The Franconia Ridge Trail in the White Mountain National Forest.

photo by: The Big Outside/Michael Lanza

National Treasures

Scenic Landscapes of New Hampshire

  • Location: Statewide, New Hampshire

Along the proposed almost 200-mile route of the proposed Northern Pass high voltage transmission line are some of the state’s most scenic and rural landscapes, vistas, village centers, family farms, and historic places. To bring power from Canada to Southern New England, new metal lattice towers and monopoles up to 145 feet would be installed, cutting through both public and private land. As of June 2015, the route includes more than thirty-two miles of new corridor, eight miles of line underground, and roughly 147 miles of significantly widened corridor along existing rights of way.The 1,500 new towers are larger, made of steel rather than wood, and will require a wider corridor (up to 410 feet) for the entire length, intruding on beloved historic and scenic places along the whole route. As of August 2015, Northern Pass is proposing to bury an additional 52.3 miles, primarily through the White Mountain National Forest.

The proposed Northern Pass project cuts through areas of the state that include nationally significant places and landscapes. For example, as originally proposed, the project would impact the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, The Rocks Estate in Bethlehem (the summer home of John J. Glessner, cofounder of International Harvester), the Civilian Conservation Corps Camp within the Bear Brook State Park (the only surviving CCC work camp in the state), the John Wingate Weeks Historic Site in Weeks State Park (U.S. congressman, Secretary of War, and leading conservationist), and would pass through the White Mountain National Forest.Given the rural nature of many of the places along the 192-mile corridor, much of the area has never been surveyed for historic, cultural or archaeological resources. Additional nationally significant places, including landscapes and/or archaeological resources, may come to light once the identification and survey work is completed.

New Hampshire is beloved for its scenic and natural beauty. For generations, people have been travelling to the region for recreation and tourism. Beginning in the first half of the 19th century, the White Mountains attracted artists and writers such as Thomas Cole, Albert Bierstadt, Benjamin Champney, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Additionally, thousands of wealthy vacationers began flocking to the area in the 1860s. As a result, the tradition of the grand resort hotel was established, particularly in the White Mountains and the Lakes Region. Tourism and recreation remain important economic drivers and thousands travel to the Granite State each year to enjoy its natural beauty and historic places.

Campaign Goals

  • Advocate for historic and scenic resources through the Section 106, NEPA and statewide Site Evaluation Committee reviews
  • Strengthen and empower grassroots networks and supporters to effectively engage in the review processes, and to identify and protect places that are important to them
  • Share lessons learned to help other communities facing large-scale energy development projects

Opportunity

Defend the irreplaceable historic and cultural places and landscapes of New Hampshire from the impacts of the proposed Northern Pass transmission line.

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