Letter: Dam double standard in Rest of River plan
To the editor:
The Statement of Work for the Rest of River cleanup is out and I see that there is no plan to tear down the Woods Pond dam. Where are all the environmentalists and river advocates? How about all the claims that dams impair rivers, block fish passage, degrade water quality, prohibit sediment transport, and, incredibly, are an "attractive nuisance," like what were used to justify destroying Pittsfield's Mill Street hydroelectric dam? I see that destroying the Columbia Mill and Eagle Mill dam sites is in the plan, after all, as who needs the industrial scale renewable energy that these dams, if re-powered, would produce? We can just cut more trees for solar power. Granted, it would be a tough slog to repower these dams given the suffocating regulations, and our federal and state legislators won't do anything about that.
Is it that keeping the Woods Pond dam also keeps the man-made aquatic playground? What true environmentalist could ever justify keeping a dam just for a playground? Pittsfield's West Side neighborhood and other Pittsfield residents could have benefited from a local downtown deep water fishing and recreation area at the Mill Street dam but apparently nobody thought that this improvement to people's lives mattered.
So, if you are going to "restore" this river (to a manmade engineered waterway) why isn't this former industrial "deadbeat" dam being removed?
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