SACO — The city is proposing an ordinance change that would prevent hunting near city owned parks and trails.

Discussions for the proposed ordinance came after a hunter was spotted at the edge of a trail off Foss Road, Saco Parks and Recreation Director Ryan Sommers said.

Currently, city ordinance does not allow firearms to be shot or discharged within 300 feet of a residence, but there is nothing on the books restricting firearms in areas skirting city trails and recreation fields in zones of the city where hunting is allowed.

“We want to make sure these areas are safe,” Sommers said.

Sommers, code enforcement officer Dick Lambert and members of the police department are in preliminary discussions regarding a change in city ordinance that would penalize those who hunt near city trails.

“It’s an issue of concern,” Police Chief Ray Demers said.

Demers said the group has reviewed ordinances from other municipalities, and that discussions regarding an ordinance change are preliminary, but the group is considering an ordinance that would prohibit hunting within 300 feet of city walking trails.

There are many city trails on Foss Road, near the city’s recreation fields, that are in an area of the city that allows hunting with shotguns. The city hiking trails at Cascade Falls on Cascade Road also are in an area that allows hunting with shotguns.

Horton Woods, a large wooded trail area off Route 112 in north Saco, and Sylvan Trail, a trail complex on Flag Pond Road, are located in areas where the city does not put restrictions on the type of guns used for hunting.

Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 780-9015 or at:

[email protected]

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