Protect the quiet of Bingo Basin

Dear Editor,

For decades, homeowners of Great Hawk Homeowners Assn. have routinely ventured into the neighboring Pine Gap Loop Trail area in the Bingo Basin for the tranquility that it offers. Our membership enjoys non-motorized sports such as walking, hiking, biking, snowshoeing and skiing. It offers them peace of mind, great exercise, and a nearby place to escape from the bustle of modern life. It is a quintessential and revered New England sanctuary for all seasons. The level terrain and the stream, carved into the rock, perfectly complement the higher and hilly terrain that our Common Land in Great Hawk offers.

Many of our homeowners are specifically drawn to Great Hawk by the Covenants that govern the Association. They stipulate that no recreational motor vehicles of any kind are allowed on our properties or Common Land within Great Hawk. We have grown to cherish and intimately understand the value of our quiet Common Land . Naturally we became concerned when we heard that Pine Gap Loop Trail area, in our close westerly view, is falling into peril by this same threat. Rochester is home to people with diverse recreational interests. Hopefully there is a creative solution to accommodate everybody by fairly delineating specific regions for motorized and non-motorized recreation. Fear persists that if one area has motorized access, then more areas risk falling like dominoes. Understanding the larger picture and planning the future of our small town and natural resources will impact residents, other Vermonters, and visitors from afar for decades to come. How do we maintain a diverse culture and energy, and keep Rochester as the destination that it is for many people for many reasons? Echoing the past, our vigilance and care is again required when progress seeps into our hills.

The homeowners at Great Hawk represent one sector of Rochester’s diversity. Many are at or near retirement age and the recreation they enjoy is usually non-motorized. Many come here to escape from the grind of their weekday job, to enjoy the peacefulness of this forest. Without clear plans on how to stem the tide of encroachment, we support the petition to conserve the tranquility of the Pine Gap Loop Trail region.

Norm Christiansen, Rochester

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