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DEP Public Hearing Testimony

  • University of Maine Farmington (map)

“I was born and raised in Maine, and I spent a lot of my childhood in Wilton, just a few miles from here, on the same spot where my great, great grandfather built his fishing camp in the early 1900s.  My sisters and I grew up swimming and hiking in these mountains and lakes. We developed an appreciation for clean water, mountaintops and the peaceful, pristine serenity of western Maine.

This is something WE took for granted.  Probably a lot of us do.  But then last year, I hiked the Appalachian Trail.  I walked 2,191 miles, alone, through 14 states, from Georgia to Maine (MY HOME).

I walked under high voltage power lines and heard the “BZZZZZ” as I looked out at the corridor line cutting through the mountains ahead. I saw firsthand how it disrupted the wildlife habitat and scenic character.

 Maine is different.  It was not only MY favorite state, but it has a reputation with hikers worldwide for the most authentic, untouched, rugged beauty of the entire trail.

 My name is Chloe Rowse.  I am the founder and director of a small, Maine-based non-profit.  We run a summer camp for girls here in Maine.  My career – and my life – are rooted in the health of the outdoors in Maine.  I am here to defend that.

Why should Mainers, who value the beauty and importance of our natural environment, allow people from MA to cut through OUR forests, to crisscross the Appalachian Trail THREE times in OUR state, to literally undermine one of the most spectacular rivers in this country, to build high voltage power lines so they can meet their own self-imposed power requirements?  Why did New Hampshire say NO to the same idea?  Why did our governor tell us she was opposed to this project and then change her mind?  Why does it feel like we’re being bought?  When I ask what Maine gets out of this, all I hear about is money.  Are we that shortsighted?  Would you give up what defines you – your values, your family, your home, your backyard, what you believe in – for money?  Mainers are not like that.  We are not blind and we cannot be bought.  Maine needs to entice more young people like me to stay here, and to come here.  Our unique natural environment will do that – now more than ever.  We need to protect that.

Serve the people of Maine!  Vote to oppose this project, and force Massachusetts to create NEW alternative energy production rather than simply re-routing existing hydropower from somewhere else!  There were a lot of other proposals about how Massachusetts could meet its requirements, but instead they’re just trying to pay US off to deal with it.  We should not allow it.  MAINERS value the untouched beauty of our forests, our rivers and our wildlife.  We know; we are the stewards of some of the last sections of wilderness in the northeast.

I am adamantly opposed to this project, and I ask you, if you want young people to move to Maine, if you want to preserve what makes us unique, if you want to motivate the construction of NEW alternative energy infrastructure – then vote to OPPOSE this project.  No amount of money can recreate or restore our wilderness after it’s destroyed.  We stand to lose our reputation, our beauty, our heritage, and our identity.  Massachusetts wins; WE lose.  I ask you to do what’s best for Maine!”