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State of Maine leasing deer yards to LL Bean for rich europeans?

6978 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  aroostookbasser
There was a previous post concerning the "maine huts and trails" project by WMF (Western Mountains Foundation) aka Larry Warren past president of Sugarloaf USA. Well here is some juicy information that Larry, LL Bean and other members of their board of directors do not want the unsuspecting general public to know.

First check out thier board of directors at
Every one has a personal gain to be gotten from this project, from all the lawyers, sons of lawyers (Devin Beliveau). The contactor to build the lodges (oops huts, yeah right) Carl Demshar and others. But lets look at the LL Bean connection and the McClain Marketing Group (Sue -Ellen McClain) in particular and lets look at it relative to the location of the lodges and trail corridors from the perspective of traditional users, Mainers like you and I. Lets also discuss this in the context of historically known problems with public lands (trouble with the commons) and one of the reasons that our forefathers came to America to begin with, the fact that only rich landed gentry were allowed to hunt, RobinHood comes to mind.

Well, considering this is a complex issue and I do not have the time nor space to write all I know or believe here and no spell checker, I will adhoc it a bit instead and let the reader put it in the above context.

First of all this project in my opinon is a far greater threat to Mainers than the Plum Creek plan which I do not support either. For one it will affect many more communities and traditional users along it's entire route. If one calculates the average size of the proposed lots 50 acres and the length of the trail 200 mile by the average corridor width 250 -500 feet, one would find that it could be upto 10,000 acres or more or our best hunting and fishing land. Also, it is going through 3 deeryards that I am personally aware of in just the first 20 miles out of 200 mile proposed, let alone the other 180 miles. One of which is within the Bigelowe Preserve which the state has refused to map even though several members it's DOC advisory commitee requested them to do so. On that note why does the state expect other land owners to protect deeryards on thier land when they will not on public lands due to political pressure. Further more has anyone questioned why this so called ski trail needs to goes through deeryards and along waterways it's entire length. The deeryard at GrandFalls owned by CMP has already had a trail cut though it.
I believe it is so LL Bean's customers can walk out of the lodge and walk down thier 14 foot wide trail (shooting lane) to a prepared tree stand in the deer yard or shore frontage and shoot a big buck that the natives pushed to them from the non-shore side of the trail. This I would argue is an unfair and unethical practice, cutting a shooting lane through a mapped deeryard for paid exclusive use, it about boardes on a canned hunt given the water is ten yards on one side of it.
Why do I suspect that? Well, for one Larry Warren told me personally that if you goe to LL Bean and buy a new shotgun, kayak or flyrod you will get a free 2 day pass at one of the lodges to learn how to use it. Two, a local guide Greg Dummonds told me that when he was guideing Larry Warren and the LL Bean rep, which I assume was Bob Peixotto CEO of operations for LL Bean and chairman for WMF, that LL Bean told him to screw himself in some many words because he was putting hunters and fisherman in the lodge right at Grand Falls, no matter how they effect the scenery for everyone else. That also, explains why the state changed the fishing rules on the DeadRiver from general fishing to artifical lures only anf catch and release at the falls for the lodge customers.
Three, Sue-Ellen McClain (WMF) was chatting to me about how she and her partner just got back from some large Dukedom over in europe where they were helping the game manger of it, market his stags to the wealthy. Because there was no public land over there it is still all being help by a few weathy individuals.
Four, WMF Executive Director as I understand it is being paid by LL Bean. Now we know why LL Bean cut all those Maine jobs a few years ago, they said it was to focus thier money elsewhere.
I have tried to get George Smith (SAM) involved, but I am not suprised he has not taken a stand, after all LL Bean donated a million dollars to his new headquaters. Does that make one question something?
WMF has recieved a $500,000 grant to buy land on the Dead River for this project and strangely enough the land is to be held by WMF's instead of DOC which is the way it is supposed to work. Though Ralph Knolls of DOC and Tim Glidden of LMF both claim they were not responsible for it. Strange also is the fact the Leon Gorham (LL Bean) sits on LMF board.
Strange too, is that John Willard the owner of The Birches Resort was on WMF board as of recent and is now on the Northen Forest Canoe Trail board of directors. That is another reason to place the trail along waterways.

