In June 1976, the voters of Maine made the extremely wise decision to protect and preserve the natural treasure that is the Bigelow Mountain Range, located in both Franklin and Somerset counties. At that time, this incredible area was threatened by a development plan that would have transformed it into an “Aspen of the East” type of ski resort.

What thereafter became the Bigelow Preserve, owned by the people of Maine, is now, in my opinion, once again in great jeopardy.

Today that threat exists in the form of the proposed construction of a massive 48-turbine wind project that would be located just a few miles from the southeast corner of the Bigelow Preserve, on the very front doorstep of the east end of Little Bigelow Mountain.

Wind turbine structures that rise over 400 feet above the mountain and ridge tops of Highland Plantation would be starkly visible from one of the most spectacular stretches of the Appalachian Trail. This section of trail runs along mountain tops, east to west, from Little Bigelow, Avery Peak, West Peak, the Horns to Cranberry Peak.

Thirty-five years ago this spring, Mainers exhibited the incredible foresight in realizing the value and wisdom in protecting this unique and dramatic mountain range for future generations, and acted upon that realization to create the Bigelow Preserve. It is a gem not only of great significance to the state of Maine, but of national significance as well, being a highly valued segment of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, better known to us as simply the Appalachian Trail, part of our national park system.

My concern is not about debating the pros and cons of wind energy and its future in Maine — that can be done another day. Right now, the issue is about opposing one wind project that has been proposed for a site where it should not be placed.

If you wish to learn about efforts being made to protect and preserve the Highland Mountains, please go to: www.highlandmts.org.

Daniel Bell

Cape Elizabeth

 

 

I read former Gov. Angus King’s opinion piece on wind-power “myths” in the Feb. 21 Maine Sunday Telegram and had mixed feelings about it.

I grew up in Highland Plantation, the proposed site for a new First Wind project. I lived in Portland from 2001 until 2009, and moved out to Indianapolis two months ago.

I understand King’s desire to see wind power developed in Maine. We all want to build a green technology economy in Maine, and at the same time develop sustainable energy sources for our state but also for our nation. It is time for change; we all know it.

I also understand the conflicted emotions many people in Highland must have — we need jobs, we need tax revenue, but we chose Highland because it’s a small town and it’s remote and beautiful — and to us, it’s home. The kind of home that cannot be replaced, where generations of our families have eked out a living and are hoping to retire.

While I understand King’s frustration and I agree with him that Maine needs to develop wind power, I bristle at the implication that the people of Highland are promoting myths because they are NIMBYs, or that people who live in Highland just by virtue of living in a small rural town are less forward-thinking than others.

Ensure a public hearing and don’t rush this process. Delve into the noise issue and really figure it out.

Because, if Angus and his colleagues are wrong — if this development harms Highland in ways that can’t be repaired — it’s not First Wind who will lose.

But if there’s a way forward, everyone could win.

Maggie Drummond

Indianapolis

 

Letter writer was right about Maine woods park

 

Three cheers to Ben Shambaugh for his enlightened Another View commentary endorsing a Maine North Woods National Park (“A national park would share the beauty of Maine,” March 13).

Anyone who has boated on Moose- head Lake, climbed Mount Katahdin or canoed the Allagash knows the aesthetic and spiritual value of this very special place.

Now, as Shambaugh so clearly points out, we need to preserve this wilderness for all people.

Besides protecting a magnificent landscape, a North Woods park would help Maine’s economy. Think of Bar Harbor, North Conway, N.H., Lake Placid, N.Y., Jackson, Wyo., and other towns near a national park.

They’re prosperous and a source of good jobs. Maine could have that too.

Why look to casinos or trashing mountains with wind turbines when a Maine North Woods National Park brings clean prosperity?

Who doesn’t respect Percival Baxter for his generous gift to Maine of Mount Katahdin and its immediate environs?

Now it’s our turn to create what could be the Yellowstone of the Northeast. As Shambaugh quotes Ken Burns as saying, national parks “are America’s best idea.”

Lloyd Ferriss

Richmond

 

Some questions about voyage of the Sea Hunter

 

I followed with interest the saga of the Sea Hunter. Greg Brooks and others are to be commended for their big hearts and generous efforts.

Criticizing the incompetence and corruption of the Hatian government is legitimate. Criticing the U.S. Coast Guard and Customs for doing their jobs is not.

Part of the story remains untold: How does the pre-planning and execution of this operation compare to that of professional aid and relief organizations in the post-Katrina world?

Rick Kelley

Windham