Plenty of the Eagle but NO Flashboards

This afternoon the eagle spent quite a bit of time on the old causeway (high and dry) eating a fish. Crows came in to join in the feast, but annoyed – he/she flew off. I watched him fly about two feet above the water, across the lake – the large, powerful wings solidly and deliberately working to bring the eagle decidedly on Blueberry Island.

Photos – none. Sadly, I stood on shore amazed at the beauty but empty handed wishing I could capture at least one photo to share with you – but there my youngest daughter stood front row center at the channel’s edge watching it all with my Canon PowerShot G9 in her hand – but no photos. Ugh.

No flashboards today either. April 1 was the deadline date for flashboards to go in. The dam owner did not come through for us nor for the environment here on Manchaug Pond.

April 2nd puts other wheels in motion. We have had meetings, emails and phone calls just in case our dam owner didn’t pursue other options. Like the eagle’s wings, we will continue to work consciously and deliberately to achieve

the short term goal of getting the flashboards in to prevent long-term damage.

We know the urgency of our effort. Progress is being made. Late last night and today we received emails and calls which were most encouraging from those in the driver’s seats and two new angle’s identified with a meeting Monday. Good.

We just need to stay on task, to keep to the plan, to feed information to the agencies making the decisions – all to be most effective. Camper emails are coming in calling for rallies, bus trips, letter campaigns and more. There is nothing more powerful than a grassroots campaign, but we need the campaign to work where and with the agencies currently making the decision, currently on the case.

What can you do? Keep the MPA informed of adverse impacts as they arise. If this issue effects you, put it on paper and send it to the commissions and agencies involved. The Sutton Conservation Commission just issued an Order – they need to be kept informed. The Douglas Conservation Commission also upholds the Wetlands Protection Act and needs to receive our testimony. Also copy to the state DEP waterways, fisheries, … keep the facts coming…

And if that all isn’t enough, how about the latest rumor that a local business is seriously looking at buying the mill. It might be nice to have a change of dam owners about now!

Comments 4

  1. To the writer it sounds like your feelings and hard work have been unheard. If the problem wasn’t considered last year then why would the dam owner consider it now? A resident that knows this lake informed us that the next 2 months are the outmost important ones to raise the level of the lake. We need something else done now and not wait for another owner to “Maybe” buy the rights to the dam!
    I don’t understand why not do those actions that you suggested people wanted to do. “Bus rides, campaigning, even picketing to prove a point to the dam owners? What else do we have to lose at this point before the lake is a swamp? Dissapointed

  2. Please know we have been heard! We have brought our situation here on Manchaug Pond to the attention of many on both the local and state levels.

    We don’t expect the dam owner to base his business decisions on our “feelings and hard work.” The relationship with the dam owner changed in 2006 when the company moved their operation out of state. They no longer want the mill and the three dams in Massachusetts. The operation is closed so the dam owner looks to reduce their liability and under the name of “safety” lower the waterlevel until it is sold or turned over to new owners.

    Whitin’s formed a watershed district looking to become the owner of their dam. Manchaug Pond did not secure the Sutton Selectman’s support to form a district.

    Do you really think picketing on the dam and protesting a conference will hurt an international company whose name is not identifiable with any product and who has no local store fronts to effect?

    Interface has taken an extremely conservative approach to controlling a well-maintained dam stating safety is their highest priority – What will the newspapers write when they are told about safety and you have no dead fish in hand for them to photograph? Sorry to be so blunt but…

    Better to have solid, legal and binding rulings and orders based on facts that can be enforced and that will stay with the dam and subsequent owners. Educating the regulators and decision makers is time well spent. Working together to find identify options and long term solution is more productive than protesting in my opinion.

    We need a dam owner who needs our water, who shares our cares not a company who is done with business in Massachusetts. I know they used the water for decades and need to be responsible – but they are moving on.

    We knew this road would be longer than the other option we had identified back in 2006. The speaker from COLAP told us of his lake’s experience with a dam owner who had moved on- a picture was painted then for us – we are living it now.
    I am disappointed the flashboards aren’t in, the boat is high and dry and the dock is useless and things are dying, butalthough I won’t be on the bus or promote protesting and picketing, the MPA officers and directors will continue to work hard on our remaining options. Let’s try to think creatively and positively toward a workable solution to restore Manchaug Pond to its old self.

  3. It’s been more than a week since the flash boards should have been put in. We missed out on a good amount of rain this week and we’ll miss out on more if the boards don’t go in soon.

    Is there an update from the MPA? Is the Conservation Commission dealing with Interface? Have they been fined for the delay? Curious about where we stand.

    Thanks for all you’ve done,
    Property owner & MPA member

  4. Thank you for your continued involvement in the MPA.

    The Sutton Conservation Commission’s ruling gives a solid Order of Conditions which supports all flashboards in and return to historical operations and levels for the health of the lake. It was also determined that the dam is well-maintained and safe. I understand now that the 10 day period to appeal has past, we can expect either compliance or fines/enforcement. To say the least, there is a lot going on and a lot of agencies involved but that is the essence of it.

    I’ll be taking photos of the flow and spillway tomorrow to post on the blog so Boston can see the situation here. Although it isn’t needed as the past few weeks we have seen different agencies taking their own photos, and assessing the situation for themselves.

    All MPA members will receive a mailing this week on the dam issue. The mailing includes a letter summarizing the situation as of this week and some of the continued efforts the MPA Officers and Directors are involved in. Also there is a survey which will help us obtain specific information the MPA can total and present to the local and state officials in additional testimony.

    Things are moving. All involved are well aware of the urgency of capturing the spring rains now. We saw last year that mid-May is too late even with a rainy summer.

    Thank you, as it is good to hear from a property owner and MPA member – in addition to the lake, it is you the Board of Directors serves and it is you who sets the direction of the MPA. 🙂

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