DRED’s Mismanagement Finally Getting Some Attention

The following letter was sent to area newspapers:

To the Editor:

DRED’s mismanagement of Ossipee Lake Natural Area is finally getting the statewide attention it deserves, but the agency’s public presentation in Freedom this past weekend failed to come clean on one important point: the damage that has already been done.

A DRED staff report last year says that 30 percent of the site’s rare sandy pond shore communities have been eradicated and another 65 percent have been seriously degraded. One-third of the peat mats that provide habitat for state-endangered plants have also been lost to recreation, as have two endangered plants and one rare “state watch” plant. The list goes on.

DRED has reports from 1971, 1981, 1982, 1985, 1992, 1999, 2000 and 2005 that point out the unique historic and environmental value of the property while simultaneously detailing its destruction by recreation. The agency’s serial failure to take action—any action—to stop this destruction is breathtaking in its audacity.

New Hampshire’s Native Plant Protection Act (RSA 217-A) requires that “actions funded or carried out by state agencies shall not jeopardize the continued existence of any protected plant species.” How is it that DRED continues to get a free pass from having to adhere to this law?

David L. Smith
Ossipee Lake Alliance

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