Goodbye North Maine Woods

The North Maine Woods may be wide open for development if a proposed rule change is implemented by the Land Use Regulation Commission. This would be a tragedy not only for Maine, but for the entire nation.

A current rule allows new buildings in the unorganized territories only within one mile of existing developments. That rule maintains the integrity of our northern forests and has been in place for 45 years. This rule also encourages development within a mile of existing towns.

Despite the fact the state failed to protect critical deer wintering areas, which led to a steep decline in the deer herd (a significant blow to Maine guides and sporting camps), the north woods is still a very special place and important asset for our state and future.

I am particularly concerned about development on our Heritage Ponds where we protect our native brook trout. Can’t you imagine camps going up on all those ponds?
LURC held a public meeting on this rule change last night in Bingham. I hope they got an earful!

On April 5 they’ll host a public hearing at the Baxter State Park office in Millinocket. And they will accept public comments at their Commission meeting in Bangor on April 11 at Spectacular Events, 396 Griffon Road.

Interestingly, they don’t seem to think anyone in southern Maine would be interested in this issue. No public hearings for you.

You can, however, submit comments in writing. Send them to the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, 22 State House Station, Augusta 04333.

Do it now!

More information is available here:

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.