North Woods National Park (Millinocket, Bar Harbor: lease, homes, employment)
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ok, I read the article. i'll admit i just don't know all the details about what's going on up there. so is this essentially a good or bad thing for maine? in one way i see it as a good thing, it would mean preserving land correct? but then, i understand that people will not have access to hunt and timber either and that the economy would suffer greatly. but are they taking land from people? this part i just don't understand. i know they are making it hard for lumber co. to do business but what about smaller co. are they still able to function? could someone give this to me in laymens terms i'm sure i'm not the only one who is not fully aware of the goings on surrounding this issue. thanks
The Plum Creek conservation easement will allow for traditional use, but not further residential development. There are a couple of million acres up here. The could go through with less public scrutiny if they wanted.
The small logging operations will still be able to function. The truckers will still be hauling. The guides will still bring up their sports.
Sure, there is some hand wringing by some who will increase their customer base and look forward to more business. I own a half an acre of prime commercial downtown. I don't care one way or the other.
Granted, the lots will sell for $200-300k, but, that is the target crowed we cater to up here. We still get the traditional campers and camp owners and that will not change. This place is a long drive from the major metropolitan areas and those that want to be here will buy in. Nothing will change for the locals and there will be extra work for all. Most of the ones I see complaining are the owners who have already built here and thought that they would be the special ones. I always ask them why they didn't just buy extra lots.
It really is no different then the Birches. The owner is selling mucho lots on his property in Somerset County, including Brassua Lake. Another contractor bought hundreds of acres in Rockwood a couple of years ago, split them up and every one of the lots have been sold. Ditto for a friend of mine with Elm Pond Township, north of Moosehead.
The North Woods has changed and there is no turning back the clock. If you don't have planned development, you will have some sort of weird sprawl.
In layman's terms:
A private company wants to develop about one percent of its land. They would develop one house lot per 1.5 townships they own each year over the next 30 years. This is far less than the present rate of development. Even this miniscule development is too much for the environmental industry. To mitigate the fierce resistance to this tiny bit of development proposed the company has volunteered to give up development rights on over 400,000 acres and 60 lakes or ponds forever. That pleased a couple of environmental organizations, but you must understand that these groups function as a tag team in a wrestling match. You make an agreement with one outfit and another one pops up like a gopher from his hole and demands something else. It never ends. Keep your eye on their prize. Never forget that their ultimate goal is no human use. Yes, even the granola crunching bird watchers and hikers will also be banned in the end.
(A township is 23040 acres or 36 square miles. 1.5 townships is 54 square miles or 34,560 acres. Plum Creek wants one camp or house in this huge area each year and it's too much for the environmental industry.)
ive talked to many in greenville about the plum-creek development, most of the natives ive talked to initially had reservations,,,but thru time and understanding the details, most were either for.. or ambivalent about it.
a resident of greenville said the population is approx 1900 folks in greenville, and its a very seasonal town, and thru the past 15 yrs, alot of out of staters have bought much property in town,,which most are for,,
most natives of the town, have to work for a living, with more people and money in town (year round, and seasonal) the more jobs available, whether its a hardware store, landscaping, contractors, builders, restaurants,,motels,..they all thrive and depend on more people in the area,
and because property values have skyrocketed, many have benefitted by thier property values going up!
in plum creek develops the land, and more folks move into the town,,,then again, its better for many natives there!!
for the folks who havent been in the greenville/moosehead lake area, it is a beautiful area, the lake is 38 miles long and the largest in maine,,its gods country in that area,,there are state parks around the lake,,,
plum creek owns the land, and from what ive heard, they have scaled down thier original development plans,,because of the loud voices out of portland,,
if anyone thinks we are diminishing the pristine beauty of maine,,i say take a ride to that area of the state,,also take a ride to mount katahdin area and rangely area,just to see how pristine and vast maine is (unspoiled),
if you still arent convinced drive up rte 11 from patten to ft kent or drive south from houlton to calais.
tho these areas are most trees and forest,,if you drive these areas the views may be breathtaking,,but you will also see many small towns,,and folks trying to scrape by, that would welcome most any development that will bring jobs,,
one store owner years ago in limestone summed it up quite well(when i was asking with excitement that mbna was coming in the area,,,she said, "we need more people to move
in the area to replace the young ones that leave" (go to college or move out of state for better opportunities)
maine has a huge amount of forest-lands, plenty for all out door recreation, but also plenty for development that brings more folks to maine,
when talking to one out of stater, that lived in jersey most of his life,,,he said most in a big city cannot comprehend the vastness and unpopulated areas of areas like maine,,so "development" and sprawl" always have a negative connotation.. but after seeing maine's wilderness firsthand,,there's plenty here for both (recreation and development)
at a distance, its a feel-good concept to say halt development to preserve nature,,
it almost goes to an enviromental-religious philosophy(i have a few friends that are tree-huggers) but they talk in broad terms,,
i give two thumbs up for the plum creek development,,they own the land!! and if you drive to greenville today,,you will notice ,,coming into town on indian-hill to the right,,there is a vacant building,,it was a mcdonalds,, a mcdonalds couldnt even make it in greenville,...
with more folks moving to maine,,,it brings necessary jobs!!!
Maine is bigger than the rest of New England combined. Maine's population is smaller than the population of the city of Phoenix. What you must understand is that the goal of the environmental industry is rural cleansing. They don't want us here.
We have seen "Eco-friendly" non for profit groups in the western mountains also.
They come here and determine that the traditional use of our pristine land is being mismanaged by the families that have inhabited this area for generations. They procure Federal and State tax dollars to purchase vast tracts of land. This land immediately is removed from the tax rolls and the "board" of these enviro-eco friendly-smarter then though typically out of staters,then have control over what can and can't be done with these purchases.
Of course they immediately showcase these "protected" pieces on their website and the throngs flock. This is not protecting the land ,but promoting the "great deeds" of the "wonderful" groups,and placing it in jeopardy of overuse and ultimately causing these boards to restrict the traditional use,including hunting,fishing,snowmobiling,ATVing and other outdoor recreational activities.
The paper companies were great stewards of these parcels as they allowed traditional use and understood the local populaces needs and wants.
Well managed private investments as proposed by Plum Creek brings jobs and preserves the land more then the piecemeal splitting and developing that would occur if these tracts were sold to MANY developers. If one thinks that the "bee lady's" purchases does anything to enhance the "northern woods" just ask any of the locals in the area.
No paper company in Maine owns timber land in Maine any more. Every single mill has sold its land. The last hold-out was Fraser and their land has now been sold. Why would a mill sell its natural resources?
Because the international companies that owned them could make more money for the next quarter's bottom line. Back in the early 1990s the number crunchers and investment advisers told the paper companies -- which by then were no longer owned by Maine-based companies -- that they didn't need to own the land in order to guarantee a supply of pulp. The land was, in a sense, an under-performing asset. The corporations could make more profit selling their land, investing the money in other assets, and buying their pulpwood. This happened all over the country -- it's one reason Plum Creek is one of the largest landowners in the US today.
Maine's business climate, or lack of it, had nothing to do with the decision. I don't disagree with your opinion of it, just that it had an impact on paper company land ownership patterns.
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