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Stewardship quabbin watershed

Stewardship of Quabbin watershed         5-12-18


Observations from the bottom of the pile.  Dr. Clark it is inscrutable how you pick your supervisory team, it appears ability is not a major factor.  The more I poke around in DCR the more mayhem I see percolating.

Aldrich cellar-hole    5-1-18


A tracked brush cutting machine drove up Aldrich drive-way right up to cellar hole nocking two foundation stones into hole and proceeded to cut and grind all trees and brush around cellar-hole except four cherry trees (one has a bird house attached).  The tracked machine tore up driveway to the extent, that rain will wash top-soil into cellar-hole.  Forsythia bushes lined the whole south side of cellar-hole, they were completely cut and ground down to ground level, not saving a single bush.  My family and other people that walk gate 29 have enjoyed the forsythia for years.  It was a rite of spring to walk to Grammar’s and get a bouquet of forsythia.

Complaints:  A mechanized machine should have never been used especially in a historic site, this should have been hand work with a chain saw.  A mechanized machine especially a bull dozer track type should have never been driven that close to cellar hole to nock foundation stone into cellar-hole. Brush and wood and a fender from Mary’s car were thrown into cellar-hole.

Before you blame operator of mechanized cutting machine consider the following.  The operator of brush cutting machine was doing it the easiest and fastest way, get job done then ride and hide! this is part of DCR culture!     This was definitely a supervisory screw-up.  To start with the head forester for that area, seeing this is a historical site should have been on site and marked site with ribbon for machine not to get any closer than boundary marked by ribbon. Secondly trees and brush to be cut should have been marked with ribbon. At least one clump of forsythia should have been marked save.  The operator of machine is on the bottom of food chain should be doing what his immediate supervisor told him to do that day (whom-ever was boss at New Salem field headquarters at that time).  Ultimately it is your responsibility Lisa.  This never happened when Bruce Spenser was working for DCR.

In conclusion operator should have used better judgment, forester in charge failed terribly, boss in New Salem field office failed. Lastly Lisa failed, either Lisa doesn’t have a handle on what is happening out of New Salem Field office or Lisa doesn’t have a competent supervisor to run field office.  Blaming operator is not going to solve problem. Mechanized machines should never have been used near historical cellar-holes, they are fine to trim road edges fields.



Lack of stewardship in Quabbin watershed.  When something goes wrong in a very large bureaucracy, DCR, blame is oftentimes ushered to its lowest level, to take the pressure off management. This does not prevent the problem from reoccurring.    This is done for optics, we punished the janitor, so the toilet will never overflow again. Looks good we, management, did something.

Dr. Clark thanks for taking the time to hear my complaints and visiting the Aldrich Place.  You are much to modest.  “Dan has played an integral role in implementing the Quabbin Deer Hunt”. This quote from ECO news posted 1-9-18. I voiced my concerns about the so-called Quabbin Deer Hunt.  You played coy and didn’t let on how involved in it you were.  Please do not play coy with me, it is a waste ofourtime.   I was hoping we could converse factually and honestly.  If I desire to waste time, I would write or talk to the five stooges (Beaton, Peterson, Roy, Buckley, and French) and Baker.

Your U-Mass connections must have brought you into contact with my adversaries Dr. Alan Richmond and Dr. Joseph Larson.  I had great respect for Dr. Alan Richmond. About half-way through the Quabbin rattlesnake debacle the politicians got to him, he became Beaton’s mouthpiece (read post titled #Dr. Richmond) Dr. Larson I feel sorry for you even though he was a disgrace for U-Mass and the DCR.  He is old like me and maybe we aren’t up to the task of doing battle with the bent politicians that control the cancerous DCR.  Dr. Larson and Marion Larson lay claim that nepotism is flourishing in DCR. One of the many factors that builds a cancerous DCR. The two main building blocks of DCR are nepotism and the Peter principle.

Let’s cut to the chase.  The tepees and hanging trees left at the mouth of gate 29, we can respectfully agree to disagree.  You are the expert in conservation, I respect your knowledge, in time, twenty   years or so, I’ll get used to the eye-sore along route 122. Back in the day this was called a widow-maker.  I recall an irate land baron throwing an axe in my general direction and saying, “You just drove the skidder past that widow-maker, get back there and put it on the ground.” I sincerely hope no one gets clobbered by the widow-makers in Quabbin!  I apologize for being old school, where-as I had to sign contract that all trees had been cut and left on site had to be cut and left on ground with nothing longer than 4 feet, so in three years the tree debris consumed into ecosystem.

