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3533Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: Area power needs could trump view ofbattlefield

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  • Joseph Pierro
    Aug 11, 2007
      The problem, of course, is that NPS is particularly sensitive to political pressure when it comes to local land use issues of this sort. I don't mean to cast any aspersions on Mr. Howard, nor do I think he has anything but the park's best interests at heart, but the decisions in such matters happen much farther up the NPS/Interior chain of command.

      Some of you might remember a somehwat analagous situation a few years back regarding the Sudley Road/Warrenton Turnpike intersection at Manassas NMP. Local business interests wanted the intersection at the Stone House widened to allow more commercial traffic to make its way through the park. The issue pitted the friends of the battlefield against the commercial interests of parties in the surrounding county. Given the dollars invested by the latter party, it didn;t take long for our Congressional representative to see things the developers' way, and his office essentially told NPS to drop its opposition to the widening.

      I hope Steve is correct in his assumption that the political representatives for the area encompassing Antietam NB are more concerned about battlefield preservations than were those for Manassas NB. Those of you who are local to the battlefield and politically active can better speak to the responsiveness of your Congressional delegation on such issues.

      ----- Original Message ----
      From: "richard@..." <richard@...>
      To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Saturday, August 11, 2007 10:43:36 PM
      Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: Area power needs could trump view ofbattlefield

      My question is this: While we may be able to keep the power lines OFF on the battlefield (as it stands now), will we be able to keep them AWAY from it? As in, invisable from it. I seem to remember way back when I was researching TMMF that plans to erect a cell tower near Sharpsburg was a topic of controversy because it would be visable from the park. (But my memory isn't what it once was.)

      Richard Croker
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Thomas Clemens
      To: TalkAntietam@ yahoogroups. com
      Sent: Saturday, August 11, 2007 4:46 PM
      Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: Area power needs could trump view ofbattlefield

      Yes Steve,
      very much the case. This is not a small electrical line line G-burg's Emmittsburg Road. This is 750MW line, about twice or three times the capacity of the lines running up South Mt and through Fox's Gap now. It is running from WV up to NY, and as Steve sugggests, the company has eminent domain and can run it whereever they like. John Howard and the NPS have been monitoring this for several months. We know it will cross C & O Canal someplace, there is no choice. No other sites or routes have been announced. In its entirity, it has the potential to affect a large number of NPS sites, to say nothing of state parks and historic sites.
      While we recognize the necessity of feeding the power grid, we will lobby to minimize the impact on Antietam and the area near it. There is a certain deja vu here, the towers in place now were slated to run through Antietam and were diverted with much effort in the 1970's. This new line will require a cleared 4 or 500 ft right-of-way due to the height of the towers.
      Rest assured SHAF and hte NPS are watching for any news of this issue.
      Tom Clemens

      Thomas G. Clemens D.A.
      Professor of History
      Hagerstown Community College

      >>> "jeffcowvplanning" <jeffcowvplanning@ yahoo.com> 08/11/07 10:52 AM >>>
      If I could offer the perspective of someone who is both a CW
      enthusiast and preservation group member...as well as someone who
      works in the field of planning and development. ...

      This is the end game of NIMBYism.

      Everybody wants power. Everybody wants commerce, a new house, and
      conveniences. Just...not if they can see it from their front window.

      The utility companies have found local governments and citizen
      activist groups so hostile, that they have gone to the Federal
      Government to get eminent domain authority in order to put in these
      high power lines and power plants. They have been forced to find
      a "path of least resistence" in order to provide our growing economy
      and population with the resources it needs to flourish.... around
      massive roadblocks.

      Remember recently the hub bub about the proposed plant at Point of
      Rocks? Everybody wants electricity. ...just no one wants the power
      plants or power lines.

      So...the idea of creating corridors along places like Antietam, which
      should be non-starters, get traction because the power companies hit
      roadblocks elsewhere. The "Save the Viewshed of Nothing Happened
      Here Mountain" folks have forced the power companies into this kind
      of situation.

      But...in the end...with the Senator and Congressman involved, and all
      the heat that the preservation community can generate to protect such
      an important battlefield, I think things will work out where an
      alignment will be created that will protect the battlefield. This
      kind of stuff is in the very early stages.

      Steve B.

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