A Little Historical Perspective
In May of 1971, when I moved onto "The Hill," I was excited at the opportunity to live across from the Moose
Hill Sanctuary. At the time, I had a horse -- one of the reasons for house/land selection -- and thought of the
pleasures or riding in the Sancturary. What could be more natural? Well, apparently horses aren't. They
are forbidden in the Sanctuary!
Okay, perhaps it was an intellectual set-back since I thought that horses were natural and that mushrooms grown
in horse manure were consider "organicly cultivated." But it was not a real loss. The bugs in the Sanctuary
were so bad, that despite oiling-down the horse with repellent, the one ride that I did take was impossible. Both my
mount and I were berserk from bugs.
And, this leads to those bugs, caterpillars, etc. You know, they're just not all that well behaved; they don't
just stay in the Sanctuary! So, during the Gypsy Moth infestation of the '70s, when aerial spraying within I 3/8th of
a mile of the Sanctuary perimeter was prohibited, I was annoyed. Forgetting the debate(s) about pesticides in general,
I was annoyed at the presumption of the Sanctuary and the preference given to them over the value of my property.
This ruling wasn't okay financially either. The ban on aerial public spraying of The Hill required private
individual tree spraying to save the "Mighty Oaks" from damage. Not a world of cost. But, then again, not
the end of the cost as the damaged trees either died or needed to be professionally trimmed. Still... "this was
a cost" of living next to the bucolic Moose Hill Sancturary. Accepted.
But wait a minute... even during these obvious events, other more subtle messages were/are conveyed through the
DPW, Police and other people with whom one spoke. Mostly done with the roll of the eye... a shrug of the shoulders...
and a mutter about "The Audubon," a resident of Moose Hill learns of the unexamined priority status which
the Sanctuary enjoys in all matters.
Since hearsay is discredited... let me recite just a few matters with which I have first hand knowledge
because I was either the first to report the incident, or still have evidence of it.
The below recitation is critical to know because during the very road construction when I asked to have the
road either "rocked" to the proper lower grade or drained there via culvert, I was told "no way were they going to get involved
with the Sancturary." But of course, the Sanctuary is the lower grade.
At least twice (perhaps a third... the "police blotter" will attest) over the past few years, I have been
the first to report to the Police that a rotted Audubon tree had fallen across the road. Last fall, another
came crashing down. I became aware of this tree, however, through the aftermath as I witnessed
a procession of the Town's loader, trucks, and personnel which/who came to clear the road and take down the remaining
Hold on for another minute!
First... someday... someone is going to get killed. The Sanctuary's falling trees
happen often enough on roads that are now busy enough for this to be a public safety hazard! I have personally
escaped one such close call. Yet, there is no mandate for the Sanctuary to address the problem.
Secondly... Why should the town be responsible for their private property? Remember, it is the Sanctuary's private
property of which the they are so protective as to be the largest sign polluter in the Town through
their posting ownership / no spray signs often within 10 yards of each other and their posting "event" signs at
road intersections existing the Hill. (Frankly , they abuse their non-profit patina and status.)
And the tree fallings of which I speak are not from extreme weather such as hurricanes or winter storms
which leave the area generally devasted at which time every community's DPW "mobilizes" to clear debris. No, these trees are
the standing dead... you know, the ones about which some seven year old proclaims, "Ma, do you think this tree will fall
on us?" Out of the mouths of babes comes the reality of dangerous tree mis-management on The Hill. "Yes, son, it
will... Let's walk away.. (and look the other way)."
Third... Why is the Town so intimidated by these paper tigers. They are not a large employer... they have no business
tax base to threaten by pulling out of the community... and besides, they can't even pull-out! The Town's concern
and catering to this organization is without rational merit. Granted, in this Town they can be social and political
batterers, but this Town could literally tell them to go pound sand -- and I have plenty from wash-outs where they can exercise
Remember when the Town first obtain the brush grinder? You know... "That Environment Monster!" If
you do, you may also remember the brutal objections by the Sanctuary and the hearings about nature and certain weeds* being
indiscriminately cut (as if they discriminately decided to prosper here).
However, what one may not remember is how dangerously overgrown the road became on the turns on
Moose Hill Street all while this mindless debate of weeds vs. human safety continued. Not
only were there completely obstructed views on MHS, which blinded drivers from other cars, bicyclists, and joggers, there
was no room for two cars' passage without causing serious scratches on the inner vehicle's passenger side.
