Vol. III No. 2 1/15/2022
The Power of the Press
By John Hart
First, apologies for not getting back to you and your readers within 30 days of my last letter about 'Beavers and Bureaucracies'. My piece in Stockbridge Updates was meant to be a call to action for the bureaucracy. Guess what? It worked. Now that the words of the press have been heard and acknowledged I need to give you the update you are due.
For a while, nothing I did worked. Hands went up in the air with perplexed faces attached. The beaver dam is on private property and not the town's property, not any highway department's property, no one wanted to trespass on that sanctity. Even though the property owner would gladly have allowed any trespass to relieve the concerned property owners who were also her friends. Dead end.
Then at a Conservation Commission meeting I brought it up again. But this time mentioned that the dam was backing up water into Kampoosa Bog and the "endangered" plants — the vegetative mat that makes the Bog unique (and endangered) were being uprooted and would die as a result. Credit here needs to be given to our Con Com Chairman Ron Brouker and especially Sally Underwood Miller both of whom suggested that I write to the MA. Endangered Species folks and alert them to this matter. I did. Low and behold the solution to this matter of ten years ago unfolded! And another 'low and behold': they may have funding available to the town to remedy the situation. Amazing!
It was not an easy matter. It just took being persistent until the solution was found.
Credit here also needs to be given to (the also persistent) Selectman Patrick White and Town Administrator Mike Canales both recognized the stress on the homeowner whose property was being encroached upon and sought solutions.
Bureaucracies can in fact work but in my experience they all need an "undeniable" push to get a job accomplished.
Author's Note: I am a member of the Stockbridge Conservation Commission and what is written above is my opinion only and in no way reflects on the Conservation Commission other than to say thank you.
Photo: Lis Wheeler