Dear Friends of the Fells,
We cannot thank enough the hundreds and hundreds of you who came to the rescue of the 90mm meadow. Your commitment, intelligence, and service created won the day. You saved the forest!
Yet while this victory is sweet, before we get too complacent, we must realize it would be much sweeter had we gained more ground. The war to take public land for private use goes on. There is no law to stop it. Yes, we saved the 90mm site, but what is to stop the next developer?
Right now, in Western Mass legislation has been filed to take eighty-five (85) acres from DCR’s Leominster State Forest for landfill. Our thanks to Mass Conservation Voters (MCV) for this alert. Please see link to full article in PDF: MCV – 19 DEC 2018
In Massachusetts Article 97 is only an amendment to our constitution—subject to interpretation. Therefore, if our desire to protect the 90mm meadow had gone all the way to a legal defense, it is not clear from past case law whether we would have succeeded.
If we are serious about protecting public land, we must do more and think more broadly. Along these lines our thanks also go out to our sisters in local conservation—Mass Audubon, the Appalachian Mountain Club, Environmental League of Massachusetts, and the Trustees—for cosigning a letter to DCR Commissioner Roy opposing the hockey rink.
This experience with the 90mm site has opened our eyes. We were lucky this time. The confluence of circumstance and personalities favored our point of view. Still, we are all vulnerable.
From now on The Friends of the Fells will actively support the Public Lands Preservation Act (PLPA). If we do not adopt stronger protections for our forests, we will be “nibbled to death.”
Please see Public Lands Preservation Act fact sheet PDF link: PLPA Fact Sheet 6.18.18
While the “strife is over” for us here at the Middlesex Fells Reservation, and we should be rightly proud of our victory, we must also remember that this was just one battle. We must win the war. The forces of commercial land demand are all around us.
Don’t stand still. JOIN US today or re-pledge your efforts to the cause.
Friends of the Fells
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