As Maine’s leading wildlife organization, we wish to provide Gray voters with information about a local ballot proposal to help fund a new facility for the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad & Industrial Heritage Trust.

An effort to pass a law exempting the facility from key environmental laws was unsuccessful, and the project as proposed cannot meet current environmental regulatory standards.

The proposed site for the project is Gray Meadow, a 500- to 600-acre wetland that is a major flood water holding area and provides significant wildlife habitat for inland waterfowl and wading birds as well as breeding habitat for bitterns, rails, waterfowl and songbirds. Eighty-three species of birds have been observed in Gray Meadow, including 35 species of greatest conservation need and 15 state-listed special concern species.

Residents of Gray should know that this project faces significant permitting hurdles before deciding to provide nearly $500,000 to support it.

Ole Amundsen III

executive director, Maine Audubon