Another huge concern of mine is the fact that under LURC rules they (LURC) do not have clear guidelines on trail constuction and therfore may not require the proper eviromental studys needed, nor may they be able to ensure that traditional usages are allowed or being adversly impacted. Whats to stop WMF, LL Bean from posting thier trail corridor from hunting and trapping a year or two after it has been approved and built becuase they feel the the native are impacting the enjoyment of thier paid cleintel, who now feel our woods belong to them after all the paid for it and they are europeans after all who historically the game belongs to them. This makes it so much worse when one considers it's location to and through the Bigelow Preserve which was voted by referendum by the people of the State of Maine to be kept as is and to be non commerialized. By virtue of LL Bean's lodge location to the Bigelow Preserve they will have gotten an free hunting preserve that us tax payers paid for and will continue to subsidize. Let alone all the other prime locations along the whole 200 miles. I wonder is there a law on such a monopoly? The tourist already have Baxter and Acadia I thought because we voted for it and paid for it with our own money that the Bigelow Preserve was for Mainer's who do not mind sharing it some but we do not want it stolen from us.
Also, considering that this trail goes up the Kennebec and many of the same players involved with this are also involved with the Kennebec River Initiative I have to wonder what the real big picture is, what is really going on here.
Much of this land is owned by CMP, who was in negoitations with the state to sell it to them. But they pulled out at the last minute to pursue more lucrative uses, now we know what those uses were. PlumCreek owns most of the rest.
Mainers beware!!!! With people like Quimby, WMF, Restore, PlumCreek and now apparently LL Bean after our traditional usage lands we need to unite and speak out loudly or we will be crying "Maine the way it used to be"

Well, put that in your pipe and smoke it, just don't burn your mouth.

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Well, just lookie how that puzzle is fitting together!

Thanks Beechnut. Someone has got to get this on the local and national TV news!
That's a lot of information. I think it needs to be broken down piece by piece and analysed.
Just to bring everyone up to speed, Beechnut has been on this for five (5) years now. He owns land that abuts the so-called trail.

To be able to document this, step by step on paper would be awesome! Wouldn't hurt to get some copies of their tax returns and see just where the money flows to & from.
More LL Bean info!!!!

Further more the CMP land around Flagstaff Lake was taken under the threat of eminent domain and the Attorney General I believe said it still needs to be decided if they CMP have the legal right to use this property for a commercial purpose not for the public good. WMF will try to convince everyone that their clients are the public at $55 a night but not you and I. Plus Larry Warren want to control the several free camps sites on the shore owned by FPL and one which by the Bigelow Preserve charter states that it should be part of the Preserve because it is in Dead River township. This thing just keeps growing as Larry gets more people who want to make money off this, they now want boat moorings for sail boats and a motor boat. They want to manage the free camp sites and charge a fee for them. Tell me that when you or I call to reserve one that they will not say it is already taken by more of their class of people. They have said over and over again that they want to keep the riff raff out, Mainers, snowmobiles anyone who does not eat granola and ski.
To top it off Flagstaff Lake under LURC designation is a class 1 lake or something which means it has significant scenic and historical significance and should not be developed. So WMF and LL Bean would be getting all kinds of variances to build this project that I as a land owner in the area I could not get, and not just here mind you all along the Dead River which has a 250 foot protection zone, and I am sure else where. Go to WMF’s web site and down load their mapp and just see how many special areas they want to take over, every waterfall and trout pool, deeryards and thick stream frontages. The trouble is that LURC's Flagstaff area management plan still needs to be updated, WMF has been using it's brand of politics to get their project through before the plan is updated and they will close the door on everyone else. They have already been doing this with DOC's Flagstaff Area plan for our public lands which we have had a couple of advisory meetings but have not seen the completed plan yet. I would suggest anyone interested contact DOC planning office and get copies of the written testimonies from committee members a just see if anything other than what WMF and LL Bean wants gets implemented, like mapping the Bog Brook deer yard in the Preserve that Larry's trail is cutting a mile through. The States own head silviculture on the committee knows it is a deeryard and thought it should be mapped also, but I think Ralph Knolls (DOC) was afraid to have it done. Supposedly he high tailed it out of State to Georgia or North Carolina but he is still consulting for WMF. Apparently the Governor charged him to make this project happen through the Bigelow Preserve.
It is interesting that just like the Kennebec River Initiative that claims to be valuing the river now that it is cleaned up enough for them to want, Flagstaff lake was in the same boat. Since the 1950s when it was cut and flooded it was dark murky brown full of drift wood and only the locals would use it, they cleaned up most of the drift wood and sold it and now the lake is clear again, albeit full of Mercury from the coal stacks out west. Now the LL Bean and Sugarloaf crowd want to capitalize on it before many more people find out. The State of Maine has hidden the Bigelow Preserve from every one for the last 30 years due to the Bigelow Preserve Charter, such that most Mainer’s who do not live nearby do not know it exists, and now they are going to turn around and give it to the very type of people and users that it was created by referendum to protect it from.
For more info check this site out below.
On the flip side of the coin we have the environmentalist users of our lands coming up with their own agenda with the Maine Backcountry Project.
PS I found a spell checker yeah!
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Also, Larry Warren will get $60k a year to manage this project and by thier (WMF) tax return they are $240k or more in the hole, his salary for the past 5 years.
For more info one could contact Richard Fecteau chairman of Friends of Bigelow (FOB) he lives in Farmington ME, (207) 778-0870. He could fill you in more and point you toward other sources, just do not mention the Maine Backcountry Project as he is involved with that. I do not imply it is a bad thing like WMF’s project just another user group wanting more of the pie and considering the AMC is part of it, it can not be all that bad, they cater to a more average crowd like us than WMF intends too.
It seems that much of "phase one" of this project is funded along with permits needed to build two of the first three lodges from what I understand. The first lodge is going up near Carabassett Acadamy on Penobscot Indian land at Poplar Stream Falls. The second lodge, slated to go up on public land in the Bigolow Preserve was moved to, Penobscot Indian land located within the preserve and the Maine legislature signed off to allow the trail to be cut through the preserve.

