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It’s disappointing, though not unexpected, that the panel Gov. LePage set up to determine the fate of the North Woods is loaded with people who have publicly supported gutting protections for this extraordinary area — more than 10 million acres of unbroken forest and home to special places such as Baxter State Park and Moosehead Lake.
The majority of these panel members actually testified before the legislature this year in support of abolishing the Land Use Regulation Commission, the organization in charge of protecting the North Woods. Many represent big developers, large landowners and others who have a financial stake in opening the North Woods to reckless development.
The North Woods — the heart of Maine’s natural heritage — is too valuable a place to have its fate decided by a rigged panel. State lawmakers should reject the panel’s recommendations and protect one of the wild places in the east.