Showdown at Plum Creek

Posted: 22/09/2008 in Uncategorized
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Any of you who may be following the Great North Woods Vs. Plum Creek battle knows that the LURC will be holding hearings for the final time this week on the issue. The decision they make is said to be final but like I said before, I believe the decision has already been made, and this is just a period of stalking each other around the ring to make it look good. The biggest reason for my feeling the way I do on the issue is not because of the cry raised by the NRCM and Maine Audubon as well as some of the other spec. interest groups. Their plea is a good one, and holds a lot of substance, but it doesn’t address the core issue.
That core issue is actually the behind the scenes politicking behind the deal. In fact, I place a large part of the blame for what’s going on upon the NRCM itself. I believe the environmentalists are actually going to be the ones who cause the most harm to the environment. The issue here is bigger than just Plum Creek and their request to carve up Maine’s wilderness into an expensive playground for the rich from away. The issue is actually global in nature. And Plum Creek, though I question the validity of their claims, is not the real villain here. In fact, I have said before that I welcome some kind of development in the North Woods. Just not the kind being proposed.
I believe that if Plum Creek really wants to preserve the integrity of the environment, they should go ahead and do it. There should be no deal saying that the easements proposed will only happen if they get approval for the proposed developments. That only says to me that they are interested in the best value for their dollar, and not what’s best for all parties involved, especially the environment, which has no voice of its own. The condominium and resorts should be presented as individual projects, and should then be grade upon their own individual merits. I’m willing to bet that if they had done that in the beginning, at least one resort would be pretty much completed, and a large number of the condos would already be occupied. But it didn’t work that way, and that’s because of the real villain in this picture.
And that villain is TNC. The Nature Conservancy. Handmaiden to the UN’s biodiversity project. I suspect most people haven’t looked at the whole plan. NRCM just keeps rehashing the part about Lily Bay and how it needs to be protected from development, and it does. But because of their relationship with the TNC, most of the behind the scenes politicking goes unmentioned. So let’s look at the broad picture in a nutshell. The broad picture shows all this development and how NRCM doesn’t want it, but they still want the easements. Plum Creek says they’ll only give the easements if they get the development. Playing both sides of the aisle is TNC. They give money to groups like the NRCM to help them get what they want. They also help REIT’s like Plum Creek get huge subsidies from the taxpayer in exchange for allowing TNC to control the land that the REIT will still own, but not have to pay any taxes on. But they can still harvest the trees, build roads and ditches and all sorts of other things. A great benefit for the REIT’s. Look at the recent ruckus that erupted in Montana between Plum Creek and the USFW’s road agreements.
TNC brokered a huge mega deal over the land Plum Creek owns and the taxpayer, meaning you and me have to pay for it, even though we don’t live in that state. But here’s the real issue nobody seems to be talking about. Land usage. The Lake Concept plan that the LURC is mulling over allows water extraction, mining, wind power generation and other perks. So look at it this way. The Nature Conservancy is brokering this deal between the taxpayers of Maine and Plum Creek, correct? The plan allows all of the perks I mentioned, correct? If I’m wrong on any of this, please email me and I’ll correct myself, but as of this moment, I am just telling you what I see in front of me.
So anyhow, The Nature Conservancy is acting as the broker. Remember that Plum Creek sits as a advisory member on TNC’s board. The deal allows Plum Creek to conduct business as usual. Guess what? Nestle also sits on the board of TNC as an advisory member. Nestle NA wants to extract as much water from Maine as they can through the bottled water company they own, Poland Springs. And extraction of water will be allowed. Of course wells will have to be drilled, and pumping stations built for filling the trucks. Roads will naturally have to be built and/or improved to support the heavy loads the trucks will create.
But wait! There’s more! BP also sits on the board of TNC as an advisory member. And BP is getting into wind power in a heavy way. They are buying wind power generation companies on a fast pace, and one of them, Clipper Wind, just recently partnered with BP. And of course, Clipper just entered into a huge deal with UPC Wind to provide a huge shipment of turbines. UPC Wind is the company behind the wind farm up in Mars Hill. So, the deal allows wind power generation, which means roads will have to be built into the woods to build the towers, and high tension lines will have to be built to carry the electricity to somebody who can use it.
The damage that will be caused if this plan goes forward far exceeds what NRCM and other eco groups want you to believe, but they won’t give a full accounting. You know why? The politics involved has overshadowed the reality of habitat preservation. These organizations feed off of each other, sharing taxpayer dollars to cover operating expenses. They’re all part of one big happy family. As an example, let’s take Adam Lee. I’m sure you’ve seen him on the LEE Auto ads. He happens to be on the NRCM board. He also happens to be on The Nature Conservancy’s Corporate Conservation Council of Maine. Follow the link. One not enough? How about Roger Milliken? Here’s his bio from TNC; President: Baskahegan Company. Trustee: Maine Chapter, The Nature Conservancy. Board Member: Land for Maine’s Future Board. Advisory Board: OSI Northern Forests Protection Fund. Chair: Advisory Committee to the Forest Conservation Program of the Manomet Center for Conservation Science. Co-Founder and Former Chair: Maine Forest Biodiversity Project. Former Chair: Maine Forest Products Council. All these groups support the plan, either fully and plainly, or through a back door agreement. Baskahegan Company by the way, owns and manages 100,000 acres in Eastern Maine.
Enter in the next mega development by way of the Schoodic Point development proposal. The pit just keeps getting deeper and deeper. The only way to stop the over-development of Maine’s wilderness is to stop The Nature Conservancy. And that’s not going to happen as long as all of these non-profit environmentalists keep protecting each other. The habitat of Maine’s wildlife needs to be preserved, but what’s going to happen is that all of these projects, many masquerading under the guise of the UN eco-tourism model, will eventually expose these areas to too many people, too much pollution, and too much abuse. The end result is going to be that the controlling party, which will be The Nature Conservancy, will ultimately close off the area under the implied need to protect the damaged environment. Don’t believe me? Read this Nature Noted blog entry here. Then read this blog post, WRM Bulletin Nº 80 – Asia / March 2004 at The World Rainforest Movement.
The same could happen here in Maine. All of the people who believe great new jobs will be arriving in the North Woods may actually find themselves moving to Portland to find a place to live. Here’s another interesting article from Orion Magazine called “Conservation Refugees.” All of these actions were taken by TNC and other environmentalist groups under the direction of the UN. And the UN wants Maine’s Great Northwood’s, and Down East Maine to become unpopulated. You can find proof of that here, if you disbelieve me. It’s all part of the UNESCO Man-Biosphere project. If you look closely at the bottom US map, you’ll see that the area around Moosehead, and another area in Dawn East Maine, as well as along the US Canadian border along Quebec are all colored as being planned Biodiversity sites, and will be shut off from human encroachment. All human encroachment. I’s say the registered guides of the area may want to learn another trade for the future.
To sum it up folks, it looks to me like we done been had by the environmentalists. But we’ll see what the final decision is going to be. Maybe the political consequences of approving the proposal we be deemed as not worth the cost in the end. But we shall see. But at any rate, that’s how the picture looks to me, for what it’s worth. For my money, there are way too many people intertwined in all of these organizations for me to feel comfortable. I did some digging into standards and ethics a few days ago. Seems as though if we were talking mergers and aquisitions here, a lot of this activity would be classified as insider trading. Just my opinion, folks.
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