I got a few more pieces together on my harbor puzzle. The lobster boat and some of the piers are done too. Funny thing is, I can’t seem to find a couple of edge pieces that keep the whole puzzle inside it’s boundaries. Boundaries are important, you know. They’re the rules that keep all the little pieces in their proper place. Sometimes your little brother or sister comes along and pounds on a piece until it fits where they want it to fit, but of course, it still doesn’t fit. And sometimes a little one will grab a piece, and run off with it. And you can never find the missing piece, so you end up with an unfinished puzzle. A story undone.

That seems to be the case involving Maine and the Moosehead region issue at hand. There’s a lot of missing pieces. Question is, are they there and we just can’t see them, or did some little bugger run away with them? Either way, with thousands of pages of web sites, articles, newspaper clippings, press releases, financial statements and so on, I can’t seem to find answers to some of my questions. Why do some of the pieces in the puzzle exist, and how do they connect?

I’ve already talked on and on about the big piece in the middle of the puzzle, Plum Creek Timber, and how it connects directly to another big piece, The Nature Conservancy (TNC). Last week Plum Creek released their financial statements for the year ending December 31st, and they are looking pretty good. Once again they came out ahead in the stock game when share values rose after another sale of land was announced in Montana. A deal that was brokered by TNC, who benefitted from it, and the taxpayers footed the bill by buying the land. All the while having easements on it giving TNC control and allowing Plum Creek to still harvest timber, as I understand the articles.

But another interesting piece was thrown onto the top of the pile in the way of this Carbon Offset Trading (COT) agreement Maine seems to have gotten in to. COT? What’s that you ask? And what in hell does that have to do with providing Greeneville with jobs? Well, see, that’s where the issue gets kind of sticky, and why this ‘global warming’ stuff is going to help destroy Maine as we know it. I’m probably going to piss a lot of people off in the next few days, or weeks, but that’s the way things go when you talk about controversial issues.

I’ve made mention more than once about the trouble that can happen when your feelings or emotions are not balanced with facts. It’s like this; Say Timmy falls down the well, and Lassie comes and gets you. Lassie says “Hey you!(bark) Stupid boy (bark) fell in hole (bark) third time this month (bark, bark) don’t you (bark) teach him nothing (bark, bark, bark)?” So you go to rescue Timmy, and your first instinct (emotion) is to jump in the hole and help the poor boy who’s bleeding and looks like he broke his leg. Kids all twisted up and looks like he’s trying to kick himself in the ear, you know.

If you follow your first emotion, you jump in the hole and voila! You’re at the bottom of hole with an injured kid, looking up at a circle of rapidly diminishing daylight, with a dog barking down at you because you were stupid enough to jump in a hole. Without facts to back up our feelings, we can end up doing the wrong thing. This may be the situation here in Maine with this lake concept plan.

The taxpayers of this country have given Plum Creek hundreds of millions of dollars over the years, maybe even into the billions? Who knows for sure. These deals were brokers via easements and other tools that can be used to manipulate the paperwork. Much of the land has been sold to private interest, such as individuals, as well as to major developers. And in a growing number of cases, the original easements are beginning to appear as if they haven’t held much weight. But much more land was transferred to the federal and state governments as park and preserve land. Of course, the land was sold to the government without profit to TNC, how magnanimous of them.

Exactly what is going to happen with the ‘conserved’ land around Moosehead? Is it going to be sold down the road to private interests? Say Ted Turner decides he wants to build a backwoods retreat and buys some of this prime Maine wilderness from TNC. Under the contracts, it can be done, so long as he abides by TNC’s desires. Will it be sold to Maine, or the federal government as some sort of wilderness reserve? Will Plum creek be able to continue clear cutting for timber on this land? All of these scenarios can take place, according to agreements. Everybody talks about the fine print in a contract, and how that’s the part that gets you, but in reality, it’s the spaces between the lines that get you in the end.

I had a few comments about newspapers and how the three Maine papers owned by the Blethen company seemed to have more positive stories than negative on the issue, and queried as to whether the fact that Plum Creek’s president sits on the board of Blethen had anything to do with it. After all, there are a lot of questions nobody seems to be asking, and that’s what a reporter should be doing. Digging for the facts and reporting them, no matter how distasteful or controversial they may be. Like the following article by Ryan Blethen on how the media is controlled by the government in China.


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