Last Sunday On The Ridge

There were 7 of us that hiked up to the Lowell Mountain Ridge Line last Sunday ( April 1st). I am just getting around to write this blog report, thinking about our time up there ever since. I have been hiking up there since last September and the devastation of the mountain just gets harder and harder to look at. I am much too familiar with what happens as the monster machines crawl along the crane path, chewing up and reforming the mountain.  The devastation slowed down for a while this winter but I know it won’t be long before it will start back up again in full force. And when they start it will happen SO FAST.

We hiked up from the southern end and landed on the site for the last tower, 21. We followed the same route when 2 of us went up last month with 2-3 feet of snow. There were only patches of snow last week. I saw a rabbit that was still white in color.  One of many signs of the early spring we are having. We passed the  bear clawed beech trees and flushed out a few partridges and saw lots of moose and deer sign as we did this winter. The difference was how dry it was. We all expected to see a lot of mud. A mild winter and dry spring can only help the people behind this nightmare of a project.

Hiking up through Beech trees

The dogs drank in a stream just below the ridge. I wondered if this water would still be here next time I hiked up. Or would it be diverted to one of the many holding pools at the top and then dispersed somewhere else? As we climbed over the ridge we saw the all too familiar Orange Tape at the site for tower # 21. I was thank-full that the devastation had an ending point. At least for now. I couldn’t help but think about the first time I saw the 3 inch wide Orange Blaze tape winding through the woods on the Nelson’s property. It looked so out-of-place. Now I know what that tape represents; no trees left within it’s boundaries, blasted rock with ravines filled in with 40-70 feet of fill, hard packed roads the size of any major highway and nothing but gravel and rock dust to walk over. People within our state government, even the ones protecting the environment think this is okay. All in the name of green power.

This is the site for tower # 21. As you can see it isn’t very level. But the monster machines will soon have it all level and filled in with blasted rock from another part of the mountain. And it won’t be long 😦

We walked along the ridge untill we came to Don & Shirley Nelson’s property where their land was taken from them so tower # 6 could be cleared, blasted and packed hard with rock. We passed huge piles of chips that were smoking due to the heat coming out of the top. We climbed to the top of one pile to feel the heat and I couldn’t hold my gloved hand over it because it was too hot. At one point one of my fellow hikers said it felt like we were walking through a grave yard of tree bones.

The hardest part for me is when I see the thinner pink tape with the words “Wetland Delineation.” When I first saw that last fall, I thought they can’t just bulldoze over that area. It is obvious that it is a true wetland and we all know how important they are! But no… they built the road right over it. I wonder why they bother to mark it out?

The rest of the pictures from this day are on the post before this. You will see everything from a Helicopter Landing site to 75 foot banks that none of us believe will withstand the spring rains. Those of us that are against this project aren’t that naive to realize sacrifices to the environment have to happen with all the people living on this planet. Our argument is that there are better ways. I believe that this project is happening, not because we need the electricity but because there is a huge profit to be made by a Huge or many Corporations.

If this is being proposed for an area that you know and love please educate yourselves and stand up to our State Government. We don’t need this. This is not Green Power. This is Green Mountain Power at work!      Submitted by Stacy Burke  alias/ Catamount

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