My name is Edward Charles Furlong III and I live in Bartlett, New Hampshire. This Statement of Facts and Events is written to summarize my experiences over the last 14 years with my business, Lil’ Man Snowmobile Rentals, located on my property in Bartlett, New Hampshire; and my experience with Doug Garland a selectman for the Town of Bartlett, Terry Miller a District Ranger for the USDA Forest Service, Annette Libby of the Bartlett Recreation Department, and the Bartlett Water Precinct.
Google Earth View
Before you continue reading you can click the pictures above in order to get a visual understanding of my property or you can view the property deed.
My property located at 1455 US Route 302 in Bartlett, New Hampshire is situated to the west of a piece of property owned by the Bartlett Water Precinct. Between my property and the Water Precinct’s property is a public access roadway (hereafter referred to as the Gateway/Ballfield Road or GBR) leading south from US Route 302 to the snowmobiling trails some 375 feet (total distance) away and connecting with the New Hampshire snowmobile trail system.
My property is a property of historical value with documented use as an Inn from the year 1896. The public roadway or GBR between my property and the Bartlett Water Precinct property is shown on a sketch dating 1926 and labeled as “road to forest floor/Bear Notch” (see cesspool design in my discovery). The GBR also served as an access way for the Sweet’s Gateway Inn parking and “buggy parking for the cabins” located to the back of my property. The GBR is the only access to the cabins on my property. Beginning as early as 1896 when the Sweets took title to the property located at 1455 US Route 302 in Bartlett, New Hampshire through November 2008, members of the general public including but not limited to the owners and business invitees of the property have accessed and recreated on the forest floor (and after its creation, The White Mountain National Forest) exiting at the rear of my property at the southeast corner by use of this public roadway known as GBR. At the time I began my business in 1997, this roadway (GBR) was a part of the statewide snowmobile trail system. The snowmobile trails ran across Route 302 and along the GBR and into the White Mountain National Forest following what I submit is the right-of-way (GBR) referred to and in use since the conveyance of the property from Alfred Stillings to Frank George dated October 12, 1878 (see evidence and deed in discovery). In 2008 and under pressure from my property being besieged upon with a lot of hearsay/accusations and doubts from the Bartlett Selectmen’s office pertaining to my legal right over the disputed GBR. I contacted a Forest Manager that had a PhD in forestry, Bruce Barnum with Wildworks Woodland Management Company, his findings were that the twin set of pines that are to the east side of my property located at 1455 route 302 Bartlett, New Hampshire and paralleling the GBR, are indeed, monument markers establishing the main entrance to the property when it was the Gateway Inn as early as 1895 but the set of twin pine trees not being older than 121 years or being planted around 1890 and that Bruce Barnum came out to my property to establish the approximate age of this wonderful set of twin pines that stood as the ‘Threshold’ to the Gateway Inn back in 1896; it was Bruce Barnum analysis that these twin sets of pine trees with approximately 15 feet between them, and approximately 150 feet at their highest top were documented by this man named Bruce Barnum from the Wildworks Woodland Management company as the main drive through or threshold to the Gateway Inn property and that the twin pines were the monument markers (see core samples and photos in discovery).
I began Lil’ Man Snowmobile Rentals in the winter of 1997 and incorporated in 1998. I started this business with only 8 snowmobiles in my rental fleet and through hard work, blood, sweat and tears have built Lil’ Man Snowmobile Rentals to the largest snowmobile rental facility in the Northeast. Lil’ Man Snowmobile Rentals has become a very popular snowmobiling destination, with the main attraction being direct trail access. Lil’ Man takes reservations year round from customers worldwide. The trail system in Bartlett is a unique trail system. It is a closed system meaning that you can’t take a wrong turn and end up in Canada. The trails make all sorts of different loops but you cannot get out of the 55 miles of trail on your snowmobile. Also, once you are in the trail system there are no roads, operational railroad tracks or bodies of water to cross, so through the years I have labeled these trails family friendly. This is an ideal trail system for families and new riders; there are many outlooks and pullovers to admire the beauty of the White Mountains, or stop for a picnic lunch on warmer days. These trails are maintained and patrolled by the New Hampshire Bureau of Trails, the USDA Forest Service and our local snowmobile club, White Mountain Trail Club. By USDA and New Hampshire Bureau of Trails’ law these trails are multi-use trails, meaning that they are available for people to hike, ski, snowmobile, bike, snowshoe or even dogsled. Since Lil’ Man Snowmobile Rentals has been in business for 14 years as of this writing I am proud to say that our safety record is impeccable and the vast majority of customers leave smiling and happy, always talking about what a great time they had with Lil’ Man.
The public has been accessing the multiuse trail system in the National Forest, via the GBR along the east side of my property, for as long as I’ve been in business and snowmobilers who are using the trails as well as cross country skiers and snowshoers have stopped in to Lil’ Man via the GBR to purchase gasoline, candy, soda, water and maps. I have had many people over the years, park in my front public parking area and access the trail system using the GBR for purposes other than snowmobiling such as walking their dogs, hiking, snow shoeing and just to explore the White Mountain National Forest. We also do ‘stay and ride’ packages as I have rental cabins on my property and an Inn. These customers access their rented cabins using the GBR; without that access my cabin customers have to park in front with my snowmobile customers and hike in to their rented cabins. As Lil’ Man grew in fleet and reputation I have employed more and more people, starting with 1 or 2 employees when I first opened in 1997, to as many as 8 to 10 employees in previous years. Back to Top
At the same time I began Lil’ Man Snowmobile Rentals, in the year 1997, a man down the street, Doug Garland, opened a cross country ski business, Bear Notch Cross Country Ski Touring Center, from his own inn and cabin rental business, Mountain Home Cabin Rentals. Doug Garland’s business mirrors mine with the one exception being that he rents cross country skis and I rent snowmobiles. This business that is owned and operated by Doug Garland (and his brother John Garland) is located just ¼ mile from my property and shares the same trail system that Lil’ Man Snowmobile Rentals uses.
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It was early in the winter of 1999 when Doug Garland made his first phone call to my snowmobile rental office complaining that some trails in this multiuse trail system that we both use are exclusive to his cross country skiers and that I should “keep my snowmobilers off them”. He was referring to the spur trails that run from his property to the New Hampshire Bureau’s of trails primary multiuse trail system. I explained to Doug about how our current trail map that we supply our customers which explicitly show these cross country ski only trails in question and these problems should not present themselves. I even suggested that we put signs, where these cross country ski only spur trails leave the main trail system , that prohibit snowmobile use so as snowmobilers would not be confused. Customers will hopefully abide by these signs and these problems will not occur in the future. Doug agreed with me and signs were posted on trees entering those trails that were solely for the use of cross country skiers to access the main trail system from Doug Garland’s land. Not long after this, in March of 1999, another minor altercation between Doug Garland and me occurred over the phone regarding the cross country skiers clashing with snowmobilers up on the trails. I am not even sure that the snowmobilers he was furious about were my customers as there are other public entrances to this trail system. Doug was extremely agitated that his cross country skiers were being annoyed by the noise and smell that snowmobiles make and this made Doug angry with me. I assured him that it was not only my customers on these trails, there are other snowmobilers that use the trail system ,too, but Doug didn’t want to hear it. He would not share the White Mountain National Forest trails with any snowmobilers if he had his druthers; even though these are multiuse trails and snowmobilers have the same right to use them as the cross country skiers. Doug would say to me that if he disliked snowmobilers so much why does he own one himself. The answer from my perspective would be that snowmobiles are inherently indispensable when you are grooming cross country ski trails. It was at this early juncture that I began to feel uneasy about the inability to share these trails with Doug Garland’s cross country ski rental business after seeing his demeanor towards me and my business and his apparent animosity torwards snowmobiling in general. There didn’t seem to be a healthy competitive relationship here but just a very angry man (who was to become Selectman in March 2000) calling and berating me and my snowmobile customers. It seemed to me that Doug Garland considered himself to be at war with Lil’ Man, Edward Furlong and snowmobilers. “It is only friendly competition” I would say to him, but he was not thinking in a business sense and was so angry about the sharing of trails. He just cannot bring himself to accept the fact that these trails are multiuse which means that everybody can use them. It is sad to think that snowmobilers and cross country skiers can’t coexist and enjoy the same trails. Every year thousands of bicyclists come to the White Mountains and bike the roadways in the area, they get along fine with the motorists who come to see the same beautiful sites. If everyone is respectful to the rules of the road/trail there is no reason that motorized and non-motorized recreation enthusiasts cannot get along and enjoy the beauty of the area, and share the same space. It is now the summer of 1999, the snow season is over and despite the friction between Doug Garland’s cross country ski business and my snowmobile business we seem to be on somewhat amicable terms. I believe this because Doug Garland and I would wave at each other in passing and because I had not received any more threatening or accusatory phone calls from him in a while.
