Tuesday July 2, 2013

Protecting Pisgah

Editor of the Reformer:

The next timber harvest in Pisgah State Park has begun at the Winchester Road-Hubbard Hill Trail access. Access is also planned for the Horseshoe parking lot.

I had sincerely, but naively, hoped that the commercial timber harvesting could be curtailed based upon contractual agreements between the state of New Hampshire and the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation under the Department of the Interior. A request for funding, dated 1968, was to build a state park specifically for outdoor recreation. The request was not for a state reservation which would allow for recreation. The request also stated "An emphasis on ‘wilderness’ experience for the user. Multi purpose activities and facilities will include swimming, boating, picnicking, camping and nature study." There is no reference to commercial timber harvesting. There were no other agreements.

Prior to commitment to the project in 1967, a feasibility report was prepared for the state by Per Nylen, funded by a federal grant through the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation under provisions of the Land and Water Conservation Act of 1965 which stated: "The general directive for the need of study in this part of the State stems from ‘The N.H. Outdoor Recreation Plan’ ... Southwestern State Park: In this general area of the state, there is no public recreation area. It is proposed to investigate and, if possible, plan for the development and acquire the lands for a significant multi-use state park for this important section of N.H. Purpose: multi use recreation."

The request was approved by the governor and council in May of 1968. In April 1990, the Land and Water Conservation Fund 25th Anniversary Award was presented to the Division of Parks and Recreation: "Funds have been used over the past 25 years to add in the acquisition and development of Pisgah State Park ... Of special significance at Pisgah though, was the foresight of the Division of Parks and Recreation in envisioning the park in the first place ... and the commitment of the N.H. Legislature to support ... Today near the growing population centers of southern N.H., Pisgah remains protected and virtually undisturbed."

Pisgah is, and always has been a park; a Park with a capital "P."

Kathy Thatcher,

Chesterfield N.H., June 27

Hidden by trees

Editor of the Reformer:

In response to concerns over preserving the "viewshed" near Exit 3/the gateway to Vermont and the Concord, Mass., -based Winstanley Enterprises’ proposed mega solar development project ("Board seeks details on massive solar project," June 26). It seems only appropriate that the permit require the planting of a native conifer tree buffer in order to maintain aesthetics and scenic beauty from the interstate. A strategically planted line of trees would uphold the intent of Act 250 without keeping the project from moving forward.

Act 250 reads, in part: "Will not have an undue adverse effect on aesthetics, scenic beauty, historic sites or natural areas, will not imperil necessary wildlife habitat or endangered species in the immediate area."

Norma Manning,

Vernon, June 28

A word on addiction

Editor of the Reformer:

Lives will be saved by last month’s drug arrests (in the Springfield area) by our public safety officers, and the community should be grateful for this intervention.

Addiction is a progressive, life-threatening, often fatal disease. However, treatment is available. There is no cure, but long-lasting recovery is possible for all addicts. Many people first come to understand that they suffer from addiction when a major arrest occurs, as easy access to the addictive drug is interrupted.

Symptoms of acute withdrawal from opiate addiction include headache, sweats, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, beginning a day or two after last using. Opiate withdrawal is very uncomfortable, however opiate overdose is much more dangerous. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek prompt medical attention from their primary care provider. If you need assistance in establishing a primary care relationship, please call Springfield Medical Care Systems’ referral line at 802-885-7604 or visit our website at www.springfieldmed.org. If you are in an emergency medical situation, you should seek assistance from the closest emergency department, or call 911 for emergency medical assistance.

A special word to the families and friends of addicts and alcoholics. Addiction affects everyone in the family. However, you didn’t cause it, you don’t control it, and you can’t cure it. You are also suffering from the effects of the addiction and may need help as well. I urge all who are suffering directly or indirectly from the effects of alcoholism and addiction to seek medical care as well as the fellowship and compassionate support of our local 12-step recovery communities.

Sarah Kemble, MD, MPH

Chief Medical Officer

Springfield Medical Care Systems

Chester Family Medicine

Ellsworth Memorial Health Center

Chester, June 21

Beware of barbecued bugs

Editor of the Reformer:

What ever happened to the good old days when the worst things we had to fear on the 4th of July were traffic jams and wayward fireworks?

According to the Department of Agriculture’s Meat & Poultry Hotline, this year’s top threat is food poisoning by nasty E. coli and Salmonella bugs lurking in hamburgers and hot dogs at millions of backyard barbecues. The Hotline’s advice is to grill them longer and hotter. Of course, they don’t bother to mention that the high-temperature grilling that kills the bugs also forms lots of cancer-causing compounds.

Luckily, a bunch of enterprising U.S. food manufacturers and processors have met this challenge head-on by developing a great variety of healthful, delicious and convenient veggie burgers and soy dogs. These delicious plant-based foods don’t harbor nasty pathogens or cancer-causing compounds. They don’t even carry cholesterol, saturated fats, drugs, or pesticides. And, they are waiting for us in the frozen food section of our supermarket.

This 4th of July offers a great opportunity to declare our independence from the meat industry and to share wholesome veggie burgers and soy dogs with our family and friends.

Kyle Roberts,

Brattleboro, June 27