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[at-l] WF and Saddleback in Maine

In a message dated 6/13/01 8:28:57 AM Eastern Daylight Time, 
Tim.Hewitt@fairchildsemi.com writes:

<< ALDHA, the ATC and the AMC were prominent players. The Center for AT 
 and WF were a non-issue from what I could see.

     This post gripes me because it embodies exactly what I have been 
indicating all along. 

    The first glaring flaw is that it gives credibility to a political 
process that has been widely recognized to have been a sham pulled off on the 
AT. It is not like the crony politics used to gain the owner a huge score off 
the Saddleback property was one where the public was being recognized in the 
first place. ATC was recognized not only because it is a legal authority but 
because it was playing along and going with a weak position that only served 
to help the opposition in the final result. You have to ask yourself why 
Trailplace was not recognized with a campaign to gather input from Trail 
experienced people while cheap postcards were considered strong local opinion?

     Popular land rights front groups were involved to color this as a 
greater political issue. Yes, both Trailplace and the AT were left out of the 
process, at one point public input was barred from the senator's email box. I 
don't know if this is illegal, but it speaks a lot. The owner has gotten a 
huge score off AT interest without really interrupting his development plans 
that much. I hear the locals will not really share in this loot. Where is 
"Wise Use" now? In a case where the embodiment of wild lands preservation 
(the AT) only has a few short remaining stretches of private land to acquire 
to complete a viable wilderness corridor, I wonder if it was an appropriate 
position to bargain away one of the last remaining wild mountain tops in 
Maine for a speculator's interest? I believe the greater weight lay in the 
Trail's completion and integrity and not in a single landowner's play. 
Unfortunately it appears that we have a government that now responds to 
speculative interest before a national monument in contemporary push comes to 
shove rapaciousness. 

    From my participation on Trailplace I saw that the Saddleback campaign 
was the beginning of the change of format now happening. It is believed that 
a stronger showing of letters would have represented an unignoreable public 
opinion that could have had stronger influence. Just remember that the lack 
of mention of Trailplace was accompanied by a shutting out of the public 
during the negotiations and a fixed deal for the ruthless AT developer. Who 
would dare threaten the humble AT with a total mountain ski area and be 
rewarded? I believe such directed energies towards AT community in*fighting 
only serve reducing the potential impact a more organized Trail body could 
otherwise have had.