They're at it again. First Wind (Champlain Wind LLC) is about to apply for the permit to put 25 turbines on Bowers Mtn and Dill Hill Ridge. That's about 20 miles east of Lincoln and just south of their Stetson industrial wind facilities (DeLorme map 45, 1E). Although some of the project will be in Carroll Plt, which is in the Expedited Zone, the other part is in southern Kossuth Plt which is NOT in the Expedited Zone. All of this falls under LURC's jurisdiction.Background
When the Governor's puppets met in Augusta to decide the borders of the expedited zone, they specifically left a large area as not expedited centered on the Downeast Lakes Watershed (see: www.ppdlw.org
). This area includes Grand Lake Stream and all the connected lakes, nine of which LURC itself has classified as 1A or 1B. Obviously Augustra recognized that this region's economy relies almost entirely on its pristine beauty. Carroll Plt and Kossuth Plt lie at the northern edge of this "protected zone".
Kossuth Plt has very few residents. In fact, DeLorme lists no population whatsoever. Still, the Task Force made a conscious decision to bisect Kossuth: north of Rte 6 is in the Expedited Zone but south of Rte 6 is not. The only possible reason for protecting the southern part of Kossuth is that it includes Pleasant Lake, one of LURC's 1A lakes. LURC has classified Pleasant Lake's Scenic Value as Outstanding, its Fishery as Outstanding, its Botanical value as Outstanding and its Shoreline Character as Significant. Pleasant Lake is also home to the Maine Wilderness Camps
-- an internationally known destination with a long history.The Issue
Unfortunately for First Wind, the hills they want to destroy are in the southern, non-expedited part of Kossuth Plt. just north of Pleasant Lake. They have therefore petitioned LURC to redraw the expedited zone border to include southern Kossuth, allowing them to erect turbines without having to submit to any of the normal scrutiny. This would put some of the 2.5MW, 490' tall towers on top of the highest hill in the area, completely visible from Pleasant Lake just 2 miles away. Here's a link
to First Wind's application. MY QUESTION IS THIS:
what can we do to keep LURC from reclassifying southern Kossuth Plt? I know some of you have dealt with this issue with Transcanada's project. Any advice will be greatly appreciated!
Thanks in advance,
Partnership for the Preservation of the Downeast Lakes Watershed (PPDLW)www.ppdlw.org