Plymouth: South Ponds Preserve: Group sues to overturn Town wetland permit for more parking in Town Forest that will be destructive to globally arare Coastal Plain Pond ecology

Lawsuit filed to protect globally significant Priority Habitat for Rare & Endangered Species from destruction

Town permit does not meet standards for wetlands, water supply and wildlife habitat according to Save the Pine Barrens

Update: Jan. 25, 2023: State sends letter to Town about violations of Conservation Restriction on Town Forest within the South Ponds Preserve area – Read the letter here

After years of trying to protect the globally rare coastal plain pond ecosystem of the South Ponds Complex in Plymouth, local residents represented by Save the Pine Barrens filed suit in Superior Court on Monday, August 8, 2022. We continue to be willing to work with the Town for a solution that supports stakeholder interests and conservation goals. In recent years, 50% of the state’s Plymouth Gentian has been destroyed according to the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program “Species Spotlight”. These ponds and Plymouth’s Town Forest contain some of the last populations of these plants on Earth. The Town’s permit threatens these plants and others with extinction.

The area contains rare Pitch Pine trees as well.

In June 2022, the Plymouth Conservation Commission issued an Order of Conditions under the Town’s Wetlands Bylaw to increase parking within 35-feet of Little South Pond. This is despite lack of any documentation to show that the parking itself and the resulting public use of the pond and shoreline will not destroy the ten or more species listed under the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act (MESA) and the Northern Cooter protected under federal law.

The lawsuit is here. We are standing up for clean water and our globally rare ecosystems.

The Town’s Order of Conditions permit is here.