Weyerhaeuser Asks Maine to Rezone

September 27, 2019

For more information contact: Jim Britt at (207) 287-3156

Augusta, ME - This week, Weyerhaeuser Company filed a petition with the Land Use Planning Commission (LUPC) to rezone the Concept Plan for the Moosehead Lake Region. The company is asking to have its lands returned to a General Management (M-GN) Subdistrict and resource protection subdistricts. In a cover letter, the company cites the economy as the reason for its decision:

"The impact of the 2008-2009 recession forever changed the United States development landscape. As a result, and despite our best efforts, the development components under the Concept Plan have not been implemented and no development has occurred."

In the filing, Weyerhaeuser emphasizes the Concept Plan's benefits to the Moosehead Lake Region, including conservation and trail easements, which are permanent and will not change because of the petition. They include: 363,000-acres of Weyerhauser land protected with the permanent Moosehead Region Conservation Easement; the 29,500-acre Roaches Pond Tract Conservation Easement; a 25-acre donation to Coastal Enterprises for affordable housing; 121-acres of permanent hiking trail easement, plus 50-acre land donation for trailheads with easements to access the trails; and the 81-mile permanent easement for snowmobile trails of the Interconnected Trail System.

LUPC Commissioners are scheduled to gather at a regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, October 9, 2019, in Greenville. The meeting agenda will include a preliminary discussion of options for engaging the local community in next steps, including possible regional planning. Weyerhauser has stated its support for such a decision. The community is invited to attend, meeting details will be posted on the LUPC website.

The Moosehead Lake Region Concept Plan was approved by the LUPC in 2009, after years of hearings and deliberations. The Maine Supreme Court subsequently upheld the approval in a 2012 decision.

About M-GN Subdistricts and resource protection subdistricts

Management subdistricts are applied to areas that are appropriate for commercial forest product or agricultural uses and for which future development is not anticipated. In Maine, the M-GN Subdistrict is the most significant subdistrict in terms of size. The purpose of the M-GN Subdistrict is to permit forestry and agricultural management activities to occur with minimal interference from unrelated development. Resource protection subdistricts are established to protect resources like lakes, streams, wildlife and plant habitat, floodplains, and other sensitive areas.

About the LUPC

The LUPC, a division of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestrys Bureau of Resource Information and Land Use Planning, has the responsibility of serving the unorganized and deorganized areas of Maine and helping guide land use across its 10.4 million acres.

The LUPC serves as the planning and zoning authority for the unorganized and deorganized areas of the State, including townships and plantations. These areas either have no local government or have chosen not to administer land use controls at the local level.

Along with carrying out its planning and zoning responsibilities, the LUPC issues permits for smaller development projects, such as home construction and camp renovations. For larger development projects requiring Department of Environmental Protection review under the Site Location of Development Law, the LUPC certifies that proposed land uses are allowed and that proposed development activities comply with applicable LUPC land use standards. The Legislature created the Commission to extend principles of sound planning, zoning, and development to the unorganized and deorganized areas of the State. To learn more visit https://www.maine.gov/dacf/lupc/.