December 14, 2012

Forest Society Closes on 530-Acre Conservation Easement to Block Northern Pass

Green Acre Woodlands property offers views, wildlife habitat and public access

The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests is pleased to announce that this week we have closed on the first of the conservation easements that are part of our Trees Not Towers campaign to block the intended route of the Northern Pass transmission line as proposed.

As of this week the 530 acres owned by Green Acre Woodlands are conserved. A registered Tree Farm, the land slopes upward from North Hill Road with an elevation of approximately 2,170 feet, offering dramatic nearly 360-degree views from North Hill in Stewartstown, NH.

“We’ve wanted for several years to protect this land,” said Jane Difley, president/forester of the Forest Society. “We’re pleased that the owners had the same goal in mind.

“Moreover, we are determined to protect other existing conserved lands from the threat presented by the proposed Northern Pass transmission line across 180 miles of New Hampshire, including the White Mountain National Forest. The Green Acre Woodlands parcel is a strategic part of our efforts to compel Hydro Quebec, Northeast Utilities and PSNH to look at other viable options for their private transmission line,” Difley said. “We remain confident that they will not successfully acquire an unimpeded route through northern New Hampshire, thus sparing the rest of the state through the Lakes Region, Concord and on to Deerfield.”

While mostly forested, the Green Acre Woodlands parcel includes more than 100 acres of open fields that are enrolled in a federal program that delays mowing until August to encourage grasses, forbs and small shrubs and to enhance the wildlife habitat on the property. The permanent protection of this property has been a goal of the Forest Society for several years because of its significant wildlife habitat value.

The conservation easement guarantees public access to the property, while permanently prohibiting any commercial development (outside of agriculture and forestry) including any transmission lines or towers on the property. Green Acre Woodlands retains a reserved right to withdraw three 10-acre lots that may be subdivided and sold separately.

The Forest Society’s Trees Not Towers campaign seeks to raise $2.5 million to put conservation easements on parcels of land in Coos County that will serve to block the intended route of the proposed Northern Pass transmission line. To date the campaign has successfully raised $1.15 million. More than 1,200 donations have come from nearly 200 different towns and 26 states across the country.

“We’re on track to complete this campaign in the new year,” said Susanne Kibler-Hacker, VP for Development at the Forest Society. “End-of-year contributions are coming in, and the new tax year will bring more.”

Contributions to the Trees Not Towers campaign can be made online at For more information about making a gift, contact Susanne Kibler-Hacker at 603-224-9945 or by email at

November 15, 2012

Trees Not Towers Tops $1 Million

As of mid-November, more than 1,000 donors have now made a gift to the Forest Society's Trees Not Towers campaign to disrupt the intended route of the proposed Northern Pass HVDC transmission line. To date more than $1 million has been raised, with $135,000 coming in the door since Nov. 1.

"We're extremely pleased with the response to our recent announcement that we have successfully raised enough to close on two of the four conservation easements that are a blocking action against the Northern Pass intended route," said Jane Difley, president/forester. "It's clear to me that those who value New Hampshire's scenic landscapes are encouraged and want to see us reach our ultimate goal."

Donors come from far and wide, inside and outside the state. The Forest Society has received gifts from 178 different towns across New Hampshire, showing broad, statewide support of the Trees Not Towers effort. Donations have been received from 26 states and three foreign countries. Half of the gifts have come via our website.
The Forest Society must raise $2.5 million to put conservation easements on properties owned by four landowners in northern Coos County. The goal of the campaign is to block Northern Pass from finding a route through some of the state's most scenic landscape in order to begin a genuine discussion of viable alternatives such as burial of transmission lines along transportation corridors or co-locating along an existing HVDC transmission corridor that already runs from Canada to Massachussets.

Public Plea to SB361 Commission on Northern Pass

Although the SB361 Commission was not charged with making any specific determinations regarding the proposed Northern Pass private transmission line, most of the 150 people who showed up at a public hearing in Plymouth made it clear that they were looking for the members of the Commission to hear their concerns that the project is not right for New Hampshire. Union Leader reporter Paula Tracy's story about the hearing can be read here.

