Developer quiet on Moosehead filing

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PORTLAND (AP) – Plum Creek Timber Co. is keeping mum about the timing of the formal filing of its controversial development plan for the Moosehead Lake region, in part because of concerns about security.

The company held two recent press conferences to promote portions of its plan, but the formal application to the Land Use Regulation Commission has been delayed while details are finalized and the documents printed, according to Jim Lehner, Plum Creek’s general manager for the Northeast.

Lehner, citing security considerations as one reason, said this week he would no longer discuss the company’s timing.

“We’re not going to make an announcement,” he said.

Plum Creek was advised by the state to keep its schedule under wraps in light of an unrelated protest this month in the State House and a vandalism spree last fall that was aimed at Plum Creek employees.

“I asked Plum Creek to tone it down a little,” said Catherine Carroll, LURC director. “I’d rather they just bring it in like any other project . . . (The actual filing) deserves a press release, and it should come from LURC, not Plum Creek.”

Citing the risk of a disruptive protest, Carroll noted that a woman opposed to waste disposal legislation chained herself to a railing in the gallery of the House of Representatives earlier this month.

Although it had nothing to do with Plum Creek plan, “the gallery incident just heightened awareness,” Carroll said.

State officials were also mindful of the vandalism spree last Halloween that targeted homes and office buildings of Plum Creek employees and affiliates.

Plum Creek has scaled back its original plan in response to criticism.

The company said the new version will contain 975 house lots, the same number originally proposed, along with two resorts.

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