45 at Logging Rally

Forty-five people attended a rally in the Pioneer Valley town of Washington, Massachusetts on June 17. The goal was to stop logging in a state forest. “It went very well,” Janet Sinclair told the Valley Post. She was one of the organizers. A petition is at:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfLg5REHtGz1n04L6DrnZ6OkR_ScYhD...

One of the speakers at the rally was Michael Kellett, executive director of RESTORE The North Woods.

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Local environmental activists had a victory on June 14 when the state of Massachusetts announced it will invest $320,000 toward the cost of a 3.5 mile rail trail that will connect to other existing rail trails. The trail is in the town of Southampton, Massachusetts, which borders Holyoke. “It will run to Route 10 (aka College Highway) by Sheldon’s Ice Cream,” Ed Gibson told the Valley Post on January 3, 2023. He works for the town of Southampton. “The trail will need to be designed and we will also be looking to apply to have it placed on a future year of the state's Transportation Improvement Program for the construction costs. Our best estimates would be that it will take four to five years from now to be open.”

Gibson went on, “This project has been decades in the thought and planning process and we are thrilled that we have finally been able to acquire the right of way and will be able to directly connect to the Manhan Rail trail in Easthampton.... During the design phase we will be reaching out to the abutters and town residents for input and comments for the rail trail. Our next steps on the total project after this will be to work with Westfield and the state to find the best route possible to connect with the city of Westfield’s rail trail.”

Despite the name, the group Walk Boston works state-wide on this issue. People are allowed to walk and ride bicycles on rail trails. Motorized vehicles (including electric cars) are banned. Walk Boston works with bicycle advocacy groups. Just 3 percent of the USA's electricity comes from solar. Some Brattleboro bike-ped activists are members of a Vermont group with a web site at www.LocalMotion.org.

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