The other lodges shown for construction as part of Phase 1 are the one on Flagstaff Lake, and along the Dead River at Grand Falls and Poplar Hill Falls.

Does anyone know what the permit situation is for the Flagstaff Lake hut as I could find nothing on the LURC site? or the ones along the Dead River?

This makes for interesting debate in that you have a "non-profit" group hiding behind the guise of a land developer gaining access to public lands for profit. This sets a disturbing precendent. Another one of these deals taking place during the Baldacci watch.

I don't like the idea of public lands being used for this purpose. I'll have to further study the deer yard issue. Noone likes to see this sort of thing cutting through an established deer yard.

One thing we must all remember. Many of these groups and organizations are all run by the same people. These guys wear many hats, even members of LURC are in bed with these conservation and elitist groups. I know that to be fact.

I'm not sure of Fecteau's role in the "mothballed" Backcountry Project but that secret organization was certainly no friend of hunters or many other recreational groups. Their goals were narrowly focused on themselves and their agendas willing to achieve such goals at any cost, including running the logging industry out of town, shutting down snowmobiling, ATV, hunting, fishing, trapping, you name.

More than likely Maine Mountain Foundation will realize its goals because money talks and you know what walks. As long as John Baldacci is governor of Maine, most everything will happen in secrecy and we will only find out after the fact. All these people are all good ole boys looking out for each other's interest.

Isn't it interesting how funding all came together immediately following the election?

Aside from the use of public lands and the permitting process that will take place through LURC and any local towns, there's not a lot any of us can do. If LURC is going to grant them permits to build a lodge, etc. on the shores of Flagstaff Lake, this is really wrong. LURC designates Flagstaff as classification 2, which means access, no developement, pristine waters. If the land still belongs to CMP, and I'm not 100% sure it does, the question is, can LURC permit the zoning change?

The other big question is to determine if CMP owns the land and if so, was it purchased with money generated from electric rate payers. If so, they would be required by law to return any money they realized from sale of those lands to the rateholders.

If you don't want to see WMF building their "resort" on Flagstaff, you have to make noise. I can't see a whole lot of opposition from Maine Appalachian Mountain Club or any other groups. If LURC hears no opposition, knowing some of who sits on the LURC board, I can see this getting passed.

They don't want windmills near that area but I guess all the little club members will get what they paid for in the Baldacci election.
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out of the pork barrel...........and into the pyre!
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