It was around July 1999 when I noticed a man I had never seen before on the Bartlett Water Precinct property located to the east of my property talking with Doug Garland and pointing to the public roadway (GBR) that my snowmobile customers use to access the trail system and my lodging customers use to access the rental cabins. This man turned out to be Terry Miller of the USDA Forest Service and the public roadway (GBR) they were talking about and pointing to what turned out to be the very public roadway (GBR) that was later fenced off in 2008 by the Town of Bartlett’s Selectman’s Office, leaving both my cabin rental business and my snowmobile rental business totally shut down. This man, Terry Miller, is the District Ranger for the Saco Ranger Station of the USDA Forest Service. In the year 2001, I again saw Doug Garland with Terry Miller talking and pointing while standing on the Bartlett Water Precinct property located next to mine. I couldn’t figure out why the owner of a cross country ski business and a Forest Ranger would be talking about Bartlett Water Precinct property and the public roadway (GBR) next to it so I went down to say hello. I asked them what brought them around to this area. Doug Garland replied, “Hi Ed, this gentleman is Terry Miller, the guy in charge of the trails and we are discussing the upcoming snowmobile and cross country ski season and trail maintenance”. I felt that Doug Garland was lying and that he was down next to my property discussing shutting my trail access down, and to find out later that he was speaking to Terry Miller about a land exchange deal, trading Bartlett land for a National Forest parcel outback my place which is as blatant and liable as ones going to get in this ongoing conspiracy (see land exchange paperwork in discovery) that Doug Garland has been trying to find ways to buy the property out back through the Selectmen’s office through a land exchange deal with Terry Miller and the USDA Forest Service and shut down my snowmobile rental business for good. I would find out later, from Terry Miller himself, that the other conversation they had discussed was about my access route (GBR) for Lil’ Man snowmobile rentals; Doug Garland was inquiring about ways to curtail the impact to his cross country ski operation by my snowmobile rental customers coming up on the trails (see letter in discovery). It’s now 2001 and I am in my 4th year of business and very successful. Doug Garland’s cross country skiers were still clashing with snowmobilers up on the trails. At this point in time (2001), after Terry Miller’s persistent questioning me about guiding and non-guiding laws pertaining to his guideline book per National Forest regulations and laws. Terry Miller finally came to the conclusion and stated that I did not need a special use permit because I was not guiding tours, I was renting snowmobiles and giving lessons and safety instructions on my property and then sending the customers by way of the (public GBR) into the White Mountain National Forest. We agreed that I wasn’t breaking any law and I continued my business unimpeded that winter. Note: I did realized that my property had something very valuable that no other commercial property probably had in Bartlett, a public right of way, the GBR, adjacent to my property leading into the beautiful White Mountain National Forest. I came to realize that this unique situation, the location of the GBR in relation to my commercial Lil’ Man/Abenaki Inn property, allowed me to inadvertently circumvent the Outfitter/Guide programs of the USDA through this fortuitous situation that had allowed me to stay off White Mountain Nation Forest while supplying snowmobile rentals to the general public and accessing the trails via the GBR. Terry Miller and I discussed the fact that this was indeed a special situation for me but, he stated, that if I decide to send a guide with a group out on trails that would make me an Outfitter/Guide, and I would then need to apply for a permit. I felt very lucky to have this special piece of property and I thought that it was wonderful that I didn’t need to be a permit holder with the National Forest Service but still could operate on the New Hampshire snowmobile trail network.
Doug Garland ran for, and was elected to the Town of Bartlett’s Selectman’s Office in March, 2000. Since that time he has also been the Selectman’s representative to the Planning Board. While serving in that capacity with the Planning Board, Doug Garland has used his influence to the favor of his business interests, in particular having the expansion of the trail system for the Bear Notch ski Touring Center to be linked with those in Jackson and Intervale to provide a larger regional trail network included within the Master Plan for the Town of Bartlett. Another important item that was on Doug Garland’s agenda when he first took office as a Selectman in March of 2000 was a drafted piece of legislation for an ordinance to “keep all new snowmobile rental businesses who come to Bartlett from operating ,and denying an occupational license without first going through the rigors of the ZBA (Zoning Board of Adjustment) .
Since becoming Selectman in March of 2000, Doug Garland has also used his position and influence to issue me violation after violation for my property and business, and has illegally used his official capacity to pass ordinances and make deals that benefit his business and hinder my business.
Doug Garland has always shown at the very least a conflict of interest on the surface, but it has been more than that. He has what I would dub ‘a quiet conspiracy’ going on, primarily with sharing proprietary information regarding myself and my business with Terry Miller of the USDA Forest Service and Annette Libby of the Bartlett Recreation Department and using a delicate blend of collusion, deprivation of equality, conflict of interest, and to endeavor to undermine and discriminate against me through derogatory remarks about my past as a homeless man and disabled alcoholic (see Furlong SSI paperwork in discovery). He has never entertained stepping down at Selectmen meetings regarding me or my business even though we were having personal problems with our businesses and that we were in obvious conflict and competition with each other. He has constantly harassed me through certified letters from the Selectman’s Office saying that I had done this or that wrong. Nothing I did was ever right. In another case Doug Garland had brought against me through the Selectmen’s office (that had been dismissed twice by a local state Judge) the Selectman decided to take the case all the way to the New Hampshire Supreme Court. I applied for the wrong type of permit to paint, shingle and replace rotten wood on one of my cabins. The Selectmen found fault with the type of permit I applied for, even though I wasn’t changing the footprint of the cabin, and the drawing I supplied was appropriate for this. This case has been twice ruled on in my favor by the state court system (see court papers in discovery). Doug Garland himself in 2003 applied for a permit to rebuild one of his own cabins used as a rental that had burned to the ground and his drawing for his cabin was very poor to say the least. His permit for his cabin was issued by the Selectman’s Office that he belongs to. I would frequently ask Doug Garland at Selectman meetings why he wasn’t stepping down or recusing himself from making any judgments or decisions regarding my property or my business. Just that conflict of interest alone makes me feel slighted by the Selectman and the Town of Bartlett. It wasn’t until 2010 that Doug Garland finally recused himself from a Selectman’s meeting. This meeting was regarding a new snowmobile rental company, a competitor of mine, (Northern Extremes) run by Peter Gagne, who had just moved to town. I felt a slap in the face at this action by Doug Garland; he recuses himself from making decisions as a Selectman for my competition but not for my business that has suffered tremendous damage from having frivolous violations sent to my home and business. Not to mention the detriment to come in regards to litigating to save myself and my businesses. This was a huge blow to my own integrity and my self-worth as a resident of Bartlett, a businessman in Bartlett, a citizen of the United States of America and as a human being.
