Potomac We are writing with significant concern about work that is being undertaken along a number of the county's designated rustic roadways. Important roadside trees and vegetation are being cut back, we understand, with rented equipment that operates as a sort of massive vertical shredder. In addition, crews are utilizing a large grading equipment and laying new asphalt to clear and cover stream crossings along the roadways. The surface material has been laid right into the streams themselves. (See photos above.) The stated goal is to promote safer passage of vehicular traffic. Please note that we support the goal. We do not support the manner in which it is being pursued and, in the end, do not believe it will achieve the stated goal.
Has this work been undertaken in coordination with the Department of Environmental Protection? Have the appropriate permits been issued? Have alternatives to use of the large shredder been evaluated?
Regardless of the answers to the questions above, the undersigned maintain that the negative impacts of this work are substantial and include: violation of and damage to private property, needless permanent damage to feature trees and roadside vegetation, promotion of greater vehicular speeds, degradation of stream quality, soil erosion etc.
Please suspend this work pending review and appropriate implementation of measures that will provide for balance of road safety and environmental protection. We are eager to provide assistance in establishing a long-term program of maintenance that will properly address both issues.
Dolores Milmoe, Audubon Naturalist Society
Caroline Taylor, Montgomery Countryside Alliance
Ginny Barnes, West Montgomery Citizens' Association
Caren Madsen, Conservation Montgomery