AUGUSTA - Environment Maine Research & Policy Center and RESTORE: The North Woods today submitted to the Land Use Regulation Commission (LURC) approximately 8,000 citizen comments in opposition to Plum Creek’s proposal to develop in the Moosehead Lake region.
LURC recently concluded four weeks of technical hearings in Augusta and four day-long public hearings held in communities around the state. Hundreds of Maine citizens attended the hearings, expressing opposition to the proposal, which would carve over 2,000 houses and residential units and a pair of major resorts into new development zones scattered across more than 20,000 acres around Moosehead Lake.
Environment Maine Research & Policy Center and RESTORE: The North Woods are calling on LURC to recognize its charge to both “safeguard Maine’s tradition of public access” and “permanently protect the wilderness of Moosehead Lake.”
“The stack of signatures that we submitted to LURC today was hefty, but it represents just a sliver of the opposition to Plum Creek’s plan,” said Matthew Davis, Organizational Development Director for Environment Maine Research & Policy Center. “The fact is that most Mainers are opposed to this kind of development in our state. And they especially don’t want to see sprawling suburban-style subdivisions and resorts on our most treasured lands.”
Across the state, opposition to Plum Creek’s plan outweighs support nearly two to one. A 2006 poll conducted by Critical Insights of Portland found that 50% of Maine people consider Plum Creek’s plan a “bad idea,” while only 27% believe it is a “good idea.”
Jym St. Pierre, Maine Director of RESTORE: The North Woods, said that “For three years Plum Creek has been saying it wants certainty, but when we questioned the lack of detail in much of their plan, Plum Creek has insisted it needs flexibility. The company’s development scheme would give it the certainty of land speculation and the flexibility to skirt many of the normal development rules. But what the people of Maine would get is uncertainty and inflexibility for thirty years. That’s why thousands of citizens have signed petitions saying ‘No Thanks.’”
Over the past three years, the environmental organizations have spoken with over 50,000 people across the state. EnvironmentMaine Research & Policy Center has collected a total of 9,000 petition signatures and comments by going door-to-door in dozens of cities and towns. RESTORE: The North Woods has also collected thousands of signatures and has given presentations about Plum Creek’s Moosehead proposal in communities throughout much of the state.
Environment Maine Research & Policy Center is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to protecting Maine's air, water and open spaces. We investigate problems, craft solutions, educate the public and decision-makers, and help Mainers make their voices heard in local, state and national debates over the quality of our environment and our lives.
RESTORE: The North Woods is regional conservation organization dedicated to restoring and protecting the natural integrity of the North Woods through advocacy, education and citizens’ activism.