Full audio of Governor and Council meeting on Wednesday
The Friends of Mount Sunapee say they will do whatever it takes to stop Mount Sunapee expansion after the Executive Council approved the controversial plan in a 3-1 vote on Wednesday.
“The Friends of Mount Sunapee is committed to protecting Mount Sunapee, will continue to stand firm against expansion, and will take all steps necessary, including court action, to protect the interests of the citizens of New Hampshire for generations to come,” said a statement released by Catherine Bushueff, a FOMS volunteer.
Democrat Colin Van Ostern offered the only vote against the expansion plan and Republicans David Wheeler and Joseph Kenney voted in favor, along with Democrat Chris Pappas.
Van Ostern, who is running for governor, said the plan does more to enable private gain than it does for public access.
Executive Councilor Chris Sununu recused himself because he is CEO of Waterville Valley Resort after Friends of Mount Sunapee and the New Hampshire Sierra Club asked him to do so.
Attorney General Joseph Foster told the councilors he believes the agreement is legally sound.
There was no discussion of an analysis by attorney Arthur Cunningham for the Friends of Mount Sunapee that said the contracts were good for the operator, but bad for New Hampshire. It was presented to the council on Monday.
Statement from Friends of Mount Sunapee
On Executive Council Approval of Mount Sunapee Resort Expansion
April 6, 2016
The Friends of Mount Sunapee is extremely disappointed with the Executive Council’s decision to approve the expansion of the privately operated ski resort at Mount Sunapee State Park. The short sighted expansion plan is a violation of public trust, facilitates the cutting of an exemplary forest to allow for residential sprawl, and will not create the meaningful employment opportunities our community desperately needs. Moreover, the expansion plan allows the state to abdicate its responsibility under the guise of local control by placing an undue regulatory burden on the small rural town of Goshen.
The exploitation of this natural resource for private profit is unacceptable. The Friends of Mount Sunapee is committed to protecting Mount Sunapee, will continue to stand firm against expansion, and will take all steps necessary, including court action, to protect the interests of the citizens of New Hampshire for generations to come.
Friends of Mount Sunapee is an alliance of neighbors, town leaders, conservationists, and civic minded advocates from towns across our mountain region and from across New Hampshire and the beyond. FOMS advocates for protection of Mount Sunapee State Park for its essential public values; conservation of the Sunapee highlands and its watersheds; and preservation of the unique character and natural beauty of the rural communities in the mountain’s shadow.