The Mountain Times

°F Wed, April 23, 2014

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Letter to Editor, Listening to the Agency of Natural Resources

Dear Editor,

You can learn a lot by attending selectboard meetings in your town. The Pittsford Selectboard meeting on May 2 was a fascinating example of this. On the agenda for this meeting was a presentation regarding the proposed removal of the historic Kendric Pond Dam. This presentation was given by ANR's Ethan Swift and Roy Schiff, water resource engineer with Malone and McBroom.

The presentation about the proposed removal of this dam was very educational. The dam is on Sugarwood Brook, which feeds into the Furnace Brook-an important trout habitat. It is also an historic site for the town of Pittsford as there is a long history to the dam and the mill that operated at the dam. The dam is in poor condition and has some structural problems so the proposal has been to remove the dam in a controlled way before a flood destroys the dam and damages areas downstream in the process.

One of the issues with removal of the dam is that there is a huge amount of sediment behind the dam, which if released could damage the trout habitat downstream. Prior to removal of the dam, the town has asked for this in-depth study of the consequences and ANR is providing guidance as to how this project could be done in the most environmentally responsible way and in a way which will minimize any adverse impacts of the project.  The discussion that followed was also very enlightening. A neighbor to this dam was in attendance, and was welcomed by the town manager when she made comment and asked questions about how this might affect her as the dam is "in her back yard".

This is how it should be done. Before embarking on any projects that may impact the environment and the people who live there, careful consideration and detailed study should take place. Even when we undertake a project to restore that was altered by humans, we need to consider all of the consequences.

There should be no double standards for industrial wind development. If ANR has stated that the Grandpa's Knob/Pittsford Ridge Wind Project will cause irreparable harm to a wildlife corridor and habit, that should be end of the conversation. This would be the case for any other residential, recreational, or commercial enterprise that is proposed in Vermont. Listen to the ANR. Ridges are NOT Renewable.

Lisa Wright Garcia, Florence Resident

Tagged: Lisa Wright Garcia, Letter to Editor