Let’s just stick to the real issues about Montgomery Dam, watershed

Tue, 11/23/2021 - 12:15pm

As a resident of Camden with property on the Megunticook River’s lagoon above the Knowlton Dam, I’ve been trying to keep up with the ongoing debate about opening up the watershed by removing some of the river’s old industrial obstructions, most specifically, the Montgomery Dam that creates the falls at the head of the harbor.

To better educate myself about this complicated and increasingly contentious issue, I have read the Interfleuve Report, attended Select Board Meetings and the Open-Air Workshop in the Harbor Park on Oct. 14, and been present at several meetings of the Save the Dam Falls Committee.

I’ve also tried to read as many as possible of the opinion letters on the matter in various local media and have been surprised by the tone of a lot of pro-removal pieces, which have often, for reasons I don’t understand, accused Dam supporters of dishonest statements and tactics.

Also bothersome is the tendency of many pro-removal letters to introduce irrelevant issues into the discussion, such as sea level rise (no connection with the Montgomery Dam), sea fish access (compatible with the Dam through fish ladders), the library park wall (a matter for the library trustees, not the town), etc.

I think that it would be helpful if, in the future, the supporters of removing the Montgomery Dam would stick to real watershed issues and leave out the inclusion of above-mentioned irrelevant matters. They should also put an end to their attempts to defame the supporters of keeping the Montgomery Dam (who, from my encounters with them, are all well-meaning and sincere people with rational reasons for wanting to keep the dam). Such arguments are not doing the pro-removal cause any good. Let’s just stick to the real issues.

Charles Graham lives in Camden