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A massive development proposal in Maine’s Moosehead Lake region has spurred controversy between opponents who want to preserve the wilderness, and supporters, who say the plan would increase tourism and employment.
According to an Associated Press report, the proposal by Plum Creek Timber Co. calls for 975 house lots, two resorts, three recreational vehicle parks, a golf course, marina and rental cabins around Moosehead Lake.
A new analysis by University of Southern Maine economist Charles Colgan for Plum Creek concludes that the proposed development would attract up to 60,000 day-trippers a year and support 800 jobs.
A coalition of environmental groups has launched a campaign against the plan.
The state’s largest environmental advocacy organization, the Natural Resources Council of Maine, is opposing what would be the state’s largest subdivision, calling it out of scale and out of character for the region.
In defending the plan, Plum Creek said 98% of the 426,000 acres involved in the project would be left untouched. The Seattle-based company said the project would stimulate economic development and create much-needed jobs while preserving working forest and restricting future development.
Another opponent, John Demos, said the Moosehead region is of “tremendous national importance as part of the largest contiguous undeveloped forest region east of the Mississippi.”