A Note from the President:
We’ve had a very productive year and the annual Day-On- The-River is our way of saying thanks.
Day-On-The-River will be June 11th, but we’re doing it a little different this year. We plan to meet at the old Millie Turner dam at 9 o’clock. We are going to plant 50 black gum trees along the banks of the Nissitissit River to help jumpstart the restoration of the riparian area upstream of the Millie Turner Dam.
Black Gum, or Nyssa Sylvatica, is a medium to large native tree growing to 40 to 80 feet high that has a habit of horizontal branching and thrives in shade to full sun along shores, wet meadows and forests. Their fruit provides food for wildlife, and their shade will improve trout habitat. Planting is a way of jump starting what mother nature would do.
We will supply the coffee if you bring the work gloves and a shovel. The trees will be approximately 2 to 4 feet high. We will plant the trees and install hardware cloth to keep mice, rabbits, and beavers away. When we finish the planting we will set up the grill and feed all those who are hungry. There will be a chance to talk shop or tell some fish stories, and when done eating, time to wet a line.
Come and join us to help plant a tree, be part of the future of the Nissitissit, and have some good clean fun.
Protesters recently march in Cummington against the Kinder Morgan natural gas pipeline proposed for Western Massachusetts. –Ben Garver / The Berkshire Eagle via AP
Kinder Morgan said Wednesday it has suspended work and spending on a controversial proposed pipeline that would have transported shale gas from Pennsylvania to New England. The reason: Kinder Morgan and its subsidiary, Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, did not receive the level of contractual commitments it expected from customers in the region, the energy company said in a statement. The proposed $3.3-billion Northeast Energy Direct project would have comprised 430 miles of pipeline running through New York to Massachusetts and New Hampshire to supply the Northeast U.S. with natural gas. “Unfortunately, despite working for more than two years and expending substantial shareholder resources, TGP did not receive the additional commitments it expected,” Kinder Morgan said of the project, which was originally authorized by the company in July 2015.
Several factors caused the insufficient commitments, according to the company. First, New England states did not have regulatory procedures to facilitate binding commitments from local electric companies. Second, a low-price energy market, “while good for consumers,” Kinder Morgan said, made it difficult for producers to make long-term commitments. The pipeline had been greeted with stiff opposition from politicians, such as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, as well as environmentalists and local residents who live close to the pipeline’s proposed route.
Kinder Morgan said Wednesday it “remains committed to meeting the critical need for constructing additional natural gas infrastructure” in the Northeast and will work with local parties to explore alternatives. Junior Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey celebrated the announcement, noting that he has opposed the pipeline over concerns of its potential impact on local communities and climate change. “Using New England as a throughway to export U.S. gas to overseas markets might be good for the bottom lines of pipeline companies but it could raise prices and be a disaster for consumers and businesses in our region,” Markey said in a statement Wednesday.
“We need to build on the work that we have done in New England to move to a clean energy economy,” the Democratic senator added. “And we should create jobs in New England by working smarter not harder when it comes to using natural gas through increasing efficiency and repairing and replacing our aging and leaking natural gas distribution pipeline infrastructure.”
Fellow pipeline opponent and Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg called the decision to suspend the project a “game changer.”
“This allows us to have a broader discussion about how to meet Massachusetts’ energy needs,” the Amherst Democrat posted on Facebook.
A serious issue has arisen that has significant implications for the conservation of cold-water resources and trout habitat. The GBTU Board of Directors needs your help and asks you to take immediate action. This involves the issue of the federal government (FERC) overriding the independence and authority of the state to protect its public and private conservation lands.
River restoration is underway on the beautiful Nissitissit River in Pepperell, MA. Home to endangered mussels and native brook trout, the river is considered some of the most viable habitat for rare species and natural communities in Massachusetts.
Removal of the Turner Dam – the only intact dam on the Nissitissit River in Massachusetts – is expected to improve ecological conditions, eliminate a public safety hazard, reduce flooding risks, and enhance climate change resiliency of the local community. This work complements long-time local stewardship by the Squan-a-Tissit Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Nashua River Watershed Association, Nashoba Conservation Trust, and others within the watershed.
The Dam removal is linked to land protection actions completed at the site. In 2010, 17 acers of land were purchased, bringing the total state riverfront protected area to 383 acers. Today, these lands are managed by MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) for fish and wildlife habitat, public access, and enjoyment.
The Squan-a-Tissit Chapter has installed a web camera at the site in order to document the actual removal of the dam and the rivers restoration. If you would like to view the a live image of the site or view a time lapse video of the project, Click on the link below.