Letters to the Editor
Thank you for helping to Stamp Out Hunger
To the Editor:
Thank you to everyone who helped make the May 14 Stamp Out Hunger food drive so successful.
Thank you to the community members who left food for the mail carriers to pick up.
Thank you to the postal workers who spent the day collecting food, especially Dave Boissonnault, who is so instrumental in making this annual event a success.
Thank you to all who helped sort food as it came in to the Share Center on Saturday afternoon.
Those volunteers who stock Share’s pantry each week are especially deserving of appreciation. Many of them spent all weekend accepting, sorting, date checking and storing the food. They are truly the team that makes the pantry work for the 650 families who rely on Share each year for food.
Christine A. Janson
Learn about unique local areas affecting wetlands
To the Editor:
I would like to thank and commend the residents of Milford for their efforts to protect and preserve the fragile wetlands and wildlife, endangered and otherwise, in the Brox community lands and areas around Heron Pond.
As I’m sure many already know, the impact and scope of decisions involving the stewardship of these lands extends well beyond making a few one-time extra dollars for the town.
Protecting a wetland involves protecting the wetland area itself and also the surrounding watershed that makes the wetland possible in the first place, along with protecting an additional buffer area around the perimeter of the watershed to protect the watershed. If surrounding hills, for example, are leveled, then the runoff from the hills that would otherwise have fed the wetlands will no longer do so and the ecosystem will deteriorate (wetlandprotection.org/protect-wetlands.html).
Predators like fisher (which I’ve seen crossing into the Brox lands) need large territorial areas in order to thrive and thus be able to help keep their associated prey populations healthy and disease-free. Enhancing and maintaining connectivity between Brox and other wildlife-protected areas (Beaver Brook Association lands, etc.) and establishing a network of local wildlife corridors will ultimately save money by ensuring wild animals are not displaced into people’s yards (where they can damage gardens, injure pets or children, etc.), reducing the costs of roadkill cleanup and reducing the frequency of damages to vehicles due to collisions with wildlife (www.unionleader.com/Another-View-Kathy-Henley-For-public-safety-NH-needs-wildlife-corridors).
Unfortunately, from what I recently have read, it seems likely that some of the Milford selectmen might not have fully considered the long-term economic benefits of enhancing and expanding protections for the Brox area. It is a unique wildlife habitat and trail system that draws in visitors from surrounding areas. These visitors very likely also enhance the local Milford economy. I certainly have patronized Milford restaurants, gas stations and stores as a result of being in the area after visiting the Brox lands. I’ve also from time to time seen license plates from out-of-state cars parked by the trailheads. So I suspect there is already an established and largely unrecognized stream of indirect revenue associated with the Brox community lands that feeds into the local economy in a sustainable way and which will vanish if the area is destroyed by excavation or overdevelopment.
I encourage everyone to learn more about this unique area and about what might be done now to ensure all can continue to enjoy the trails, plants and wildlife within its bounds.
Selectmen defend Brox decisions
To the Editor:
We have a plan, we’ve always had!
Yes, the selectmen have a plan for the Brox property gravel work and how the work will progress. This information was presented at our warrant meetings, at budget meetings, at the Deliberative Session and on the town’s website. But when contrarians have an agenda, which has clearly been on display recently in The Cabinet that featured light reporting, misleading quotes by the conservation chair and a radical obstructionist, you end up with a story so far removed from reality it is sad. Facts are stubborn things and here they are:
Voters overwhelming voted to support selling gravel from Brox, with revenues anticipated to be over $900,000.
Now that a contractor in in place, the preliminary grading plan that was produced last year will be finalized showing wetland areas, phasing and restoration. The plan will also make recommendations to address the nearby turtle population. As promised, this plan will be presented to both the Planning Board and Conservation Commission for input. The board has always stated we would do so.
The Brox property is an existing grandfathered operation dating back over 30 years, and the board intends to protect all rights associated with this status.
The board has been good stewards of the property, pulling away operations from the pond, leaving a loam pile in place that a turtle had nested in and storing new incoming materials far from the pond.
Over 50 percent of community lands area will not be excavated, including land adjoining the pond containing 180,000 yards of gravel. The board agreed to not excavate this area in order to protect the adjoining wetland complex; in addition, a 100-foot buffer will be created along the pond.
Once complete, 14 acres of unusable land will be properly restored along with remaining excavated property, seeded and replanted. This area will then await some future town uses.
The hyperbole over the Brox property must end. The board will continue to accept all comments and suggestions; but we will not react to every letter and utterance made by those whose only goal is to totally prohibit any use of the property including playing with toy Jeeps or riding mountain bikes. The community lands at Brox are just that, the community’s!
Mark J. Fougere
Milford Board of Selectmen