Quoddy Tides August 12, 2022
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Letter: Protecting Property Rights

By Erich Veyhl

Major Federal legislation impacting all of Washington and Hancock Counties is moving through Congress with almost no one knowing anything about it. It is a comprehensive planning and land "protection" bill resulting from the non-profits' lobbying for the Federal government to put them into a privileged political position as an "overlay" on local government. What gives them the right to do that?

Angus King's Senate bill 3932 is the opposite of the lobbyist hype promising a fantasy flood of free money with no strings attached. They don't mention the broad land "inventorying" and "protection", or that the National Park Service (NPS) must be "recommended" for a "role" in the "protection", or that the money is controlled by the unelected non-profits themselves.

Promoters of NPS, whose boosters have threatened people and disrupted lives for decades locally, are among those fronted by the unelected non-profit "coordinator" Sunrise County Economic Council (SCEC). SCEC is paid to insist it represents the public while repeating what it is told by the NPS insiders. But no one has a right to target someone else's property for "protection" in the name of "community conservation".

SCEC has been insisting to not worry because it isn't into taking land and homes. Who are they to guarantee what government agencies and the pressure groups will not do? They have a record, in particular NPS with its horrible nationwide (including Maine) history of arrogant bullying, broken promises, and eminent domain takings for "protection". Does SCEC know nothing about this? Designating the region "nationally important" is not an honor, it means that local people's rights don't matter in comparison to national goals of "protection".

Maine Coast Heritage Trust (originally founded as an NPS acquisition arm) in particular has a record of secret insider planning and undue influence over government agencies, including NPS. Their elitist preservationist goal has long been massive land acquisition and greenline "settlement cluster" restrictions.

MCHT collaborated with NPS, expecting to take over the entire Cutler-Lubec coast as "nationally significant"; planned to extend that to the entire Quoddy region for greenlining; and pressured the state to prohibit homes in advance. MCHT planning was adopted by the NPS lobby targeting most of Washington County, and the Northern Forests Lands plan to greenline rural Maine. Subsequently MCHT told the state, when applying for $1.5 million in acquisition subsidies in 2008, that private homes MCHT surrounds as inholdings are a "threat" to its "landscape level conservation".

MCHT told NPS long ago that getting what they wanted would require "new institutions" devised for political influence because the “right people” aren't running the towns. The last thing an independent rural area needs is Federal legislation putting arrogant, unaccountable non-profit empire-builders in charge of anything.

Copyright ©2022 Erich Veyhl

Page last updated: 9/26/22