HIGHLAND – I have resided on a road that I consider to be one of the precious gems of Ulster County for the last 30 years, and my husband for the last 60 years — the beautiful and scenic North Elting Corners Road, in Highland. At this time of year, a drive up the road would take you through literal tunnels of brilliant crimson, orange, and gold foliage that would meet from trees on either side of the road, at times breathtaking.
But in recent months, in the name of maintenance and development, Central Hudson has come through like a wrecking ball, cutting down scores of trees that line the road for a good part of its distance, leaving in its wake what I can only describe as the devastation and destruction one might expect after a violent hurricane or tornado. Nothing but ugly stumps and dead wood lining the roadside.
Instead of the gorgeous vivid tunnels of color I have come to love on my autumn drives home, there is nothing above me but sky, and a feeling that it will never be the same again. My heart breaks, and I am deeply saddened, but I am also upset and frustrated that there could not have been a more environmentally friendly, greener alternative to telephone pole replacement than the havoc that has been wrought on my once pretty and bucolic byway.
I know that changes in the name of progress are inevitable, but I wonder if the companies responsible for it really care about erosion of our beautiful Hudson Valley roads, or is the only thing that matters the bottom line and what’s easiest for them.
Diane R. Eisgruber