Opinion

Keep North Woods wild

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To the Editor;
We in Maine enjoy being able to see moose and bear, and go camping, fishing, hiking and hunting, especially in remote wilderness areas. A big reason is that Maine’s longstanding “adjacency policy” serves the Unorganized Territory and our state well. Large tracts of north country have been protected from sprawling development, where we can still “get away from it all,” and where animals needing large wilderness areas can survive.

Thanks to the adjacency policy, when new development locates within a mile of already existing development, we concentrate development rather than let it sprawl haphazardly. We pay less in service costs instead of subsidizing services 10 miles away. We protect Maine’s wildlife, rivers, forests and lakes from the threats of development sprawl. We maintain the community-oriented character of our state rather than allow strip development to cut up our North Woods.

The Land Use Planning Commission now proposes allowing development to go 10 miles from outer boundaries of “rural hubs” and two miles from public roads. Close to 2 million acres of Maine’s North Woods are targeted to become “primary locations” for development.

Large-lot subdivisions that fragment the North Woods would be allowed. Economic costs of sprawl are many, and anyone who wants to protect Maine’s natural resources ought to take notice, too. What will happen to the lakes and ponds located within and outside development areas?

The one-mile adjacency rule plays an extremely important role in protecting Maine’s unique character. The public must take the proposal to eliminate it seriously and with caution.

Cloe Chunn
Registered Maine Guide
Waldo

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