Here is what I hope will be my last public testimony before the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee, “SEC”, regarding the Northern Pass HV transmission line proposal since both public speaking and writing take me out of my comfort zone. But I feel it is so important to speak out against this extremely destructive energy project in New Hampshire.
It is SO hard to say in just three minutes (the time allotted for speakers at the SEC hearing) ALL that I feel is so wrong and upsetting about the Northern Pass. In the past, I felt my testimonies were a little confusing, trying to cover everything. So, this time, I focused mostly on how I (my family) would be affected and I still couldn’t cover everything as well as I would have liked within the allotted three minutes.
Words in parenthesis were either said or omitted depending on whether I felt I had time to include them or not. Words in brackets have been added here for clarity. I was too nervous to use the photos but added them here also for clarity. Captions to the photos were not part of my testimony.
Here is my testimony:
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“Tis A Wee Bit O Heaven”
These words are engraved on a boulder at the home we purchased in Franconia and confirm my belief, [that I had formed] from the time we spent our honeymoon here 24 years ago, that this is indeed a very special place.
Now, Northern Pass wants to spoil this heavenly (scenic and serene place), and many other places I love like Kilburn Crags in Littleton for the view of the Presidential Range, Rocks Estate in Bethlehem and Grand Mountain View Resort in Whitefield for their views, just to name a few. (And I fear there will be view impacts from some peaks of the White Mountains National Forest.) A long drive to Dixville this past fall ended in disappointment when I saw a windmill farm* on the notch and what’s next? The Northern Pass?
I’m confounded that Franconia is being considered as a Northern Pass route. The blasting, digging and widening of roads in Franconia would be a painful disruption to the historic homes, [small local] businesses, schools, bucolic farms (with livestock!) that literally sit on the edges of Main Street and Easton Road.
And being close enough to the route, the well at our home could be affected from blasting.
We come up here often to escape a busy life in Rhode Island. Two construction seasons would create a miserable experience for us, and clearly for the full-time residents. Would the many outdoor recreational activities we (and thousands of others visitors!) can enjoy right on the route be placed on hold? Swimming, fishing, bike riding, horseback riding, tennis, hiking (Kinsman and Coppermine, the extensive network of trails off Fox Point …), kayaking (Coffin Pond), shopping at farm stands, attending events on the DOW . . .
From open windows, will we breath clean or dirty air? Will we wake to sounds of songbirds or of blasting, digging, heavy construction equipment, and helicopters! I read a helicopter pad could be built in the quiet town of Easton. Really?
With creativity**, Littleton and Bethlehem are enjoying a revival through art, culture, heritage, music, farmers markets, and craft beer(!) and WITHOUT the Northern Pass. Other towns can do the same, especially if they’re lucky enough to use our greatest resource – the forest – to attract visitors. Do we want to risk having an unsightly, unwanted transmission line in North Country?
If the North Country character is changed for the worse I won’t want to retire here. Would others? That’s a big chunk of money [from the retirement community] the area can’t afford to loose.
Please don’t let Northern Pass decimate New Hampshire to leave us with unfulfilled “mitigation” promises. The Northern Pass name sounds like a harmless trail. But it would be 192 miles of misery. It’s time to close this trail. Winter is coming. And I hope it’s the longest winter ever!
**Get Creative! Seen today, June 29, on In Depth NH – – Canadian town not far from New Hampshire border uses creativity to boost economy, attract visitors. New Hampshire towns do not need to destroy their towns or surrounding environment with HV transmission line for to sake of Northern Pass’s Forward NH Fund or tax contribution: http://indepthnh.org/2017/06/29/using-light-sound-smoke-and-mirrors-to-boost-a-small-towns-economy/