A letter to the editor entitled “NECEC won’t tarnish Maine’s woods” (Alex Titcomb, Feb. 24) is woefully inaccurate. The forests of the western Maine mountains are not pristine, but nonetheless are beautiful and worth preserving for future generations.
Approximately 37,000 acres are owned by the Nature Conservancy and private individuals and families — not commercial timber harvesters. The transmission line corridor would pass through a rare Jack Pine Forest and the habitat of rare and endangered birds, Bicknell’s Thrush and Rusty Blackbird. The area also includes the rare Roaring Brook May Fly, that was not known to exist outside Baxter State Park until the NECEC project.
The suggestion that the reduction of the width of the transmission line corridor to 54 feet is a positive for the NECEC is also misinformed. The Department of Environmental Protection required, in its order, that CMP/Avangrid/Iberdrola conserve 40,000 acres to offset the environmental damage from the remaining 54-foot width.
The question for Maine people is which version of the western Maine mountains they prefer. Forests in various stages of growth, supporting native brook trout, unique wildlife, rare forest and rare and endangered species, or 53.5 miles of 100 foot-high and 130-foot-high steel towers located in a permanent clear-cut.
If bringing hydro power from Quebec to the New England power grid for Massachusetts is so important that it justifies damaging the environment of the western Maine mountains, then the competing transmission line corridor proposed for Vermont should be used.
John Nicholas, Winthrop