Letter: Issue in state forest is DCR, not pipelines

Issue in state forest is DCR, not pipelines

To the editor:

As former owners of a significant parcel of property in Sandisfield, we offer the following comments on the land now owned by the commonwealth of Massachusetts and the proposed Tenneco pipeline extension project that crosses the property. We are neither for or against this project as we have been done this road before.

Regarding the old growth forest, it has never been affected by the precious construction and installation of the two existing pipelines, nor by the ongoing maintenance activities. Restrictions were placed on timber cutting in the past to protect and preserve this area. It stands today as it has for more than 300 years.

Two pipelines have been installed since 1950 and we do not see any property desecration. In fact, the cleared right-of-war provides feed for deer, turkey and other wild game. Multiple benefits for the general public are realized through hiking, snowmobiling, and hunting and fishing access. These lines have been crossed and have been installed through wetlands and beneath streams, but we see no adverse effects on the environment and water quality.

With reference to the supposed destruction of Spectacle Pond by the water used to purge the proposed new extension, this has been done twice before during the previous installations without detrimental effects, and today we do not seen any charge in the pond water level, nor any water quality changes compared to its condition 60 or more years ago.

The commonwealth acquired the property circa 2006. Since this acquisition, minimal maintenance and improvement efforts have been put forth by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). Overall, the property has significantly deteriorated. Farm buildings and former residences have been ignored, in total disrepair and buildings falling down or are poised to imminently do so.

The fields and pastures that provided a quality living for the owners through agriculture are giving way to brush and are nearly impossible to walk through. Usable cabins at the time of DCR's acquisition are severely vandalized and totally useless. The entire property is in a sad state of total neglect.

The commonwealth spends millions of taxpayer dollars to acquire more land and forests that far exceed DCR's capability to maintain or improve.

Ronald and Nancy Loring, Monterey


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