Please read this lovely letter and send your own gun range opposition letter to local officials. All written correspondence must be received by May 1st.
To whom it may concern,
Almost 14 years ago, I left a successful teaching career to accept the offer of a job that allowed me to work from home. Although teaching was an exciting and rewarding occupation, the benefits of working from home here on Pudding Hill Road, Hampton, in The Quiet Corner, were too enticing to pass up.
I recall vividly the first day I was officially working-from-home. It was late June and I was seated with my laptop on our front porch, my cup of tea within reach. The only sounds were of the many birds that make their homes in the surrounding woods. Hummingbirds were diving and vying for their turn at the feeders that line our porch during May into September. I remember my eyes filling with tears of happiness, marveling that this pristine environment was now my OFFICE!
This little piece of Earth is also where my young grandchildren come to stay during their school vacations. The pleasure I derive from watching them engage in outdoor activities on our safe and wooded 3 acres is immeasurable. They engineer and construct teepees with branches and vines collected from the leafy forest floor. They enjoy picnics on boulder “tables,” the artifacts of glaciers that dropped them here eons ago.
They “balance-beam” walk along the stone walls that line our property. We have tea parties on the back deck and, on rainy days, on the front porch. When there’s snow cover, they look for the tell tale signs of the foxes, deer, raccoons, rabbits, squirrels and turkeys with whom we share this pristine plot. They are learning to be good custodians of the Earth and specifically, this precious region.
The property upon which the proposed state police firearms training facility would sit is only about 4,000 feet from our backyard. Homes here on Pudding Hill Road sit on the rim of the natural amphitheater that would reverberate with the harsh sound of gunfire every day, all day, and evenings during low-light training operations. No longer would family long to gather here. No longer would our windows be flung open at every opportunity. (One of the reasons for the wrap-around front porch we included in the design of our house was so that we can keep our windows open even during rain storms.)
This is an existence and region to be preserved, not assaulted by ill-conceived plans such as the one before us. Ours is a way of life that deserves to be nurtured, not destroyed. We settled here decades ago on the promise of a QUIET corner of the state, eschewing areas that offer more easily accessed services, entertainment, shops, restaurants, etc., We stayed here because this is what we WANT… to be away from noise, traffic, to distance ourselves from light, air, water and soil pollution. We want to be where wildlife feels comfortable and is visible, not spooked or chased away by constant gunfire.
Fleeing isn’t an option. This home, which we designed in order to best view and enjoy the natural beauty around us, is our largest asset. We cannot afford to be forced to relocate, to have the value of that asset slashed by tens of thousands of dollars because of the scourge of gunfire breaking the silence day in, day out.
State officials should recognize their responsibility to preserve and protect one of the state’s greatest resources, not cause its extinction. Your obligation is to act as custodians, not spoilers. You have other viable options that make sense. This one – in Hampton – does not.
Where else will places like the current Quiet Corner exist if you ruin this one? The entire concept behind the designation of The Quiet Corner of The Last Green Valley in the National Heritage Corridor is that they are to be protected. It shouldn’t take the pleas of human voices to make you aware of your responsibility to protect these natural resources, your protection should be a “given.” You should hear these resources speak for themselves in a voice that is heard in the quietude click to read more. You should be able to see with your own eyes that their value is in the green, not of dollars, but the leaves of peaceful woods and pastures, glades and glens.
So, how do you want the current state administration to be remembered by future generations? Will the destruction of the pristine Quiet Corner be your legacy?
I am firmly and immovably opposed to inflicting a firearms training facility upon Hampton or anywhere in The Quiet Corner, and will work to preserve the gift that was entrusted to us. We who vow to fight this good fight do so, not just for ourselves, but for future generations. It is our mission. It is our obligation. Please recognize your obligation to preserve Hampton and The Quiet Corner.