Posts Tagged ‘Friends of Mount Sunapee’

Twitter Got Us Outside Today

15/05/2010

Evil Twins?

Harrison Kaplan*

Who says computers keep us indoors?  This afternoon, Amanda was Twittering and Facebooking an article I had written a few days ago on how studies show green exercise helps mental health. Enter old friend Rob Kaplan, who  happened to be visiting his parents’ home, here in the area.  He was on Facebook the same time Amanda  was posting on FB and Twitter.  After reading the article, he thought of us, and gave us a call.

Just about that time we had decided to climb Mt. Sunapee,  so I asked Rob if he and his family would like to join us.  “Sure” he said, “just name the time.”  In about an hour, Rob, his two kids, Lucas and Harrison,  my wife Amanda and I were headed up  the old Dick Durrance trail, from Newbury, NH.

Lucas and Harrison are outdoor kids, the former is headed for Camp Coniston this summer, and both are then headed to a Boy Scout camp, (their parents will also be involved in facilitating at the camp).  They seem to be kids who love to camp, get outside and seek adventure. They seem atypical of many kids who spend a lot of time and attention in front of a computer.

Enjoying the spring green**

Facebook has helped me do everything from connect with old friends, to  keep up on an American Mountain Guides Association examee’s  experience on a recent ski guides exam.  Maybe it’s not all bad. Maybe it can, in fact, help get us outside, (I never thought I’d say that). Maybe it’s all about balance.

Jerry Mander writing in “In Absence of the Sacred” stated that technology in not neutral.  By it’s very nature, it pulls us away from nature. He wrote that the computer just doesn’t sit there, it sucks us in.  Point taken.  But it was cool how Facebook  may have pulled us together for a nice afternoon hike with Rob and his kids. It’s all about balance. As my old climbing and skiing buddy, Junji Itagaki says, “step away from the machine” …and go climb a mountain, but check Facebook on your way out, you might have some friends that will join you.

Images:
* Harrison stands by the old doubled up stump at the start of the old Dick Durrance Ski Trail, in Newbury NH.
** Harrison Kaplan, R. Richards and Rob Kaplan cross the brook near the start of the old ski trail.
Historical Notes:
The Dick Durrance Ski Trail was the first ski trail on Mount Sunapee, cut by the Newport/Mt. Sunapee Ski Club. Members also built a cabin on the mountain’s southeast shoulder, at the top of this ski trail. The cabin’s logs came from the immediate area, and were all cut by hand. Hikers can still see the outline of the ski trail by observing the old growth line at trail’s edge. The author skied this trail in about 2001 when we had a March dump that covered up all the trail, making for great backcountry skiing. It’s a bit narrow in spots, but in good deep snow, it’s great skiing. I have pictures of the old cabin which was still standing in the late ’70’s. (I’ll post these images one of these days). Back in the day, ski club members would boot pack the trail, climb to the cabin and stay the night and have races or runs on the weekends.

I wrote the Governor at the time,  in the late ’70’s, and requested permission to save the cabin. When he said no, I gave up on the idea to restore the cabin. But in hind sight should have persisted. We’d have a great skiing historical landmark today.  Oh well, I was only a teenager then.  I thought that when I got a no from the government, that was it. Now I, and others,  know better.

When is Enough, Enough?

13/02/2010

Keeping Land Developers in Their Box
By D.R. Richards,
I remember that particular afternoon, when a friend and I talked about trying to do something to help save Mount Sunapee from the dread of slope-side condo development. Sullivan county, New Hampshire had no history* of activism, none, zero, zip. Being a native, of a conventional, conservative county, I had to really watch my thoughts of not wanting to make waves in my home town.  I didn’t want to stand out. Besides, people I talked to said there was “nothing that could be done”, “it was already a done deal”, or they were “going to develop the mountain and what could anyone do anyway”.  That particular afternoon, the friend and I decided to call a few people, and set up a meeting at the Abbott Library in Sunapee to see what could be done. That first meeting eventually led to the formation of Friends of Mount Sunapee.  (*Current FOMS Vice President Linda Dennis was a founding member of a previous Mt. Sunapee land protection group, but  at the time we convened, it was not active).

Mt. Sunapee has Friends

Never underestimate what the efforts of a few committed people can do in the face of deep pockets and driven land developers.  Thanks to many, (too many to mention here) the word spread about the threat to our State Park, and eventually it spread to the candidate for New Hampshire governor,  John Lynch.  Lynch has been the most popular Governor New Hampshire has seen, and because of his courageous stance to defend the state lands of Mount Sunapee, the developers decided to sue him, and the state of NH, because their imaginary back-door deal wasn’t honored.  Now I read the owners  are threatening to sue again. This time they’re stomping their feet at  the U.S. Forest Service in Colorado,  for again, not getting their desires met to expand their ski area. (For more info click here)

Overdevelopment is not pretty, Okemo, VT

It makes  one wonder how some can be so incredibly out of touch with reality, out of touch with the wishes of the locals and the natural environment.  I just watched the movie Avatar, (I still have a headache from the Imax 3-D version three days later) and the Muellers’  insatiable appetite for land and profit remind me of the miners in Avatar and their lust for the precious “unobtainium” mineral at all costs.
My dad was a developer. He built one of the first “funnel developments” on Lake Sunapee called Fisher’s Bay. (more…)

Save Your Local Economy

24/12/2009

Shop at Local Brick & Mortar Stores
By R. Richards
I was doing a little shopping at a local store called Artisan’s Workshop in my hometown today. It’s been a long-time fixture of our community and provider of good gifts for many years. Fellow co-founder of Friends of Mount Sunapee, Catherine Bushueff started the store and sold it some years ago. It’s much better than any large chain store could be. While checking paying for my purchase, I saw this flier on the countertop about shopping locally.

The facts about how one can really make a difference by shopping locally caught my eye, and thought I’d pass this along. You can find out more at www.the350project.net

Judge Dismisses Land Developer’s lawsuit

23/04/2009

Concord, NH, USA
“A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed against the state of New Hampshire  by the owners of Mount Sunapee Resort, who had lobbied for years to expand and develop condominiums. Judge Diane Nicolosi made her ruling late Friday, several weeks after canceling a trial between Tim and Diane Mueller and the state.” Read more via Judge dismisses Mt. Sunapee lawsuit.

fomslogopan“This is a major victory in our efforts to protect Mount Sunapee State Park,” said conservationist and public land advocate Tom Elliott.

Elliott is also an organizer for Friends of Mount Sunapee, a watch-guard group that steadfastly opposed the Mueller’s leasehold expansion plan.

Article: Courtesy of Sunapeenews.com

Editor’s Note: I’m a founding board member of Friends of Mount Sunapee, and although not as active while abroad, am warmed, not only by this decision but by the thought of how far we’ve come with with a shift in land preservation awareness in Sullivan County, NH. When we first considered raising our hands in opposition to (more…)