Gov. LePage targets North Woods for development

Gov. LePage is trying to open the Woods to development — like sprawling resorts and housing subdivisions — which could be built right on top of the places we go now to hike, camp, and fish.

The governor has proposed stripping away 40 years of protections for the North Woods, including zoning a third of the North Woods for development and dismantling the agency charged with protecting the North Woods.

Imagine what developers might to do to special places in the heart of our Woods if left to their own devices.

At stake: The largest undeveloped forest east of the Rockies

If you’ve been to Maine’s North Woods, you know what’s at stake. Going for a swim in Moosehead Lake. Watching the sunrise from the summit of Mount Katahdin. Spotting a hawk overhead as you canoe down the Allagash Wilderness Waterway.

The North Woods span 10 million acres, forming the largest undeveloped forest east of the Rockies. Its rich forestland and wild rivers provide a home for countless species, including endangered bald eagles and Canada lynx.

So many of us have learned to love the great outdoors in the North Woods. But our children may not get the same opportunity, if Gov. Paul LePage gets his way.

With your activism and our advocacy, we can protect the North Woods

We refuse to let Gov. LePage bulldoze our natural heritage — and we have a plan to defend our North Woods. We’re bringing together Mainers from all walks of life to protect the North Woods. All of us — hikers, anglers, hunters, tourism businesses, and Mainers across the state — have something to fight for.

Our citizen outreach staff has been knocking on doors across the state since May to educate Mainers about what’s at stake. We’re also testifying in Augusta, educating lawmakers, and shining a spotlight in the media on the need to protect the North Woods.

Thousands of you have joined the fight too. Across the state, you’re calling or emailing your legislators, signing petitions, spreading the word to your friends and family, and attending hearings in August.

Your activism and our advocacy are a powerful combination. Gov. LePage has been forced to scale back the scope of his plan. But he’s not giving up the fight — and neither can we.

We need you to get involved if we’re going to defeat the governor’s plan once and for all. If enough of us speak out, we can ensure the North Woods stay protected. Join our campaign by sending your legislators a message today.


Preservation Updates

News Release | Environment Maine

LURC Task Force Recommendations Threaten North Woods' Future

Department of Conservation Commissioner Bill Beardsley presented the findings of the LURC Reform Commission to the Maine Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry. The task force’s report recommends that the Legislature alter and significantly weaken LURC, rolling back 40 years of protections for the North Woods.

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Lawmakers tell conservation commissioner: Give us a LURC bill

Members of a state task force created to reform the Land Use Regulation Commission urged lawmakers Tuesday to quickly pass changes to LURC’s structure and rules. Many lawmakers balked, saying quick action was premature.

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LURC reforms stronger without county opt-out, if members face legislative review

We are pleased that the LURC reform task force has rejected the extreme proposal to eliminate the commission, and has instead focused on how to increase the role the counties play in governing the land. While we support the majority of the task force's recommendations, we have serious reservations about the provision to allow counties to opt out of LURC.

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Fine-tune LURC Fix

Legislators, who represent more divergent views than those on the LURC Reform Commission, should not hesitate to tweak the task force's recommendations.

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Maine environmentalists gearing up for battle this legislative session

While closing another budget gap will be their top priority, lawmakers are expected to grapple with a number of complex and potentially contentious issues dealing with the environment, land use and Maine's energy mix during the shortened legislative session that began Wednesday.

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