I live in a small New Hampshire town that overlooks the Appalachian Trail, that unique treasure envisioned by Benton MacKaye as “a sanctuary and a refuge from the scramble of every-day worldly commercial life.” The Globe’s editorial extolling MacKaye’s vision (“Appalachian Trail at 75: A world apart,” Aug. 14) neglected to mention Northern Pass, an energy deal between Northeast Utilities and Hydro Quebec that would string more than 1,000 high metal towers through some of the most pristine areas of New Hampshire. This industrial corridor would cross 10 miles of the White Mountain National Forest, including the Appalachian Trail.
This is a far cry from “quiet escapes in a busy world,” as you characterize MacKaye’s vision. Sadly, this insult is needless, yet it seems that Northeast Utilities does not deem the national forest and the Appalachian Trail important enough to preserve and protect. Despite massive opposition, Northern Utilities has refused to consider the viable option of burying the line along highways and rail beds, which would protect both the forest and the trail. Buried lines are planned in Vermont, New York, and Maine, and are even marketed by Northeast Utilities’s partner, Hydro Quebec, as a low-impact alternative. There is no reason not to use this alternative to protect some of the most spectacular landscape in New England and MacKaye’s stellar vision.