Twelve Years of Federal Environmentalist Abuse in Downeast Maine

Copyright © 2000, Erich Veyhl, All Rights Reserved

The ongoing threat of a Federal takeover of Downeast Maine -- most recently through the Endangered Species Act -- is commonplace today. Everyone knows what the environmentalists and the Federal government are trying to do to Washington County. But twelve years ago when the environmentalists first publicly promoted a massive takeover of private property, most people -- the intended victims, that is -- didn't take it seriously. There were known instances of abuse of private property rights by state bureaucracies, but the idea of a Federal takeover was perceived as implausible as a takeover by Martians.

Twelve years ago, environmentalists were entrenched in the media where their propaganda -- in the form of omnipresent semi-poetic rhapsodies -- was unquestioned. Almost no one understood the danger of this politically powerful ideological movement. Environmentalists could do no wrong. Their critics were dismissed out of hand. Even disingenuous Federal environmentalist bureaucrats were believed without question.

If opposition to the constant barrage of environmentalist abuses over the past twelve years has not yet made Downeast Maine a safe place to live, own property and earn a living, it has at least alerted the populace to the reality of the environmentalist threat to Constitutional and civil rights.

This outline of the Federal environmenalist history of abuse in Downeast Maine over the last twelve years was originally prepared as a set of informal notes for a property rights conference in June of 1998 and has since been updated. It includes major local events stemming from the national environmentalist agenda -- i.e., from Federal agencies and national lobbyists -- but excludes numerous instances of abuse by state and local environmentalists.

  1. National Park Service Takeover Threat
  2. National Natural Landmarks
  3. Acadia National Park (and the Appalachian Trail)
  4. Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge
  5. Greenlining
  6. River Corridors
  7. Global Warming Regulations
  8. Endangered Species Act

    1. March 1988 -- Massive Federal takeover plans for private property in Maine by the National Park Service are first publicly promoted in a coordinated campaign in the Boston Globe, the Maine Sunday Telegram (Portland), the Bangor Daily News and the Maine Times without the prior knowledge of property owners or elected officials in rural Maine.

    2. The campaign is backed by the Washington, DC based National Parks and Conservation Association (NPCA) and the Natural Resources Council of Maine. Maine public spokesmen fronting the campaign are Jerry Bley and Brownie Carson of the Natural Resource Council of Maine. Maine Audubon also supports the campaign.

    3. Their plan for Maine targets most of Washington County, another expansion of Acadia National Park, a Federal expansion of Baxter State Park, the St. John's River corridor, and the Western Mountains to the Connecticut River in NH and Vermont. The takeover campaign is part of coordinated national plan by the national viro lobby and the Federal government for a massive expansion of the National Park system nationwide, intended to begin after Reagan leaves office in the "environmentalist presidency" of Bush. The 1988 nationwide new park takeover campaign includes plans for Federal legislation to guarantee $1 billion a year in Federal funding for property acquisition in a new off-budget perpetual entitlement for viros called the "Trust Fund".

    4. The planned Washington County park is one of the top priorities of national environmentalists. Federal legislation is expected within the year, anticipating no effective opposition from what is seen as a naive, powerless and minimal rural population. The plan targets most of Washington County from the coast, through the lakes region, and covering the entire Machias River watershed into Penobscot and Aroostook Counties -- about 3,000 square miles.

    5. Research shows the National Park Service had quietly begun massive nationwide plans for new and expanded National Parks in the 1970's during the Carter Administration. During the Reagan administration the agency moves the planning operation to its private lobby, the NPCA, but the National Park Service remains quietly involved. One element of the National Park Service planning uses the National Natural Landmarks Program to identify "gaps" on private land they want to take over. A 1986 National Park Service memo also reveals the Federal government working with national viro organizations to establish Greenline Parks, modeled on the Columbia Gorge National Scenice Area, to be copied throughout northern New England.