The comments from Nancy Martland of Sugar Hill received the most enthusiastic ovation from the crowd of some 150 people at the hearing.

"You are our elected and appointed representatives," Martland said, addressing the members of the SB361 Commission. "You stand for us in the face of the coming onslaught of power transmission through our towns and our state. Individuals and even towns have no power to control or manage the way energy is transported through New Hampshire, but you do, and you owe it to us to take control and manage energy transmission responsibly for the protection of our state’s natural heritage and for our future generations."

"I urge you in the strongest possible terms to look out for our interests," Martland concluded. "I urge you to resist the pressures that have been applied and will continue to be applied by big corporate interests that seek to bully New Hampshire into submission. I urge you to stick to your original recommendation that a moratorium on new construction be implemented and that elective lines must be placed underground."

Martland's complete testimony can be read here.

Burial is an Viable Option Says Draft SB361 Report

According to the draft report of the SB361 Commission, "testimony suggests that underground transmission facilities on appropriate state transportation rights of way may be technically and financially competitive with other transmission designs and locations."

The SB361 Commission was established by the legislature to identify the feasibility of using state-owned transportation corridors for energy infrastructure and, if the commission finds the use of transportation corridors feasible for such use, shall specify which corridors are most appropriate for specific utility infrastructures.

The Commission issued a draft report on Oct. 31, 2012, and subsequently held public hearings to gather input about the draft. At a hearing on Nov. 14, 2012, the Forest Society, along with the Appalachian Mountain Club, Conservation Law Foundation, Conservation New Hampshire and The Nature Conservancy (New Hampshire Chapter) offered a joint letter commenting on the draft. The letter commends the Commission for identifying four existing highway corridors that may serve future energy infrastructure needs, and for identifying key issues that it did not have time to research.

The letter also urged the Commission to consider including additional recommendations, including:
  • Requiring the NH Dept. of Transportation prepare a report identifying which, if any, of the state-owned rail corridors could be added to the list of highway corridors as potentially viable for energy facilities.
  • Amend the Site Evaluation Committee statute to require elective transmission developers to propose an underground alternative if it is proposing to build new overhead transmission lines.
  • Recommend that a task force be appointed by the Governor to continue the research the Commission has begun, specifically to answer the six bulleted items on page five of the draft.

October 30, 2012

Two Down, Two to Go

Forest Society successfully raises enough to close two of four easements to block Northern Pass. Discussions with additional landowners are ongoing.

As of Monday, Oct. 29, we have successfully raised $868,500 for the Trees Not Towers campaign, enough to close on two of four conservation easements that will keep Northern Pass towers and powerlines from being built on the protected acreage.

“We are working on the due diligence required to close all the transactions,” said Jane Difley. “We are scheduling the closings over the winter, with the first to occur in December.” 

Fundraising to complete the Trees Not Towers campaign to thwart Northern Pass will continue into the new year. Donations can be made via Forest Society website at

“A number of key donors of told us that it would be helpful to be able to make donations in the 2013 tax year,” said Susanne Kibler-Hacker, vice president of development for the Forest Society. “landowners have signed purchase-and-sale agreements that enable us to meet our donors’ requests.”

The Forest Society also continues to engage additional landowners in the effort to thwart Northern Pass.

“As our blocking action falls into place, we fully expect Northeast Utilities and PSNH to attempt to squirm their way through in some other fashion,” said Will Abbott, vice president of policy/land management. “Other landowners are coming forward, and we are working with them to strengthen the block.”

Our goal is to stop Northern Pass as proposed in the North Country in order to protect 180 miles of New Hampshire, including the White Mountains, from the unnecessary blight of more than 1100 towers,” Difley said. “Northern Pass’s proposal is outdated, and stopping them from moving forward would appear to be the only way to start a serious discussion of more common-sense ways to transmit electricity, such as burial along transportation corridors.”

October 26, 2012

Why Support the Trees Not Towers Campaign to Thwart Northern Pass?

