At the request of private landowner A&B Forestry, three area ATV clubs and two snowmobile clubs assembled to hear a message delivered by the landowner concerning the proposed Rumford wind power project by First Wind.
As someone who would benefit from the project, the landowner is upset with the anti-wind ordinance that will be offered to Rumford voters in November. The landowner is urging those who recreate on the 4,500 acres to defeat the ordinance so that an ordinance that will both protect the citizens of Rumford and allow the project to proceed can be developed.
They explained that their family has always allowed the public to recreate on their private land, including hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, ATVing and hiking and, in return, want folks to support the project. They are prepared to post their land if the project is defeated.
This has been a very difficult decision for them, but as the landowner stated, "Why should our land remain open for the enjoyment of those who are not willing to support our need to earn a living with the very same property? This is our land, we are making payments on it, and if people don't want to see it developed, then all they need to do is buy it from us."
I am acutely aware that because of the size and location of different parcels, all owned by this family, that rerouting the trails for snowmobiling and ATVing would be very difficult, if not impossible.
Mike Worthley, Roxbury
President, Roxbury ATV Club