It was February 2002 when I received a phone call from one of my customers. These particular customers were not on designated cross country ski trails but on the railroad bed tracks up torwards the Bartlett Village proper, and are part of the trail system zoned as multiuse. My customers were frantic this day when they called me and told me that there was someone in a groomer (it was John Garland, Doug Garland’s brother) who had stopped them on their snowmobiles and became belligerent and abusive towards them. John Garland told my customers to get off their machines and he literally chained the machines together from a length of chain he pulled from the cab of his Sno-Cat, so they could not be driven. John Garland told my customers, “you don’t belong here, I’m chaining these sleds up and you can walk back to Lil’ Man and tell Ed Furlong to keep his sleds off our land”. I know that the Garlands do have large tracts of land in Bartlett that have cross country skiing only trails on them that are separate from the snowmobile trails but these railroad tracks that my customers were detained on were actually part of the New Hampshire Bureau of snowmobile trails and not on Garland’s land. Nonetheless John Garland chained up my 3 snowmobiles and made my customers leave them there. I called Tim Connifey, the Chief of the Bartlett Police Department, and I stated to him that I wanted to have Doug Garland and his brother arrested or charged with theft or whatever charges were applicable for this situation. Chief Connifey came to my office about 2 hours later to tell me that there was nothing he could do and that no crime really took place. I was not only livid at this point but totally taken aback as what to do or what recourse was available to me to have this situation remedied. I asked Tim Connifey to at least file a report about the incident so it would be there for the record (see police report in discovery).
It is now the summer of 2005 and the past winter was probably the best Lil’ Man has ever had with us grossing about $350,000.00 for the season. Lil’ Man has continuously grown in snowmobile rentals and customer base since I opened the doors in 1997. Things seem to be heading in the right direction for both me, Edward Furlong and the Lil’ Man, save for all the violations and notices that I have been receiving from the Bartlett Selectman’s Office signed by none other than Doug Garland. One set of violations I received in particular are especially interesting and moreover, compelling. I began receiving setback violations in the mail regarding the property line between my property and the property I had recently purchased next door. The Town allows for 25 feet from every property line as green space, there is nothing to be placed in this area. I purchased the property located directly to the west of my property at 1467 US Route 302 in Bartlett NH. The previous owner of this property, Mr. Don Ryder, stored equipment right along the property line between his property located at 1467 US Route 302 and my property located at 1455 US Route 302 for years, never receiving one violation (see photos and evidence in discovery). Don Ryder stored junk VW busses right along the property line for 10 years while he owned it. Don Ryder never received one setback violations from the Selectman’s Office and the one thing I can’t figure out is, when I bought 1467 US Route 302 and stored my snowmobiles along the property line I received numerous setback violations. Allow me to point out that Don Ryder stored equipment along the property line when someone else owned the property next door and received no violations, but when I stored equipment on the property line, when I actually owned both sides of it, l received violations. These violations were all signed by Doug Garland, the same man who had been verbally abusive to me on the phone over the past years regarding his problems with my business, my customers and myself as an individual and who by my own admission states to be a former homeless man and disabled alcoholic (see Furlong SSI documents and newspaper articles in discovery). Doug Garland has gained this knowledge about my past through various newspaper articles and through information given to him through the police department by way of Tim Connifey, Bartlett Chief of Police. Doug Garland and Don Ryder are close friends and past schoolmates, and obviously I am not a close friend with Doug Garland or Tim Connifey. This is just another time when Doug Garland wasn’t fair to me in his role as Selectman and used my past disability as a homeless /alcoholic man to prohibit me from achieving anymore success from my business or life (see photos and letters in the setback portion of my discovery).
Terry Miller, District Ranger with the forest Service, has never embraced Lil’ Man Snowmobile Rentals or myself as being the owner of this successful and legitimate business. Terry Miller does not treat Lil’ Man as an equitable business to others in my area; I have found this to be bizarre and very conspicuous in its entirety (see comparisons of letters to me and my competition in my discovery). Terry Miller always speaks negatively about the few unhappy customers I have had over the years. I rent very expensive equipment and sometimes people don’t treat it as they should and they cause damage. Sometimes these people don’t want to pay for the damage they caused. This is going to result in unhappy customers that on occasion we do get. This does not happen very often, as I said, the vast majority of Lil’ Man customers come happy, have a great time and leave happy. Terry Miller chooses to focus on the few negative experiences Lil’ Man Snowmobile Rentals has had over the years rather than the tens of thousands of happy customers that had a wonderful experience. Terry Miller never has anything nice to say to me, never acknowledges my safety statistics or the fact that we provide our customers the opportunity for a one of a kind adventure in the White Mountain National Forest. On a busy Saturday in February I usually send 200 people on snow machines to enjoy our forest with safety always at the front of my employee’s minds. Terry Miller never looks to the future of the sport and has never recognized me as a major constituent to the sport of snowmobiling, saying I am not a public place. “Excuse me”, I would say, “why isn’t this a public place?” Not only is everyone allowed here, but we cater to the needs of the handicap as well (see Wounded Warriors evidence in discovery). Lil’ Man is most certainly a public place, I have handicap facilities and a full staff that is trained on special needs customers. I have asked Terry Miller if he considers Lil’ Man Snowmobile Rentals a public place and he emphatically answer that I am not a public facility. I believe this statement to be false. “What about Attitash Ski Resort?”Which is located in Bartlett, too, I have asked him. Attitash is a public ski resort, whether it is owned privately or not, it is still a public facility, open to the public. This question he did not answer. Mindful note: Attitash has been for years collaborating with the USDA Forest Service regarding their extra spur trails that are actually owned by White Mountain National Forest, permitted by Terry Miller (see maps in discovery).So you can see that Terry miller collaborates well with the downhill ski industry as he does with Doug Garland’s Bear Notch Cross Country Ski Touring Center , and by the looks of it seems very one-sided.
The Forest Service states, “if any organization chooses to outfit and tour with a guide” on the White Mountain National Forest then one needs a special use permit issued from the local Ranger Station, this is the office that Terry Miller is the supervisor for. Terry Miller is responsible for making the decision of who will get a special use permit and who will not. I had never needed a special use permit because I have always done self guided tours, meaning my employees give the customer a safety lesson and a user friendly trail map permitting the patrons to explore at their own pace starting out from my commercial property to the public road (GBR) to the snowmobile trail approximately 375 feet away. Starting around 2005, I was told frequently by Terry Miller about the permitting process both by phone and by letter. I always told him that I would consider doing guided tours someday but for now I was happy with the way my business was running, just letting the customers out on their own without a guide. I told Terry Miller that my customers were happy and we seldom had people wanting a tour. Terry Miller did not like the fact that my property had something that no other property in Bartlett had; a public roadway adjacent to my commercial property that accessed the White Mountain National Forest. My business created a new set of problems for Terry Miller because the laws apply to my business and property differently since I am neither outfitting nor guiding on National Forest land. I am renting/leasing snowmobiles to the public and they are entering the National Forest on their own, via the public roadway (GBR) that is fortuitously adjacent to my property. This public access has been going on for years, since at least 1896 when the Sweets were the owners and called their business the Gateway Inn. Terry Miller knew that laws needed to be misunderstood or misconstrued about this access I had or perhaps he would just lay the burden of proof on me, as he has done and forced me to challenge his descriptions of the law through his own office seemed a futile endeavor at best by me so I continued to be deceived and betrayed by Terry Miller. Terry Miller has constantly misrepresented the laws through their inherent vagueness; Terry Miller would say I was violating this law of ‘staging’ snowmobiles on National Forest Land. When I would ask him for a copy of the law that prohibits this kind of conduct (escorting a client to the trail on foot to his /her rented snowmobile and helping them onto the snowmobile), he couldn’t or wouldn’t answer me or give me any literature on that law. Terry Miller would also manipulate existing law by giving me his own interpretation to laws that while investigating later I found to be the total opposite. Terry Miller told me one year that I didn’t need an Outfitter/Guide permit and then came back a few years later saying I did need one. Always using my lack of knowledge of Forest Law to stump me in questions and making me feel lesser as a person than he. Terry Miller always had a patronizing way about him towards me. Since he has had affiliations with Doug Garland and has the Board of Selectman on his side, he feels he can exercise his power more forcibly and preside over my businesses authenticity because he has the support of the local Selectmen, specifically Doug garland. He has knowledge about my past as a disabled homeless man/alcoholic and he acts and speaks to me as though he feels superior to me and he can discriminate against me and Lil’ Man based on that information (see letters, videos and photos from my discovery).
