Selectman slams Snow Bowl for erosion, mess
Camden — Selectman Leonard Lookner criticized work being done at Camden Snow Bowl — comparing it to a war zone — as well as a recent problem with erosion washing silt and organic matter into Hosmer Pond.
"[The Snow Bowl] looks like a town in Syria," Lookner said. "It looks like it's been bombed. ... stuff has been torn down and there's crap all over the place."
He also expressed concern about erosion that caused Hosmer Pond to go from clear water to cloudy.
Snow Bowl General Manager Landon Fake said a deluge June 17 poured more than 3 inches of rain on the site and while measures had been taken on the mountain to protect from erosion, the parking lot was not considered a potential problem.
"We hadn't counted on all the topsoil in the parking lot," he said, adding the soil was dragged down the 5,000-foot logging road by the whole trees being harvested there.
"No one is happy," Town Manager Patricia Finnigan said of the contamination of Hosmer Pond.
She noted there was damage throughout town due to the heavy rain, not just at the Snow Bowl. Fake said additional measures have been put in place to prevent a recurrence.
Regarding the Snow Bowl site as a whole appearing disheveled, Fake said it is a construction site and looks like one. For years, he said, much of the "mess" has existed out of sight.
"It is a mess, it's been a mess for a long time," Fake said. "It gets a little better every day."
Selectman Jim Heard concurred with Lookner's assessment and requested the site be picked up each day.
"Occasional visitors don't see it [getting better]," Heard said.
Selectman John French said he feels it is a typical logging operation, with trees stored on site to be chipped later.
"I'm not even talking about wood," Lookner said. "It looks like a tornado went through there."
"We're not paying for the site to look pretty every day," Select Board Chairman Martin Cates countered.
"It's a wreck, without the parks," Lookner replied, adding the area around the Snow Bowl also appears neglected. He suggested hosting volunteer days to have residents clean up and work together. "I'm not saying Landon should be out there weeding. ... I think the community expects better [condition of the parks]."
Selectman Don White offered another option: closing the ski area to the public completely until construction is finished.
"I'd like to see it closed entirely and just let it be what it is, a construction site," he said. "... It's going to look worse before it looks better."
According to the Snow Bowl website, the entire area is currently closed to the public. The site states: "The Snow Bowl and Ragged Mountain Recreation Area are temporarily closed to ALL public use, including the parking areas. The logging operation under way is using a chipper, two skidders, a feller- buncher, a large cut-off saw and a loader in the parking lot and in several places on the mountain and can be dangerous to be anywhere in the area."
Updates regarding the Snow Bowl redevelopment can be found online at camdensnowbowl.com.