Commissioner's Corner: Why does Yale care?

By Rick Samson
In preparing for our visit to Yale University, I did some research and homework. What I discovered and learned from several sources was truly eye-opening and at the same time very surprising.
What most people, not only here in the North Country, but also downstate, and at Yale do not know is that Yale owns approximately 150,000 acres of land in Coos County. They also own approximately 500,000 acres in Maine.
Yale's endowment fund is approximately $25.41 billion. That makes their investment in the Bayroot land in Coos County rather insignificant compared to their portfolio. Why would Yale be so concerned that we, here in the North Country, the rest of the state and at Yale recognize this connection to the proposed Northern Pass project. Could it be the benefits to Hydro-Quebec and Eversource? The destruction to New Hampshire? And the destruction of native Pessamit land in Quebec?
The general public is beginning to realize that most of what Eversource tells us is misinformation and lies. Do the applicants think that their lobbying and money can buy their way through New Hampshire or repair the massive damage to Quebec.
The Bayroot land is key and possibly the only route that will allow Northern Pass to succeed. Does Yale care about the questionable land practices that are and have been used on their land here in Coos County?
The Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies have a mission statement that emphasizes: "Prepares new leadership and creates new knowledge to sustain and restore the long-term health of the biosphere and the well-being of its people." Does that not include sustainable forestry practices?
Their mission statement includes at least 11 other points that should be questioned.
"We collaborate with all sectors of society to achieve fair and effective solutions to environmental problems," is also part of the mission statement. It is without question that Yale does not want to acknowledge the complete destruction of the native Pessamit's land, rivers and their way of life. It is completely opposite to their mission statement and contrary to their stated goals and objectives.
If one wants a comparison of Bayroots land and the management practices that their land managers are using, you need only to use Goggle Earth. Compare the land of the Second College Grant owned and managed by Dartmouth College and the Bayroot land here in Coos. If you see what the Bayroot land looked like in 2002-03 when purchased and now, it would be hard to say it is the same land.
It appears that the Bayroot land is a merchantable liquidation of a forest. It appears that almost every piece of timber that is marketable has been cut or liquidated. What does that leave for the future? Easements and the possible sale of the property to the federal government? The federal government buys the land with taxpayers money then removes the land from the towns tax base.
Brookfield Power owns 75 percent of the Coos Wind Park, the other 25 percent is owned by Freshet Wind Energy, another Yale shell company. Yale owns the land where the Coos Wind Park is located. Yale also owns the Record Hill Wind Project in Roxbury, Maine.
Both the Coos and Record Hill wind farms were developed with large taxpayer subsidies or our taxes. It appears that Yale, even with its large endowment fund takes advantage of the taxpayer subsidies to enlarge their endowment. Is Northern Pass, at our expense going to contribute to the Yale endowment fund and the continued destruction of the Bayroot and Quebec lands?
If you are interested in contacting the Yale School of Forestry to question their mission statement and lack of "walking the walk," write the dean of the Forestry School at:Professor Ingrid C. Burke, Dean of Yale School of Forestry
Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
185 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Email: indy. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: (203) 432-5109
Faculty Support: Iris Cordero, (302) 436-3634, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Chief Investment Officer:
David Swensen
55 Whitney Avenue, 5th Floor
New Haven, CT 06510
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: (203) 432-0119
For more information go to
I would encourage, everyone especially Yale alumni, to write, e-mail and call the above contacts.
Rick Samson
Coos County Commissioner
District Three