For this house, this generation of the families from Quebec and now New Hampshire, these grandchildren, this is a very simplistic debate. All collateral discussion aside, who owns the environmental quality of our lives? The citizens of New Hampshire or the faceless holders of the equity line on the balance sheets of companies like Hydro-Quebec and NU.

Steven Dionne
Laconia, NH

Trees Not Towers Challenge Met!

Thanks to 25 first-time donors to the Forest Society from as far away as California, the matching gift challenge has been met! The campaign continues to draw support from a wide geographic area that includes 23 states and 2 foreign countries. It is gratifying to see that the New Hampshire landscape is so important to so many people!  Thank you to all who are contributing to this success!

October 25, 2012

$827K and Climbing

Thanks to a steady stream of online gifts the Forest Society's campaign to block the intended route of Northern Pass is at $827,000 as of Oct. 24.

"We're encouraged by the increasing number of donations," said Susanne Kibler-Hacker, vp of development. "That tells us that we can be successful in reaching our goal."

To date 810 donations have been made to thwart Northern Pass by putting conservation easements on 1800 acres that disrupt the route Hydro Quebec, Northeast Utilities and PSNH had hoped to use. Forty-six percent of those gifts have been made via the web.

"We've seen a notable number of anonymous gifts from the Manchester area," Kibler-Hacker said.
"It's also interesting and encouraging to note that gifts have been coming in from out-of-state as well," said Kibler-Hacker,"as landowners and other people with family connections to New Hampshire get the word that we can block Northern Pass from using their intended route."

To date the 810 donations include gifts from 23 different states from Florida to California to Maine, plus two international gifts.

Northeast Utilities application for a presidential permit to cross the US/Canada boundary with its proposed private high-voltage transmission line has been on hold since June 2011 due to their inability to secure a route in the face of strong public opposition.

October 22, 2012

Trees Not Towers Gains Momentum

From Monday's Union Leader:

The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests has raised almost $800,000 for its campaign to block the project’s intended path in the North Country.

“We’re seeing a lot of grassroots support,” said Susanne Kibler-Hacker, vice president for development at the Forest Society. “Most important, the momentum is building as we approach our Oct. 31 deadline. We’re anticipating some larger grants in the final days of the campaign, but we still have a gap to fill.”

To read Paula Tracy's story in full click here.

October 17, 2012

Matching Gift Challenge for New Trees Not Towers Donors

If you are not already a supporter of the Forest Society and you give now, your gift will have double the impact. We have a generous donor who will match gifts to the Trees Not Towers Campaign from first-time Forest Society donors, up to $1,000.

You can  help us secure this extra $1,000 contribution to the campaign by making a credit card contribution using the "Donate Now!" link on the right side of this page, or sending a check made out to Forest Society with Trees Not Towers on the memo line to:
Forest Society, 54 Portsmouth Street, Concord, NH 03301.

For information on making a stock gift, please contact Susanne Kibler-Hacker at Thank you for helping us to thwart Northern Pass!

October 15, 2012

SB361: Getting the 'runaround' from Northern Pass

If we really needed to bring Canadian electricity to the southern New England market, you'd think Northeast Utilities and PSNH would jump at the chance to work with the state to secure the use of transportation rights-of-way to do so. Instead they have stonewalled explorations of any alternative to their Northern Pass overhead transmission line proposal, which just happens to include the idea of using 140 miles of PSNH distribution line right-of-way.

Reporter Annmarie Timmins reported in the Oct. 14 Concord Monitor on the frustrations of Sen. Jeanie Forrester, who is heading up the commission created via SB361 to study the possibility of burying transmission lines along existing transportation corridors.

According to Timmins' article companies and state agencies including Unitil, National Grid, the state Department of Transportation and state tax officials have responded to the commission's request for information.

But from Northern Pass, Forrester says, "We are getting a lot of runaround. We are not getting a lot of hard information."

To read minutes of the SB361 commission (aka the Commission to Study the Feasibility of Establishing Energy Infrastructure), visit Sen. Forrester's website here.