Terry Miller has used coercion to get me to come on board with the special use permit by telling me different meanings to different laws that tend to contradict their actual meaning and then withholding laws that would benefit me. He has used his authority to exceed his lawful duties by conspiring with Doug Garland to deprive me of inherent civil liberties I received when I became a US citizen at my birth. I am still not sure what laws he is trying to enforce on me in regards to my legal access through the GBR. For example, Terry Miller has recently started citing me for ‘staging’ snowmobiles on National Forest land. I have asked him what staging is and where is the statute that prohibits it, he just changes the subject. Terry Miller is making a mockery out of existing law and violating my civil rights in the process. I told Terry Miller in 2005 that I rent snowmobiles to my customers and then they proceed to the trails with an informative map via a public roadway (GBR). In 2005, I had been doing this for 8 years with no problems and for 13 years prior to Lil’ Man opening, the snowmobile rental company owned by a neighbor across the street had been doing the same thing, renting machines and then having the customers travel to the National Forest via the public roadway (GBR) adjacent to my property. And I reminded Terry Miller that we have had this discussion many times in the past about my trail access through the GBR as being perfectly legal. To encapsulate Terry Millers character I reference court transcripts dated February 25, 2010 where Terry Miller lies under oath to Judge Muirhead regarding his knowledge of the Wounded Warriors currently being out on the snowmobile trails.
In January of 2005, I had been in communication with Chris Comanche, acting Chief of the New Hampshire Bureau of Trail, and Chris had tentatively agreed to contract Lil’ Man’s Sno-Cat to groom the snowmobile trails . This was huge for my business and my image as a business man but Terry Miller called Chris Comanche and told him that the Forest Service opposed a grooming contract with Lil’ Man, as Lil’ Man was not a legitimate business because of the complaints drawn on him through the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and a grooming contract would not be in the Bureau of Trail’s best interest. Chris Comanche communicated to me over the phone that I was not going to be considered at this time for grooming operations, contrary to our previous discussions and written contract. I knew that Terry Miller was to blame for hindering my operation and still using his position with the Forest Service to stop me from being as successful as I could be. The written contract that Chris Comanche had sent me was now null and void with no other explanation than to say we will “discuss Lil’ Man grooming opportunities at a later date.”
As I sit here thinking now, it was quite unnerving to me that I had this difficult relationship with Terry Miller of the Forest Service. I just didn’t understand it. I wanted so much to get along with him back in 2005. I thought it would behoove me and my business to cooperate and try to get along with any member of an official government agency, I was wrong. Back to Top
I received a letter from Terry Miller in November of 2005 requesting my presence at a meeting with Terry Miller, Mark Mageles, a Law enforcement Officer (LEO) for the Forest Service, and Holly Jewkes, assistant to Terry Miller on January 16, 2006. The meeting place was the Saco District Ranger Station, Terry Miller’s office. I arrived early and set up a video recorder, which I always do at town meetings I attend or any other official meeting I go to, but Terry Miller was not in agreement to my taping the meeting with my video recorder. He showed visible disconcertion over it when he looked and saw the camera. Terry Miller stated that even though this was a government meeting and official he did not want me to record the meeting. I offered to make copies for everyone and he still insisted that I turn off the video recorder; it was then I turned off the video recorder at Terry Miller’s request (see 4 minute video in discovery). It was at this meeting that Terry Miller told me that someone had seen me doing tours last year and stated to me that I “either come on board with the outfitter/guide regulations or not run next year”. I felt that this meeting was not going well, this is what I feared would happen to my business that I worked so hard to make successful . I was now in my 8th consecutive year running legitimately without any permits. This meeting was not about me becoming a permitted Outfitter/Guide because by law I didn’t have to. Terry Miller had decided he was going to use one item he found on my website that suggested we did tours (this was for marketing research only). I told Terry Miller that he is pegging me deliberately with this fabricated accusation. He was trying to squeeze me and my business for a 3% fee that I wasn’t obligated by law to pay and that made Terry Miller angry with me. Terry Miller was again manipulating the already vague statutes to better suit his own desires. Terry Miller was using his official capacity as US Forest Service District Ranger and his one man police force (LEO Mark Mageles) to deprive me of my civil rights. Terry Miller and Mark Mageles would often be seen watching my operation and my customers from the snowmobile trail at the rear of my property and threatening me, my employees and at times even harassing my customers (see videos, letters and customer complaints in discovery). Often times in the past I would go out and try to say hello and they were always negative with me or rude, stating things like, “if you break the law we will catch up with you” and “Furlong, do you have all your registrations in line?” and Furlong “don’t be taking your groomer (Sno-Cat) out”. My customers and employees were appalled by this behavior, especially since these were men in uniform, what right did they have to treat me like a child on my own property. Many of my customers would become agitated and scared from this harassment, naturally, normal people are intimated by men in uniforms that carry guns. I am still not certain just how much revenue I have lost to this situation (men in green hanging on or around my property all last winter) or how many customers will never come back to Lil’ Man, but I know it is significant and I was livid at times that these men were acting this way (setting up a Gestapo like barrier at the rear of my property) usually on the busy weekends. One time I know I acted out with words against Mark Mageles, I regret using these words and I have stated since then that I acted in a childish way, and I regret it. I could have handled the situation a little more diplomatically. A man can only take so much abuse no matter if the other person is in uniform and in official capacity or not. Mark Mageles was on my property at its perimeter harassing me and my employees, and disrespecting my customers who had nothing to do with the Forest Service’s self imposed problems of me within my own property line. For 8 years I ran unimpeded from any interference by Forest Service personnel and/or the Bartlett Selectman by way of the GBR. It was not until my competition moved to town, my competition that did guided tours and had a guiding permit, that Terry Miller saw an opportunity that presented itself. Terry Miller started telling me from time to time either by letter or by phone conversation that I needed to use the access parking lot 1 mile from my business like the two other rental companies use because they don’t enjoy the direct access I enjoy so it’s not fair to them. I told him that I have direct trail access from my property, why in the world would I agree to trailer all 90 of my snowmobiles 1 mile away because my two new competitors thinks it’s unfair. That would be a logistical nightmare to begin trailering 90 snowmobiles 1 mile away and it would undermine my entire operation and compromise our safety record. And as far as being un-fair how does Terry Miller categorize me with these fly-by -night operations that have no real estate next to the trail. Terry Miller told me I had to operate legally. I told Terry Miller that I spend $6,000.00 annually to register my machines through the New Hampshire Bureau of Trails and I’m as legal as legal can get. When Terry Miller told me not to use any trail leaving my property anymore I asked him what rental company in town paid who’s pocket to render that decision against me. What I am doing is legal, and Terry Miller has never explained why he has waited eight years to introduce these new laws to me. Maybe it was because these were not new laws but merely existing law that he has intentionally misconstrued to me, or perhaps, manipulated again, violating the most precious of right known to mankind, the right from oppression. At the same time that Terry Miller is pulling these shenanigans on me he is also discussing with the Town of Bartlett through Doug Garland a land exchange deal between the USDA Forest Service and the town of Bartlett. This land exchange would entail the swapping of the land directly behind my property, southside, owned by the USDA White Mountain National Forest, for some land owned by the town of Bartlett up off the Town Hall Road area. This land exchange would benefit the town by giving them complete control over the back of my property and with no other meritorious reason than to oppress me even further through these conspicuous and certainly unorthodox means of collusion and deceit by the defendants. An acquisition of that peculiarity only illicit suspicion in my mind. Lil’ Man down and Ed Furlong for good. This deal would deprive me of my absolute freedom from ever entering into the National Forest again from the rear of my historic property. I find that this dialogue between the USDA Forest Service’s Terry Miller and the Town of Bartlett’s Selectmen to be so conspicuously without reasonable merit I can only believe the deal’s sole purpose is to deprive me even further my rights under Constitutional law. This is as blatant as it comes in regards to Doug Garland’s plan to shut my business down because it was Doug Garland that brought this idea of a land exchange to the table at a Selectmen’s meeting back in 2004 and it was he who initiated the proposal at a town selectmen meeting (see minutes from the Selectmen’s meetings in discovery). Doug Garland wants this land exchange for the Town so that he can close down my trail access from the rear of my property permanently and also leave the GBR closed permanently never allowing public access again. It is Doug Garland who is now trying to persuade the USDA Forest supervisor Terry Miller to corroborate with him on this. It was an excellent opportunity for Terry Miller and the Town of Bartlett because Lil’ man Snowmobile Rentals is trying to play by the Defendants rules as they make them; confusing me at every corner, it’s a wonder I’ve survived this long. Terry Miller thought it would be a strategic moment in time, I am certain, to try and snag me now into getting me to be an Outfitter/Guide Permitee, which means in essence that I would have to pay for a permit and give a percentage (3%) of my revenues to the government. It also means that I would have to deliver my snowmobiles 1 mile up the road to a place Terry Miller has decided to make the official off-loading area for snowmobile rental companies who are operating under a special use permit (see map and photos of Albany Ave DOT Parking lot in discovery). Per previous discussions with the Town of Bartlett (see minutes in discovery), Terry Miller was working in tandem with the Selectman’s office to shut me down, predictably void of any ethical due process one might expect to receive and certainly void of any legal due process that was owed me. There were numerous requests from the Selectman to Terry Miller wanting to know if my business status is legal without an Outfitter/Guide Permit. Now the Town of Bartlett has decided to shut off the public right of way (GBR) to my property and my cabin rentals and leave me and my businesses totally in the lurch, without access along the GBR. Yes, I am now operating illegally Terry Miller would tell me. Coupled with that is Doug Garland’s repetitive request to Terry Miller that he revoke my access on the secondary 75’ spur trail I have used since owning my property as well. This 75’ spur trail I’ve already fought over in court and it is located directly behind my property.
