Express Staff Writer
The Lowell Mountain Occupiers are planning to hold a second Mountaintop Open House on Sunday, December 4.
The first open house held on November 13 was well attended with more than 90 participants.
Nearly all made the hike up to the ridge line.
Participants make the trip in groups depending on the pace they want to walk. The hike is about one mile on muddy, and in some places steep, terrain and takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to reach the top.
Participants from the first open house agreed that a second open house should take place.
Interested individuals will hike up to the ridge line and gather on the property owned by Donald and Shirley Nelson. The property is adjacent to the Green Mountain Power construction site on land owned by Trip Wileman.
The event offers a chance for people to see some of the construction area, and ask questions.
“Projects like the one on the Lowell Mountains have been proposed for over 200 miles of Vermont’s ridge line; so it’s very important that the residents of the state have a chance to see what the changes to the ridge look like, and to gather information from sources besides the developers. These projects affect everyone,” says Ann Morse, one of the event organizers.
“Questions will be answered in a non-judgmental, non-confrontational setting,” Morse said. “Individuals with a wide range of interests and questions may wish to attend: those in favor of wind power but conflicted about ridge line development; folks concerned about loss of wildlife habitat, water quality issues, or aesthetics of large-scale wind; in favor of wind development and wondering why people are opposed; or just curious about what the project looks like,” Morse said.
At the top of the ridge line the boundary is clearly indicated with brightly colored tape, and signs are visibly posted.
Although there was no construction occurring during the first open house, two police officers, and one person dressed in plain clothing watched the gathering from about 100 feet away, and as the first few hikers reached the top they walked over and pointed out the boundary line, and then headed back to the construction site.
Anyone interested in making the hike is advised to dress in layers of warm clothing, and wear a warm hat. Temperatures at the top are much cooler than the temperatures at the base. Hiking shoes or rubber boots are recommended, or gaiters or boots if there is snow. Participants can also bring a walking stick or snow shoeing poles, and a mug for hot tea or cocoa.
The hike will take place rain or shine.
The group will meet in the parking lot of the Albany Community School at 11:30 a.m. and carpool to the base of the mountains. There will be a short informational overview of the project before groups hike to the top. Hikers are advised to bring a daypack with water, lunch, and/or snacks, a press release states.
For more information, contact Anne Morse at firstname.lastname@example.org  or 802-281-4432.