October 12, 2012

$650K and Climbing Thanks to 99% Claim

The Forest Society's Trees Not Towers campaign to thwart Northern Pass with conservation easements that block the intended route is getting an unexpected boost this week. Donors reacting to claims by Northeast Utilities that they have "about 99 percent of the property necessary to announce a new proposed route" through New Hampshire's North Country and south through Groveton, Plymouth, Franklin, Concord and on to Deerfield have made the total raised-to-date up to $650,000 towards the $2.5 million goal.
The more than $200K in donations is the most of any week since the campaign began. The deadline is Oct. 31. Donations can be made online here, or by calling Susanne Kibler-Hacker at 224-9945.

The intended route itself is no great mystery--if you're interested in seeing their intended route through northern Coos County, click here to see a map based on the lands and rights-of-way they've acquired to the tune of about $20 million. From Groveton to Franklin to Concord to Deerfield they propose to add towers up to 135-feet high and transmission lines along an existing PSNH distribution line ROW. In the White Mountain National Forest, where a Special Use Permit is required, they propose to replace the existing 50-60 foot wooden pole structures with two sets of metal towers extending well above average tree height at 85 feet.

All of which is moot if they can't get from point A to point B across conserved lands. Stay tuned as additional donations toward our Trees Not Towers blocking action are in the works.

October 11, 2012

Campaign to Block Northern Pass Hits $500K

The Forest Society's campaign to block the proposed Northern Pass transmission line by working with willing landowners to put conservation easements on land that interrupts the intended route continues to make steady progress. As of the beginning of this week, more than 400 donors have contributed over $500,000 towards the $2.5 million goal. If successful, conservation easements would be put on more than 1800 acres, preventing transmission towers or lines from crossing those lands now or any time in the future.
"By blocking Hydro Quebec, Northeast Utilities and PSNH from using northern New Hampshire as a transmission mega-corridor we stand a good chance of stopping it from happening across 180 miles of the state all the way south to Deerfield," said Jane Difley, president/forester of the Forest Society.

Questions Posed About Fairness of Northern Pass Permitting Process

Will the federal review of Northern Pass be the fair, objective, and open process that New Hampshire deserves? Or is the game rigged in the developer’s favor yet again? These are two key questions that the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), among others, is asking pointedly following discoveries of potential bias from documents CLF obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. You can read the CLF's concerns as articulated by Christophe Courchesne here. Or read reporter Paula Tracy's story in the Union Leader here.
Northern Pass needs a Presidential Permit to cross the US/Canada border, a process that is overseen by the federal Department of Energy. You can find the DOE's information about that process here. It's important that the data gathered to inform the Presidential Permit decision is fair and accurate because it will likely also inform decisions by the NH Site Evaluation Committee (SEC).

October 6, 2012

"Benefits" of Northern Pass Challenged

"Although federal approvals of the 180-mile high-voltage transmission line are on hold pending establishment of a right-of-way from the Canadian border to Groveton, debate over projected costs and benefits of Northern Pass has not slowed."
In this New Hampshire Business Review article, Maureen D. Smith highlights two studies that question the economic benefits of the proposed Northern Pass transmission line touted by Northeast Utilities and Hydro Quebec. Read more here.
The studies in question include the June 2012 report, "Electricity Market Impacts of the Northern Pass Transmission Project," by PA Consulting, who reached far less rosy conclusions than a similar analysis commissioned by Charles River Associates commssioned by Northern Pass itself; and  "Job Impacts in New Hampshire from Construction of the Proposed Northern Pass High-Voltage Transmission Line," in which Dover-based PolEcon Research concluded that job impacts from the project would be about half of Northern Pass estimates and would be temporary.

October 5, 2012

NH Gov candidates Both Concerned about Northern Pass

The candidates for governor found common ground yesterday on the Northern Pass project, with Republican Ovide Lamontagne and Democrat Maggie Hassan both expressing concerns about the controversial plan to transfer hydropower from Quebec to the New England electricity grid on power lines through the North Country. Read the full story by Ben Leubsdorf in the Concord Monitor.

October 3, 2012

NU Stock Gift Lifts Trees Not Towers

The Forest Society's campaign to thwart more than 1100 towers that would erected across180 miles of New Hampshire landscape got a lift from an ironic source this week: a $5000 gift of Northeast Utilities stock. NU and it's subsidiary, PSNH, are partnering with Canadian crown corporation Hydro Quebec to propose the private HVDC transmission line known as Northern Pass.