I decided in March of 2006 after 2 years of harassment to come on board with Terry Miller and the Forest Service and go ahead and get a special use permit for guiding even though I wasn’t planning on altering my business practices any and staying with the self-guided snowmobiling . I thought by coming on-board with Terry Miller that it would make him happy and I felt it was the right thing to do as I was making money using the National Forest land but on the other hand I was already paying dearly to register my machines through the New Hampshire Bureau of Trails sled registration mandate. I was impacting the environment in some way and I felt it was a good business decision to give some money back to the National Forest through the fees associated with the USDA Outfitter/Guide program. It is not about Lil’ Man’s impact on the White Mountain National Forest really, and it’s not about collecting fees from me or my business, it is about my impact on the competing cross country ski operation owned and operated by Doug Garland and Doug Garland’s profound animosity for me as a former disabled homeless and alcoholic man. The Eastern Regional Ski Team grants permits for Doug Garland’s operation. There have been discussions via e-mails between the Eastern Regional Ski Team, Doug Garland and Terry Miller trying to find a solution to the volume of sleds that Lil’ Man is sending up on the trails. That there is a situation or problem between Lil’ Man Snowmobile Rentals and Doug Garland’s Bear Notch Cross Country Ski Center and that a solution needs to be found and the problem needs to be addressed (see emails in discovery). It has been the agenda of Terry Miller to get that situation under control by whatever means necessary. So , as I stated earlier, it not about Lil Man’ coming on board with the Outfitter /Guide program, it is an attempt to fix the situation on the trails with Doug Garland’s cross country skiers. Unfortunately, fixing the situation means making me up-root my business that I’ve enjoyed so much success with for 12 years and being forced to trailer my snowmobiles for my customers to use one mile up the road to an authorized parking facility designated by Terry Miller. This is where the snowmobile rental companies deliver their snowmobiles to when they don’t have a piece of real estate or a fixed location in Bartlett like I have, or had. It is Terry Miller’s job as a District ranger to fix the situation with his friends at Eastern Region Ski Team and Doug Garland and to do this he has taken my status away as the premier snowmobile rental company in the entire Northeast and reduced my company to a regular mediocre snowmobile rental facility that has to trailer their snowmobiles one mile up the road. The impact of Doug Garland’s cross country ski business is viewed by most to be less impacting than snowmobiles, this is true to some extent, but getting permit fees and revenues from Lil’ Man is a way to regulate me and my business. The only impact whatsoever that my snowmobiles have on the environment, or any other person’s snowmobile, is the same air pollution that all motorized vehicles create. I was wrong about making Terry Miller a happy camper by coming on board with the Outfitter/Guide program. All I accomplished by getting a special use permit was to allow Terry Miller and the Forest Service into my life and my business operations even further, to a greater degree and this has turned out to be clearly a mistake because it allowed Terry Miller to have more leverage to harass me and my business operation and even more encroachments to my civil liberties by his constant presence on my property. Back to Top
The property located directly to my east is owned by the Bartlett Water Precinct. This piece of land had only had a backstop and diamond mound for 19 years. Prior to 1991 it was just an empty field. The Bartlett Water Precinct is a utility and is not part of the Town of Bartlett. However it is an affiliate as they share thoughts and plans with the Town of Bartlett, and voice their concerns and make decisions with each other concerning Edward Furlong and Lil’ Man Snowmobile Rental to deliberately undermine my civil rights as a citizen. The Bartlett Water Precinct has deprived me, and allowed me to be deprived by the Town of Bartlett, of the rightful use of property belonging to me under prescribed easement law and the right to commerce unimpeded by harassment in the form of land use violations, and to oppress me by using the tools of their respective offices, namely through the Selectman’s office to injure me and force my companies into hardship and financial insolvency. I have notoriously and conspicuously used this right of way for the last 14 years and the previous owners notoriously and conspicuously used it dating back as far as 1896 (see The Latchstring was Always Out, A History of Lodging Hospitality and Tourism in Bartlett, NH in my discovery). This public road (GBR) is a right of way pursuant to prescribed easement law that was applicable in the 19th century or 1896 when the Gateway was in its inception, and ludicrously enough, pursuant to the lower Bartlett Water Precinct’s own ordinance handbook detailing the GBR as a legal right of way, hitherto (see the Lower Bartlett Water Precinct’s ordinances in discovery). These acts by the Defendant, depriving me equal treatment and fairness, are not the means which the Defendants use when dealing with other people or other businesses. The Defendant’s actions have targeted me because they feel I impact the trails more or that my business is out of control or that my driveway isn’t wide enough or because I was a homeless, disabled man. The Defendants have no control over how successful I become. However, without my access along the GBR, the Defendants were cognizant that my business would suffer and that I would have to succumb to these injustices and fail as a human being and business man. The defendants acts directed at the myself are recorded through official minutes or electronic mail or by the Defendants own admissions or by video record. Or perhaps, by my own foresight and diligence to ask for records and record the injustices as they were happening in real-time, and to preserve those records for the purpose of what I am now here seeking; a fair and impartial jury to hear my complaint and see the overwhelming evidence I have accumulated through the years of the Defendants abuses by and through their respective offices. Perhaps they are envious of what I have accomplished or their jealousy has defied their ability to reason with me in a fair and impartial way. I intend to see this through to the end where hopefully there is justice and it will prevail even for such a character as myself. These Defendants acted together with a common goal that was twofold, to reduce my impact on the National Forest Trails by whatever means is necessary to allow for a better cross country ski experience and to hold me responsible for me being an erstwhile homeless man and disabled alcoholic and make me feel different from other people. I wonder sometimes what this world is coming to; everything the Defendants have inflicted on me was done with total disregard for the collateral damage that I have endured and been burdened with. Such as, three visits to the hospital for stress related chest pain associated with the legal problem I am having with the Defendants (see medical reports in discovery). I have reports to show significant financial burden and insolvency. The Defendants have acted arbitrarily and capriciously; not allowing me any due process through their respective offices, and that this has been the status quo for several years now. The Bartlett Water Precinct has held this land, the Ballfield and GBR, that abuts my property in more of a proprietary state than use as a utility, since its donation back in 1921; meaning that the lot lay barren without fence or structures until 1988.