    6. Further research shows that the National Park Service, the Rockefeller-backed Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT), and visiting English greenline planners had secretly surveyed the Washington County coast in 1987. MCHT wrote a report for the NPS promoting expansion of Campobello International Park across the border in Canada into Washington County by the National Park Service, new National Natural Landmarks targeting private property, an all-encompassing Biosphere Reserve, and Greenline prohibitions against homes not in "approved" areas.

    7. Anticipating a government takeover, the Maine Coast Heritage Trust collaborates with activists in the Natural Resource Council of Maine and state regulators to prevent a Cutler resident from building 11 homes on 256 acreas at Western Head in Cutler. The owner is financially strangled by the time-consuming strategy of delay, and after his bankruptcy is forced to sell at a bargain rate to MCHT. Western Head had been targeted as the starting point of a National Natural Landmark and the planned new National Park.

    8. The local Washington County Alliance is formed in May 1988 and asks Charles Cushman of the National Inholders Association for help. A public information meeting on the impending viro takeover is held in Lubec May, 1988. Local environmentalist Nancy Nielson tries to stop people from attenting, claiming "nothing is happening", while a MCHT representative quietly approaches Chuck Cushman in an attempt to prevent him from coming, claiming environmentalists "are doing good things."

    9. The Maine Sunday Telegram, Maine Times, NRCM, and NPCA continue to campaign for a park takeover despite the public protest against the takeover. MCHT claimed it had known nothing about the agenda despite its collaboration in planning.

    10. The national Trust Fund for perpetual, guaranteed off-budget funding of environmentalist property acquisition fails in Congress by the 1990's. Due to public controversy, the National Park takeover in Wasington County stalls officially, but other viro campaigns continue to target the same area. One such campaign is run by the radical Massachusetts viro group RESTORE, which picks up on the NPCA new park planning for a massive new 3 million acre National Park in Maine. Maine Audubon opposes the plan because it doesn't cover the whole state, claiming it would lead to an "out of the park mentality".

  2. National Natural Landmarks
    1. Spring 1988 -- Following the National Park takeover promotions in Maine, Washington County property owners discover that several imminent National Natural Landmarks have been secretly planned for private property in Maine: They include the Cutler-Trescott-Lubec Coast (20 miles along the coast), Great Wass Island at Beales, plus others throughout the state.

    2. Environmentalists publicly dismiss concerns, claiming the Federal designations have no effect on private ownership; MCHT says it hopes that opponents of the National Park won't oppose other Federal programs. Research quickly shows, however, that Federal designation as a National Landmark decrees the property as "nationally significant" for government planning purposes. In particular, the National Natural Landmark Program is a National Park Service feeder program to target private property for new National Parks and other mechanisms used to tie up land while waiting for government acquisition. There is no Congressional authorization for the program, which was established in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy. NPS wrote its own regulations for the program, for its own purposes, with no legislative guidelines.

    3. Further research shows that the planned Maine National Landmarks were coordinated mostly between the Maine State Planning Office, the National Park Service, the Nature Conservancy, and the Maine Coast Heritage Trust. The State Planning Office activities are run by career viro Hank Tyler, former head of the Nature Conservancy in Maine. The National Park Service uses environmentalist activists to write official reports justifying the Federal designations, deliberately not notifying the landowners as required by the National Park Service's own regulations.

    4. The Cutler coast National Landmark report by Hank Tyler is found to be under contract with the National Park Service with Maine Coast Heritage Trust involvement. Tyler and the Park Serice claim they weren't notified because they didn't know who the owners were, however, a preliminary report is found to include a list of landowners. Despite Tyler's Federal contract, the State Planning Office claims it isn't responsible to property owners because the National Natural Landmark Program is a Federal Program. The Park Service simultaneously claims it didn't have to notify anyone because the state is examining the property and writing the report. Hardy Pierce of the National Park Service routinely lies to the press, claiming the Landmark Program has nothing to do with new park planning and that Landmarks are "voluntary". The Park Service repeatedly violated Federal law, blocking Freedom of Information requests, to hide what they had been doing with the program. Neither the Park Service nor Tyler will stop, and internal telephone calls and memos eventually leaked out or surrendered under the Freedom of Information Act show that they fully intend to ram it through regardless of landowner objections. Sidney Bahrt of Washington County, repesenting Maine Audubon, is also found to have secretly promoted the National Landmark designations in an attempt to circumvent property owner objections.

