The Nature Conservancy applauds the outstanding accomplishments forthcoming from the Land Use Regulation Commission’s (LURC) approval of Plum Creek’s final concept plan for Maine’s Moosehead Lakes Region. LURC announced its decision on Wednesday, September 23, after four years of deliberation and revisions.
“This decision results in the lasting conservation of some 400,000 acres,” said Mike Tetreault, Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy in Maine. “In turn, it creates a two-million-acre emerald necklace of conservation across the North Woods as new protected areas connect with places already in conservation.
“Considering this large landscape of working forests, preserved areas, public access and recreation, what one sees is a stunning collection of conservation outcomes.”
The conservation outcomes of LURC’s decision include the following:
“We recognize that development in the North Maine Woods is a highly-charged topic, and that many people have had different perspectives and expectations regarding the Concept Plan,” said Tetreault. “At the same time, it is important to remember that the choice is not between that plan and a “forever wild” protected area. The choice is between that proposal — a landscape-scale, comprehensive plan with clear conservation outcomes — and other substantial development alternatives that could be expected.
As important as recent conservation accomplishments may be, The Nature Conservancy sees them as part of a larger initiative. “The North Maine Woods is one of the last great conservation opportunities in the eastern United States” said Tetreault. “Beyond this decision, and beyond these conservation outcomes, there is still a lot of work to do to ensure that this landscape — such a part of our cultural heritage — is preserved for the future.
“It is clear to me that the many stakeholders in this area must work together to create a shared vision, a vision that meets the needs of nature as well as nearby human communities. The Nature Conservancy looks forward to the continuing process to preserve the North Maine Woods.”
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.