April 28, 2013

Battle lines drawn over proposed Maine wind farm

Environmentalists back the Bowers Wind project, while backcountry guides and sporting camp owners will oppose it at hearings this week.

By CLARKE CANFIELD The Associated Press

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"I find it hard to believe that people who are taking guide trips up to Maine from Boston, Hartford, New York or wherever are suddenly going to stop coming because there are wind turbines spinning on a mountaintop," he said. "I just don't believe it."

The Partnership for the Preservation of the Downeast Lakes Watershed and registered Maine guide David Corrigan have intervened in opposition to the project.

If the project's built, there'll be clear views of the towers from nine nearby lakes that have been designated as scenic resources of state or national significance, said Gary Campbell, president of the Downeast Lakes group. Campbell, who's from Massachusetts, has a seasonal log cabin not far from the project site.

A wind farm will bring down the inherent and market value of properties, he said, while forever diminishing the wilderness character of the region.

Clients of the area's guides and sporting camps have written letters to the DEP expressing opposition, he said.

"The region is unusual because it's almost 100 percent 'escape tourism,'" he said. "People have written the DEP saying, 'If I want to go to fishing at the foot of some turbines, I can do that in Massachusetts, New Jersey or New York. I don't need to go all the way to Maine to do that.' So they'd probably find another place to go."

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