GUEST COLUMN

Baxter’s legacy sacrificed on wind altar

Posted Feb. 25, 2011, at 6:17 p.m.

Following NRCM’s recent rally at the Hall of Flags protesting that the LePage administration was about to destroy 40 years of good stewardship of the land, its new executive director, Lisa Pohlman, wrote an essay on its website suggesting that Mainers write a letter to the governor telling him why they love their state and what they would want to see done to help protect it. So this is my story.

There was once a beautiful region that became slowly engulfed by a glacial sheet 25,000 years ago. The advancing glacier created striations in the bedrock, shaped mountains and formed open bowl-shaped features called cirques. Where the highland above the cirques was narrow, thin ridges called aretes were produced, a good example being the Knife Edge on Mount Katahdin.

Then, about 18,000 years ago, in response to a warming climate, the glacier receded, reshaping the river valleys of the region that would become our beautiful state. From north to south and east to west, a most intricate landscape was created, with miles upon miles of soft ridges inhabited by a wide diversity of trees and animals.

By 2020, what millennia of nature’s work had created will have been destroyed. Within 10 years, earth movers will have blasted the mountain tops into submission and giant cranes will have spread thousands of steel towers with arm-waving blades, covering the entire mountain landscape so patiently designed by the powerful forces of nature.

From the top of beautiful Knife Edge to the western mountains, from the magical glacier pond of Tumbledown Mountain to the Down East lake watershed, from the River Valley area mountains surrounding the majestic Androscoggin River and Roxbury Pond to Mars Hill, from the hills of Freedom and Vinalhaven to the Lincoln Lakes area, the only thing the eye will see will be steel towers covering the mountains, governed by central operating control centers far away from the mountains.

With the stroke of a pen, an uninformed governor named John Baldacci sacrificed the natural art work that millions of individuals had grown to love. Maine’s landscape was destroyed because of a bill called LD 2283 which sacrificed an entire state to the wind industry.

Gov. Percival Baxter once wrote about Mount Katahdin, “It stands above the plain unique in grandeur and glory.” We miss you, Gov. Baxter. You were a far cry from Gov. Baldacci who signed the law that would destroy your legacy. That is my story.

What can you do? You can disassociate yourself from the people who made a pact with the devil and allowed this to happen.

Please stop your support for NRCM, the organization which pushed hard for this disaster to happen. If you do, maybe some of Maine’s mountains can be saved. Or at least let them know how misguided they have been.

But there is a strange twist to my story. I actually posted it on Lisa Puhlman’s blog on the NRCM website, along with two other individuals who were upset at NRCM’s deep hypocrisy. The three stories stayed for two days, then were deleted .

How bad is an organization that does not accept criticism? As bad as the government it has helped to destroy our state.

Please go to windtaskforce.org and look at the disaster NRCM has endorsed.

Monique Aniel, MD, co-chairs the Citizens Task Force on Wind Power. She lives in Oquossoc.

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