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Former farm owner protests plan to use site for helicopter training
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HOPKINTON, R.I. The former owner of a Hopkinton farm is considering legal action to prevent the Rhode Island Army National Guard from using the wildlife preserve for helicopter training.

Thomas Black is the former owner of Black Farm. He sold it to the Department of Environmental Management in 1992.

The farm is one of seven management areas the National Guard is considering using as landing zones as part of an agreement with the D.E.M.

Black says using the sites for helicopter training runs contrary to the D.E.M's goal of preserving the properties as open space. He says the state is obligated to use the lands for recreational purposes and as a wildlife preserve.

The Rhode Island National Guard says using the areas as landing zones would not mean adding any buildings or equipment. The Guard says the locations would be used to simulate landing in remote areas.
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