The town’s Conservation Commission prides itself on its protection of Londonderry’s more natural areas, including the Musquash Conservation Area. But members of the commission currently seem to be at odds over use of a nearby patch of land next to the Musquash.
Eversource Energy Services, a major provider of electricity to the town and to much of New Hampshire, appear to be having some issues with a path near Hickory Hill, which Eversource employees hope to use when accessing and maintaining nearby transmission lines. These trails, which go through a patch of the Musquash, would need to be widened in order for the vehicles to pass through safely.
As this may have an impact on local wetlands, Patty Quinn, a representative from Cornerstone Energy Services, recently met with the Conservation Commission at their May 23 meeting at Town Hall to introduce and discuss the proposition.
Quinn noted that although Eversource has limited access to this particular area, they are currently seeking a permanent access easement in order to “memorialize” the area, or maintain the land so that the path may be widened without affecting any transmission wires. Quinn stated that they do have the commission’s interests in mind, hoping to also minimize impact on the wetlands by only making the path as wide as needed, that being 15 to 20 feet.
Because the plan is only in its introductory stages, there was some initial confusion over what exactly the project would entail if it were to be undertaken. Several members, including Deborah Lievens, did not fully understand what exactly would be happening to the portion of the Musquash. Lievens’ concerns included “a cranberry bog that’s been [nearby] for decades.”
Although Quinn did manage to explain the overall goal of the project, other questions were raised by member Michael Speltz, who was curious about what the grant Eversource currently has in the area says about matters such as this and whether or not they can seek compensation for the project.
But by the end of Quinn’s presentation, the commission was still in agreement that the project seems sound. With Lievens approving of Eversource’s activities in the past, commission chair Marge Badois said, “Generally speaking, it sounds like a good plan.”
The plan still requires more research and surveys before official action can be taken.