    5. The planned Great Wass National Landmark planning report is found to have been written for the Park Serice by the Nature Conservancy. The Nature Conservancy has a preserve on the island, but recommends that the Landmark include other landowners, with ultimate plans for the entire archipelago, including the town of Beals. Neither the Nature Conservancy nor the National Park Service told town officials or landowners about the plans. When the Washington County Alliance publicly releases the information based on its own research, the Nature Conservancy and the Park Service lie about the purpose of the Landmark Program to gain control over property. The Nature Conservancy claims it didn't tell anyone about the plans because it was supposed to be a surprise "honor". The Park Service admits under questioning by the Downeast Coastal Press that it is already planning on expanding the NNL beyond the initial scope proposed by the Nature Conservancy. After seeing internal Park Service and state memos first hand, the Selectmen of the town of Beals call a town meeting which unanimously votes against any involvement with the Landmark Program, and tells the Nature Conservancy to stop promoting it. As a result, the Nature Conservancy backs down and tells the Park Service to stop the designation. The Park Service haults the official designation but keeps the Nature Conservancy report for future planning. The Nature Conservancy embarks on a campaign to smear the Washington County Alliance, misleading TNC members in its newsletter about what had happened and why.

    6. Governor McKernan refuses to tell the State Planning Office to stop the Landmark "studies", but after four years of property owners fighting the government, intervention by Senators Mitchell and Cohen and a Federal Inspector General's Report exposing program abuses on a national level leads to a national moratorium on the Landmark Program.

    7. The Park Service tries to issue new regulations legalizing its procedures to secretly plan for private land, with notification only required for official designation, not for secret surveilance and planning. The proposal is supported by environmentalists, but opposed by property owners in national public hearings. The Park Service puts the regulations on hold until Senators Cohen and Mitchell are both out of office. Hardy Pierce and other government agents affiliated with the Landmark Program are quietly given raises and promotions by the National Park Service.

    8. With Senators Mitchell and Cohen out of office, the Clinton-Gore administration reactivates the Landmark Program in 1999, ignoring the Senators' guidelines for new regulations.

  3. Acadia National Park (and the Appalachian Trail)
    1. Spring 1988 -- In response to public concern over property rights threatened by the proposed new National Parks in Maine, environmentalists claim that Acadia National Park has not harmed property owners. Research quickly shows otherwise. The Rockefellers and other wealthy "rusticators" started Acadia NP with a land trust early in the century. Faced with resistance to key acquisitions, the trust used its connections with state legislators to obtain condemnation authority. To bypass unpopularity because of the the trust's behavior, trust officials went to Washington where they arranged for Acadia to become first a National Monument and then a National Park, eventually leading to direct Federal abuse.

    2. Originally there are no limits on Acadia's size, but the trust fails to obtain government acquisition authority and expansion is only through donations from the wealthy individuals and trusts. Controversy over the park festers for decades; the local towns want limits on the park gobbling up land, while the Park Service and the viros want further expansion through traditional government condemnation authority. After decades of controversy, new legislation authorizes an expansion of park-owned land in 1982 for Isle Au Haute and in 1986 for the rest. Local people had been told there would not be condemnation authority in the new legislation, but last minute deals in Washington included it both in 1982 and 1986. New boundaries on park expansion included new private landowners subject to Federal condemnation for the first time.

    3. The National Park Service does not use its condemnation authority at Isle Au Haut until after it secures the controversial 1986 legislation. In 1988 it threatens the 86 year old father of the Bowen family with condemnation for his 1/4 acre on Isle Au Haute. The Bowens are descendents of the original settlers on Isle Au Haut and have owned the land for generations. The Park Service had lied to the Senate Committee in 1982 claiming that everyone in the 1982 Isle Au Haute boundary was a willing seller. The Bowens contacted the National Inholders Association for help when they saw articles about the protests in Washington County. Sen. Cohen's office eventually stopped the condemnation, but the Park Service never tells them what it is doing -- it just stops sending threatening letters, which could start again at any time.

