Letter: The pillaging of Pisgah

Posted
The pillaging of Pisgah

Editor of the Reformer:

It is with great sadness that the state of New Hampshire is preparing to begin another commercial timber harvest in Pisgah State Park, starting Dec. 15, this time at the Horseshoe Road access .. a popular and beautiful spot for visitors to enter the Park.

Among the areas being cut are a large section of a more mature, established older hard wood forest with a striking large, old stone wall meandering through the landscape, as well as a very expansive area running along side the Old Chesterfield Road, a lovely entrance that leads you into the Park from the parking lot. The cut will also pass by historical sites, including old chimneys and foundations of homesteaders who built houses and worked the land.

Is this illegal pillaging of a people's park? According to documentation dating back to the 1960s when the state applied for land and water conservation funds, the purpose of this Park was to keep it in a wilderness state for recreation. We wonder if the LWCF funding would have been granted had the state requested the money for a state reservation where commercial logging would regularly occur? Would matching funds to purchase the properties, a number of which were acquired through eminent domain, have been provided for a "Working Forest" through the National Park Service? Is that the plan the Executive Council and the Governor signed on to?

We as a group have been gathering signatures to challenge the state's intent to log in Pisgah (64 percent of the 13,400 acres has been designated for logging) and many folks were surprised that commercial logging can take place in a state park. Should the state be able to log a people's park? Without consent of the people?

There is also great importance and need for some forests to be permitted to mature, to become "old forests." But don't take my word for it. Come hear Tom Wessels (faculty emeritus, Antioch New England and author of "Reading the Forested Landscape") speak about why old forests are important. He will be at Centennial Hall, Alumni Center ( corner of Main Street and Marlboro Street), Keene State College on Thursday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m.

For more information regarding Pisgah State Park and the government's plans to do commercial logging please visit us at www.pisgahdefenders.org and learn about our plight and even consider joining us to stop the Pillaging of Pisgah.

Jeffrey Scott, Kathy Thatcher and Pisgah Defenders, Spofford, N.H., Nov. 17


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