by Roger Merchant
Maine’s Dark Skies
What was once scenic, untrammeled night sky in the Maine Woods is rapidly disappearing.
Since hiking into the Maine Woods in 1965 as a forester and photographer I have seen huge changes in our visual landscape, which is a key asset for the quality of life in Maine and for the tourism that much of our economy relies on. Wind farms on mountaintops and power transmission lines running through the wilder parts of the state contribute to that visual degradation — and more are coming.
In 1983, my son and I slept overnight in the old Barren Mountain fire tower on the Appalachian Trail. At midnight, I peered out the window to a starlit sky that extended outwards in all directions of the compass. There was one red light, far to the south on the Dexter radio tower.
The fire tower is gone and so is the unobstructed night sky, as wind farms march north towards Moosehead Lake. To the east, more red and flashing lights announce the presence of industrial development. ... ... .. .. . .
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