Nashoba Conservation Trust was formed in 1969 by Pepperell residents with a mission to preserve and protect open space for the benefit of wildlife and for the enjoyment of the public. For over 45 years NCT and the Pepperell community have sustained that mission by helping residents conserve their land, by safeguarding our town’s water supply, by sustaining Pepperell’s rural heritage, and by promoting the importance of wildlife friendly habitats both in public lands and in our own backyards. The success we have achieved together is a testament to our shared vision, and the hundreds of acres we have helped conserve is the legacy we leave for the benefit of future generations.
Indeed, so entwined is NCT with our town and its people that when faced with a challenge that has the potential to drastically change the fundamental character of our community, as we are today with the proposed natural gas pipeline, it is fitting that all who are opposed stand together and work toward an outcome that will protect what we so cherish. NCT opposes the proposed pipeline because its very premise contradicts our mission to preserve and protect open spaces; it fosters the ongoing reliance on fossil fuels detrimental to our environment; it compromises our community’s quality of life; and its risks are harmful to our collective wellbeing. In contrast, we encourage meeting our region’s energy needs through a combination of renewable energy solutions, energy efficiency programs and repairing leaks in existing pipelines.
NCT is committed to working with Pepperell’s impacted homeowners and concerned residents through our informational resources and outreach efforts. Additionally we are working with our neighboring communities and other towns across the state to raise awareness about the pipeline and coordinate actions. In the coming weeks these efforts will be expanded, bringing to bear additional resources and more activities to confront the challenge. Information about these specific activities, and how you can help, will be available on our web site and on Facebook in the next few weeks. We are tremendously encouraged by the response to our efforts thus far and we remain committed to working with you to protect the quality of life we all have worked so hard to build.
Nashoba Conservation Trust Board of Directors
January, 2014 —–
Nashoba Conservation Trust (NCT) was approached by representatives of Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. to survey our Keyes Farm property as part of a proposed gas pipeline project known as the Northeast Expansion project. Keyes Farm is a beautiful tract of wetlands, forest and farmland enjoyed by day hikers, dog walkers, horseback riders and mountain bikers. Gardner Farm manages the agricultural land, growing feed corn for its milking business. Keyes Farm is also a watershed to the Nashua River and home to a variety of riparian wildlife, as well as fox, turkeys and deer.
As outlined to NCT by Tennessee Gas, the initial construction would clear a swath 100 feet in width from its entry point on Elm Street to its egress on Canal Street. Once installed, the in-ground high pressure transmission pipeline would require a service set back of at least fifty feet, maintained in part by the use of herbicides and pesticides.
The impacts and consequences of this proposed project on Keyes Farm are disturbing: it would leave a permanent, chemically maintained scar through one of Pepperell’s most picturesque open spaces, significantly diminishing its aesthetic quality, disturbing wildlife habitat, polluting the Nashua River and potentially affecting the business of one of Pepperell’s last operating farms.
NCT believes the effort to meet Massachusetts’ ongoing energy needs should not come at the expense of assets benefitting the public good, especially when less invasive, less hazardous, more sustainable and potentially less costly solutions are already in place or can be developed. As noted in the 2009 Report of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Land Conservation, signed by the six New England Governors, conservation lands “…may well be viewed as the green infrastructure that future generations of our citizens will require for their health, well-being, and prosperity.” NCT enthusiastically supports this position and adamantly opposes the compromise of and use of public and private conservation land for anything other than its intended purpose.
NCT urges Governor Patrick, his respective agencies, as well as the New England States Committee on Energy (NESCOE) and ISO-New England to avoid at all costs the use of public and private conservation lands to fulfill the Commonwealth’s energy goals. NCT further encourages an open and inclusive evaluation of all energy sourcing options that fully accounts for the proposed pipeline’s adverse impact on quality of life, prioritizes the improvement of current energy market operations and infrastructure, starting with the repair of existing pipelines, and accelerates the deployment of energy efficiency programs and sustainable energy solutions.
Ken Hartlage, President
We will be adding additional new material so please check back shortly.
Additionally, you can find information regarding the proposed pipeline – what it is, and what it means to our state and our community at:
No Fracked Gas in Mass