The anonymous donor said she was "tickled pink--and maybe a little orange" to be able to make the gift of NU stock to go towards thwarting the company's Northern Pass proposal. The stock will be sold and the $5000 will be added to the growing Trees Not Towers fund that will be used to conserve some 1800 acres that disrupt the intended route of the private transmission line.

The $5000 gift lifted the total to date over $400K, to $402,500. Nearly 400 donation have been made so far. The deadline to raise $2.5 million to conserve the land and thwart the Nothern Pass threat is Oct. 31.

September 26, 2012

AMC: Northern Pass Could Impact 95,000 Acres in NH

The proposed Northern Pass electric transmission line project would have a significant visual impact on such resources of state and national significance as Franconia Notch State Park, Pawtuckaway State Park, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, and the White Mountain National Forest, according to a visual impact analysis released Sept. 26 by the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC).

Visual impacts could severely affect the North Country's most valuable asset—its scenery—and its importance in drawing tourists to the region. Tourism spending is a critical economic driver in the region.

The analysis also revealed that the widening of an existing 120-mile transmission corridor up to 410 feet, and construction of additional towers up to 135 feet, could visually impact 95,000 acres in New Hampshire, including 3,000 acres in the White Mountain National Forest and six scenic outlooks and a trail crossing along the Appalachian Trail.
To read more, visit the AMC's website here.

September 25, 2012

Campaign to Block Northern Pass Surges Past $300K

More than 330 donors have contributed $310,000 to date toward the Trees Not Towers campaign to block the intended route of the proposed Northern Pass transmission line and towers. The Forest Society needs to raise $2.5 million by Oct. 31 in order to acquire conservation easements that would interrupt the route Northern Pass is attempting to find through northern New Hampshire.

September 24, 2012

Owl's Nest to Host Trees Not Towers Golf Tourney

Owl's Nest Golf Course in Campton, NH, is organizing a scramble golf tournament on Friday, Oct. 12 to raise money for the Forest Society's Trees Not Towers campaign to thwart Northern Pass.

For more information about the tournament, including sponsorships as well as participation, visit the Owl's Nest website or by calling -888-OWL-NEST (888-695-6378).

September 19, 2012

NH Author Donates Proceeds of Books Sales to Trees Not Towers

For every paperback version of Loon Cove sold from August 30 through October 31, 2012, author Pamela Lord will donate $7.00 to the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests in support of te Trees Not Towers campaign to thwart Northern Pass. Visit Lord's website for details. To read more about Pamela Lord and her book, visit

September 18, 2012

Trees Not Towers Reaches Quarter Million Mark

The Forest Society reached an early milestone in its campaign to raise $2.5 million by October 31, 2012 for conservation easements on 1800 acres in Coos County by raising the first quarter of a million dollars. Paula Tracy's story in the Union Leader newspaper can be read here.

"It's interesting to note that two-thirds of the donations have come from south of the White Mountains," said Susanne Kibler-Hacker, VP of Development for the Forest Society. "People are clearly understanding that the best way to stop Hydro Quebec and Northeast Utilities from erecting towers and powerlines in Deerfield or Concord or Canterbury or Plymouth--anywhere along the proposed 180-mile route--is to thwart their effort to establish a right-of-way through Coos County in the north. That's what Trees Not Towers is about."

Donations can be made online here or by calling the Forest Society at 603-224-9945.

September 13, 2012

$50,000 Grant for Trees Not Towers!

Today, the Trees Not Towers Campaign surged past the $200,000 mark when we recieved a $50,000 grant from the The Thomas W. Haas Fund of the NH Charitable Foundation. This is a fabulous show of support!" said Jane Difley, President/Forester, "and we are deeply grateful. Receiving this major grant so early in the campaign is a great confidence builder. If everyone who opposes Northern Pass gives something now, we will easily meet our goal and stop this scar on our landscape."

Donations can be made online here or by calling the Forest Society at 603-224-9945.

