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Thursday, October 26, 2017
An opportunity to do better

To the editor:

The Oct. 17 article “Hikers oppose utility change” did a pretty good job, but it missed telling what a difference the utility poles project would make to the Miller State Park access road. It’s not just the poles. Because the trees grow right up close to the road, you’re walking through almost a tunnel of green in spring and summer, and golden glow in fall. It’s a really sweet environment. And further up — where the conduit does need to be replaced — you’re walking year-round surrounded by fluffy green delicate spruce, with tiny needles and pinecones decorating the road or the snow. Hiking up that road is life-enriching. That’s not an exaggeration.

The big problem is that a wide swath of trees would be cut down to make the legal clearance for the poles and lines, and the canopy that forms the tunnel will be gone forever. They don’t let it grow back.

I was at that meeting, and although they were pleasant, none of the Eversource employees or Public Utilities Commission people I spoke with had even driven up the Miller State Park access road – so it’s just a line on a map with a problem, and poles are the quickest and cheapest way to fix it. That land is a park. The summit is already littered with communication towers and equipment. Does the whole way up need to be, too? A park should be a respite from the junk of business.

I would like to challenge the Eversource engineers and the state to get creative and find an innovative, safe, legal way to encase the electric wires, keeping them within the woods as they have uneventfully been for decades. Please get excited for the opportunity to do something in a better, new way!

Danis Collett

Peterborough