What’s In A Name?

I think about the name, “Northern Pass”, often. It sounds so cordial. It sounds like the innocuous name of a hiking trail, or ski trail for that matter, no? Well it’s not that benign. In fact, it’s not benign at all.

The “Northern Pass” is a clever name for a proposed intrusive hydropower energy project that has the potential to devastate the environment from Pittsburg to Deerfield on a massive scale with a 192 mile high-voltage transmission line and is the antithesis of what we expect when we seek out nature and awe inspiring wilderness while traversing, either by foot, ski, vehicle, the woodland mountains and rolling landscapes of New Hampshire.

The existing transmission lines (southern view from Indian Head) and poles in the ROW in this photo respect the viewshed. Northern Pass will not pass here but will go underground through Grafton County. Where the Northern Pass goes overhead, pylons will reach an unsightly height above the trees.

There are 77 steel pylons proposed for Concord alone. That is New Hampshire’s state capitol!

Pemi Wilderness in the White Mountain National Forest protected from development but indicative of the natural beauty that is New Hampshire. Let’s keep it that way. Scenery like this attract thousands upon thousands to New Hampshire.

It was revealed at a public hearing that these high voltage transmission lines emit a low level amount of noise with increasing noise during humid days.

Typical idyllic landscapes in New Hampshire. This one is in Franconia. The original proposed Northern Pass route would have been seen above the trees in that hill where the invisible existing transmission lines are now. The current proposed route would be built underground here. However, many other farms and properties along the overhead route will be impacted.

Precious viewsheds revered by tourists, beloved by residents, and essential to businesses will be obstructed.

Current unobstructed views toward Bethlehem from Bald Mountain. The Northern Pass would start its underground trek through Grafton County from the existing ROW on Rte 302 in Bethlehem not far from the Rock’s Estate.
Current unobstructed views toward Bethlehem from Artist Bluff in Franconia, New Hampshire. Not sure of viewshed impact from here but perhaps from Bald Mountain and peaks with higher elevations and from more northern peaks. Please see links below for information.

Property owners will be impacted, conservation land is being threatened, home values will be depressed.


By not burying the entire transmission line (and not in New Hampshire’s small historic towns but proper places like highways/utilities corridors), Northern Pass creates “winners” (and the “winners” don’t feel so lucky with good reason) and “losers”.

~ * ~

Make your voice heard or forever see towers! 

~Sign the PETITION to Bury or Stop the Northern Pass here: http://www.conservationmediagroup.org/bury-or-stop-northern-pass-petition

~Write to New Hampshire Governor Hassan directly: http://governor.nh.gov

~Email your comment against the Northern Pass to the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) Administrator, Pamela G. Monroe, at: Pamela.Monroe@sec.nh.gov

For information on the SEC process visit:

The Northern Pass Site Evaluation Committee SEC docket at http://www.nhsec.nh.gov/projects/2015-06/2015-06.htm


Potential environmental and economic impacts from the proposed Northern Pass high power transmission line: http://www.clf.org/northern-pass/potential-impacts/

See Forest Society’s Northern Pass March 2016 update and photo with “orange balloon of truth” demonstrating the height of just a 100 foot high support tower and visual impact here: https://www.forestsociety.org/blog-post/northern-pass-update-march-2016

To see where the Northern Pass route is proposed for your town or town(s) you enjoy visiting for recreation, like Coleman State Park for example, visit: http://www.northernpass.us/towns.htm

Where the towers will be visible before they go underground in Bethlehem: http://www.northernpass.us/bethlehem-nh.htm

For an important article about impacts and visual simulations read: http://www.notonorthernpass.com/2016/03/30/dont-take-information-face-value-research-np/. Visit these sites but given the source not sure how reliable it is. As the article above says, check data against what you’re familiar with: http://www.northernpasseis.us/library/draft-eis/visual-impact-assessment/ and/or click on the towns here for impacts: http://www.northernpass.us/towns.htm.


2 thoughts on “What’s In A Name?

  1. Linda, just so you know, the balloon flown at The Rocks was just to illustrate a 100 foot high tower. There are no towers presently proposed on the new route that will be built within The Rocks Estate. The towers will go underground in Bethlehem before they reach The Rocks. Towers will, however, be clearly visible from The Rocks. A detail, maybe, but important not to give the other side ammo with which to assail our statements.

    Thanks for your wonderful presence on Twitter!



    1. Thank you Nancy for the clarification. I will make a correction. I researched but there’s so much out there it’s sometimes hard to find all the accurate information. A learning process for sure.


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