September 4, 2012

Trees Not Towers Campaign Off and Running

The Forest Society's Trees Not Towers campaign to block the proposed 180-mile Northern Pass HighVoltage power line is off to a fast start with $154,000 raised in the first two weeks.

"These are donations that have come across the transom without us having actually solicited anyone yet," said Susanne Kibler-Hacker, VP of Development for the Forest Society. "It's interesting to note that two-thirds of the gifts have come from donors who live south of the White Mountains."

The powerline proposal, which if built would see more than 1,100 towers and associated powerline carved through some of New Hampshire's most scenic landscape. The Forest Society is raising $2.5 million to put conservation easements on 1800 acres that interrupt the route that Northern Pass had hoped to take through Coos County.

To see maps of the intended route, click here.

August 22, 2012

$50K in a Day to Block Northern Pass

On the strength of the news coverage alone, the Forest Society received $52,000 in contributions during the first 24 hours after the Northern Pass blocking action was announced. The first gift came through on our website 20 minutes after the announcement was made. "We are grateful to everyone who is helping to jumpstart the campaign," said Susanne Kibler-Hacker, Vice President for Development.  "This is an ambitious goal, and our success will depend upon the help of everyone who cares about the New Hampshire landscape."

August 20, 2012

Forest Society Takes Blocking Action Against Northern Pass

The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests has signed purchase-and-sale agreements with four landowners to put conservation easements on more than 1,500 acres of land in Coos County. The land under agreement lies directly in the obvious intended path of Northern Pass, and thus disrupts the project’s ability to move forward with that route. The conservation easements will be perpetual, running with the land regardless of who may own the land in the future. In order to acquire the easements and thwart the intended Northern Pass route, the Forest Society is seeking to raise $2.5 million by October 31, 2012.

“Northern Pass’s intended route through Coos County would scar some of New Hampshire’s most scenic forested and agricultural landscape with unsightly towers and powerlines,” said Jane Difley, president/forester of the Forest Society. “By conserving these 1,500 acres we are taking another step toward compelling Hydro Quebec, Northeast Utilities and PSNH to realize that they need to look at other alternatives for their private, commercial power line project.”

The Forest Society’s objective is to protect New Hampshire’s scenic rural landscape from Northern Pass. “It is clear from Hydro Quebec’s business plan and Northeast Utilities’ property acquisitions that they are thinking beyond this one project,” adds Difley. “It’s no secret that Hydro Quebec seeks to export four times the power that would be transmitted by Northern Pass alone. New Hampshire needs to protect itself from an industrialized corridor that could support multiple transmission lines in the future regardless of the outcome of the immediate Northern Pass proposal. For that reason we are doing what we do best—permanently protecting our state’s forests from reckless, unnecessary development by working with willing landowners.”

The Forest Society’s Trees Not Towers campaign is the beginning of a strategy to ensure that an industrialized corridor with multiple transmission lines does not happen to New Hampshire’s lands and scenic vistas. The Forest Society has reached agreements with landowners of 1,500-plus acres, and continues to discuss with other landowners the possibility of additional easements as deemed necessary.

The Forest Society has opposed Northern Pass as it has been proposed in part because of its legal and ethical obligation to protect existing conserved lands. If built as proposed, the Northern Pass transmission line and 1,100 towers would directly and indirectly impact more than 15,000 acres of conserved land involving 153 different parcels owned by private individuals, local communities, land trusts such as the Forest Society, the State of New Hampshire, and the federal government. There can be no question that this is a project with a statewide impact on the precious natural resources that support a substantial part of our economy and traditional way of life.

“We are taking action to protect land in Coos County as a way to defend conserved lands across 180 miles of New Hampshire from Pittsburg to Franklin to Deerfield,” Difley said.

Among the impacted conserved landscapes would be a stretch of ten miles through the White Mountain National Forest, which the Forest Society was founded to help establish and protect. Also directly impacted would be the Forest Society’s Rocks Estate in Bethlehem, which was protected specifically because of its outstanding views of the Presidential Range.

