June 16 - To the Editor:
When USA Springs bought land in Nottingham and Barrington about 15 years ago they were planning on extracting millions of gallons of drinking water from our bedrock aquifer. Despite widespread public opposition and environmental concerns, the state issued all the necessary permits for USA Springs to extract our drinking water to bottle and sell elsewhere.
Fortunately the people of those towns decided to stand up for themselves and got organized. With assistance from the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) we were able to pass Community Rights Ordinances that prohibited water extraction and stopped USA Springs from using our towns as “resource colonies.”
Many New Hampshire towns are being threatened with unwanted development that would be destructive to the health, safety and welfare of our communities and Mother Nature. Whether it be blocking Northern Pass power lines, protecting Great Bay, stopping gas pipe lines from going through towns, opposing industrial wind projects, or preventing sludge dumping, we and our neighbors can protect our community rights and the rights of nature if we work together.
We have a democracy crisis in our country and the question is will We the People stand up to huge corporations and the politicians that they “influence” to reclaim our right to community self-determination? That’s up to you!
The first step is to gather a few neighbors and contact the NH Community Rights Network (NHCRN) for assistance. Contact the NHCRN via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, online at www.nhcommunityrights.org, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NHCRN. The people united cannot be defeated.
Peter A. White