Maine Earth First!


Police Detain Peaceful Protesters outside of The Nature Conservancy Offices
March 4, 2009, 11:33 pm
Filed under: Plum Creek

March 4, 2009
Brunswick ME- At 10:30 Wednesday morning, members of the rural grassroots environmental movement, Maine Earth First!, were detained outside the offices of the Nature Conservancy after a peaceful dialogue. The group confronted The Nature Conservancy the day after they and Plum Creek Timber LLC submitted the latest version of their controversial Moosehead Conservation Framework to the Land Use Regulatory Commission. The group presented an ad hoc performance in the office, symbolically gagging characters in animal masks representing the local wildlife that will be adversely affected by the plan. During the skit, other members displayed banners that read, “The Nature Conservancy: Putting the “CON” in Conservation!” and “The Nature Conservancy: Masking Plum Creek’s Destruction”. The action was done in protest of The Nature Conservancy’s endorsement of Plum Creek’s logging practices.

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) claims that the purpose of the conservation framework is to ensure that 266,000 acres of land remain permanently protected from development with another 400,000 acres preserved for sustainable forestry. The term sustainable forestry, however, is controversial to many Mainer’s. In the current wording of the conservation easement it allows for major clear cuts, pesticide and herbicide spraying, genetically modified tree plantations, cell phone towers, high voltage power lines, gravel mining, as well as septic sludge spreading. Noah Dillard, a member of Maine Earth First! is concerned after reading their easement language, “what the Nature Conservancy is calling a conservation easement will end up allowing Plum Creek to continue destroying our Maine heritage. We’ve already seen what Plum Creek considers to be sustainable forestry. It’s not about conservation, and it’s not about the public benefit!”

Plum Creek is a member of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, SFI. In 2006, they received the largest fine in Maine history under the Maine Forest Practices Act for major destruction of deer wintering yards and damage to water bodies in the Moosehead region. Then, in fall 2008, Plum Creek cuts resulted in massive erosion and a mudslide in Kibby Township. Only months later, after local people brought their concerns to the media, Plum Creek admitted to “mistakenly” cutting more deer wintering yards in Indian Stream Township, land which could be part of the Conservation Easement. Ironically, all of these practices are allowable under the so-called Sustainable Forestry Initiative, and in the current wording of the Moosehead Conservation Framework. “We want the Maine people to know that this is what conservation looks like according to Plum Creek and the Nature Conservancy,” said Dillard.

The Nature Conservancy is one of the wealthiest nonprofit environmental organization in the world. Plum Creek is the largest private landowner in the country, a major donor to The Nature Conservancy, and a member of TNC’s International Leadership Council. “Plum Creek’s public image, and their ability to continue deforesting the North Woods is only aided by The Nature Conservancy’s endorsement of their practices,” said Dillard, ”their corporate partnership is a clear conflict of interests to say the least.”

After the skit and banner displays, Executive Director Mike Tetreault offered to meet with the group at a later date to discuss their concerns in more detail

Will Neils, another member of Maine Earth First appreciated the gesture but felt that the real damage had already been done. He and others will meet with TNC but called on them to “distance themselves from this phony conservation process, and stop acting as Plum Creek’s apologists. We’re asking them take sides with future generations of Mainers and to truly protect Maine’s forests and wildlife, and we intend to hold them accountable.”

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Plum Creek & The Nature Conservancy
March 4, 2009, 8:52 pm
Filed under: Plum Creek

Taken from here

Facts About the Conservation Easement Partnership Between

Plum Creek and The Nature Conservancy

——————————————————————————————–

Plum Creek is the largest private landowner in the country.

The Nature Conservancy is the richest environmental nonprofit organization in the world.

Plum Creek is a major donor to The Nature Conservancy, and is a member of the TNC’s International Leadership Council.

Learn more at http://www.nature.org/joinanddonate/corporatepartnerships/leadership/

These two Goliaths are partnering promote a Conservation Easement and one of the biggest land development plans in Maine history.

———————————————————————————————————————————————-

In its current form, the Conservation Easement would allow the following activities:

* Septic Sludge Spreading – Up to 100 acres at a time in active use.

* Road Building

* Cell Phone Tower Construction

* Construction of High Voltage Power Lines and Power Generators.

