Indigenous concerns



To the Editor:

There is an environmental cost of Freshwater Stone’s “indigenous granite” source in Hall Quarry. The Northwest section of the MacQuinn property is part of a six-acre freshwater wetland. It has been identified as potentially valuable habitat for the 91 USFWS Gulf of Maine Priority Trust Species. Some 75 of these species are birds.

This is the largest wetland in Hall Quarry and is connected to other smaller freshwater wetlands in the area. It is a diverse habitat for migratory birds, bats and other small mammals. This place is a home for indigenous amphibians that can be heard in the early morning and evening. A large diversity of indigenous insects and plants thrive in this wetland.

Unfortunately, this freshwater wetland has not been properly evaluated for its ecological significance.

The brief Protected Natural Resource Report produced by S.W. Cole Engineering Inc. is limited to studying only four of the six acres on the property. The firm conducted only two site visits, one on April 28, 2014, and the other on May 14, 2014. On these two days, they identified three freshwater wetlands and determined the wetlands “not of special significance.” The report provides no data for migratory birds, bats or amphibians and limited data for plants. The size and potential significance of the first freshwater wetland identified in the report was minimized.

How can a wetland be determined not significant if only a small portion of the six acres is evaluated? There may be a natural community that is critically imperiled (S1) or imperiled (S2) as defined by the Natural Areas Program. The wetland may contain significant habitat as defined by Maine law. The wetland may contain at least 20,000 square feet of aquatic vegetation, emergent marsh vegetation or open water. Freshwater Stone’s “indigenous granite” comes at a great cost to the residents of Hall Quarry.

Dump trucks, loaders, bulldozers, excavators, line drills, slim drills and diamond wire saws have been used to extract “indigenous granite” from Hall Quarry. Commercial quarrying has altered freshwater wetland habitat for migratory birds and indigenous species.

Future buyers should be aware of the ecological cost of “indigenous granite” extracted from the residential area in Hall Quarry.

Kelly M. O’Neil

Hall Quarry

 

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