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 www.mainehuts.org/
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.