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Newsletter #1

Updated: Apr 20, 2023

The Friends of Oak Hill will send periodic updates to community leaders and interested parties regarding the ski trail improvement project to inform you of our plans and progress. We hope to maintain open lines of communication and open dialogue about any issues or questions that may arise in the course of the work. We understand that the work during 2023 will raise questions and cause some disruption and noise, but we are doing our best to manage the project in a responsible, environmentally sensitive manner. While you are one of quite a small number of people to receive these updates, please feel free to share these with your constituent groups as you wish. As you know, the Nordic ski trail improvement project is the first and most significant phase of the Oak Hill Outdoor Center, but all of us involved in the project are committed to making the Center an asset that will support a variety of outdoor activities, including mountain biking, hiking, running, disc golf, and snowshoeing. The Center will offer outdoor opportunities to Richmond and Ray School students and Upper Valley community members, while also offering recreational and competitive ski terrain for Ford Sayre, Dartmouth College, and area high school teams. As natural snow conditions shorten the ski seasons in the region, the Oak Hill Outdoor Center may become a destination facility for regional skiers that brings winter visitors to area merchants and enhances the vibrancy of our community. These updates will cover a number of issues that may be of interest to you. Feel free to inquire if any areas of interest have been omitted. 1. Planning and Permitting -- The planning process is ongoing and has been extensive and thorough. All appropriate state and local agencies have been consulted, and all required permitting processes are being carefully pursued to ensure that the work is done with an eye toward minimizing environmental impacts. 2. Forestry and Trail Expansion - The new trails primarily use existing trails with several new trail linkages. The widening of existing trails to meet FIS Ski standards and the creation of new linkages will require cutting some trees. A professional forestry review found that many of the trees in the Oak Hill region, particularly near existing trails, are diseased or distressed and additional tree removal is necessary to maintain forestry health and to reduce existing safety hazards. Following best forestry management practices, Dartmouth will also be doing some additional selective logging on its property. Both the forest health and trail expansion cutting will occur simultaneously to minimize disruption. The forestry work is expected to begin in late January and will extend over an estimated three-to-four-week period. 3. Terrain Work and Snowmaking Installation - After the ground dries, terrain grading will be overseen by trail design professionals to create a fun and competitive ski course. Snowmaking installation will occur simultaneously to minimize disruption. 4. Lighting & Parking Lot Improvements – Pending permitting, trail lighting, and parking lot improvements will be added in 2024. Lighting plans will incorporate neighbor and community comments to minimize nighttime P.O. Box 441  Hanover, NH  03755 Accessible, reliable skiing for all members of the Upper Valley Community disruption and enhance safety. Parking lot work will include improved drainage, resurfacing, and lighting to ensure a safe and accessible parking facility. 5. Opening Schedule - It is our goal to open the Oak Hill Outdoor Center in late 2023, in time for the 2023-2024 ski season. We will keep this group informed of progress on these and other issues as the project develops. As noted above, feel free to reach out with questions or concerns at any time.

Peter Milliken


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