Plum Creek Timber Co. joined three conservation groups Thursday (March 30) in announcing a plan to protect large sections of forest land in northern Maine’s Moosehead Lake area, where it has proposed a major development of homes, RV parks, resorts and other recreational facilities.
The Associated Press reported that the Seattle-based company and conservation groups said they’ve agreed on a “framework” to protect more than 400,000 acres through easements and purchases. The land would remain open to hunting, fishing, camping and other public uses, while valuable fish and wildlife habitat is protected and the forest is managed for harvesting.
Plum Creek’s original proposal called for 975 house lots, two resorts and recreational vehicle parks, a golf course, a marina and rental cabins on 10,000 acres of the heavily forested region.
In December, the company announced it was taking a fresh look at its proposal and was considering changes such as relocating and scaling back proposed resorts and clustering homes closer to Greenville.
While endorsing the series of transactions to preserve the open space, the Nature Conservancy, Appalachian Mountain Club and Forest Society of Maine acknowledged that state land-use regulators will have the final say on Plum Creek’s overall plan.
“On questions of appropriate balance, mitigation and regulatory compliance, we defer to LURC,” said Alan Hutchinson of the Forest Society, referring to the Land Use Regulation Commission.
Plum Creek plans to submit a revised plan that includes details of its proposed development to LURC in the next week or so, said its general manager for the Northeast, Jim Lehner.