In regards to the Aldrich Place, the heavy machinery got to close to cellar-hole, I said it, you agreed with it, the other guy (forgot his name already) still thinks nothing is wrong.  Cutting the knot-wood in March will only encourage it to come back twice as strong.  Old farmer’s lore, cut stone walls in third week of August to second week September, the driest period of year this affords you the best chance of sprouts not regenerating. I am not going to cry over spilt milk, what is done is done. This writing is not an attempt to place blame on operator or supervisor as a bureaucracy as large as DCR is inclined to do.  Is this yet another example of the Peter priniciple at work?    If the bureaucracy deems blame has to be assigned I would point at Dr. Clark.  Lisa said an investigation was under way, would you please send me the results when complete.  If blame is assessed at lowest level, I will have to yank on stooge’s chain which I find   disgusting.

Allow me to segue into a brighter aspect of the goings on at DCR.   There are many good employees of the DCR mostly on the bottom end of pay scale. The three that come to mind, Freddie (not his real name) the person that cut the Aldrich Place.  Freddie is good people, it is not his fault that he has no leadership, unprofessional supervision.  He is not getting paid to think the big thoughts!  The lady ranger that used to work gate 43 is one of the better people that work for DCR.  I’ve seen her stop her ranger truck, get out and pick up a candy wrapper.  What impressed me, I was in woods and she didn’t see me, it wasn’t to impress me, she is a proud courteous professional that cares about her work and cares deeply about the Quabbin watershed.  Jim the man that takes care of the three boat rental gates is the ultimate professional.  Very knowledgeable especially in the flora and fauna of Quabbin watershed, kind and courteous and displays pride in all things Quabbin related.  One instance that I remember; I was coming off Quabbin reservoir and was in a big hurry, I had to get my fishing partner back to the home because the Lawrence Welk reruns come on at noon and he gets ugly if he misses them.  Back to the tale, it is rainy windy day and Jim (used to work gate 43) comes to waters edge to help me load boat on trailer.  He didn’t have to do that but he was aware of my friend’s situation and being a nice guy helped.  I suspect he may have been into Lawrence Welk to.  If management ascribed to the three listed above examples of stewardship the Quabbin watershed and DCR would benefit greatly.  It would be beneficial if above listed could put on a seminar that all management, stooges, and PhDshad to attend.

Dr. Clark possibly we can skirt the bureaucracy and resolve this like two gentlemen, actually you are the gentleman and I am just a lowly woodchuck.

Define problem:

Heavy machinery to close to historic cellar-hole


Blaming the lowest person on pay scale is what an incompetent manager would do, hear this has already happened, it will not prevent this from reoccurring, a total failure of supervision is suspect.

A responsible boundary flagger might solve this problem

It appears from my perspective that given current management policies and the confines of DCR culture, nepotism, and Peter principle the DCR has been unable to replace the retired Mr. Spenser with an extremely high quality person and it shows! It hasn’t occurred to upper management that you may have to go outside DCR system to find a high quality person that has ability and knowledge to do job.

My resolution to this problem is for you to assign someone to flag and

be responsible for any historic site before cutting commences. It could be the archeologist, forester, custodian, anyone except some boss’s kid or brother in-law can’t add to the growing nepotism that defines the DCR.   A great big title like Historic site technician would be in keeping with DCR customs.  How small of me to challenge established DCR dogma.  It is imponderable to think a person could gain employment in DCR by any other means than nepotism or the Peter principle as designed by ex gov. Mitt Romney.  Did this not happen the Royal families in Europe centuries ago?  We have five stooges (political hacks all), Baker appointees, managing a dysfunctional DCR.

Nepotism and the Peter priniciple have brought the DCR to its present dysfunctional state. The gene pool has played out to the level of the five stooges.  A man named Darwin once expounded on genetic variation, how soon we forget.  Dr. Clark ever consider taking a sabbatical when The Peter priniciple is cranked up to its maximum silliness about this time of year, possibly doing some postdoctoral work on management?  People tell me the DCR should be broken up into its component parts MDC, parks, etc., it is so consumed by nepotism and the Peter priniciple that it cannot be fixed.  The DCR has served its purpose a nice soft job for everyone that helped Mitt Romney on his presidential bid, bet he is working on creating a DCR in Utah, seeing that it worked so well for him in Massachusetts.

How come all the stooges and managers in DCR are snowflakes? Is the DCR a strictly a WASP organization, or is this just a coincidence?  Thank you Dr. Clark for not wearing a ten-dollar suit and strutting around the Belchertown headquarters showing your feathers like a peacock as Pula did.


When will the law-makers on Beacon Hill wake up and smell the coffee?  This is a bi-partisan issue, when democrats regain power they will put their five stooges of choice in place and the only thing that will change is the names.  It is the elected law-makers that will have to draw up a  bill to fix badly broken DCR or to break it up into its component parts.  The Quabbin desperately needs advocates at a high level in management instead of ex-pols trying to siphon money off with high-minded notions like rattlesnakes Quabbin.  If I had 130 million dollars in assets like the snake lobby, I’d have to turn help away to prevent further destruction of historic cellar-holes Quabbin.


Copy to:

Senator Elizabeth Warren

Senator Anne Gobi

Senator Eric Lessor

Mary E Aldrich