* Rock, Sand, and Gravel Mining

* Unsustainable forestry practices in the form of major clearcuts, pesticide and herbicide spraying, and the possible use of genetically modified trees.

All of these forestry practices are allowed by SFI Inc, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative certification program that certifies Plum Creek’s forestry practices as sustainable. SFI was created by major corporations involved with forestry.

The Chair of SFI is Plum Creek President Rick Holley.

There is no effective Public oversight of SFI and it is unheard of for a company to lose its certification as a result of violations and unsustainable forestry practices.

The Land Use Regulation Commission (LURC) will be accepting Public Comment
on the plan through Friday, April 3 at 4pm.

Members of the Public are encouraged to contact LURC at: LURC@maine.gov
or LURC, 22 State House Station, Augusta, Maine, 04333.

More information is available online at http://www.maine.gov/doc/lurc

Contact The Nature Conservancy

People can also contact The Nature Conservancy to remind them that the
need for environmental justice and the health of local communities is
being threatened by Plum Creek.

As the richest environmental nonprofit organization in the world, The
Nature Conservancy has the ability to take needed action to ensure that
environmental justice and community health are protected.

The Nature Conservancy is risking its reputation if it promotes
unsustainable forestry, mining, road building, septic sludge spreading,
and habitat destruction as Conservation.

People can contact the Maine chapter of The Nature Conservancy by writing
them at 14 Maine Street, Suite 401, Brunswick, Maine 04011, emailing
naturemaine@tnc.org , calling 207-729-5181 or faxing 207-729-4118

More info at
http://www.nature.org/wherewework/northamerica/states/maine/council/

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More from MPBN
February 12, 2009, 7:16 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Here is another radio article related to Plum Creek’s bad logging practices.



And From MPBN…
February 10, 2009, 1:32 am
Filed under: Plum Creek

Here is a radio report from Maine Public Broadcasting…

Click

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From the Bangor Daily News
February 10, 2009, 1:03 am
Filed under: Plum Creek

Plum Creek Admits Wrongly Harvesting Deer Area

By Nick Sambides Jr., and Kevin Miller
BDN Staff

INDIAN STREAM TOWNSHIP — Plum Creek officials acknowledged Monday they mistakenly logged part of a deer wintering area in Indian Stream Township but are now taking steps to address the issue.

Plum Creek’s statement come after members of the grassroots groups Native Forest Network began calling on the timber company to halt harvesting in an area west of Big Moose Mountain.

The Native Forest Network, an all-volunteer group that claims it works to protect Maine’s north woods ecosystems and traditional way of life, had sent delegates to the logging area, which is west of Big Moose Mountain, without any conflicts with landowner Plum Creek, network officials said.

But this weekend members, who intended to document what they claim are sensitive winter deer yards in the logging areas, were turned away by Plum Creek security.

“It seems like they are trying to hide something,” Native Forest Network activist Ryan Clarke said in a statement released Monday.

Mark Doty, resource manager with Plum Creek, acknowledged that the company had mistakenly harvested land within a deer wintering area in the Indian Stream Township area. Doty said the parcel is part of the 32,000 acres of forestland that Plum Creek has agreed to manage for deer habitat as part of a voluntary program with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. He described the 12-acre parcel as a “finger” that extended from the rest of the deer wintering area.

“It was a boundary mistake, plain and simple,” Doty said. “We want to thank the Native Forest Network and the local residents for pointing out the mistake in the harvest. We initiated our internal review after that.”

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Plum Creek Denies Access
February 9, 2009, 11:10 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Plum Creek Closes Land to Public Access

Citizen’s Watchdog Group Denied Access to Proposed Conservation Easement Lands

February 8, 2009

Indian Stream Township, ME– Members of a citizen’s watchdog group
who recently accused Plum Creek of illegal logging operations were
denied access to an active logging operation by Plum Creek security
guards this weekend. The Native Forest Network, an all volunteer
group working to protect Maine’s north woods ecosystems and
traditional way of life have sent delegations to the area for the last
three weekends without any conflicts with landowner Plum Creek. This
weekend members who intended to document what they claim are sensitive
winter deer yards in the area were turned away by Plum Creek security.

