Milford Public Works has done a terrible thing to the ecologically important and awe-inspiring Heron Pond. On the order of the Board of Selectmen, led by Chair Mark Fougere, staff breached the beaver dam that creates Heron Pond, lowering it by at least a foot-and-a-half, and putting at risk the endangered and threatened animals living there.
Why? Certainly not because of any emergency flooding situation or even a threat of flooding, since there was none even after the recent three-inch rainstorm. The beaver device and water flow system at the culvert along Heron Pond School’s driveway are working perfectly, as they should, to prevent flooding of property.
In my view, the selectmen’s real reason is to decrease the ecological value of Heron Pond so that it sustains fewer endangered animals and associated wetlands that stand in the way of their pursuit of unfunded development.
The lowering of Heron Pond was done despite pleas by New Hampshire Fish and Game’s Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program and recommendations of the New Hampshire Wildlife Action Plan that warn against a drawdown in autumn, because it is harmful to endangered Blanding’s and spotted turtles once they settle into their winter spots there.
Unfortunately, the Conservation Commission approved this ill-advised and misguided action, despite the fact that they are not biologists, wetland ecologists or wildlife experts. And based on what? Misinformation from the CC coordinator that a smaller pond is somehow better.
Draining Heron Pond is just another example of how the current leadership of our town is blatantly anti-nature. This has got to change.
In March 2018, Selectmen Mark Fougere and Gary Daniels will be up for re-election. It would be a mistake to give them three more years of opportunity to harm other natural treasures like Heron Pond.