Post 7, June 12, 2017
“By the end of 1998 GMCG had already practiced what it has become known for—science based advocacy”
1998 saw many land use change issues that would confront natural resource conservation. As mentioned last week, liquidation logging was happening all over the Watershed and sparked conversations and workshops on sustainable forestry. There also were conversations starting about ATV use and sludge application. In August of 1998, GMCG held its first symposium and panel discussion on sludge application. GMCG’s advocacy has always believed that a scientifically informed public can make the best decisions about shared resources so it is important to host events where everyone is at the table and can ask questions regarding critical resources and proposal impacts to the community. I personally learned a lot at this first symposium. Not only were we criticized for not supporting the practice of spreading sludge, but we were criticized for allowing the folks proposing to spread the sludge to come to the table. In my heart of hearts, I have always felt that if the community can be given all the scientific evidence about a proposal and its possible impacts, then the community will make the most informed decision and the community will know how to best protect their own resource. When greed and corporate expansion is the motivator, much deception can be given to the community to try to sell a product. If citizens are given the facts of a proposal, the citizens can best decide if this proposal can help or hinder them. But everyone needs to be at the table and citizens need to be ready to ask hard questions and push for real answers and data. In fact, following this sludge symposium, we were contacted by scientists in other watersheds who had been asked to “fudge data” to show that sludge was not impacting ground water when they knew it was having an impact. Future advocacy around the sludge issue would follow later on.
The other discussion that surfaced was about ATV use, erosion and the Pine River State Forest. GMCG hosted several walks in the Pine River State Forest with Bob Hardy from DRED, Karen Bennett from UNH CE, Peter Pohl county forester, Jeff Lougee The Nature Conservancy, Laura Deming NH Audubon. We began to also incorporate historic preservation into conversations about shared community resources. Phil Auger was invited to talk to the community about the Dollars and Sense of protecting Open Space and more and more residents were beginning to understand the economic value of protecting our natural resources.
Bob Hardy leads a walk in the Pine River State Forest (fall 1998) Larry Leavitt looks over from the far right—can anyone identify other folks in this photo?
Bob Hardy shows historic wall near Chaulk Pond. Susan Slack, Stan Drelick and? (is this Karen Bennett from UNH CE?)
In celebration of Green Mountain Conservation Group’s 20th Birthday (May 1, 1997-May 1 2017) we will be posting Memories on Mondays in May through September on the GMCG Facebook page and on our website www.gmcg.org. If you would like to be part of this journey please “like” Green Mountain Conservation Group on our Facebook page. We are trying to raise funds for our new home—-The Patricia and Charles Watts Conservation Center also known as the Blue Heron House on the Ossipee River and expansion of staff needed to run our programs. We are doing this online through this campaign by asking you to consider a gift of $20 in honor of our 20th Birthday. Do you have a connection to the Ossipee Watershed? Did you know a former staff person or Board member over the past 20 years who you would like to honor? Can you also invite your own friends and families who have connections to this Watershed or a specific person and ask for a contribution too? Please feel free to forward our posts and information. THANK YOU.
Donations can be made to : CLICK HERE
Each gift of $1000 raised in a specific person’s name will honor that person with a plaque on a rocking chair. For example—if you send in a donation of $20 in a staff or previous board member’s name, that will be tracked and recorded as a gift to honor that specific person. If you can help by inviting 50 friends to do the same then you will have helped raise $1000 and that person and you will have your name on one of our porch rocking chairs.
Blair Folts, GMCG Executive Director
To access previously posted 20 Years of Memories, look to the right hand margin.