No to Stoneyard, yes to conservation

Dear Editor:

I disagree with the Milford Board of Selectmen selling 93 acres of environmentally sensitive land to anybody but conservation, and definitely not to one company called Stoneyard New England Stone Veneer.

On the Stoneyard.com website, the company makes this claim:

"Stoneyard.com’s New England Fieldstone was created by Mother Nature, making it one of the greenest building products available. In addition, all of our stone comes from within a 75-mile radius of our Littleton, MA location, reducing the amount of shipping and thereby leaving a small carbon footprint." They go on to say: "Gathering the stone does not damage the beautiful New England countryside; we only use stone that would have otherwise been plowed over by farmers expanding their plots. Choosing Stoneyard.com’s New England Fieldstone means you are purchasing an eco-friendly product that showcases the beauty of nature right at your own home."

But there are no farmers at Brox ready to plow over stones. Will Stoneyard be plowing up the stones anyway? Do they think it is "eco-friendly" to bring "the beauty of nature into your home" while ruining the beauty of nature outside where it belongs?

Stoneyard uses quarried stones too. The destructive nature of quarrying rock and storing broken rocks in large piles across the landscape is certainly damaging to the "beautiful New England countryside." That is what I think Stoneyard will do to the Heron Pond Wetland Complex, a beautiful countryside habitat for many species of wildlife.

I care deeply about the Threatened & Endangered wildlife species who live at Brox now. The beavers are essential to Heron Pond and no one should destroy their big dam.

A recent Stoneyard ad to hire a maintenance technician described the job as working on a range of equipment from heavy diesel excavators and front end wheel loaders, to electric rock cutting saws that use diamond blades, and hydraulic splitters that shape their stone.

The noise and dust from such an operation worry me even if they were anywhere else in Milford. At Brox, the noise and dust worry me for the impacts to the health of Heron Pond and the wetland complex and how noise and dust will impact the residential neighborhood of Brookview Drive and Heron Pond School.

When I looked at the Google Earth image of Stoneyard at 2 Spectacle Pond Road in Littleton, MA I saw a lot of ravaged land on their 10 acres and in the vicinity. Stoneyard is right next door to a 200 acre stone quarry that has completely devastated Mother Earth.

The citizens said they don’t want a sand & gravel operation in the southern half and they won’t want a rock operation in the north either.

Whereas the Selectmen have been keeping the land deal as secret as possible from Milford citizens, we will not let anyone destroy our open space and tell us it is not any of our business. We will be telling the Selectmen that it is our land, not theirs, and we will decide how it is best used in the best interest of Milford.

I urge the Selectmen to think seriously about the offer made by the Conservation Commission to buy the land for conservation, which the Natural Resources Inventory said it was best suited for.

Sincerely,

Tom Gardner

Milford