We are on the verge of losing protections for the beautiful Maine North Woods. You are on the verge of losing your say in the matter. Governor LePage and some members of the Legislature are in an all-out push to abolish the Land Use Regulation Commission (LURC). The Commission has been in place for 40 years to make zoning and other planning decisions for Maine’s 10 million acres of unorganized territories. This volunteer, seven-member board must be comprised of people with a direct connection to this area, including at least two residents of the unorganized territories. A public hearing is held for every major proposal.
LURC keeps the state focused on planning for one of our greatest assets: the largest undeveloped forest east of the Mississippi River.
Now there is a proposal to eliminate LURC and send its planning and zoning and enforcement tasks to commissioners in each of the eight counties that cross the jurisdiction. This will likely lead to inconsistent and less protective standards, increased taxes for local county residents who must pay for the additional legal and other expertise needed to consider proposals, and inefficiency for applicants, particularly those who may have to deal with multiple county rules and commissioners.
I testified on behalf of NRCM in opposition to the proposal to abolish LURC at the Legislature’s public hearing on May 17. Those opposed to abolishing LURC outnumbered proponents substantially. But as the bill has been considered by the committee in the days that followed, reasoned arguments don’t seem to hold sway. That’s why we need your help.
It’s time to call your legislators and urge them not to vote for any bill or amendment that would abolish or weaken LURC. Tell them to support LD 819 instead, which calls instead for a study of how to improve LURC.
For generations, Mainers and visitors to our state have treasured our North Woods for its spectacular wildlife; pristine ponds, lakes, and streams; for its mountain views. And its peace and quiet. It has been the source of long-held Maine traditions—hiking, camping, hunting, and fishing.
Don’t let the LePage Administration open up this area for unprecedented development that would change this special place forever.
Help us keep this from happening! Learn more about this Maine North Woods issue, including how you can take action, at our web site.
Thank you for caring, and for taking action today!
NRCM Executive Director