Maine's Land Use Regulation Commission (LURC) is under attack again by some Maine legislators who are opposing the land protection regulatory authority of LURC.
Reform legislation has been drafted that would seriously diminish LURC's guardianship of the 10.4 million acres of forestlands in the Maine Woods.
Contact your legislator to oppose these bad recommendations.
Some of the key recommendations that we oppose in the reform legislation are:
- Counties have the option to opt out of LURC jurisdiction if they meet certain criteria.
Why we oppose this: 1) This would fragment the overarching planning, vision, and goals for the unorganized territories. 2) This would chip away at the authority and framework of LURC. 3) This denies the statewide importance of the entire contiguous northern forest.
- Six of nine LURC commissioners will be county commissioners or their appointees.
Why we oppose this: 1) Most of the commissioners will have no accountability to the legislature or the people of Maine. 2) No other regulatory boards have locally elected members. 3) There would be no requirement for expertise in planning, natural resource issues, conservation, etc. 4) This will undercut the statewide focus of LURC.
- Big projects will go to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for permitting and small projects to the counties.
Why we oppose this: 1) Three different entities will be permitting projects across the unorganized territories. 2) There is no experience at DEP for permitting while determining the impacts on the "character" of the north woods, scenic values, traditional recreation, etc. 3) How will they define large vs. small projects?
Please email your legislator today and ask him/her to:
- Not allow counties to opt out of LURC.
- Not allow county commissioners to appoint themselves as LURC commissioners without legislative approval.
- Not move permitting of all major projects to the DEP.
Thank you for all you do to protect Maine's environment.
Maine Woods Campaign
P.S.--Orono and Old Town residents: Come to an in district meeting with Senator Elizabeth Schneider and Representative Jim Dill on Wednesday, January 25, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the Old Town City Hall Chamber Room (265 Main Street, map) to discuss LURC. Please call Karen Woodsum at 207-446-5354 to RSVP.
P.P.S. -- Let your friends know to contact their legislator and protect LURC. You can also share the news with your social media circles: