Roger Ek’s speech

Roger Ek

5:53pm May 17

I testified for LD1534 this afternoon. The hearing was supposed to run from 1 PM to 3 PM. The first two hours were legislative speeches. Some of the citizens wishing to speak had to leave before they got a chance to speak. Here is my testimony:

“In 1940 we had 6,250,000 acres of pasture and cultivated land in Maine. Today we have just over a million. In my lifetime we have gained an average of 77,000 acres of forest per year. Yes, gained. The forests are taking over. Yet the environmental industry claims we are losing our forests. They lie.

The legislature that created LURC four decades ago may have had good intentions at the time, but LURC has been infiltrated by individuals and groups who wish to kill Maine’s economy. They have been successful. The long term net effect of LURC has been reduced property values, depressed economic opportunity and poverty.

Rogue elements within LURC and our legislature have made it unprofitable to own forested land in Maine for the long term. Those rogue elements within LURC created something they call “The Comprehensive Land Use Plan”. They have implemented their CLUP and the legislature keeps amending the new Maine Forest Practices Act, better known as “Son of COMPACT”.

The result is that there is not one single acre of “paper company land” in Maine today. It has all been sold. Their goal has been described as rural cleansing. It is like ethnic cleansing in such places as Bosnia, but with a lower body count.

Economic opportunity in Maine has been crushed by this. For example, two retired teachers in Prentiss wanted to open a seasonal take-out restaurant to serve lunches to hunters in September, October and November each fall. LURC told them they can’t do that. Why not? LURC said their property wasn’t in the commercial zone. They asked, “Just where is the commercial zone in Prentiss?” LURC replied, “There isn’t one and there isn’t going to be one.” As I said, the end result of LURC has been poverty.

Back in 1772 General Gage governed all of the English territories in the Americas. He wrote to London, “Democracy is too prevalent in America, and claims the greatest attention to prevent its increase. A large part of the problem arises from the vast abundance of cheap land. The people themselves have gradually retired from the Coast and are, already, almost out of reach of government. It is in the interest of Great Britain to confine the Colonists on this side of the back country.”

Ladies and gentlemen, I submit to you today that Maine has established a new unelected aristocracy to rule General Gage’s “back country”. That ruling class is called LURC. Their goals are the same as General Gage’s; “to confine the Colonists on this side of the back country.”

I have spoken to the majority of county commissioners all across Maine. They want their freedom back. Coastal counties want their islands back. The people want their freedom back and Maine needs to recover from four decades of slavery. We need the authorities in Maine to get out of the way and let Maine people prosper again. We need to pass this bill and just retire LURC to the dust bin of history.

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