From the Brookings Institute right before the wind madness in Maine exploded.

Charting Maine’s Future: An Action Plan for Promoting Sustainable Prosperity and Quality Places

"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."

https://www.brookings.edu/research/charting-maines-future-an-action...

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Comment by John F. Hussey on October 17, 2018 at 9:23am

This says it all: "Huge and almost mythical, the Northern Forest remains a critical element of the state’s brand,"

Comment by Art Brigades on October 17, 2018 at 9:12am

Following are a few more excerpts from the Brookings Institution Report (which Alan Caron had a lot to do with): 

First, the state should continue to invest urgently in pro- tecting and enhancing its top-notch quality of place, for that is its “calling card,” its brand, and its truest source of pros- perity.

Accessible wild places and tranquil country farms, human- scaled Main Streets and working waterfronts: These are what differentiate Maine from other places and in many respects drive its economy. Yet these assets are at risk.... And so Maine should protect these assets and invest in them as sources of economic advantage.  

But for all that these chapters reflect a strong conviction that Maine is a special place possessed of outstanding, truly enviable potential.

Throughout its research the project team has marveled at astounding natural endowments ...

 Why do so many visitors seek to spend so much time and money in Maine? Why do so many visitors return for good? According to survey results, the 13 highestrated Maine attributes all revolved around its abundance of scenic vistas, the high quality of its recreational opportunities, and its charming small towns. And yet, the way Maine is growing—and the poor management of the demand that Maine’s attractions prompts—also threatens to degrade exactly the quality of place that prompted the demand in the first place.

Moreover, the wheel may now be
turning in Maine’s direction. As the
search for quality places grows in impor-
tance, Maine possesses a globally known
“brand” built on images of livable com-
munities, stunning scenery, and great 
recreational opportunities.

 

 ...But for all that, widespread suburbanization and sprawl are driving up costs and may well be damaging the state’s top calling card—its scenic beauty, the feel of its towns, its quality of place.

Maine’s development pat- terns are undermining the state’s alluring brand, so important to its current and future economy. Crucial to this brand is the integrity of Maine’s distinctive towns and villages and the stunning natural areas that lie between them.

This holistic insight, moreover, is one widely shared by Maine people, many of whom want badly to both improve their economy and protect their state’s special environment— and see little contradiction in the two agendas. Nor is this view only a product of the state’s longstanding tradition of conservation and environmental activism. Instead, it’s bred in. Maine people don’t live in the state accidentally, after all. Whether to the north or south, Maine people stick stubbornly by the state, despite its cold climate and various problems, because they love its mountains and seacoasts and traditional towns and feel at home with its hard-won economy of hard work and community.

And so this report responds to Mainers’ intuition that eco- nomic success and quality places matter equally—are, in fact, linked inextricably.

And other small businesses are emerging throughout rural Maine in industries such as forest bioproducts, marine research, and spe- cialty foods, taking advantage of its abundance of natural resources and quality of place.

n the standard view, Maine remains an intensely rural state of pristine landscapes and small towns.And that’s true in many places: From the open fields of Aroostook County to the great northern forest, western mountains, and remote Down East fishing villages, Maine ranks as the second most rural state in the nation, just behind Vermont, according to the U.S. Census. Altogether, nearly 60 percent of the state lives in Census-defined rural territory—a share that places Maine in the company of other rural states like West Virginia, Mississippi, South Dakota, Arkansas, and Montana. Density measures, meanwhile, confirm the impression. Maine’s low density of 41 people per square mile makes it the most sparsely populated New England state and the 38th least-dense state in the country. 

From the open fields of Aroostook County to the great northern forest, western mountains, and remote Down East fishing villages, Maine ranks as the second most rural state in the nation.

...waves of ill-managed sprawling development could easily threaten the state’s much-beloved rural identity, which itself is a valuable economic asset. In sum, the spread of anonymous suburban development threatens to gradually (or not so gradually) degrade Maine’s quality of place at a time when quality of place means more and more.

Maine’s scattered development patterns are placing increased pressure on the state’s iconic forests, picturesque landscapes, and down-to-earth towns—all vital components of the state’s high quality of place, its true brand. In the long run, the slow degradation of Maine’s vivid and distinctive quality of place (and the reputation it supports) may be the greatest cost to Maine of all.

 ...nation leading second homeownership rate

But talk about Maine’s “brand” is not just fancy language. As the mobility of Americans continues to increase, states more and more need a brand—a distinct, captivating appeal that at once establishes a unifying self-image and a competitive prom- ise as they vie for their share of scarce visitors, talent, and income.

Longwoods International, an image branding company focused on tourism, reiterates this necessity, but also highlights a crucial principle: “A brand is not a campaign theme, tag line, or slogan. Instead, it is an expression of a compellingly unique experience.”

Nor is that expression solely an aesthetic appeal. A quality brand can bring powerful practical benefits to a place. David McGranahan of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, for example, has found that rural counties high in natural ameni- ties had higher population and income growth than those low in such amenities. And in urban locales, work by Richard Florida, as well as Clark and others, points to a close connec-tion between high quality of life, amenities, and population growth.

All of which makes it a major problem for Maine that the way the state is growing is slowly degrading key ele- ments of Maine’s vivid and unifying sense of place.

 Huge and almost mythical, the Northern Forest remains a critical element of the state’s brand,

 Another problem, meanwhile, is the defacement of Maine’s scenic corridors. Winding, country roads, tranquil rural byways, and scenic drives are another signature element of Maine life. And yet, that too is going.

With sprawl threatening the integrity of its towns and landscapes, the state likewise lacks the regulatory, planning, and other structures it needs to ensure it doesn’t wreck what it cherishes.

Maine’s stellar quality of place, for one thing—its traditional towns and beautiful landscapes and seacoasts—constitutes a major, appreciating asset in an age when retaining and attracting workers and retirees matters intensely.

Which suggests the way forward: If the only enduring source of economic advantage is distinctiveness, as Michael Porter maintains, Maine should move to becomemore distinct.That is, it should move confidently to craft a distinctly Maine-built sort of regional advantage derived from its strengths.

 



Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

https://pinetreewatch.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/

 

Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power

 

Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT

******** IF LINKS BELOW DON'T WORK, GOOGLE THEM*********

(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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