    4. The Park Service condemns about 25 acres on Bar Island from the Rullison family under the 1986 law. The government had prohibited them from building (6 homes not visible from the rest of the park) but wouldn't pay for the land either. The Rullisons had to pay to begin excavation to force the NPS to buy them out, and had to go to court to prevent underpayment. They were still were underpaid because they settled to avoid more litigation costs in the condemnation.

    5. Another homeowner subsequently loses his home to the the Park because he wasn't allowed to expand it for his growing family. The Park Service can only condemn land or when there is new construction, except for the Bowens on Isle Au Haut, and uses this conditional condemnation authority to control property owners.

    6. Property owners at Round Pond on the edge of Acadia find themselves threatened: Prior to the 1986 legislation they had been told they wouldn't be bothered by the Park Service; now the agency threatens condemnation if they try to build on their land. The Park Service re-surveyes the land to include them in the park after the 1986 legislation, whose boundaries were ambiguous. Senator Snowe refused to help, despite a vote favoring the property owners by the local Citizen Advisory Committee for the Park. Environmentalists, including the Friends of Acadia, threaten to open up legislation to another expansion if Congress tries to correct the Round Pond abuse.

    7. On the western side of the state along the Appalachian Trail, the Park Service threatens the Breen family with condemnation at their Saddleback Ski Area, showing further the consequences of environmentalist pressure groups and Federal intervention in Maine: Environmentalists and the Park Service aren't satisfied with the trail and are demanding massive land acquisitions in the "viewshed" to block new ski trails required for the economic viability of the Ski Area and the local economy. Research shows the Park Service has condemned thousands of acres of private property along the entire length of the trail for decades.

  4. Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge
    1. In the late 1980's the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), state viro organizations (including land trusts), and career viros in state agencies quietly plan a Federal Refuge expansion around Cobscook Bay without telling the property owners or local officials. Unlike the National Park plan, the USFWS moves ahead with the plans with no need for Congressional approval for expansion. The agency moves on its expansion plan when the National Park plan for Washington County stalls.

    2. Research shows that Moosehorn originally started in the 1930's when destitute landowners had to sell during the Depression. The town of Edmunds subsequently had to de-organize because there weren't enough people left to support a local town government.

    3. Before the 1989 expansion was announced or approved, Refuge Manager Douglas Mullen, the Nature Conservancy, the Natural Resources Council of Maine, and the local Quoddy Land Trust collaborate to deny a small business its right to build on private property on the Cobscook shore (Bellier Cove) outside the Refuge but inside the secret anticipated expansion target. 12 homes on about 60 acres with conservation easements on the shore had already been approved in principle by LURC, but the company is told to sell to the Nature Conservancy or else. When TNC won't pay the market value price after the threat, the business refuses. The viro coalition then obstructs and delays its permits until the company is financially strangled and goes bankrupt. In an obvious conflict of interest, Federal Refuge Manager Mullen testifies against the permit at a (taped) LURC hearing. The company sells to TNC at a bargain price and TNC later sells to the Federal Refuge as originally planned. Public scrutiny stemming from the controversy at least prevents TNC from making its usual large profits.

    4. The Moosehorn expansion is subsequently formally announced in a preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA). Landowners had not been told of the plans before this. Two local hearing are held in which Federal officials lie to the property owners: Agency officials say that the plan is just an "opportunity" to sell and that there will be no condemnations or restrictions on land use; and promise that any landowners who want out of the expansion boundary will be taken out of the plans (all on video tape). A few days later the comment period is closed, but 8 landowners covering most of the targeted shore-line in Pembroke have tried to opt out. The agency refuses to extend the comment period after the meeting and refuses to do a full Environmental Impact Statement with a required assessment of socio-economic affects and justification for the acquisitions.

