Town Hill Wetland Violated †††††Feb. 7/2006
An ecologically unique Bar Harbor wetland on the Knox Road in Town Hill has† been violated by yet another subdivision and another road. This permitted violation of another unique forested hardwood wetland will forever be fragmented as a result of another road and †another bad decision by our Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) on wetlands because of poor planning perpetuated by outdated wetland concepts and Bar Harborís current LUZO. †Are wetlands important?† They ultimately feed our fisheries. So, your seafood is dependent on how we develop them and our land. Are the current changes proposed delineating wetland types going to help? Absolutely, if all our voices are heard through the democratic system. Do we still have a democratic system at the local level? I hope so for our childrenís sake and itís what my father fought for in WWII.
What makes this Knox Road forested wetland unique is that it is the drainage basin for the entire northeastern side of Town Hill. This basin acts as the filter system for all of our wells on the down hill slope and diverts the excess draining water into two different watersheds, †Northeast Creek and Meadowbrook Stream. This is the wrong place for this road which should have come in farther above the current location or from the south. At the very least there could have been a series of bridges or multiple culverts. ††This location is a classic Freshwater Wetland, totally inundated with water. Summer home to Northern Waterthrush and other Warblers,† Veery, Hermit and Wood Thrush and other unique tropical migrants. This land should have remained intact and unbroken. †
The residence of Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island† can do better than this as a community in terms of our land use planning and in doing so we can lead Maine and develop a long-term economic vision based on a common goal and common sense compromises.† †
There are 6 types of wetlands that you will have to learn about to make an informed decision. 1). Vernal Pools, 2). Tributary Stream 3).† Streams, 4). Freshwater Wetland, 5). Forested Wetland and 6). Coastal Wetlands. As you can see, this makes up your watersheds. Your clean drinking water and the wildlife we all want to enjoy depend on the land that we develop. So we have a responsibility. Letís just hope that our Bar Harbor Town Council does not take our right to vote on these important issues away from the community. †Certainly the relatively loud voices coming from land developers on the Town Planning Board? †give us all pause for concern.