2016-02-19 / Letters

Maintaining river would preserve legacy

To the editor:

There has been a lot of discussion on the feasibility and finances of the proposed dam removals of one of Kennebunk’s most pristine rivers. Certainly the number crunchers and others are concerned with the overall finances of keeping versus removing the dams. However, I have not heard from any of my fellow paddlers or fishermen who regularly enjoy an evening or early morning trip on the river.

How many of the naysayers who are proposing the removal, including those from one of the organizations to which I belong, Trout Unlimited, have been fortunate enough to launch from the Mill Street dam, paddle up the river and catch a few native brown or brook trout?

To paddle quietly around a bend and see a doe and her fawn standing at the water’s edge, or a beaver swimming across the river carrying his most recent cutting, is a very special moment indeed.

There are many nooks and hidden coves where the majestic herons and bufflehead ducks placidly go about their daily activities. There are so few places, especially in our own backyard in Kennebunk, where we have the undisturbed beauty and nature calling to us.

It is disheartening to think of the prospect of a shallow tributary, barely passable for two kayaks, with steep and muddy banks, which would replace the deep pristine pools and gentle river that we now enjoy.

The removal of the dams to allow a few ocean run salmon or alewives who may return, is not worth the degradation and destruction of the habitats already so richly thriving.

Fish ladders have already proven very helpful, and recommended, in local streams and rivers for those who are interested in expanded fishing. The loss of good fishing, wildlife and esthetic beauty should not be bulldozed into the category of forever lost.

Keeping the dams may be a more expensive option, according to some figures, but there is no way to calculate the contribution we may make to our children, grandchildren, and legacy to our Kennebunk neighbors, by keeping and enjoying what the current river provides us.

Joe Rolland

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