Kevin Gurall: Arrogant Boston Company Defiling World Class Pristine Lakes With 43 Story Turbines

 May 28
Updated: Today at 10:44 PM

Maine Voices: Downeast Lakes watershed needs protection

A forest of wind turbines would forever change the pristine woodland into an industrial site.


SPRINGFIELD - It's not hunting season, but there's plenty of "shots" being fired in the ongoing battle to save one of the state's most historic and significant watersheds from irreparable and permanent damage.




Kevin Gurall of Springfield in Penobscot County is president of The Partnership for the Preservation of the Downeast Lakes Watershed (



Their scenic character and wilderness setting is the lifeblood of the traditional businesses in the entire Downeast Lakes watershed.

First Wind LLC of Boston is going through the LURC permitting process right now to build an industrial wind turbine project that would consist of 27 forty-three story tall turbines overshadowing such pristine lakes as Pleasant, Scraggly, Junior, Lower Dobsi, Pocumcus, West Grand and several others that total over 17,000 surface acres.

This watershed's significance goes back well over 100 years, to when the state of Maine realized the value of what today is still the purest strain of landlocked salmon anywhere in New England, and built a hatchery in Grand Lake Stream in 1877.

This watershed hosts the highest per capita concentration of registered Maine guides in the state. It also has the highest concentration of Class 1A and 1B lakes in the state, which means they are rated to be "of statewide or national significance" in the state's Wildlands Lake Study.

It also hosts such storied lodges such as Weatherby's, Leen's, The Pines, Grand Lake Lodge, as well as more than half a dozen others throughout the watershed.

These lodges are unique not only because the likes of Calvin Coolidge, Ted Williams, Norman Mailer, Jimmy Doolittle and Curt Gowdy frequented them, but also because they cumulatively are one of the biggest employers in the region.

The scenic impact assessment study submitted by First Wind says very arrogantly, that the fishermen who come to this watershed can orient themselves away from the turbines when they fish, or go fish in a cove that hides you from that view. Can you believe the arrogance of this Boston-based company!

People from literally around the globe have been coming to this watershed for more than 100 years to vacation in an area that combines the serene scenic character of a wilderness setting with some of the best fishing the state has to offer.

They spend their hard-earned vacation time and money on gas, food, lodging, license fees, and much more to be able to sit in the front end of a guide's Grand Laker canoe and take in the very best that mother nature has to offer.

But all that will end if this project gets approved by LURC. Sportsmen are going to be a lot less likely to fly or drive 10-12 hours to come fish and enjoy themselves in the shadow of an industrial energy site -- chances are they can save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars by staying much closer to home if they don't mind recreating in an industrial environment!


If this subject interests you, please submit written testimony to LURC denouncing the Bowers Mountain project, or come to the LURC public hearings at the Lincoln High School on June 27 and 28 at 6 p.m. Anyone can speak at these public hearings.


Save the Downeast lakes! Say "no" to the Bowers Mountain project and others like it.

- Special to the Press Herald

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Comment by Brad Blake on May 28, 2011 at 3:32pm

Thank you, PPH for publishing this wonderful piece by Mr. Gurall.  Readers of PPH in Southern Maine must wonder what all the fuss is about.  After all, we need more electricity, don't we?  No, we do not!  All the wind power sites being developed in Maine are not for providing electricity, it is for developers to make money from the financial scam that has been set up under the guise of needing "renewable" energy.  Well, wind turbines are good for the environment, right?  No! No! No!  What is good for the environment that entails blasting away, leveling, and otherwise scalping miles of ridges, causing erosion, cracking aquifers, stirring up arsenic into drinking water, fragmenting wildlife habitat, putting up structures that kill raptors and migrating birds and expodes the lungs of bats from the pressure they create?


Southern Maine readers of PPH need to go to and see what the fuss is all about.  The First Wind project for Bowers Mt. is just the beginning of encircling this national treasure with enormous wind turbines.  It is part of development of nearly every major ridge in that part of Maine, right up to the very foothills just outside of Baxter State Park---in the future when people climb Mt. Katahdin, they will see nothing but wind turbines for miles.  If you want to see what this looks like, go here to these links to view the nearly completed Rollins Project in Lincoln Lakes, just a few ridges over from the region Mr. Gurall writes about and within the viewshed of Katahdin: and


Lincoln Lakes and the spectacular Downeast Grand Lakes may seem remote to you southern Maine readers and even after the viewing of the the links here in this comment, you just don't "get it", I'll bring this home to Portland.  Everyone knows Franklin Towers, at 202 feet tall, the tallest building in Maine.  The wind turbines to go up on Bowers Mt. are 428 feet tall; the smaller ones in Lincoln Lakes are 389 feet tall.  Everyone sees Franklin Towers from across Back Cove in Portland.  Imagine these turbines in place of the entire Portland skyline as viewed across Back Cove, towering more than twice as tall as Franklin Towers.  Now, if you still believe that is a good thing, then maybe the 40 turbines just put in Lincoln Lakes across 7 miles of ridges should be installed in Portland.  Let's see, 40 turbines would line the entire length of Baxter Blvd. around Back Cove, take up all of the Eastern Prom and the Western Prom, and Deering Oaks.  But wait, that's not enough room, so let's include Bug Light Park and Mill Creek Parks in So. Portland, too.  That ought to do it.  You love wind turbines so damned much because you want to be "green"?  Let's put them up in Portland and stop ruining the special natural resource treasures of Maine!


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


(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 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?" 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.”

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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."

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