Letter: Leave the dam be
I am thoroughly opposed to the intended removal of the Wiley-Russell Dam on the Green River for the following reasons:
The dam contributes so much to the visual strength of the Meridian Street neighborhood.
During dry, low-water seasons, removal of a dam may reduce water level in the whole river, reducing the depth of the water at our recreational/swimming area — a gem of a resource.
Keeping the dam will allegedly reduce planned town expenditures by $300,000 at a time when Greenfield is building a new high school and possibly taking on other building projects. Do we need more egregious expenses with these town projects in progress?
I like the concept of a recreational chain of filled, dammed waterways running through our landlocked town. This could be a valuable tourist asset for hiking, biking, paddling and cross-country skiing.
Do we want to to look at a dry, muddy, rock and debris-strewn riverbed instead of lovely filled waterways and the water birds they will attract?
Fishing in Greenfield, on the Green River? There are so many other streams and rivers in Franklin County for sport-fishing. The Deerfield, the Millers, as well as so many miles of navigable water above and below the Turners Falls dams, on the Connecticut River.
This county has already experienced a largely botched river “ditching” effort, in Charlemont, and Hawley, as an aftermath of serious flooding, years ago.
The associates of the Museum of Our Industrial Heritage have already eloquently expressed the historical reasons for maintaining the Wiley-Russell dam and other sites.
Please leave the Wiley-Russell Dam alone. It is an asset. Greenfield needs all of its aesthetic natural resources.
PETER H. DUDLEY