Archive for May, 2017

Northern Pass Plot Thickens

May 26, 2017

The Northern Pass current proposal threatens the health and safety of Grafton County residents. Claims that the proposal would be cheaper than burying the line down I93 are simply not true. Here are potential dangers to residents that the NP is trying to hide.

Many old homes on our state roads where NP plans to bury the line have stone foundations. These homes were built close to the road before cars came in. Drilling required for burying the line risks and probably guarantees shaking the stones loose and crumbling the foundations of those houses. People not only risk catastrophic damage to their homes but their very lives if they do not vacate the premises.

Many residents have water rights across the road from their homes as roads often intersected people’s property. Those rights will be threatened with contamination by the power line.

School bus routes will be held up and children’s safety threatened getting on and off their bus. Children will be spending more time on the bus driving up transportation costs.

Landscaping for homes along the route risks being destroyed. Homes close to the road would lose their apple trees, rhododendron and other established shrubs. Limits would be placed on residents’ use of their own land with a buried line they must avoid.

Costs for accident injuries, fatalities, home restoration, artesian wells, school transportation costs, clogged commuter and tourist routes, and unnecessary disruption of neighborhoods will cost the NP project more in legal fees they carefully avoid adding in to their estimates. NP does not care if their current plan costs more because their private corporation stands to make more money once their long range plan is in place to sting New Hampshire residents with an archaic, expensive energy network.

The Department of Energy Supplement to the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) advises that fully buried transmission lines could use the already disturbed median corridors in place, for example in I93. Those wide medians were designed for just such projects in the interests of the general public. The NP project has consistently refused to consider using I93.

If Eversource-Hydro Quebec cared about the people of New Hampshire, they would not be trying to impose such a destructive route on our citizens. Instead, they will continue to withhold actual costs of their project to the people of New Hampshire.

That is, UNLESS we New Hampshire citizens actively say, “NO to Northern Pass!”  Send your letter to the Site Evaluation Committee, c/o Pamela Monroe, Administrator, 21 S. Fruit St., Suite 10, Concord, NH 03301 or email: Pamela.Monroe@sec.nh.gov.

Spring! Time for New Beginnings!

May 26, 2017

It’s Spring! Time to hike! The woods are alive with Painted Trillium, little Yellow Wood Violets, Wild Oats, Goldthread, and more!

While Fish and Game notes there have been almost as many rescues so far this year as for all of 2016, the good news is that more people are getting out and hiking. The physically fit are not the only ones on the trails. This spring, I am also meeting more of the not so physically fit on the trail, people who have decided to get out there and shape up! Their energy and delight in the forest is obvious and welcome!

To fully enjoy hiking, Hikesafe.com is an excellent website for information about hike planning, gear, hikes with kids, and hiker insurance. The first rule of thumb is to Carry Out What You Carry In. This includes orange peels, tissues, water bottles, etc. Our gift to the forest is that we Leave No Trace behind us.

The White Mountain Guide lists every trail in the White Mt. National Park, tells how to get to the trailhead, what you can expect on the trail terrain, the elevation gain, total mileage, and connecting links. This book with 4 maps is available in AMC Visitor centers,  book stores and State Park Visitor Centers. Many small trail guides for local areas are also available in book stores, general stores, the Rey center and specialty shops near the hiking area. Always ask.

Footgear needed depends on the hike. For well packed gravel trails like Smart’s Brook, the Flume Nature Walk, Lincoln Woods, or Mt. Agazziz, sneakers are fine.  A safer option for rocky trails and the granite slabs of higher elevations is a sturdy hiking boot with vibram sole that grips granite and gives support for awkward steps.

Best to start with short hikes on easy terrain. This gives you time to figure out what feels best for you, how much water and snacks you need, time to check out hiker information, perhaps join a local group, and gradually figure out what works best for you and your family.

Keep an eye out for Coltsfoot, the little yellow ray flower people often mistake for dandelion. This early bloomer puts up its flower first and the leaves that give it its name come later. You’ll find it along roadsides and gravelly places.

Wherever you find yourself, enjoy spring’s abundant welcome! May we each be inspired to honor and protect our forests, land and waters so that abundance will continue to flourish.