More dueling land deals along proposed Northern Pass route
Jack Savage, spokesman for the society, confirmed that Northern Pass partners, including PSNH, recently acquired the property of the Roger Sylvestre family in Clarksville in a transaction that closed last week.
"Based on what we know from our sources, that's a transaction that's been completed," he said.
PSNH has consistently declined to comment on land deals for the 1,200-megawatt transmission lines that would deliver hydroelectric power from Quebec into the New England power grid, via New Hampshire.
"We have been working successfully with a number of property owners to acquire the land or easements necessary to propose a new route in the area north of Groveton where there are no existing transmission lines," PSNH spokesman Martin Murray said. "Out of respect for their privacy, we are not identifying those property owners nor the details of the agreements we have achieved."
The $5 million deal for the Sylvestre property comes just a month after Northern Pass partners acquired a 226-acre parcel in Clarksville for $1.6 million.
"From my perspective, they are desperate to show some progress so the investment of a few million dollars to convince their Canadian partners and shareholders that they are still moving forward is easily justifiable from their standpoint," said Savage.
In the same week Northern Pass acquired the Sylvestre property, the Forest Society signed and recorded options on additional parcels of land in Stewartstown that Savage said will further frustrate the ability of Northern Pass to bridge the gaps in the intended route for 180 miles of high-voltage transmission line through New Hampshire.
Brad and Daryl Thompson signed options that would enable the society to acquire conservation easements on two parcels totaling 364 acres along Bear Rock Road. Northern Pass had acquired parcels to the east and west of the Thompson land in what Savage described as "a failed attempt to find a way around the Forest Society's existing blocking action."
The Forest Society also signed and recorded an option on an additional 153 acres in what is known as the Fred Williams Place, which abuts other lands the Forest Society has under agreement.
"The net result of these additional options is that we will have Northern Pass penned in," said Will Abbott, vice-president of policy and land management for the society.
In their Project Update website, Northern Pass officials announced at the end of 2012 that they have a route for the transmission lines through the North Country, but declined to offer specifics.
As part of its blocking action, the Forest Society last year also obtained easements on a 900-acre property owned by dairy farmer Rod McAllister in Stewartstown.
"We know their intended route because we've tracked their completed transactions," Savage said. "Everything they bought suggests that they are continuing to try to go around the McAllister property. Our announcement last week that we have a conservation easement on the Thompson property has successfully blocked their attempt to go around."
In announcing the easement to the Forest Society, Brad and Daryl Thompson expressed their opposition to the project.
"If we don't take a stand now, more projects like Northern Pass will be proposed, and New Hampshire will be crisscrossed with power lines from north to south and east to west," they said. "If we can play a small part in blocking this project, it will be well worth our efforts. We feel our property is more valuable with the easement - although Northern Pass is willing to pay many times what properties are actually worth, to see their project come to fruition."
READER COMMENTS: 6
- Pipeline meeting in Mason draws big crowd - 0
- Kinder Morgan reveals route for pipeline at Milford meeting - 1
- Nature vs. man: Keeping the lights on - 1
- Pipeline pushback seen in NH - 7
- Meeting will inform Mason residents about proposed pipeline - 0
- Commission's decision clears way for pipeline, possible cheaper natural gas - 0
- New wind plant foes press NH delegation on tax credit - 2
- Gas pipeline west of NH called part of regional mix - 2
- Judge rejects reconsideration of lawsuit against Northern Pass - 2
READER COMMENTS: 1
- Kibby indictments detail months of depraved sexual violence and torture - 1
- Medical compounding officials charged with murder in meningitis outbreak - 0
- Propane delivery driver rescued from waist-deep mud in Greenland - 0
- Official House GOP caucus begins setting goals - 0
- U.S. charges two Mass. pharmacists with 25 murders in meningitis outbreak - 0
- Police say Nashua man swung ax at ex - 0
- Police say accused Manchester puppy-napper also robbed cabbies at gunpoint - 1
- Another View -- Shawn Jasper: It is time to get to work for the people of NH - 13
- Charles M. Arlinghaus: Read these books, OK? - 1
Rival NH Republican caucus seeks own voice
Jeb takes a dip: First Flavor of the Week
Bush 41, 43 and ... 45?
Good news, of sorts, for jobs in NH
Taxi fail: City regulations don't work
Jeb takes a dip: First Flavor of the Week
Charles M. Arlinghaus: Read these books, OK?
Police arrest pair after bullets fly