“For more than a century the Forest Society has worked to protect New Hampshire from threats like Northern Pass,” said Carolyn Benthien, president of the Forest Society’s Board of Trustees. “Decades ago Franconia Notch was threatened by a proposed four-lane highway. We prevailed then and we intend to prevail now.”

The Coos County parcels involved in the Trees Not Towers campaign to date include three in Stewartstown and one in Columbia. The largest parcel includes 967 acres owned by the McAllaster family, who have been on the land for generations. They operate a dairy farm and rely on the land for hay and pasture. The McAllaster Farm is also a certified Tree Farm, and includes a maple sugaring operation. A major snowmobile trail managed by the Colebrook Ski-Bees crosses the McAllaster land, providing access to between Colebrook, Coleman State Park and Pittsburg. The Cohos hiking trail also makes use of the McAllaster property. The height of land on Mudgett Mountain provides spectacular views west into Vermont, south to the White Mountains and east to Dixville Notch, Table Rock and the Balsams. In January 2012, the Forest Society successfully worked to conserve the Balsams landscape.

Immediately west of the McAllaster Farm is more than 500 acres owned by Green Acre Woodlands. The parcel sits high upon North Hill, offering 360-degree views. Two smaller parcels owned by Lynne Placey of Stewartstown are key to disrupting the path Northern Pass is attempting to use and protect the flank of Holden Hill. The fourth parcel, 300 acres owned by the Lewis family, links the southern boundary of the Balsams property to the northern boundary of Nash Stream State Forest.

“Simply prohibiting towers, power lines and a permanently cleared right-of-way on these particular lands make any one of these conservation projects worthwhile,” said Difley. “The fact that their protection disrupts what is clearly Northern Pass’s intended route makes them doubly important.”

The purchase-and-sale agreements give the Forest Society a window of opportunity to raise the $2.5 million necessary to close the transactions. The deadline to raise the needed funds is October 31, 2012.

“Without eminent domain, Northern Pass has little or no chance of completing this route,” Difley reiterated. “We are confident that with the support of all those who value New Hampshire’s scenic landscape we will reach our goal. Northern Pass is anything but inevitable.

“PSNH, Northern Utilities and Hydro Quebec have turned a deaf ear to overwhelming public opposition to their private transmission line proposal. They have ignored the 30 towns that voted to oppose Northern Pass,” Difley said. “We are confident that with the support of all those who value New Hampshire’s scenic landscapes we will reach our goal. There may be a way for Hydro Quebec to sell its power to New England, but New Hampshire should not allow its scenery, economy and way of life to be spoiled as a consequence.”

January 31, 2012

Gov. Lynch: Northern Pass needs to listen better

In his final State of the State speech, Gov. John Lynch addressed the following environmental issues, including his stand on the Northern Pass proposal:

"Over the past eight years, we’ve worked together to preserve thousands of acres of open space; to reduce mercury pollution; to protect our clean waters. 
We’re building a new energy future, with an energy efficiency fund to help businesses and residents cut their energy costs, and new standards that are spurring renewable energy projects.

January 25, 2012

Senate Passes Eminent Domain Bill (HB648)

The New Hampshire Senate today voted 23-1 to pass HB648, clarifying that private powerline companies may not apply to the Public Utilities Commission to be able to use eminent domain in siting transmission lines such as the proposed Northern Pass project.
"This is a huge victory for New Hampshire homeowners and landowners," said Jane Difley,

January 20, 2012

Eminent Domain and Need for HB648

Soon after Northern Pass, a private shell corporation, announced their proposal to erect more than 1,100 towers across 180 miles of New Hampshire landscape in the fall of 2010, landowers began reporting that project representatives were suggesting that, if necessary, they would use eminent domain to build the private transmission line. They have refused to voluntarily take eminent domain off the table as way to get what they, a private corporation, want.

January 11, 2012

Tell the Senate to Defend Your Property Rights Today!

On January 18, the New Hampshire State Senate will vote on HB648. For anyone who values private property rights, this is one of the most important votes this legislative session. Please call your state senator before January 18 and ask him/her to support the Bragdon/Forrester amendment to HB648.