Monday, October 17, 2011

Maine Citizens Overwhelmingly Say “NO!” to First Wind’s Bowers Mountain Industrial Wind Proposal

Maine Citizens Overwhelmingly Say “NO!” to First Wind’s Bowers Mountain Industrial Wind Proposal

In one of the most hotly disputed industrial wind development proposals to come before Maine’s Land Use Regulation Commission, citizens of this state spoke out in opposition to the Bowers project by a margin of 9:1.

Champlain Wind LLC, one of the many limited liability subsidiaries of First Wind of Boston, is proposing to build a grid-scale wind facility on Bowers Mountain in Carroll Plantation and Dill Hill in Kossuth Township. The proposed development would site 22 wind turbines, each approaching 500 feet tall, on a ridge overlooking the Downeast Lakes Watershed.

Based on LURC’s Wild Land Lakes Assessment study of over 1,500 lakes, this watershed has the highest concentration of Class 1A and 1B rated lakes in the state. In order to achieve that rating a lake had to exhibit “outstanding values of statewide significance.” There are at least six lakes in this watershed that have a “1A” rating, three that have a “1B” rating and numerous others that are rated as a “2”.

During the application process, Maine citizens requested and were granted a public hearing. An astonishing 374 citizens gave oral or written testimony about this project. Three hundred thirty-seven (337) or 90.1% of those testifying were opposed to First Wind’s Bowers Mountain project.

Due to concerns that such massive industrialization would seriously damage the area’s
extraordinary scenic value; more than two dozen professional guides and many of the local sporting camp owners took precious time away from their businesses during peak tourist season to come to Lincoln to testify in person. Three prominent organizations, representing nearly 1,000 Maine business owners who are familiar with the watershed, publicly came out against the Bowers project:

* The Maine Professional Guides Association, 900 strong, which has representatives on committees such as Tourism, Conservation, Land Access, Landowners Relations, River Trust and others, voted unanimously to oppose the Bowers project.

* The Maine Sporting Camp Association, which represents more than 50 sporting camp owners.

* The Grand Lake Stream Guides Association, representing 50 full-time professional
guides who make their livelihood on the Downeast Lakes Watershed, voted unanimously to oppose the Bowers project.

Maine citizens have faith that LURC will listen to the will of the people and deny First Wind/Champlain Wind a permit to industrialize Bowers Mountain and Dill Hill.  Please consider attending the final deliberation session to be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 19th, at the Waterfront Event Center, 8 Prince Street, Lincoln, Maine.  Local residents, business owners, tax payers and tourists will be there.  I hope you will be, too.

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