Saturday, November 19, 2011

You Are Not Welcome Here

My family doesn’t post our property.  We never have, for as far back as I can remember.  My grandparents owned many acres, as did my parents, and there was never a “No Trespassing” sign posted on trees. 

My husband and I are lucky enough to own 70 acres of forest.  We feel fortunate to be able to step off our front porch and take a walk in the woods and we want everyone to have that same freedom and ability.  When I was a child, almost all of Maine was ‘open’.  It was rare to see a “No Trespassing” sign and Mainers were able to roam the forests and fields and mountains to experience that ‘quality of place’ and quality of life that is so integral to our contentment. 

A shiny silver Ford pick-up drove out of the driveway to our orchard.  That was not a big deal.  It happens all the time in November, since this is the height of deer hunting season.  The truck then proceeded up the road and stopped beside our house.  Since my husband had just gotten into his Blazer to take our son to work, he got out and walked over to the Ford.

He noticed the GPS antenna mounted on the front of the hood.  He asked the driver what was up.

The driver informed my husband that he and his partner were ‘fixing the positions’ of residences in the area for a survey they were conducting.

Mr. Pease asked them who they were working for.

The driver informed him that his client wished for the company's identity to remain confidential.

Mr. Pease said, “Oh.  Iberdrola, huh?”

The men became deer in the headlights.  Kids caught with their hands in the cookie jar.  They shut their mouths.  Stick a fork in them—they were done!

It’s easy to have the last word when the other party won’t speak—but the words my husband uttered could not have come easy, nonetheless.  He’s the kindest, gentlest, most generous man I know.  But he meant what he said when he told those wind industry surveyors that they were not welcome on our land--that he knew he couldn’t prevent them from using the county right-of-way to invade our privacy or help a foreign company threaten our way of life, but he COULD forbid them from stepping foot—or driving tire—onto our property.

This is a tough battle we’re fighting.  We don’t have anything against those men—not personally.  Those contractors are Mainers who are “just doing their job”.  But as a friend from Vinalhaven said of the construction workers who built the Fox Island Wind turbines near his island home: “YOUR job has ruined MY life.”  Those six words sum it up, powerfully.

That shiny, decked out Ford (and yes, I got the license plate number) that was driven so nonchalantly onto the property we generously share with all was likely purchased with money earned by work done for an industry which is negatively impacting the lives of hundreds of Mainers.

So, no.  We don’t post our property, and unless something drastic occurs--we won’t.  But let this be public notice that anyone working for an industrial wind developer--whether directly, or indirectly as a subcontractor--is not welcome at The F.A.R.M.  If you’re going to try to plot and plan how to sidestep the wishes of more than 77% of the residents of Lexington Township, you’re going to have to do it without our help.  If you don’t care that we have stood together and said “NO!” you will not be the beneficiary of our largesse.  We will not harbor you, we will not welcome you—and we will firmly escort you off and arrange for transportation to the county jail if you come onto our property without having express and written permission from my husband or me.

You are not welcome at The F.A.R.M. and you are not welcome in Lexington Township.  Or in Concord, or in Highland.  Accept defeat, please.  You are not welcome here and I am just one voice of many asking you to respect us and abandon your plans for wind developments in these three communities.

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