The Bartlett Water precinct shares information with the Bartlett Selectman’s Office, they share thoughts and ideas, and incorporate ideas to create bi-lateral agreements. Lil’ Man Snowmobile Rentals is an obstacle in the way of Doug Garland and he used the Town and the Water Precinct to cross over the line while seeking out a solution. The Town and Water Precinct agreed to perform certain acts that were not normal procedure in the closing of the GBR that would only hurt me. The Town of Bartlett and Bartlett Water Precinct arbitrarily closed the GBR without public comment or forum and the civil right to due process was ignored by the Defendants and left me without just and viable remedies. The rights to a public way (GBR) were violated when the Bartlett Water Precinct neglected to honor their own scribed ordinances per the “Right of Way” defined in their own literature (see Land Use Ordinance for the Town of Lower Bartlett Water Precinct, Bartlett, New Hampshire in my discovery). The Defendants violated this ordinance, being duly cognizant in their acts against me, by fencing off the GBR leaving absolutely no doubt in their own minds about the detriment that would befall my business and myself. There is no useful purpose for fencing off the public access (GBR), nobody wins, there are no benefits and it cost the taxpayers’ money. Doug Garland’s unfair treatment of me while trying to solve his personal problems lead to the Town and the Water Precinct colluding with each other over delicate issues involving me as an individual who is a minority in my own right. The Selectman’s Office has failed me and my rights as a citizen and business man; as innocuous that they may have thought their actions were, they were a device to hurt me and my business even further and therefore violating my civil rights.
The Bartlett Water Precinct leases the land located directly to my east (hereafter referred to as the Ballfield) to the Bartlett Recreation Department who reports to the other Bartlett Selectman and Doug Garland. Bob Blake is one of three commissioners who oversee the yearly manifestos of things to do regarding the Bartlett Water Precinct’s Ballfield. The commissioner seats are elected positions and get very little response when they are vacant. I have known Bob Blake for approximately 16 years since I moved to the area. Bob Blake has been one of the ‘good old boys’ of Bartlett. This is not a real club, but just a group of men native to Bartlett who seem to have their own ways about them and a special relationship with one another. They share information relevant to their own agendas. Bob Blake has never liked me or Lil’ Man Snowmobile Rentals, I have actually heard from other local townspeople that Bob Blake would talk down about me and my business. Bob Blake would wave or say hello to me in passing, I thought that was strange that he would be pleasant to me and then talk badly about me to others behind my back but I never confronted him about it. I don’t believe he knows that I know he is two faced. I would often hear from the Bartlett Water Precinct from one of the 3 commissioners in the winter time when they would want to borrow one of my snowmobiles to check on the water tower up on the mountain. I always obliged them and never accepted any payment. I thought it so bizarre that the Water Precinct would sign off on this whole issue of trying to shut me down when I have been so generous with them over the years. Then I realized that Bob Blake has been talking with Annette Libby of the Bartlett Recreation Department and Doug Garland about certain subjects referencing my property and that they were all meeting down on the Ballfield once in a while as my problems were unfolding and they would chat about the next strategy to shut Lil’ Man down (see photos and video in my discovery). Bob Blake is also noted to be intoxicated while serving in his official capacity as commissioner on the Water Precinct. I have personally seen him under the influence at meetings. I am not sure why nobody has done anything to stop this unethical behavior from going on. How Bob Blake got to be a Bartlett Water Precinct commissioner I will never know, Bartlett politics I guess. I recently discovered a copy of the Lower Bartlett Water Precinct ‘Land Use Ordinance’… Eureka! It says that right of way, “means and includes all town, state, federal highway and the land on either side of same as covered by statutes to determine the widths of the right of way. For purposes of set-back and yard requirements, it also includes any private way used as a means of access to two or more residential, institutional or commercial buildings” (see ordinance BWP pamphlet in discovery). If this ordinance I have discovered through my extensive research is legitimate as law then I will be resting my case very soon. I have four residential rental cabins that relied solely on the GBR to access them; these Cabins have been blocked off for almost two years and I have lost enormous amounts of needed revenue to stave off bankruptcy and keep my company from failing (see my financials in discovery). The irony is that the Lower Bartlett Water Precinct’s own written ordinances applied to my right of way (GBR) and this was hidden from me. Ironically, these ordinances drafted by the Lower Bartlett Water Precinct (annotated 1955) are enforced through the Office of Selectman and the Bartlett police department. The GBR and Ballfield the Bartlett Water Precinct own are the same GBR and Ballfield that they refuse to apply their own ordinance to, and allow me my rightful access. The Defendants failed me as a citizen and as a business man by and through their discrimination and bigotry against me and my business of Lil’ Man snowmobile Rentals. The Defendants have neglected their official duties, forfeiting any chances I might have to resolving my complaints against them through ordinary channels. The Defendants make this clear through their lack of response to questions I have asked but never gotten honest or impartial answers to.
Annette Libby was brought in from out of town to run the Bartlett Recreation Department by none other than Doug Garland and the Selectman’s Office, which is odd in itself because usually these town positions are filled by residents who actually reside in the town. The very first time I met this woman Annette Libby she was rude to me and already had a hateful demeanor towards me. I could not figure this out. This woman did not know me from Adam and was already biased against me. Apparently, after being hired by Doug Garland she was apprised of the situation with Lil’ Man and told that I was a bad man and that Lil’ Man Snowmobile Rentals was not conducive to his cross country ski business and the Master Plan of Bartlett, to expand the cross country ski trails in town even more. Doug Garland ‘s plan was to shut me down and she was alright with this, without ever even having met me and deciding for herself Ed Furlong was bad or not, she simply came on as an adversary to Lil Man. Annette Libby also appointed herself to be the code enforcement officer for my property. On more than one occasion I saw Annette and her husband, Stephan Libby, as they were sneaking around the edges of my property taking pictures of a cabin I was doing work on. It was an affront that took me back some, considering this woman and her husband had no business violating my home when they are not employed by the town as code enforcement officers (see photos, Libby reports and minutes from my discovery). The repairs on the cabin are the same minor repairs that Doug Garland filed violations against me for and the Town of Bartlett used these same pictures in court when I successfully defended myself against their allegations. I also won the subsequent land use violation in district court for Carroll County. Annette Libby has even had the nerve to tell me that my donations to the Bartlett Recreation I’ve made in years past were maintenance fees and not donations. Annette Libby has also had the nerve to call the police to my property twice that I know of. She would call the police, who she shares an office with back at Town Hall, to tell them that I was threatening her while standing on my own property. This is as ludicrous as it gets, I am not going to stand on my own property and threaten a woman across the way. Annette Libby would arrive at the Ballfield with her husband to make Ballfield repairs or improvements and I guess she called the police to feel power over me or protected from me, as silly as that sounds. I do not know why she would call the police. I do know I felt violated having the police come to my house, on my property to tell me that I was not permitted to walk down to the adjacent property and talk to Annette Libby. When Officer Suzanne came to my house I was outside on my knees installing pavers in my driveway. I told the officer that I was really not intending to walk down to the Ballfield or speak to Annette Libby; I was diligently working on my driveway pavers. I was not treated by this officer with any amount of respect; in fact, she made me feel that I was a prisoner in my own home. I asked Officer Suzanne why I would want to go down there and speak to an unfriendly flatlander anyway, and she laughed at that and at least we left that confrontation somewhat on a good note. It is evident that Doug Garland had already corrupted Annette Libby’s mind towards me and my business and since she was unfamiliar with Bartlett politics she believed everything Doug Garland told her, and she acted accordingly. Annette Libby was hired by Doug Garland to do some of his dirty work against me to keep himself farther away from the machinations he was dabbling in (civil rights violations) and Annette Libby willingly went along with him. Doug Garland has systematically worked through the Selectman’s Office, the Bartlett Recreational Department, the Bartlett Water Precinct and even the Bartlett Police Department to pursue me as if I was a petty criminal or, perhaps, because I am an erstwhile homeless man and disabled alcoholic and he holds that against me and uses that information to sway the other Defendant’s feelings towards me and my business; and destroy me and my business through any means necessary (see Connifey false arrest papers in discovery). Doug Garland has done everything in his power to break me as a man both financially and emotionally with not one iota of remorse for the agony and stress he has caused me and my family, not to mention Lil” Man Snowmobile Rentals financial insolvency emanating directly from my trail access being illegally and arbitrarily fenced off. It is truly reprehensible for an official to become corrupt via their own greed, agendas or, perhaps an innate compulsion to meddle in other people’s affairs when such offices really do not have legitimate business with me. Doug Garland has abused his official position for personal financial gain and to inflict his own personal vendetta, by and through himself and his office as Selectman. I believe he should be held to higher standard than the average citizen because he is in a position of authority and he has instilled in me a large degree of mistrust and to question his authority by his actions towards me.
