Hey everyone. At the moment I’m typing this from the audience of the first session of legal testimony before LURC. These technical sessions are much like a court case in which each side is presenting testimony, experts and witnesses to the Commissioners who will ultimately make a decision. The room is literally full of teams of attorneys. One lawyer actually joked that there were more lawyers in this room than in all of Piscataquis and Somerset counties. Opening statements by Plum Creek happened this morning and the intervening groups are presenting now. NRCM is scheduled give its opening statements soon and is looking forward to countering Plum Creek’s legal team.
I apologize for not posting sooner. The last few days have been going at a furious pace. The Greenville and Augusta public hearings went quite well. To date more people have spoken in opposition to the proposal than in support, but we expect Plum Creek will respond to this and work very hard to get better turnout at the Portland (December 15th) and second Greenville (December 16th) public hearings. We continue to need your support. Please come to one of the remaining hearings.
Plum Creek’s public relations firm and law firms have been working hard to turnout speakers at the hearings. Some of the groups testifying in support of the proposal even admitted they didn’t know much about the plan! Folks testifying for protection of the Moosehead Lake region have been inspiring and have spoken well about the need to prevent this poorly planned development. We’ve had a wide representation of “regular” Mainers; those who don’t have some financial connection to Plum Creek. One of my favorite comments came from a Maine Guide. She spoke about how this proposal would destroy places that she takes clients for a remote experience, an experience that would be ruined by “McMansions.” In her opinion she’d rather be a guide than a waitress at a resort catering to the rich from away. Several speakers told the Commission that Plum Creek isn’t trustworthy. One even gave an example of Plum Creek clear-cutting the area around his family’s camp which caused erosion to pour down on them. Over the past several years Plum Creek has not been willing to fix the problem or respond to his phone calls.
Over all it has been an exciting and interesting few days.
-Diano Circo, NRCM North Woods Policy Advocate and Outreach Coordinator