    5. The US Fish and Wildlife Service releases its final EA with more expansive boundaries than the original and with all the landowners still in it who had been promised to be excluded. The agency refuses to let them out and repeatedly lies in public, denying that it had promised (as recorded on video tape) to let dissenting landowners out of the plans. The final EA has no restrictions on using condemnation, only that it "prefers" not to.

    6. The US Fish and Wildlife Service next refuses to produce a Land Protection Plan (LPP) claiming that it doesn't have to, despite the fact that Land Protection Plans are required by law to justify all acquisition plans and justify the use of fee vs. easement acquisition.

    7. The US Fish and Wildlife Service is eventually forced to do obey the law and produce the LPP, but writes it as a formality, leaving out justification for acquisitions and fee vs. easements. Full fee acquisition is arbitrarily decreed for most of the expansion. The agency publicly denies it had originally refused to produce a LPP at all. Environmentalist reporters Clancy and French whitewash the agency in the Ellsworth American and the Quoddy Tides, presenting dishonest agency spin as fact while ignoring written documentation and video recordings of broken agency promises.

    8. Olympia Snowe refuses to help property owners, claiming the Federal acquisition is necessary because of "biological significance" and denies any threat of condemnation. Snowe continues to obtain millions in Congressional funding for acquisitions, rewarding the agency for its abuse.

    9. In a tape-recorded meeting with property owners top officials in the US Fish and Wildlife Service subsequently threaten property owners with condemnation if any land is subdivided, even if left to heirs in an estate. The Bangor Daily News suppresses the condemnation threat despite the presence of its reporter at the meeting.

    10. One land owner on Cobscook Bay sells to the Federal Refuge because of what happened to his neighbor at Bellier Cover, realizing the agency and the viros will not allow him ever sell to someone else.

    11. Another landowner is underpaid by tens of thousands of dollars when the agency discovers he had more acres than he had realized and deliberately does not tell him (the appraisal was based on acreage). When he finds out from a leak, the agency refuses to pay the difference. The agency denies what it did, but leaked internal memos from the Regional office in Mass. prove it is lying. The property owner gives up because no one in the government will help.

    12. Federal Refuge Manager Mullen holds press conferences advertising Federal payments in lieu of property taxes on land at the Refuge, waving large checks before photographers in the public promotion. Direct comparisons of tax rates published in the Downeast Coastal Press subsequently show the agency is paying at a much smaller mil rate than private owners pay property taxes.

    13. The US Fish and Wildlife Service tries to expand onto the Cutler-Trescott-Lubec coast, claiming people's homes are a threat. In Cutler, Patrick Noonan's (ex-TNC) Conservation Fund (headquarters in Virginia), collaborate with the Maine Coast Heritage Trust and buys about 12,000 acres from Hearst's Pejebscot paper company, who believed they were a private buyer who would not resell to the government. Noonan resells part of the land to the state and secretly moves to transfer 3 miles of coastline to the US Fish and Wildlife Service despite lack of Federal approval or justification for the new Federal ownership and liability, and in spite of Cutler Town Meeting resolutions against more Federal acquisition. USFWS thinks it has a done deal, but is reigned in at the last minute; Noonan finally gives the land to the state.

    14. MCHT tries to seize ownership of the Beuter family's land in Lubec using a fraudulent boundary re-survey. After lengthy unrelenting pressure, it backs off when publicly exposed in the Downeast Coastal Press, waiting for the owner to die to try again to get the property.

    15. The state, MCHT, and USFWS now have over half the Cutler-Trescott-Lubec coast originally targeted by the NPCA and the NPS NLLP, etc. Most of Cutler is now owned by the state, the Feds or land trusts. The people of Cutler had passed several resolutions against any further preservationist encroachment taking over their town, which are ignored by the environmentalists and government agencies.

  5. Greenlining
    1. Spring of 1988 -- The Maine Times promotes a plan being worked out between viros and Congressional offices for new Federal greenline legislation to supersede state government and provide Federal funding for land acquisition and controls across Maine, NH, VT, and NY. This leads to the Federally authorized Northern Forests Lands Study (NFLS) controlled by the US Forest Service through Federal agent Stephen Harper, with representatives of the four states on an advisory commission.

