After four long weeks and hundreds of hours of testimony the technical intervener sessions on Plum Creek’s development proposal for Moosehead Lake have ended; at least for now. The Land Use Regulation Commission closed this phase of the sessions on Friday and gave at least some indication of how the process may move forward. On the final day of the sessions the Commissioners were offered three options from the Attorney General’s office. The first option was for the Commissioners to vote up or down on the proposal as it is now. The second was for the Commission to allow Plum Creek to make amendments to its development scheme. The third option was for the Land Use Regulation Commission staff to draft a series of suggested options for potential changes. The Commissioners voted unanimously in support of option three. Comments from the interveners on the three options were due yesterday. NRCM believes that the Commission should vote yes or no on the application that is in front of them now, but it appears that this not the direction the Commission is going to go. Knowing this we think option three is the next best choice. We don’t want to see Plum Creek continue to make only symbolic changes and attempt to drag this process out in a never ending war of attrition. Once the Commission has a chance to review the intervener’s comments they will decide how to continue the process. We should know more about this in the next week.
The one clear conclusion of these sessions is that Plum Creek’s current proposal is fatally flawed and significant changes are necessary. Now we just have to figure out how to best make this happen.
-Diano Circo, North Woods Policy Advocate and Outreach Coordinator