Maine’s Land Use Regulation Commission will debate the Bowers Mountain wind turbine project this week. Citizens spoke out against the project by 2 to 1 at public hearings, according to the BDN. And 90.1 percent of all written comments oppose the project indicating a public groundswell against the permit.
A precedent is already in place to preserve these lakes from destruction of their scenic character. The 1987 Maine Wildlands Lake Assessment published by the Department of Conservation established that several lakes within the viewshed of the project were worthy of “policy” consideration to maintain their natural character.
Pleasant Lake received the highest designation as an “especially high value lake meriting policy consideration to maintain their existing values.” Junior Lake was designated as “meriting policy consideration to maintain their existing values.” Scraggly is one of only five Maine lakes designated as an “especially high value accessible undeveloped lake.”
These rare waters account for only 5 percent of all lake area in Maine yet First Wind contends these lakes are “not unique or distinct, there are no special or defining features.” Nonsense. The public disagrees and so does the opinion of Department of Conservation’s report.
This project will compromise existing views and cause unreasonable damage to the scenic amenity value of this chain of lakes. LURC should heed its charge to “protect natural and ecological values” in Maine and deny First Wind’s permit application. The public has vocally urged it to do so and existing evidence overwhelmingly supports the public’s cry.
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