I am writing to both applaud the Department of Environmental Conservation for its decision on Berlin Pond and to condemn the actions of those opposed to access in the subsequent days.
The DEC used science, not emotion or personal bias, to draw its conclusion and has, I believe, been very fair in its decision. Commissioner Mears and his team not only made a fair decision, but they did so in a timely manner, for which I say, “Thank you, well done.”
Those opposed to access had a poorly planned rally scheduled for this past Saturday. Upon realizing that their timing was off, they apparently decided that the order of the day would be to turn the narrative to a slander of the DEC and outdoorsmen in general. Mrs. Perley claimed that “clean water isn’t about politics,” yet introduced Rep. Kitzmiller as her hero and a key speaker. What did he do with his time? He referred to outdoorsmen as “whiny, petulant 3-year-olds,” and he did so in a mocking pantomime. He then proceeded to run down the DEC decision. Not only was this unprofessional in my opinion, it was exemplary of being a poor sport.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but neither Mrs. Perley nor Mr. Kitzmiller is a scientist. This is, and always has been, about “not in my backyard.” Mrs. Perley claims concerns about water quality, but her water comes from her well, at her house, on the pond — the pond she doesn’t appear to want to share with the rest of us. The proper thing to do at this point would be to shake hands, say, “Good game,” and accept that it is time to create a proper carry-in access.
Sportsmen have been the stewards of our wild places for the last century. We sought regulation and volunteered funding for fish, wildlife and wilderness in a time when the general public did not care. We have been the single-payer system for our nation’s wildlife and have gladly carried that weight. I submit that our presence on the pond can only enhance its quality. Let’s move forward.
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