View Full Version : Power Project Destruction

Bill O
07-09-2010, 02:22 PM
I'm surprised nobody else has posted about this since the project that brought power to the summit also left a huge scar next to the cog tracks.

As I originally feared it looks like they have done nothing above treeline to restore the natural look of the terrain they disturbed. They filled the ditch back in, but didn't replace the large rocks or the dirt patches that have been building up over the past 8,000 years or so.

It looks like a road that somebody could easily drive an ATV up paralleling the cog. Even worse, I saw people hiking up this new "trail." Not sure I blame them either. It's as smooth as a road and takes a direct line to the summit.

On top of that the state hasn't restored the original entrance to the Sherman-Adams building or removed any of the skeletal foundations left on the summit.

07-10-2010, 08:51 AM
Most unfortunate. Any idea who would (should) be responsible for this? Perhaps petitioning for proper repairs is in order. I think we could find many voices to chime in on this.

07-10-2010, 09:07 AM
One wonders if they need to leave the disturbed area so they can have easier access for maintenance and repairs. Another thought is leaving it this way could be less disruption to the area. Certainly it is cheaper.

Bill O
07-10-2010, 10:44 AM
I'm not sure what the right answer is. The damage is entirely within the Cog's right of way. They could pave it over or put a slip and slide there if they wanted...but the right thing should be to return the area to some sort of natural state. I just hope they have some sort of plan.

Steve M
07-11-2010, 09:20 AM
The slip and slide idea isn't too bad. I was thinking maybe an alpine slide. It could double as a way to get off the mountain in a hurry and if you heat it it can be used in winter for rescues. Just sayin. ;)

07-11-2010, 06:34 PM
I try not to talk out of my hat here in the forum, and since I'm not privy to the entire multiple contract line item details between White Mountain Communications and all the other interested parties ( Cog, State of NH/MWSP, OBS, Auto Road, US Dept of Agriculture, USFS, PSNH) to name SOME... maybe I need to be really really careful with this.

I'm pretty sure many are familiar with the concept of " alternate or offsetting remediation". When significant road reconstruction occurs on State or Federal highways, sometimes it is unavoidable to do harsh nasty things to wetlands, bogs, streams, river, tundra and alpine areas which would normally be ecologically protected. When contracts are put out to bid, there are usually and often clear terms cited within the contract that call for an offsetting ecological remedy/action.

With me on that? It is what it is, I'm not saying its right or wrong, it's just how contracts are drawn and how things work.

The contractor for the Power Project agreed to an alternate/offset remediation. While he could not erase the scar from the power line installation, or return the disturbed area to a totally natural state, he DID agree to remove tons and tons of debris from the Cog Right of Way. Railway debris. Timbers and busted , rusted parts. Years and Years worth of the stuff.

It's not paying forward in any stretch of the imagination, it is playing catch-up, and I'm not saying the process is inherently right or wrong. Again, it is what it is. Business.


Snow Miser
07-11-2010, 07:33 PM
Perhaps Mother Nature will be able to hide some of the scars in a few year's time?

Bill O
07-11-2010, 08:31 PM
Perhaps Mother Nature will be able to hide some of the scars in a few year's time?

It will, eventually. If hikers start using it as a trail that will certainly slow the process and could become a real problem if it goes unchecked (I'm not saying it is yet).

Breeze, thanks for the information. I did actually notice that all that old debris had been removed, that's a great improvement for the mountain. I appreciate the benefits the power projects have brought to the summit and I know the scar will heal. I just know that with a little more work it could be healed even faster.

07-27-2010, 06:34 PM
I had an opportunity again this weekend to see and talk to the self-employed contractor for the MW Power Project, and his contracted remediation effort removed 700 tons ( scale weighed, recorded, receipted ) of debris from the Cog Right of Way.

He was not allowed to use the Auto Road during open hours for oversize vehicles, so all that hauling occurred between 6 PM and 7 AM, he had to have each load weighed to verify HIS bill for gross tonnage use of the Auto Road. HIS bill, as a private contractor for Road Use, not the Cog's bill.

How green is green and who decides what is a green effort, what green efforts make sense and when is any green effort a fail worthy of shame?

We've all got a long way to go to have meeting of the minds.