Saturday, June 19, 2010

Withdrawn--DCR plan to limit access by vehicles from Round Cove Rd

Update--July 3: At first I fully supported the DCR plan for the Round Cove Rd. parking areas.  That plan called for repairing the erosion above the beach, plus closing the road at the four corners to public vehicles (pedestrian access would still be encouraged). 

The reason for my support was that I didn't see how the erosion could be stopped (this season, before the big restoration could begin) without reducing the number of people entering from Round Cove Rd.

However, on talking to some families at Hawksnest, I realized that cutting off vehicular access would be a hardship for families with children, and others coming for a quick swim.

So I came up with a simple plan for stopping the erosion now--a stopgap until the big State plan can be implemented.  If this plan is successful--if people stay off the restored areas--then Round Cove Rd. can remain open this summer.

The DCR plan for Round Cove Rd was recently withdrawn, in response to concerns from the Harwich Conservation Commission that
  • not enough time had been given for public comment, and
  • complete closure of Round Cove Rd by woody debris was undesirable.*
I'm sure the plan will be resubmitted in the future, after some modifications.  I believe the plan needs addition of footsteps or a boardwalk, to allow continued public access to the beach, without causing erosion.

The plan called for a gate near the four corners, improvement of the road by grading, and provision for informal parking just outside the gate.  Pedestrian access will be encouraged.
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     * This news story was unclear, helping to create the misimpression that access at the four corners would be blocked by woody debris, thus blocking even official vehicles. In fact, the woody barrier would block access only to the big muddy puddle and newly created, renegade parking next to the pond.

    1 comment:

    1. What is the problem? It’s that Hawksnest is a fragile pond, and cannot sustain the current kind of use. Runoff from gullies is actually quite abnormal for kettle ponds; the big gully will soon pollute Hawksnest if it’s not fixed

      I’m not blowing this out of proportion—if you check the situation in Orleans, you’ll find that quite a few of their ponds are seriously polluted with too many nutrients. Long Pond next door has struggled with algae problems that cost a lot of money, for just a temporary fix.

      I am fighting against the downhill slide of conditions at Hawksnest. This seems to be caused by widespread disregard of state park rules at Hawksnest. These rules were designed to protect MA parks for future generations. I’ve never been a stickler for rules, but the situation at Hawksnest has gotten so far out of hand that the only solution now is more attention to the rules. If you don’t like patrols, then please speak to your friends and urge them to treat the place more gently.

      This is not about what I want or don’t want. It’s about what is good for the pond, and keeping it that way into the future. The rules at the park weren’t set by me, but by the officials you elected. I’m just talking about tightening up enforcement of the most important rules.

      I support people using the park in a way that will keep it enjoyable for the next generation. I think adequate parking is fine, with enough spaces for average days. But the parking has to be within a limited area. Out of control parking has caused much of the erosion damage at the end of Round Cove Rd.

      A couple of 12 year-old kids on ATVs can do a lot of damage. ATVs started the gully that is going to cost the State about a hundred thousand dollars to fix and plant, to save the pond from pollution.

      Yes, Hawksnest has been a wonderful place for locals and can continue to be that way—but it does belong to the people of Massachusetts, and it’s there for all to enjoy, including outsiders. It’s secluded, but not private.

      The people of Harwich can keep Hawksnest mostly the way it is, provided the abuses stop. But if things continue to go downhill, the Round Cove Rd entrance may need to be closed to vehicles, so your grandchildren can enjoy the same things that you enjoy today.

      What is pathetic is to see something of beauty destroyed, thoughtlessly.
      What does give life meaning is to work for someone or something you love.

      I carry a camera because I’m a professional photographer. I use the camera to document the problems I see, because few people are aware of how the pond has gone downhill. My photos help State officials understand what needs to be done. I also love to photograph the beauty of the place.