    2. A Greenline advocacy report is written for the NFLS by viros under contract with the USFS at the Univ. of Mass. The National Park Service had been quietly working with the viro lobby to impose Greenline controls over northern New England for several years before this. The U Mass report is headed by Kathy Sferra, who had been a leader in the NPCA planning for new National Parks targeting Maine and released in 1988. Harper's final report promotes Greenlining. Drafts prior to the public release show Harper is promoting the NPCA National Park plans.

    3. Harper participates in a viro leadership meeting at Tufts Univ. in Mass. in 1990 devoted to promoting a Federal takeover of 26 million acres in northern New England. Audubon lobbyist Brock Evans also gives his "be unreasonable take it all" speech. The meeting also includes lawyer Michael Kellet representing the Wilderness Society and who is now head of RESTORE.

    4. Viro Senator Leahy (D-VT) sponsors Federal Greenline legislation in Congress. The threat leads to packed hearings in Maine (and Vermont) where Sens. Mitchell and Cohen are publicly repudiated for going along with the viro plan. Watered down legislation establishes the Northern Forests Lands Council (NFLS), which spends millions of dollars redoing the NFLS over several years. The "study" leads to an ambiguous final "consensus" report that satisfies no one on either side of the issue. It also funds several viro-authored official reports, not part of the final report, alleging to justify forced preservationism for a radical "biodiversity" agenda.

    5. Sen. Leahy and other viros continue using the NFLC to justify new Greenline legislation, even though the ambiguous NFLC report did not recommend their agenda. The Northern Forest Alliance, a coalition of about 3 dozen viro activist groups, tries and fails to pass a state Greenline bill that would have prohibited almost any development in most of rural Maine.

    6. The Northern Forest Alliance (NFA) continues promoting new parks, wilderness and greenlining, adopting a campaign strategy claiming that this would "help the economy". The lobbyists are heavily funded to the tune of millions coordinated through the national Environmental Grantmakers Association (EGA), and adopts the original NPCA targets as the "special areas" they claim to have come up with through their own "studies". Sandra Neally of Maine Audubon becomes a paid state lobbyist for the NFA funded through the EGA. Maine Audubon, the Natural Resource Council of Maine, and other viro lobbyistsare funded by the national EGA foundation money explicitly to promote Greenlining.

    7. Federal Greenline legislation for acquisition and control in northern New England fails to pass Congress several times through 1998, even though Sen. Leahy repeatedly tries to slip it through as a rider amendment to other legislation, bypassing normal Congressional committee procedures. Leahy's tactics succeed in authorizing more funding for Federal "studies" building on previous viro "reports".

    8. In 1998 and 1999 the Wilderness Society targets rural Maine as one of its top 15 national targets, claiming that land in Maine is "endangered" because it is privately owned.

    9. In 1999 the national viro lobby works out a deal with Republican Congressional leaders to revive the 1988 Trust Fund scheme for guaranteed perpetual off-budget funding of massive annual environmentalist acquisition of private property. The national viro lobby and Clinton Administration officials make it clear that taking over private property in Maine is a top priority. The Clinton Administration tries to bypass Congressional objections by making the perpetual funding a requirement in the Appropriations deal, but fails at the last minute. The legislation remains active for 2000.

  6. River Corridors
    1. The national viro organization American Rivers has for years promoted the Penobscot River as one of America's most "endangered rivers" in order to turn it into a Federal Wild and Scenic River -- a Federal Park along its land corridor. Recently an attempt to include it as a Federal Heritage River is stopped by local citizens. The original National Park Service 1988 takeover plan for Washington County had also included turning the entire Machias River watershed into a Federal Wild and Scenic River.

    2. Viros continue to try to block most public access to the Allagash River, a state-run Wild and Scenic River (from decades ago), so designated to keep it out of the hands of the Federal government.

