that people point to are only 40 or 50 years old.
It’s nice to keep woods, sure. But let’s be realistic about what the alternative uses are.
In most parts of Bridgewater—even “Green Acres” Bridgewater—the woods disappears.
Flannery’s proposal only touches 10% of the primordal nature’s field there off Van Holten Road (with the high tension electric lines running through it . . . )