Plum Creek delays filing of revised development plan

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AUGUSTA (AP) – Groups hoping to get a look at Plum Creek Timber Co.’s revised development plan for the Moosehead Lake region will have to wait a little longer.

The company had hoped to file its plan Friday with the state Land Use Regulation Commission, but general manager Jim Lehner of Plum Creek’s Northeast region said the filing was delayed until the week of April 24 at the earliest.

“We are still working on some information from other groups. We want to put this application in all at once and not have it dribbling in,” Lehner said.

Plum Creek withdrew its original plan amid strong criticism. While maintaining the total number of lots at 975, the revised proposal removes lots from remote ponds and focuses most of the development south of Rockwood and north of Greenville at the southern end of Moosehead Lake.

When the revisions are filed, LURC will review the overall plan and decide whether development should go forward.

Plum Creek has been airing television ads that praise the project for its blend of conservation and development, while noting that the company responded to the public’s concerns by making changes to the original plan.

Environmental groups critical of Plum Creek have responded by questioning why the company felt it necessary to wage a public relations campaign in advance of the filing of its final plans.

The latest salvo came from Portland-based Environment Maine, which said Plum Creek’s conservation plan offers no guarantees and fails to conserve some of the most ecologically sensitive areas.

“In short, the plan would still significantly alter the signature landscape of Moosehead Lake and introduce sprawl into the largest untouched and unbroken wilderness in the otherwise settled East,” said the group’s report, “Hollow Framework: Plum Creek’s Doublespeak.”

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