Forest Society joins citizen appeal to protect integrity of Mt. Monadnock; Subdivision endangers successful 14-year collaboration
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 18, 2005
Charlie Niebling, (603) 224-9945
Subdivision Endangers Successful 14-year Collaboration
CONCORD, N.H. – The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (Forest Society) announced today it has joined with 22 residents of the Town of Jaffrey and with the Town of Dublin in their formal appeal to the Cheshire County Superior Court opposing Jaffrey Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) and Planning Board approval of a 36-unit subdivision inside the Mountain Zone of Mount Monadnock.
The appeal seeks to have the Court declare the actions of the Town of Jaffrey, the ZBA, and the Planning Board null and void because the boards failed to give regional abutters – the towns of Dublin, Marlborough, and Troy, as well as the Southwest Region Planning Commission – notice as required under New Hampshire and Jaffrey laws.
Created in a collaborative landmark effort by the towns of Jaffrey, Dublin, Marlborough, and Troy in 1991, The Mountain Zone is a rare success story of regional land use planning and zoning to protect the extraordinary natural resource represented by Mount Monadnock. The proposed development would be the largest subdivision and the first Open Space Development Proposal in this area.
“The Forest Society has a deeply vested interest in Mount Monadnock,” said Jane Difley president/forester of the Forest Society. “Since 1911, the Forest Society has acquired and conserved forestlands on Mount Monadnock, Gap Mountain, and in the surrounding region. We also played a central role in the early 1990s in the development of the Mountain Zone to ensure positive long-term economic implications for all the towns involved, preserve the natural beauty of the Monadnock highlands for future generations, and prevent the threat posed by over commercialization or exploitation. This proposed subdivision tests the very purpose and integrity of the collaboration that led to this ordinance and is fundamentally incompatible with its intent and spirit.”
Citizen activists, the Forest Society, the State of New Hampshire, and the communities of the Monadnock Region have tirelessly protected Mount Monadnock’s environment and scenery for a century, and now support a positive recreational experience for the more than 100,000 people a year from all over the world who climb the mountain. “Ensuring the quality of this experience for everyone includes the maintenance of a scenic and rural landscape at the mountain’s base,” added Difley. “We are confident the court will reverse the actions of Jaffrey’s boards.”
Since 1913, the Forest Society has permanently protected almost 9,700 acres in the four towns that comprise the Monadnock Mountain Zone—Jaffrey, Dublin, Marlborough and Troy. The majority of this land is on Monadnock and Gap Mountains.
Founded in 1901, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests is a 10,000-member, nonprofit organization that has helped protect more than one million acres across New Hampshire. Visit www.forestsociety.org for more information, or call (603) 224-9945.