May 21, 2008

Sears Island - the Deal of Shame. Word by word.

Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Sierra Club, Friends of Sears Island and others can clamber out of the JUPC wallow they presently find themselves mired in. Can back away today. All they need do is repudiate this deal between Maine DOT and Maine Coast Heritage Trust , that would divide Sears Island into a cargo port zone and a conservation easemented "buffer" zone. All twenty two pages of the most recent draft in an easy to read gallery format.

Remember: until the fat legislator sings in late December, it is not a done deal. The island is today as wild as it was yesterday, and if fishermen and conservationists truly press their case now, it will remain so. Only a planned deal. A proposed deal.

While Maine Coast Heritage Trust will clearly not withdraw from the deal on its own initiative, Sierra Club, Friends of Sears Island and others can. The climb out of the charmed JUPC circle will not be easy. But once whomever loses face by quitting JUPC have eaten their corvus-burgers and been properly mollified, these ENGOs can rise once more into their powerful role as guardians of Gaia. They can turn their considerable talents and resource instead s to setting up a truly baywide transportation management plan that evaluates the effects of changes in shipping, roads and rail, in light of the potential environmental and cultural impacts to human and natural users of Penobscot Bay. That is what is needed.

This joint use plan, the bastard child of an unnatural and secretive union between nature stewards and nature removers, should be shelved. Along with the absurd listing of MDOT on the Island's land title, down at the Waldo County Courthouse. The island is listed as owned by the state of Maine with a parenthetical add-on clause that claims exclusive administration of the island by Maine DOT. In December lets ask the legislature to remove the Maine DOT barnacle from the island's title. Giving jurisdiction as is proper to our state's Bureau of Public Land.

Let the baywide public - the affected public - in on the planning for Sears Island. Let's shelve the needlessly vague, hopelessly deficient product of the Joint Use Planning Committee and its Consensus Process.

Its time to give democracy a try.

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