Plum Creek Gets the Green Light

Maine's Land Use Regulation Committee, affectionately known in these parts as LURC, is recommending a controversial proposal by Plum Creek Timber to create the largest residential development in Maine history. This decision follows four years of heating public hearings, plans and counter plans, and dozens of newspaper and magazine op-eds. The Plum Creek proposal will develop a thousand house lots and create two large resorts on the shores of Moosehead Lake. The plan also protects thousands of acres in the region under conservation easements—although it keeps them as working forest. I have misgivings about the economic benefits Plum Creek is actually going to bring to the depressed area around Greenville (the thousand houses will certainly sell, but I doubt those resorts are going to prosper), but I'd be happy to be proven wrong since the development is now likely to move forward. I expect lawsuits to slow things down—and I won't be surprised if EarthFirst stirs up some mischief—but in the end Plum Creek will have its way. Watching this process unfold has been an eerie experience for me since it resembles, in many ways, the scenario I wrote about in The Poacher's Son. I hope in real life the outcome is less violent.