I have a long history living, working, recreating and guiding along the Kennebec River in western Maine.
I strongly disagree with the attitude of those who oppose the CMP corridor, who last week, gathered to oppose the lawful, legal uses of privately owned property, using a snowmobile trail to “raise awareness of what might be lost,” unaware or inconsiderate of the irony of their action.
The 16-mile trip to the top of Coburn Mountain began near a large boulder bearing a plaque commemorating the donation of property from CMP to West Forks, then ran for 3 miles on town and state-owned property before entering private property, traveling as a guest for the next 13 miles to the summit, crossing property owned by CMP numerous times. The rights of private landowners should not be limited to fulfill the desires of recreational visitors with no skin in the game, who may be seeking a particular experience on someone else’s private property.
Their comments indicate a serious lack of understanding of the nature of a privately owned working forest. It’s wrong to impose a “wilderness” designation or expectation on a working forest landscape. The best way to lose public access to private lands is to threaten the rights of the host landowner.
CMP’s corridor will host a transmission line in an area where working forests and logging roads have long been part of the landscape. The line will deliver clean, renewable energy into Lewiston from which all of New England will benefit. Reducing greenhouse gases is a global imperative unrelated to state or national boundaries, and success will require all hands on deck, pulling together. Say yes to this important first step.