Feb 2, 2006

Rockport coastal forest threatened by Utah firm.

Leucadia National Corporation has its eyes on developing 111 acres of the Brewster Point forest on the edge of Clam Cove in Rockport. (Area outlined in white on aerial photo.) Travellers on Route 1 in Rockport can see the forest (for now) rising directly across the impressive Clam Cove mudflats in Glen Cove. The company purchsed the forest property in late January 05 from the estate of longtime landowner Nancy Smyrll, who died in last June.

Up to 50% of this tract is a thickly forested wetland rich with wildlife, including deer, furbearing mammls, forest dwelling songbirds and many more. Eleven streams flow through and out of the forest within the tract, which is also a major portion of a an undeveloped wildlife corridor stretching between Rockland Harbor and Clam Cove.

Utah-based Leuvadia is a conglomerate with subsidiaries in the fields of mining, telecommunications, healthcare, banking, manufacturing, real estate, winery operations, and insurance. On page 1 of its 2004 Annual Report, Leucadia describes its investment philosophy “as buying assets that are out of favor and, therefore, cheap or disheveled in one way or another which makes them inexpensive.”

While wetlands rich, wildlife rich forests such as this one may be "disheveled" in the eye of a developer, to Nature they are splendidly organized and highly functional areas, and, in this this case, irreplaceable.

To date the company has not filed any applications with Maine DEP. Nor has it held any preapplication discussions with the agency. There have been no application filed with the town of Rockport either.
Stay tuned...