Just a few days later, Officer Suzanne returned to my property. She again told me that I was not allowed to be in the Ballfield while Annette Libby was there performing her duties. Officer Suzanne threatened to arrest me if I went down on the Ballfield again. I told Officer Suzanne that I had not even been in the Ballfield that day; I had been working around my property. I didn’t even know Annette Libby was at the Ballfield. Annette Libby must have seen or heard me on my own property working and called the police out. Now I really felt like a prisoner in my own home. After I told Officer Suzanne that I wasn’t on the Ballfield and that Annette Libby was lying to her, the officer hummed and hawed and then told me that she didn’t want to come back here today and that if she did I was going to jail. I was not only scared and intimidated, but humiliated as well. This was my property she was on threatening to arrest me. Unfortunately, this was not the first time I had been intimidated and humiliated by the Bartlett Police Department. Here I am a recovering alcoholic and former homeless man, trying to run a successful business and being a respected home owner and I am having the police come to my property to berate and humiliate me. I was a total wreck over this. I knew it was Doug Garland that had influenced Annette Libby against me and now the Bartlett Police were in on it as well. Let me remind the Court that I have done absolutely nothing wrong to any of these people involved with me, absolutely nothing to deserve this; it is all about Doug Garland and his opinion of me, my past and snowmobilers; and his ability to manipulate procedure and ordinances to harass me.
After Officer Suzanne came to my property those two times I remember thinking to myself, “wow, all of a sudden this Ballfield is an important piece of real estate”. There was now this tremendous interest in the Ballfield which just 19 years ago was a barren field and currently was nothing more than a pitcher’s mound and backstop. It is also noted that Bartlett has its primary Ballfield located at the Bartlett elementary school referred to as Josiah Bartlett elementary school. Annette Libby calling the police and the police ordering me to stay off the Ballfield made me feel that I was not even a citizen of Bartlett when in fact, I am a law abiding, taxpaying businessman and a home owner in Bartlett. This is how I was treated by the police when I was homeless and on the streets, it should not be the way a police department should treat an upstanding, taxpaying resident such as myself. Back to Top
The first time the Bartlett Police Department humiliated me it was again because of my past as a homeless man and disabled alcoholic. The Chief of Police Tim Connifey came to my property and Connifey parked across the street and walked up the GBR. I immediately thought how strange and out of place this was; but maybe he was just taking pictures of my property like I’ve seen the police do in the past when they would act as code enforcement officers as well in their official capacity as police officers. Tim Connifey approached me and began to talk about the ongoing problems that Doug Garland has been having with snowmobilers, and my customers in particular, on the multiuse trail system in the National Forest and he wanted to know what I was going to do about it. I asked him what he was talking about and he answered that I knew what he was talking about. Tim Connifey then abruptly changed the subject and said, “what is this I hear about you in Florida?”. I said, “what?”. He said, “yeah, you know, your rap sheet is a mile long”. I replied, “Because I was homeless?” and he responded by saying, “no, your rap sheet.” I said yes because I was a homeless man and disabled alcoholic I spent a number of years in the state of Florida while I was actively drinking and homeless and I was arrested for a number of minor charges and did spend some time in jail. This is what happens when you are homeless and alcoholic. I am not defending my behavior, but I changed. I had been a clean and sober business man for many years when Tim Connifey came to my house asking me about these things. I spent a lot of time, energy and money cleaning up the messes I made while I was living the alcoholic lifestyle. How dare this Chief of Police come to my house and try to intimidate me regarding the things I have done at least ten years in the past. I told him that it was not polite to disrespect me at my home and to please be kind enough to leave. Tim Connifey did leave, making snide comments as he went.
I would run into the Chief of Police again about a year later. I was standing in line waiting to vote at the Town Hall in Bartlett with other residents of Bartlett all waiting to vote. Tim Connifey was there acting as security for the voting, I presume. I was about 5th in line to vote when Tim Connifey calls out across the room, “Furlong, you have a warrant out for your arrest, follow me please”. Everyone in the room turned to look at me and I was once again humiliated. I was totally taken aback since I have not been in any trouble since I got clean and reentered society in 1996. But here is the Chief of Police yelling at me to follow him and I was intimidated enough to comply with his request even though I knew it was wrong. I followed him into an office and sat down. I wasn’t seated for more than 20 seconds when he stated with a flippant demeanor that he had made a mistake and that the warrant was for some other person whose last name appeared to sound like mine. I thought this sounded pretty bizarre and I was so upset by these events that I could not even make eye contact with the other people still waiting in line when I walked out of his office. The other Bartlett residents were all staring at me and I’m sure wondering what kind of terrible man I was. I felt the way I used to feel when the police would harass me. I was totally dejected and betrayed by the Town of Bartlett and the police department. I was living the American Dream but the Police Chief was trying to take it away from me. Tim Connifey knew that I didn’t have a warrant out for my arrest; he was just trying to humiliate me and perhaps prevent me from voting. There is nothing that Tim Connifey could do to me legally as I had done nothing wrong in almost a decade but he was sure going to make me feel as bad as he could. Back to Top
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Things began to deteriorate rapidly starting in the winter of 2007/2008. By letter dated December 14, 2007, the Board of Selectmen informed me that the Bartlett Water Precinct has given permission to the Bartlett Recreation Department (which is under the control of the Bartlett Selectmen) to control the use of the Ballfield and related property abutting my property, and that the public roadway is not to be used by me or anyone else during the winter season for any recreation or access. The Bartlett Recreation Department is controlled by the Selectmen, namely Doug Garland, and they ordered the placement of a plastic snow fence along the Ballfield right before the winter season was to begin. This plastic fence was installed by their town garage highway men, these men work on the taxpayer’s dollar so inadvertently I contributed financially to my own punishment in the form of restrictions/fencing. I received a letter in September of 2007 stating that the right of way abutting my property will no longer be accessible and that my guests who have enjoyed that access dating back as far as 1896 would no longer have that right. This right of way (GBR) that the public has used to access the National Forest floor since before it was even the National Forest was being decommissioned, fenced off, shut down. No consideration or ethical due process was ever given to the Lil’ Man; and given that Edward Furlong and his businesses were bringing substantial revenues to the Town of Bartlett this didn’t make any sense to me. Customers come from all over the world to snowmobile with the Lil’ Man, they use local lodging facilities and local eateries and in general bring business to the little town of Bartlett, New Hampshire. I employ up to ten people every winter season many times with return employees who rely on Lil’ Man to get through the winter season. Everyone was benefiting from Lil’ Man doing well except Doug Garland and unfortunately for me, since Doug Garland was the one manipulating behind the scenes to shut Lil’ Man down. I was even running a television commercial that winter and at one point in the commercial the narrator states, “Come to beautiful Bartlett New Hampshire”. I was perplexed as to why the town would want to disregard that sort of free advertising for tourism. I have never understood why the townspeople put up with this ‘good old Boys’ attitude and would allow their government to shut down such a popular destination for tourists when many of the locals are directly or indirectly dependant of the tourist dollar. The local newspaper would not print anything in regards to the situation going on at the Lil Man Snowmobile rentals because Doug Garland advertises his cross country ski business with them all through the winter so nobody (residents of Bartlett) knew what was going on. Even with the snow fence my customers were still able to access the forest floor on their snowmobiles, but the rumors had started that Lil’ Man was being shut down and the trail access was being taken away. My customers and employees were understandably upset by these rumors, and by the presence of the snow fence which added credence to the rumors. I don’t know how much money I lost that winter but it is safe to say that the winter of 07/08 will go down in history as the beginning of the end for Lil’ Man unless this case is remedied by the court system. As bad as the snow fence was, it was nothing compared to the next winter season.
