July 8, 2008
I love Maine and managed to get stationed at Brunswick Naval Air Station for four years. There is so much exceptional, natural and undeveloped land in Maine but only a tiny portion of it - such as Baxter and Acadia parks - is truly protected. Why?
New York has a 6-million acre park, half of which is publicly owned wilderness. Hundreds of thousands come to the park for many forms of recreation every year and provide a great economic benefit to the people in the Adirondacks.In Maine it is Plum Creek that would benefit if its development in the Moosehead region is approved. It bought the land, zoned for forest management, at $200 an acre, but could sell that land, rezoned for development, for tens of thousands of dollars per acre. There may be an economic spike with the development, but then a major economic downturn when the development is over and tens of thousands of people who loved northern Maine for what it was take their dollars elsewhere - to places such as the Adirondacks.
Do people really want Moosehead to suffer the fate of Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire - a place once wild and spectacular - now tragically an overdeveloped playground with homes for wealthy people?
I live closer to the Adirondacks, but spend some vacations in Maine. If the Plum Creek development happens I will find Maine much less attractive. And I don't think I'll be alone in thinking that. Upstate New York may take the title of "vacationland" away from Maine.
Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.
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