All Maine Matters

January 2006



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What About Plum Creek?
by Scott Fish

Plum Creek Timber Co. wants to develop a small part (two percent) of the 907,000 acres of land around Moosehead Lake they own. It’s their private property. Plum Creek’s Plan will create much needed jobs in rural Maine. Piscataquis County’s unemployment rate is 6.9 percent.

Right on cue, extreme enviros are attacking the plan to kill it. Maine enviros, aided by friends in the mainstream media, have already beaten Plum Creek into submitting a second plan.

If Piscatquis County residents want Plum Creek’s plan to succeed, they best be ready to fight hard. The Plan and its jobs can succeed only if rural Maine goes on the offense. Defense is suicide. The rural Maine motto? Swords, not shields. If you don’t stop the extreme enviros, they’ll stop you. The Battle of Plum Creek is about rural Maine’s survival. It’s a war happening all over the U.S.A. Plum Creek is Maine’s latest case study.

The Plum Creek Battle is happening on many fronts. In May, ecoterrorists vandalized Plum Creek’s Fairfield, ME office with orange/black spray paint, covering the while clapboards /green roof with slogans, i.e., 2nd Growth NOT 2nd Homes and GO AWAY. In July, Plum Creek’s Greenville office was burglarized, three computers and a hard drive stolen.

On Halloween night this year, ecoterrorists wearing black ski masks, again using paint, vandalized the Augusta office of Plum Creeks attorney and also the Oakland home of Plum Creek general manager Jim Lehner. Ecoterrorists that night broke four windows in Lehner’s home with rocks. Project manager Luke Muzzy’s home was hit with animal feces.

In July, old enviros with a new name (Save Moosehead) held a press conference vowing to kill Plum Creeks plan. Jonathan Carter told the Bangor Daily News, “Were going to attack from all sides.

Carter and company started a war. Rural Maine, especially Piscataquis County, gets the next move. After the Greenville burglary, Plum Creek’s regional manager said, I did not expect this kind of criminal activity.

Why not? The anti-Plum Creek crew has been around. Their goals and tactics are widely known. Going up against them unprepared is foolish, a suicide mission. Swords, not shields.

There’s a second front in this battle against rural Maine’s economy. That is, urbanites believing the lie that rural Maine is one building away from becoming Newark, N.J. It’s elites in-and-near government with multi-millions of tax dollars to use turning private rural land into government-owned land. They call it saving rural places. I call it rural cleansing. Portland wants to save Jackman (Pop: 1,057) from sprawl?

Plum Creek conferred with 31 different entities [including] stakeholder groups, and the conservation community. Result? Plum Creek’s first Plan put 86 percent of its shore frontage in no development conservation easements. It guarantees public access (on private property) to 55 miles of hiking trails, 71 miles of snowmobile trails. It donates up to 100 acres for affordable housing.

All of this was done so that a private corporation, Plum Creek, could maybe get a green light to develop just two percent of its land where the unemployment rate is 6.9 percent compared with Maine’s 4.7 percent.

But that’s not good enough for extreme enviros, who, as Jonathan Carter and friends promised, are waging war on real jobs for rural Maine.

Plum Creeks second Plan due out in February 2006. If extortion is the practice of obtaining something through force or threats what do we call what’s happening to Plum Creek?

Scott K Fish has been active in Maine politics since 1989. He is founder/owner of the As Maine Goes web site, writes a monthly political column for Bangor Metro magazine, and is a consultant for the Maine Heritage Policy Center.

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