Sportsman’s Alliance Pulls Its Support for CMP Corridor
After offering support last January for CMP’s controversial new corridor from Quebec to Massachusetts, the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine has pulled its support, after seeking guidance from its members, many of whom oppose the project.
As a SAM life member and a strong opponent of the CMP project, I am delighted by SAM’s decision, although I wish they’d come out against the project, instead of taking a neutral, neither for nor against, position on the project.
Given the serious concerns of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (which I wrote about), and the strong opposition by all of our state’s major environmental groups, I am hoping SAM’s position will continue to evolve, and that they’ll soon join us in opposing the project.
Here is SAM’s letter about their change in position, written by executive director Dave Trahan.
In January of 2018, our Board and leadership team met with representatives of your company, Central Maine Power Company, to discuss the New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) proposed corridor extension. At that time, based on information provided by those individuals, the Board determined that if completed, the project would reduce the need for further industrial wind development in the Jackman region. At the time we offered support under certain conditions. Here is a quote from the January 17, 2018 Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine letter highlighting the condition: “our support of this project is predicated on the principle that industrial wind in Maine cannot use this power line; furthermore, we do not and will not support any efforts by wind power advocates, now and in the future, to use this powerline.”
Since January of 2018, many more details of the project have been made public and many of those details have raised concerns amongst our membership. Concerns like the potential negative impacts on viewscapes, deer wintering areas, trout streams, lakes and ponds. As details of the project became clear, more and more of our membership raised serious objections and it is clear our members are not convinced this project would slow future industrial wind power development; in addition, many of our members reflected concerns that the residents of Maine would see very few benefits from the project.
Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine is a membership- based organization and it is crucial to accurately represent our membership’s wishes, for that reason and others mentioned above, we decided to survey SAM members asking their opinions regarding the NECEC project.
We have received an above average response to our annual SAM membership survey and although we are still tabulating the results, it is clear that an overwhelming percentage of our members are opposed to the NECEC corridor extension. Of the remaining members, most are undecided and only a small percentage support the effort.
We are proud of our long relationship with Central Maine Power Company and appreciate the generous manner in which you treat the outdoor recreational community, as you allow unrestricted access on your 2,100 miles of rights-of-ways and property. Your open access for hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, all-terrain vehicles, and other non-traditional pedestrian users is greatly appreciated; in addition, we also respect the rights of private landowners connected to this project.
Our membership has spoken loudly and our direction is clear – we can no longer support this effort. Therefore, we hereby rescind our support of this project and we will now take a more neutral, Neither For Nor Against posture and we respectfully request that Central Maine Power Company remove from all communications, social media sources and other sites, the January 17, 2018 letter of conditional support from our organization. We will monitor the project and weigh in during the public comment periods on specific concerns and issues related to the project.
Thank you for all you have done for us in the past and all you do for the state. We hope to continue working together on issues of mutual interest and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
David Trahan, Executive Director
Sportsman’s alliance of Maine