I still have a car on my property which shows the deeper creases despite sanding. And all of this public
un-safety existed with Police paroling the Hill at least four times a day and DPW trucks also traversing the hill
multiple times per day as the Sanctuary once again tied up the Town.
Off course all of the above obstructions came from that remarkable save-a-tree organization (which parentally insists
to the Town that "you must to leave the carcass of the dead tree that you cut for us") clear-cut the entire stand of
the most beautiful pines on the Hill to make a new, BLACK-TOPPED parking lot... with INDUSTRIAL LIGHTING... and METAL
FRAMED DAY TENTS rather than improving the existing lot which still is across the street.
Oh! Did I hear some about childrens' safety and crossing the road? Then why is it for the past four years, I've
personally called the Police to get an officer to the top of the hill on evening of the Sanctuary's Halloween Night. Let me
tell you, the scariest part of that evening isn't the hobgobblins...IT IS THE PRE-TEENS THAT ARE ASSIGNED TO BE CROSSING GUARDS
WITHOUT ADULT SUPERVISION AND ADEQUATE SAFETY EQUIPMENT WHILE CARS ON MHS UNSUSPECTINGLY FLY BY ON WHAT
IS STILL AN UNPOSTED-SPEED ROAD THAT IS "STRIPED" LIKE A HIGHWAY.
In truth (check the tapes) the last time that I called the Police, the female officer and I got a little into it,
because she insisted that there was nothing the Police could do... that the Sanctuary had to request the "detail."
REQUEST THE DETAIL! Who "owns" these roads... Who is responsible for their safety? The Sanctuary or the Town?
And while I'm on roads and the Sanctuary, let me state that as as kid I spent lots of time at Pleasant Valley Sanctuary
in the Berksires... and that I love nature... perhaps not Gypsy Moths, in particular, but nature. So, if the salamanders need
to cross Moose Hill Street once a year to migrate to the water, I'm all in favor of closing the road over squishing the
BUT, I'M ALSO IN FAVOR OF THE SHARON POLICE, WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ROAD SAFETY, MANAGING THE CLOSURE AT THE ROAD'S
END, NOT SOME PERSON FROM THE SANCTUARY WHO LAST YEAR GAVE MY FRIEND SOME "LIP" AFTER MY FRIEND'S CHALLENGING THIS
UN-UNIFORMED-GUY-ON-A-DARK-ROAD-WITH-JUST-A-FLASHLIGHT- STOPPING-A-LONE-CAR MID-ROAD ABOUT SALAMANDERS! Stop the
World... Sane people want to get off!
There is more... but more is not needed to establish the point which is that this Town has continuously differed
to the the Sanctuary because they/it, like infants threatening a trantrum, control the discisions of the Town.
AND THIS CONTROL WAS PERSONALLY WITNESSED BY ME IN THE DECISIONS WHICH LED TO THE TOWN DECIDING TO DUMP WATER ON
TO 125 MOOSE HILL PARKWAY RATHER THAN FACE THE RATH OF EITHER ROCKING THE ROAD OR DRAINING WATER ONTO THEIR PROPERTY
WHICH ACCORDING TO NATURAL GRADE WOULD HAVE BEEN THE CASE WITHOUT THE ROAD.
And finally, in all fairness to the Sanctuary personal (whose overall mission I do respect), THERE WAS NOT
ONE PERSON FROM THE SANCTUARY IN FRONT OF MY PROPERTY BATTERING THE TOWN ABOUT THIS WATER... UNLESS THEIR WAS A CLANDESTINE
THE TOWN JUST MADE THE DECISION TO DUMP IT ALL ON
MY PROPERTY RATHER THAN FACE THE P-O-T-E-N-T-I-A-L IRE OF THE SANCTUARY.
BUT OF COURSE THIS IS THE SAME MIND CONTROL WHICH ONE SEES IN
VICTIMS OF ALL BATTERERS.
** This is so typical of the Sanctuary - Town relationship... The Sanctuary fights the Town
on "environmental" matters until such time as it "uses" -- yes uses -- the Town to clean up the Sanctuary's own problems...
from fallen trees to dumped roof shingles... the Sanctuary calls on the Town. If the Town can clean up a mess after it has
fallen... IT CAN PREVENT IT FROM EVER HAPPENING BY HAVING A SAFE YET ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY POLICY ON TREE CARE ALONG
THE ROAD WAYS.