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Sportsman's Alliance of Maine Rescinds Support For CMP Transmission Project

Fred Bever
Maine Public
SAM is rescinding its support for Central Maine Power's controversial transmission project proposed for western Maine.

The Sportsman's Alliance of Maine (SAM) is rescinding its support for Central Maine Power's controversial transmission project proposed for western Maine.

The 141-mile project would bring electricity from Canada's hydro-dams to consumers in Massachusetts, and it would require cutting a new corridor through more than 50 miles of Maine's western forests.

About a year ago SAM's board of directors voted to endorse the project and support CMP's permit applications to regulators in Maine and Massachusetts. But SAM's Executive Director, David Trahan, says that since then more information about potential effects on woodland values, such as winter deer-yards and trout streams, has emerged.

A recent survey of members, he wrote in a letter to CMP, found "overwhelming" opposition to the project.

"Our position now is to examine each provision and then weigh in,” says Trahan. “We have consulted with a biologist, and we are looking very closely at the rest of the permitting process. Our membership has spoken and we will act accordingly."

CMP spokesperson John Carroll says it's important to note that SAM is not opposing the project, but only rescinded earlier support.

Next week Carroll is scheduled to make a new presentation to Somerset County commissioners, where opponents have asked for re-consideration of the Commission's earlier vote to support the project.

Originally published Nov. 26, 2018 at 4:36 p.m. ET.

A Columbia University graduate, Fred began his journalism career as a print reporter in Vermont, then came to Maine Public in 2001 as its political reporter, as well as serving as a host for a variety of Maine Public Radio and Maine Public Television programs. Fred later went on to become news director for New England Public Radio in Western Massachusetts and worked as a freelancer for National Public Radio and a number of regional public radio stations, including WBUR in Boston and NHPR in New Hampshire.