South Mountain tower opponents lose big

The Federal Communications Commission has approved construction of a 180-foot telecommunications tower on South Mountain that critics say would ruin the history-rich rural landscape.

The tower is planned for Lamb's Knoll, a 1,758-foot peak on the Washington-Frederick county line.

I have mixed feelings about this. The really important point is this, however:

The knoll, along the federally protected Appalachian Trail, is part of the state-managed South Mountain Civil War battlefield.

Read that again. Then note that opposition to the tower came from a private organization, the Harpers Ferry Conservancy. Not from Civil War Preservation Trust, another private group that has repeatedly claimed credit for "saving" this battlefield, nor from the state of Maryland, which is erroneously believed to manage some mythical place called "South Mountain Civil War battlefield."

There is no such state battlefield park - it is a paperwork patch-up of easement deals; there is no protection for the mythical state park; and nothing has been saved.

And when mailing in your next check to the CWPT, you might want to bring the fact of the tower to their attention before they print another press release bragging about having saved South Mountain's battlefields.