Archive | Letters

Leaseholder at Mount Sunapee – CNL eyes liquidation of ski properties

Letter published in the InterTown Record, Dec. 23, 2014

Leaseholder of Mount Sunapee ski resort eyes liquidation of ski-mountain properties

Should the State consider Mount Sunapee Resort’s (MSR) proposal to expand ski terrain on the western side of Mount Sunapee State Park?

CNL’s recent financial picture is one of precipitous decline. It’s share valuation has gone from an initial offering of $10 declining to $5.42 on 11-29-14, to 10 cents on 12-5-14. The owners, CNL Lifestyle Properties, Inc., are pursuing liquidation strategies of their ski-mountain properties.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to table the “west bowl expansion” until the owner’s financial picture becomes clear? Who would pay for the infrastructure of this ski-terrain expansion?  Read more…

A forest treasure by Christopher Kane

This week conservation ecologist Christopher Kane passionately spoke out about protecting the old-growth forest on Mount Sunapee in a letter published in the Concord Monitor (Dec. 16, 2014). Chris Kane has been studying the older forest areas on Mount Sunapee on and off since 1997.

Old growth forest cannot be created. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. I strongly urge any and all decision-makers who have a role in the upcoming decision to grant a ski lease expansion at Mount Sunapee to deny this request for the broader benefit of the citizens of New Hampshire.  Read more…

A false argument: “expand or perish”

In response to a recent letter published in several New Hampshire newspapers regarding the proposed ski area expansion at Mount Sunapee State Park, we share this response from a Goshen resident, who wrote:

1. To frame the issue as either “expand or perish” is inaccurate. The current operators of the ski area have provided quality skiing for years now, and will continue to, with or without the proposed expansion. In fact, the resort operators have a large number of “improvement projects” already planned and approved for the existing ski area, that have not been implemented. If improvements are so critical to their success, it would make sense to complete approved projects before proposing a large expansion.

2. On the issue of old growth forest: Yes, New Hampshire is a heavily forested state. In general, well planned forestry operations pose no threat to the viability of the region’s forests. What the writer fails to understand is that 99% of the region’s forests have been cutover two or more times since European settlement. Old growth forest, such as what is found in Mount Sunapee State Park, has never been logged and is extremely rare, constituting less than one percent of existing forest. The mosaic of old growth forest in the park is the largest of its type in Merrimack County, and likely the largest in the state south of the White Mountains.

In addition, the undeveloped west flank of Mount Sunapee is the northern end of the Pillsbury-Sunapee Highlands, an unfragmented forest block that has been recognized by state wildlife officials as critical habitat and an important travel corridor for large mammals such as moose, black bear, and bobcat.The disturbance caused by the construction of proposed ski infrastructure (parking lots, snow making and grooming, ski lifts, sewage disposal areas, concessions, etc.) would greatly diminish the value of this habitat.

In considering these and other points regarding the proposed expansion, it is important to remember that this concerns a state park—public land protected many years ago for a wide range of public uses, not solely as a ski area, nor as a generator of wealth for corporate resort owners.

Letter: Don’t let Sunapee go way of Okemo

My Turn: Don’t let Sunapee go way of Okemo

By DEB FLANDERS For the Monitor

Wednesday, November 12, 2014
(Published in print: Wednesday, November 12, 2014)

Eleven years ago, many Sunapee area locals fought tooth and nail to prevent the Mueller’s Okemo Corp. from expanding down the west side of Mount Sunapee, with plans to build trails, 250 condos and a base area in Goshen.

Thanks to then-Gov. John Lynch, the plan was not approved by the state.

I am a skier who grew up racing on Mount Sunapee. After a stint on the U.S. National Ski Team, I went on to coach ski racing for 28 years at several Western ski resorts before returning to my roots here in Newbury.

The reason I am opposed to expansion is that I saw and lived through the detrimental changes to the ski town character and the ski experience once the big corporations took over the areas. Continue Reading →

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