Two weeks ago, the Native Forest Network documented deer wintering
yards and what they believe were illegal logging operations in the an
area that is part of the proposed conservation easements associated
with Plum Creek’s controversial development plan for the Moosehead
Lake region. Plum Creek was fined $57,000 in 2003 for clearcutting
violations, and has violated protections for deer wintering areas in
the past as well. Native Forest Network notified the state Forest
Service and Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife about their
concerns with the Indian Stream parcel and biologists from the
Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife have agreed to investigate
the logging operation and the status of potential winter deer yards in
the area. Plum Creek has denied any wrong doing and defended their
logging practices in the area.

Last week, Plum Creek closed the access road to their current logging
operations in Indian Stream Township. This weekend, when members of
the Native Forest Network attempted to continue to document their
findings in the area, they were turned away by security guards. “We
were told that the area was closed for an active logging operation.
But last week it was also an active logging operation and the area was
open to the public. It seems like they are trying to hide something.”
said Native Forest Network activist Ryan Clarke.

As part of their proposal to rezone 400,000 acres in the Moosehead
Lake Region, Plum Creek is required by law to balance the development
with publicly beneficial conservation. The area west of Big Moose
Mountain where the now closed logging operation is underway would be
part of the conservation deal if the Land Use Regulation Commission
gives its final approval to Plum Creek’s plan later this year. As
part of the conservation easement associated with the Moosehead
development, Plum Creek would retain access to the land for industrial
forestry, but the land would remain open to the public for hiking,
camping, snowmobiling, hunting and other traditional recreational
activities. But Clarke questions the precedent that this closure
sets: “If ‘open to the public’ means that they close active logging
operations to hide illegal logging operations from the public, then
will the conservation lands actually be open to the public?”

Plum Creek is currently maintaining other logging operations in the
area which are not guarded and are open to public access.

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Indian Stream Press Release
February 6, 2009, 2:54 pm
Filed under: Plum Creek

**For Immediate Release**

 

Forest Advocates Expose Plum Creek’s Destruction of Winter Deer Yards

 

[Photos available:  www.flickr.com/photos/savethenorthwoods ]

 

January 27, 2009

 

Indian Stream TWP, ME-  Activists with the Native Forest Network (NFN) have reported an imminent threat to historic deer yards and late succession forests within an active Plum Creek active.  The group has requested an immediate evaluation of Plum Creek logging operations in the Indian Stream area by the Maine Forest Service.  The deer yards fall within the boundary of the proposed conservation easements for Plum Creek’s controversial development plan, and adjacent to the Big Moose State Reserve. 

 

Concerns regarding the timber harvest were brought to the attention of NFN by local landowners and hunters. Together they are concerned about the imminent loss of ecologically and culturally significant deer yards in the region, which is seen as a primary factor in this years’ low deer harvest.   Native Forest Movement recently visited the site and documented deer beds, tracks and browse in parcels currently being logged and others intended for harvest. These areas are also home to intact diverse late-succession forests that are unique to Maine’s North Woods.

 

Shirley resident, Charlie Baker expressed concern about the active cut and its planned expansion saying “Hunters in this area know that these have historically been the biggest deer yards of Somserset County.  Destroying these deer yards in the middle of winter is like burning down one of our houses. Where are we expecting the deer to go?”  Baker’s family has lived, logged and hunted in the region for several generations.    Baker continued, “I have hunted this land for over fifty years, the Indian Stream area has significant winter deer yards.  We must protect this land.”

 

Meg Gilmartin , of NFN agrees, “We believe that much of the planned cut is winter deer habitat.  The forest has beautiful views of Eagle Rock through a canopy of giant Cedar, Spruce, Hemlock, and Birch trees. Its adjacent location to State lands makes it a prime corridor for wildlife and recreation. If this tract is cut this season, an important opportunity will be lost.”

 

The group is continuing to work with local residents, biologists, and elected officials. They are hopeful that responsible State agencies will take immediate action to stop the destruction of these forest, and are committed to defending Maine’s landmark forests through every possible channel including civil disobedience if needed.

 

“We have reported our observations to the Forest Service and Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and we will continue exposing Plums Creek’s threats to the ecological integrity and historic uses of the area,” said Ryan Clarke of Sangerville.  “The old forests and wildlife of Maine are public resources, we will not sit by and allow them to be destroyed.”

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