The Power of Place Thought for the Day – April 20, 2013

The Power of Place: Northern Pass Documentary

Sunrise over the White Mountains as seen from The Rocks Estate in Bethlehem, New Hampshire.


Yesterday, when I discussed the route of Northern Pass, I mentioned that in some places the current Northeast Utilities right of way crosses conservation land. One of those places is at The Rocks Estate in Bethlehem, a preserve owned by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests that is home to 1400 acres of wooded trails, wetlands, and outdoor education center, and a Christmas tree farm.

The preserve was donated to the Forest Society by the Glessner Family in 1978 with the stipulation that there always be crops in the fields and the spectacular view of the White Mountains maintained. You can see that view in the above photo. What you don’t see is the current electricity transmission line that goes across the frame, but is out of view because the transmission poles are short and below the treeline. If Northern Pass is built, steel towers will be added to the right of way and will rise above the treeline, negatively impacting the view that was so important to the original owners of the estate.

While Northeast Utilities holds an easement on the right of way, does this give them the right to dramatically alter what they do in that right of way, essentially changing the terms of the easement? I’m no lawyer, but it seems to me there is plenty of room for debate on this issue.

To help preserve views like those at the Rocks, please pledge to The Power of Place Kickstarter campaign by May 16th. Thank You!

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