The Maine Supreme Judicial Court has upheld the 2009 approval of Plum Creek Timber Co.’s development in the Moosehead region. The decision overturns a superior court ruling that said LURC broke its own rules in approving the development, according to a press release from Maine Attorney General William Schneider.
The Maine Superior Court in April 2011 ruled in favor of conservation groups Forest Ecology Network, Natural Resources Council of Maine and RESTORE: The North Woods, which argued LURC did not follow its own procedures related to changes and public hearings. Plum Creek and Schneider appealed that ruling. According to the Bangor Daily News, the supreme court said LURC did not violate any rules or procedures. Schneider called the decision “a vindication” of the commissioners’s efforts. The Natural Resources Council of Maine said it was “disappointed” but that it respected the court’s decision. It also said the public would have other opportunities to weigh in on Plum Creek’s development when the company applies for specific permits.
In September 2009, four years after Plum Creek first proposed the project, LURC approved the Seattle-based company’s plan for more than 1,000 housing units, two resorts with more than 1,000 units and nearly 400,000 acres of conserved land. The environmental groups filed their appeal a month later.