After three and a half years of public hearings, written comments and hours of testimony, the Plum Creek process reached the decisive moment today – the LURC Commission tentatively voted to approve Plum Creek’s plan for 2000 house lots including two resorts surrounding Moosehead Lake.
Maine people can take great pride in the number of changes that they caused to be made in Plum Creek’s plan over the last three years. As a result of persistent and heartfelt public opposition, all development was removed from multiple small remote ponds, from the north end of Moosehead Lake at Big W Township, the northwest shore of Brassua Lake, the north shore of Long Pond, East Outlet, the eastern shore of Upper Wilson Pond, and Prong Pond. These changes will help maintain the remote character of these areas in the future.
However, despite repeated and passionate public opposition over three long years to the overall scope of development and to development at Lily Bay, the LURC Commission failed to heed the call of Maine people to decrease the overall amount of development or to remove the proposed resort including 404 accommodation units proposed for Lily Bay. This is very disturbing, particularly given the concerns and questions raised by a number of the Commissioners. But, this major decision now appears to have been finally made.
But this process is far from over. Over the next few months, the decisions made today by LURC will be written up in the necessary legal language. As we have learned repeatedly throughout this process, there can be a lot of devils in the details and NRCM will continue to review all the details and legal documents to ensure that the improvements that have been made in this plan are not lost.
In the meantime, we will explore all possible future options to protect the Moosehead Lake region and Maine’s North Woods. Despite this setback, we remain committed to protecting the natural character, wildlife, and recreational opportunities of Maine’s North Woods.
—by Cathy Johnson, NRCM Forests & Wildlife Director and Senior Staff Attorney