• Exploiting a crisis
    August 16,2014

    Shame on you “citizens” who purport to “protect” Berlin Pond. Shame on you for using a real and true threat to forward your own agenda.

    Recently, water quality has been threatened by algae blooms. These blooms are caused by an overabundance of phosphorus and nitrogen in the water. The source of this pollution is primarily agricultural and residential runoff. If protecting the water is a priority, one must take a hard look at all the homes that treat their lawns with pesticides and fertilizers. One must take genuine concern with the agricultural practices in the region. We need to be concerned with the frequent sewage overflows that Montpelier has been sending into the Winooski River (which flows to Lake Champlain). We need to focus our efforts on the sources of the problem.

    Angling, kayaking and canoeing are not the source of the problem. These forms of light recreation are not the “elephant in the room” when it comes to pollution.

    In fact, anglers have a vested interest in maintaining water quality.

    We expected a “tag along” response from the Berlin Pond anti-access crew, in light of the recent algae blooms in Ohio and Lake Champlain. Monday’s letters from two of the group’s members were predictable. They depict a group that will freely exploit a true environmental disaster to further their own agenda. The issues that have come to light in Ohio and Lake Champlain have nothing to do with recreation — nothing at all.

    This “citizens” group is primarily led, funded and promoted by a small group of pond dwellers that have fought for over two years to keep people off “their” pond.

    They are far more concerned with keeping people out than they are about true water quality.

    Nathan Smead


    The writer is a member of Friends of Berlin Pond.

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