    3. Viros are intervening to destroy hydropower dams in Maine Rivers. The Appalachian Mountain Club, Conservation Law Foundation, Maine Audubon and others intervened in the Bowater dam relicensing application, forcing Bowater to give up conservation easements in exchange for license renewal. They are still challenging the license and have cost the company millions of dollars, helping to force a sale of its lands and mills. During the proceedings, the NPS and EPA advocated that the land along the rivers be assessed for a National Park as an alternative to current use. Viros, with Gov. King's complicity, shut down the Edwards dam, over the owner's objections, on the Kennebec River.

    4. Viros (with complicity by the Governor) are imposing unnecessarily restrictive prohibitions on dioxin discharges in rivers for the sake of arbitrarily "pure" water. This further adds to the deliberately punitive costs imposed on industry in Maine as the national environmentalist campaign seeks to destabilize the Maine forestry industry and force it to sell its lands to the government.

    5. The national Sierra Club sued and harassed the state in a nationally directed campaign against state plans for a deepwater port at Sears Island in the mid-coast. The state eventually gave up because of the expense imposed by the viros. Millions of dollars of taxpayer funds were wasted over several years in the initial development and litigation. Governor King was livid over this, but has since collaborated with other viro campaigns.

  7. Global Warming Regulations
  8. The Maine State Planning Office, in collaboration with university viro activists, has used Federal funds for Federally sponsored "global warming" restrictions in anticipation of an international treaty restricting industry. The proposed draconian regulations and taxes, ostensively intended to counter the alleged threat of man-made global warming, amount to a wish list of the higher taxes and restrictions on rural living that viros always advocate under the currently fashionable excuse. The Senate has refused to pass the Clinton-Gore Administration's treaty.

  9. Endangered Species Act
  10. Having failed so far to obtain Federal legislation implementing their takeover plans for Maine, the viros are turning to the Endangered Species Act to seize control of private property and throttle human activity. The history of abuse using this Act in the west and the strategy of the viros to control people using any available species as a surrogate are well known, but even without this demonstration, no assurances of Federal benevolence could ever compensate for the fact that this Act explicitly strips people of their rights for the sake of non-humans. Attempts to "reform" this act in Congress have been blocked by Republican leaders and "moderates" sympathetic to or afraid of the viro lobby. Funding for new listings was blocked by Congress for a while, but restored again.

    1. Right Whales - viros sued the National Marine and Fisheries Service (NMFS) to designate the Right whale as "endangered"; the agency tried to adopt rules that would have ended the lobster industry in the northeast by imposing impossible regulations. Sen. Snowe, who supports the Marine Mammal Protection Act in general, helped to get the agency to back off from its immediate regulatory proposal. Current lobster regulations are still contingent on the whale population, even though lobstering has little to do with it. The ES listing remains a political threat to lobstermen. Rep. Baldacci attacked Snowe for being too hard on the Federal agency.

    2. Wolves -- In addition to promoting a 3 million acre National Park taken out of the center of Maine, RESTORE (the Mass. wilderness restoration group) is promoting the re-introduction of wolves into rural Maine so the landscape can be controlled as endangered wolf habitat. The Canadian lynx and other species are increasingly being promoted for ESA listing.

    3. Atlantic Salmon - viros sued the USFWS and the NMFS to list the Atlantic Salmon as "endangered" on rivers throughout New England. The government decided to restrict consideration to 7 rivers (since increased to 8) in downeast Maine. Aside from the affect on the economy and the civil and Constitutional rights of Maine people, the biological debate centers on ambiguous gene pools (salmon in general are not "threatened") and the fact that salmon do not return to the rivers because of foreign fishing in the North Atlantic. The Governor threatened to sue the Federal government, and a state plan has been adopted instead. Viros saw the state plan as a strategic surrogate for Federal control, and when they didn't get that they sued for full Federal "protection". The Clinton-Gore Administration recently reneged on its agreement to allow the state plan in place of a Federal listing and is moving ahead with the listing. Gov. King and Senators Collins and Snowe have publicly expressed their opposition to this, as well as their moral outrage at the broken agreement and blatant Federal power grab -- while Congress continues to fund agency enforcement of the Act and endorse it in principle. The state has been panicked into further invigorating the "state plan", including funding for land acquisition, hoping the Federal government will back off.