By letter dated September 18, 2008, the Forest Service informed me that, “The Bartlett Recreation Department and the Bartlett Water Precinct…have decided not to allow public snowmobile use on the property or public roadway known as the (Gateway/Ballfield road or GBR) as they have done in the past. That renders the former Snowmobile trail connector across the property no longer a viable route for public snowmobile use. Therefore, the current gated route onto the White Mountain National Forest will no longer be available for public use”. In this same letter, Terry Miller told me that I would need a special use permit to use the trail and that it was too late to apply and he would not grant me one. I remember telling Terry Miller that I haven’t needed a permit for 10 years since I’ve been open for business and asking him what makes me need one now.
In the fall of 2008 big boulders and logs were placed between my property and the adjacent public roadway (GBR) that has been used by the public to access the forest floor for over 100 years (see photos in discovery). These unsightly boulders were donated by a friend of Doug Garland’s and is a past competitor of mine who lives on the other side of route 302, Gerry McManus. This gentleman who lives across the street from me and who rented snowmobile for 13 years prior to my going into the business and his customers used the same public right of way (GBR) that he was now helping to block off. These boulders and logs were an eyesore and a public hazard and completely cut off my tenants from accessing their cabins on my property. These boulders actually cost me tenants because who wants to have to park over 150 feet from where they live. Older tenants had difficulty with carrying groceries that distance and it was a danger in the winter when there was snow and ice. For the winter season of 08/09 I was still able to let my customers access the trail system on their snowmobiles but just barely and my customers were very unhappy about the situation. These boulders were not placed in a line or with any rhyme or reason, simply thrown down on the ground and left for a year. Even Doug Garland who had them put there admits that they are ugly and dangerous the next year in Selectman meeting minutes (see minutes in discovery). These boulders are in fact in violation of the Town’s own 25’ green space/setback requirements between property lines. This is the same violation that I was served with when I had snowmobiles stored on the line between my two properties. I was livid and appalled by what Doug Garland was getting away with through the Selectman’s Office but I had no recourse to do anything about it. I went to Selectman meetings and pleaded with them to try and work out differences that Doug Garland has with me and Lil’ Man. I asked the Selectman and Doug Garland in particular to step down from deciding on issues that related to me, my property, or my business. Doug Garland would just look at me confused and say that he didn’t see any conflict of interest and deny any wrong doing. I was told through a letter that the next winter, the 09/10 season, the whole Ballfield and public right of way would be closed to snowmobiles. Not cross country skiers, not snowshoers, not hikers, not bikers, just snowmobilers. I assert that this obvious and conspicuous disruption of the public roadway (GBR) and subsequent fencing off of the public roadway (GBR) is a vendetta being carried out against me through the Selectman’s Office and Doug Garland and is not conducive to a recreation plan involving snowmobiles for the public at my property. I believe that there is a gray area in the laws for the Town of Bartlett and for the USDA Forest Service. Doug Garland and Terry Miller are capitalizing on this gray area to disrupt my business and my life in as many ways as they can. Both Doug Garland and Terry Miller just went ahead and shut me down taking away both access points from my property to the snowmobile trail system simultaneously. How coincidental is that. Doug Garland and Terry Miller both made decisions based on what they wanted to see happen and not on any actual existing law, then challenged me with the burden of proof. They did what they wanted to do to me and left me to try and clean it up knowing that they had much deeper pockets and could fight a lot longer and harder than I could in court with the towns attorneys always standing by. They were right too; I lost almost $40,000.00 to an attorney who spent more time in Mexico than working on my case and got me into many last minutes situations because he was unprepared. It is not a coincidence that both of my access points were shut down in the same year. Doug Garland and Terry Miller had been working towards that end for years now. I was involved in litigation with two separate government agencies at the same time. This is not a coincidence. Lil’ Man’s access being taken away was the culmination of years of plotting and planning by Doug Garland and Terry Miller. Doug Garland of the Selectman’s Office and Terry Miller of the Forest Service worked together to achieve their desired end, shutting me down. It was with this intent of colluding with each other that Doug Garland and Terry Miller even split the surveying costs of the Ballfield and my perimeter land (see selectman minutes in discovery). Terry Miller has issued five special use permits through the Eastern Regional Ski Team to Doug Garland’s cross country ski business so Doug Garland and his customers can access the National Forest via the back of his property, but will not grant me one special use permit for my snowmobile business when we are in exactly the same situation.
After 14 years of hard work to build my life up from nothing and to build Lil’ Man’s reputation up and the reputation of my lodging business, Abenaki Inn and Cabin Rentals, I now feel a great weight of depression, sadness and loss. I frequently get sick to my stomach (literally speaking) when I think about the total ignorance and atrocities I have been forced to carry and be burdened with, that have brought me to this point of total financial and emotional ruin, from my local government at the Selectman’s Office and the Police Department, the latter sharing a lesser amount of culpability than the former but neither being relinquished from their respectful comeuppance. I will not survive another year if I do not get my trail access back. As things sit now, I am reduced to trailering my 90+ snowmobiles a mile up the road to another access point. This is dangerous to my employees, my customers and to the general public who use the roads in Bartlett. Trailering also causes me to need more employees and wreaks havoc on the condition of my snowmobile rental fleet. The Forest Service even states in their literature that the main goals of the Forest Service are to, “maximize safety through accessibility” (see Forest Service Outfitter/Guide book in discovery). This past winter I had to explain to my customers who have traveled from all over the country and world that our direct trail access did not exist anymore and that we were sorry for their inconvenience and that it was all totally unnecessary and all due to local politics. Many customers were as disgusted as I am with the situation and signed a petition to try and convince the Town of Bartlett and the Forest Service to reopen the trail (see petition in discovery). It is impossible for me to trailer 90+ machines a mile up the road when the trail is literally out my back door. I need relief now and there are no other options open to me other than this civil rights case. I would not waste my time, nor the courts time, if I did not truly believe in my heart and soul that these Defendants systematically and methodically proceeded with malice intent in their official capacity to violate my civil rights.
I would like to briefly show the caliber of officials being employed in Bartlett, New Hampshire. Before Tim Connifey was the Chief of Police, Robert Snow was the chief of police. Robert Snow received 2 years in prison for stealing money from the D.A.R.E. program while he was acting Chief of Police. Now let’s look at the current Selectmen sitting in office. There is Doug Garland, Gene Chandler and Jon Tanquay. Doug Garland owns a business in direct competition and conflict with my business. Gene Chandler was chastised in 2006 by the New Hampshire House of Representatives but never brought up on charges even though he was investigated by the Attorney General’s office for having an illegal corn roast and never declaring the income ($60,000.00) to the IRS or paying taxes on it. Jon Tanquay is currently facing charges of child pornography but is still active in the decision process for the Selectman’s Office pending his trail. These are the good old boys who still sit in the Selectman’s Office and sign checks and make decisions for the Town of Bartlett.
My constitutionally given civil rights and liberties have been grossly denied me by public officials. That I am a male of European descent having been a prior homeless man and disabled alcoholic man and not a pregnant woman or a black man does not mean that my civil rights have not been violated. Every person is entitled to these civil rights in this country. Anyone can be discriminated against for any reason. The underlying intent is there, the Defendants think that they are somehow better than me because they grew up one way and I grew up another. My past as a disabled alcoholic and homeless man does not give the Defendants the right to disrespect me and treat me unfairly.
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