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$10,000 Worth of Solar Panels Stolen from National Forest



In New Hampshire’s White Mount National Forest, recreation sites were targeted along the Kancamagus Scenic Byway by thieves and vandals. They stole eight solar panels, three 12-volt electrical panels, three charge controllers, three inverters and several deep cycle batteries, altogether worth at least $10,000. The thefts occurred some time between October 2011 and March 2012.

The solar power system provided electricity for water pumping, lights, and exhaust fans. Additionally, recreation sites were vandalized by tree cutting and graffiti. Given the struggling economic recovery, and general lack of funding for some parks, such a loss of property is even more challenging to address.

“Funding to replace the stolen items and make the sites operational will be taken from other projects. It’s disheartening. When there are thefts, vandalism or break-ins on the forest, it affects everyone coming out to enjoy their public lands,” said Marianne Leberman, recreation and wilderness program leader for the White Mountain National Forest.

If anyone has information about the crime, please call U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement and Investigations at 603-447-5448, Ext. 129. The identities of any callers providing helpful information to authorities will be kept secret.

The Kancamagus Scenic Byway passes through the White Mountains near Mt. Kancamagus, and is replete with scenic areas and vistas. It is over 26 miles long, and is a very popular site for tourists, especially in Fall when thousands come to see the brilliant orange, scarlet and gold foliage.

White Mountain National Forest is 784,000 acres and has 48 peaks at least 4,000 feet high. It is the only national forest in New Hampshire or Maine, and is one of the most visited national forests in the region.

Source: Union Leader
Image Credit: Polaron, Wiki Commons

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