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[at-l] Saddleback Mountain protection



Many of the listers have probably already responded to the call for
public comment on the Saddleback Environmental Assessment, so forgive me
if this is redundant.

Time is running out in the public comment period, there are only 7 days
left before the period closes down on this important issue and it is
critical that all people who love the AT get involved and make their
wishes known.

The Maine congressional delegation and the other politicos in Maine are
pushing hard for Alternative 3 in the EA, an alternative that would
devastate the mountain to allow Saddleback Mountain Ski area to expand
by a factor of over 11 times its current capacity.  Alternative 3 would
put large ski trail cuts all over the mountain, drain a subalpine pond
for snowmaking, and put ski lifts within 200 feet of the trailway. This
alternative would also allow substantial recontouring of the mountain to
meet the needs of the ski area, including blasting of the bedrock and
ledge, construction of new roads and the running of surface and
subsurface electrical and water lines. This is clearly against the
mandate of the AT.  It is also, likely a vain attempt since the ski
industry in northern New England is flat at best, and possibly in
decline.  There is no need for another large ski area, especially a
large ski area that is difficult to get to.

There are plenty of places to get detailed info about the alternatives
including the NPS AT web page: www.nps.gov/aptr/. There is little time
to respond though.  The fastest, easiest way is to go to
www.trailplace.com, and use Wingfoot's letter writing form to send a
personalized e-mail message to the NPS, the governor of Maine, and its
congressional delegation.  It's quick, it's easy, and its personal.
Anyone can do it with little effort.  So anyone here who has been
complaining that they don't have the time to get involved, or has merely
been lurking in the background not wanting to stick their neck out, your
excuses are gone.

I know that there is a certain amount of anti-Wingfoot feeling on this
list...fine...I can understand that, but this issue transcends that.  If
you haven't weighed in with the NPS yet on this issue, you are out of
time to do it by other avenues. Wingfoot's utility will allow you to get
it done with the least amount of muss and fuss.  Or you could e-mail the
appropriate folks directly, their info is available at the ATC site, at
Wingfoot's site and I think, at ALDHA's site.

Again, if you've already sent your comments in, ignore this, but if you
are a fence sitter, or a lurker, who just hasn't been able to summon up
the where-with-all to do your duty...you are out of time, there are no
more weeks to stew on this, the time is RIGHT NOW.  Get off your butts
and make a statement to protect the trail we all love.

Andrew "Iceman" Priestley
AT '95 GA>ME

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