Private land ownership is a cornerstone of Americanism, and when private lands are systematically and deliberately acquired by a quasi-government entity, such acquisitions should have a clear and limited purpose. That purpose shouldn’t restrict or suppress the free use and enjoyment of those public lands when such use doesn’t run counter to the mission of the acquiring agency.

As a commissioner on the Lake Auburn Watershed Protection Commission, I have come to believe the commission may be overstepping its mission. That mission is defined and clearly outlined in the LAWPC bylaws. Section 5 of the bylaws states:

“Reasonable recreational opportunities on Lake Auburn can be preserved with restrictions that, at the same time, will advance the goal of preserving and protecting the purity of the water in Lake Auburn and obtaining the exception from the unreasonable cost of meeting filtration requirements.”

It is my opinion that the Lake Auburn Watershed Protection Commission is institutionally inhibiting the free use and enjoyment of these public lands, even when such use does not adversely impact the purity of the water or watershed.

I support preserving the responsible recreational use of the lake and watershed lands by not inhibiting reasonable snowmobile, snowshoe and cross country ski uses during the winter months. Additionally, such winter activities are not prohibited within the commission bylaws. It is clear that these uses, when responsibly exercised, do not impact the purity of the watershed, lake or water quality in any way.

Michael Lachance, Lewiston

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