In a BDN OpEd piece on March 19, Jackson Parker, CEO of Reed & Reed, claimed that a decision by the Department of Environmental Protection to exclude wind turbines from Passadumkeag Mountain “threatens to undermine Maine’s attractiveness for investors.”
There is another kind of “investor” who comes to Maine, and this one spends a lot of money to see our scenery, not wind turbines: tourists. Whose Maine will be preserved?
The Maine Office of Tourism reported that in the summer of 2012, Maine had an estimated 9.6 million overnight visitors and 13.8 million day visitors. In winter of 2012, there were 2.9 million overnight visitors.
Maine’s “beautiful scenery” was the top reason all visitors came to Maine. In 2006, the state commissioned the Brookings Institute to create an action plan for promoting our sustainable prosperity and quality of places.
The report, “Charting Maine’s Future,” states: “As the search for quality places grows in importance, Maine possesses a globally known ‘brand’ built on images of livable communities, stunning scenery, and great recreational opportunities.”
The DEP has shown not only leadership but stewardship for our scenery by denying the Passadumkeag wind project. Hopefully, on March 21, the Board of Environmental Protection will exhibit the same stewardship for Maine’s economic driver, our scenery, and support the DEP decision.
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