Group Fights Logging in 13,000 Acre Park

The following article is by Kathy Thatcher, president of Friends of Pisgah. Pisgah is a 13,000 acre New Hampshire state park that's a few miles from Massachusetts and Vermont. The park's remote lakes are popular swim spots that require hiking to reach. The group's web site is www.FriendsOfPisgah.org. This article first appeared there.

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‘No Enforcement’ on Valley River

“On summer afternoons, it’s like the Wild West,” Jim Dietz told the Valley Post. He’s head coach of the UMass women’s rowing team. Dietz was speaking about motor boats on the Connecticut river in Massachusetts. His rowing team is part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division I, which means it’s at the highest level of college sports. Before coming to UMass, Dietz worked for the U.S. Coast Guard in Connecticut for nine years.

Clear Cut Logging in NH Park?

The state of New Hampshire has decided to allow clear cut logging in the state's biggest park, which is just a few miles from Massachusetts and Vermont. The state wants a private logging company to cut down the trees in 133 acres of the 13,361 acre Pisgah State Park. Pisgah is in the towns of Chesterfield, Hinsdale and Winchester.

Clean Energy Boost

Two existing dams near Brattleboro will likely soon be used to generate roughly the amount of electricity used by 6,000 people. The dams are along the West river, which meets the Connecticut river about a mile north of downtown Brattleboro. The dams are in the Vermont towns of Jamaica and Townshend.

Environmental Victories

On December 23, environmental groups announced they had saved 3,486 acres of forestland near Amherst from development. It is the biggest such environmental victory in the Valley in years. Smaller parcels of land were protected near Brattleboro and Keene.

$1.4 Million Bicycle Path Coming

The Valley will soon be home to another world class path for walking and bicycle riding. Last year, Chicopee, Massachusetts created a path for recreation and non-motorized commuting. Soon it will extend the riverside path by more than a mile, at a cost of about $1.4 million, almost all of which will be paid for by the federal government.

Grassroots Victory Expected

In a likely victory for grassroots activists in the Valley, a coal power plant in Holyoke is expected to close. That’s according to the Holyoke city council and the leader of a regional environmental group. For decades, activists have worked to shut the polluting Mount Tom coal power plant.

Valley Marchers to Fight Fossil Fuels September 24

On September 24, in Northampton and Amherst, there will be marches to protest the use of fossil fuels. At 11:30 a.m., marchers will leave from the site of a proposed large group of solar panels at the UMass horse farm at 111 North Maple Street in Hadley. They will march to the park in front of the Amherst Town Hall. The march is scheduled to arrive at the town hall at 12:30 p.m.

At noon in Northampton, a march will start at 210 Main Street (in front of City Hall) and end behind the building at 150 Main Street. The march will go via Pleasant and Armory streets.

State Plans to Log Big Parts of Massachusetts

Activists are asking Massachusetts residents to contact the governor by August 25 about a controversial state logging plan. Chris Matera is a spokesperson for the Northampton-based group Massachusetts Forest Watch www.MAforests.org He said:

Locals Extinguish Proposed Incinerator

The Springfield city council voted 10 – 2 to snuff out a proposed corporate incinerator May 23. The vote came after a four-hour-long public hearing before the city council on May 17. At the hearing, locals blasted the incinerator plan. Stop Toxic Incineration in Springfield (STIP), an all-volunteer group, fought the proposal for several years.

“I’m proud of the city council for putting public health ahead of the threat of being sued by the developer,” said STIP spokeswoman Michaelann Bewsee.