My name is Gordon Mott. I am a land manager and forester. I live in a town that has been under LURC land-use planning, permitting and code enforcement for the 40 years since LURC was established. I have my own small private business managing land parcels located in five counties. I also deal with Planning boards and code enforcement in five towns. I have known the Maine North woods since 1952 and worked in it since 1976.
There have been great challenges in our North Woods in these 40 years that LURC has been in existence, including the spruce budworm epidemic, roading after driving stopped, waves of development pressures and the need for high production of forest products from a valuable timber industry. But good order, wildlife and fisheries habitat, water purity and special places have been sustained in a balanced way that distinguishes our State throughout the nation and the world. LURC has been central to all of that. Generations of distinguished Maine citizens drawn from forest industry, our universities, our towns and villages, who have been dedicated to all those values have donated their time and their vision and served without pay to create and sustain what we have today. From my experience, we have been blessed with experienced professional staff who share those values. If there are problems with LURC and improvements needed in any minds, they need to be made known. If it needs to be fixed, say how. Don’t break it!
I live in one of the 8 towns that receives LURC services. There are also 32 Plantations. We can all choose to leave LURC at any time. It speaks volumes that 4 civil divisions have joined LURC and only 10 civil divisions have left, while 40 towns and plantations have chosen to keep the agency. These inhabitants of Unorganized Territory who have all had the choice of leaving through the years, and have not, demonstrate satisfaction greater than 80% when measured this way.
Developers and subdividers have a different view of course, and there are always some resentments by most of us about regulation, but on balance, those of us who live, work and recreate in the UT, treasure the combination of economic activity, development and preservation of the features that make our parts of Maine special, and recognize that it is the result in large part of the existence of LURC.
We have great concern that the costs, the inexperience, likely reduced standards, authorizations in current bills for completely unknown further legislation, and the complexity of dealing with many counties, will destroy one of the important pillars that supports and sustains the quality of our life and the economy in our Maine North Woods.