A great piece by Roger Ek

As stated before, Roger is fantastic writer who has immeasurable knowledge of the battle for our basic rights to own property in the State of Maine.  This is his latest piece which will be published in my newspaper column  in two parts starting next week.  Warning!!!  Not for the faint of heart!!!

The Devil is in the Details


The Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee met last Thursday, February 23 to mark up LD 1798, the bill which would make LURC bigger stronger and meaner. The bill as written would enshrine LURC and the hated CLUP in place forever.


Remember that the original bill was to abolish LURC. The appointed commission of twelve, with the DEP commissioner as chairman, came back with a recommendation that LURC retain its power until September of 2015. The Ag and Forestry Committee sent the bill upstairs to be engrossed which is supposed to mean it gets adjusted to prevent conflicts with other laws already on the books.


At present, Maine’s governor nominates people to serve as LURC commissioners. Under the new bill, the governor would have the authority to appoint only three of the new nine commissioners. The other members could only be appointed by county officials. It is entirely possible that none of the nine new LURC commissioners would be elected. That is intentional. The committee cut the governor off at the knees and approved an amendment that would allow the governor to appoint only one of the new nine commissioners. That amendment passed unanimously!


LURC would have increased power to zone regional areas. They have always wanted to control nearby areas. LURC calls towns that abut LURC territory “fringe towns”. If passed, LURC would have control over their zoning. What? Your town has no zoning now? Here it comes. Many towns in Maine have no zoning except for DEP shoreline zoning and they do just fine. Our freedom is being taken away. LURC wants the entire state to have regional planning like the system they imposed on Rangeley. Do you have a nice lake in your town? Here comes regional planning.


The commission bill has changed significantly. THE DEP has its fingers in the pie now and it isn’t just a finger in the pie. They are into it up to their elbows because the chairman of the commission was the chairman of the DEP. This has Wildlands Project written all over it. The 2015 date, which would have allowed some slight authority to be granted to the counties, has now gone out to five years from the date of enactment. LURC would require a huge new bureaucracy to even allow a county to seek its independence from LURC. There is the Devil.


Remember that many towns today have no zoning, don’t need zoning and don’t want zoning. Counties should have that same freedom. LURC does not want that to happen. At present, LURC zones towns in the LURC territories. A couple of decades ago the Town of Prentiss de-organized. LURC took over. A retired couple wanted to place a trailer like you see at county fairs at their home and sell hot dogs, hamburgers, chili, coffee and sodas. LURC said they couldn’t run that little business. Why not? The retired couple’s home was not in a commercial zone. Oh? Just where is the commercial zone in Prentiss? LURC replied, “There isn’t one and there isn’t going to be one.”


What if a county actually had a majority of commissioners who valued freedom and wanted their liberty back? You know, the liberty to grant a building permit in a particular place. Here is where the DEP has reared its ugly head. In order to regain the freedom the counties lost on September 23, 1971, they must come and beg. To add insult to injury, the county will have to propose a detailed zoning plan that is more restrictive than the one LURC already has in place. Yes, more restrictive! It cannot ever be less restrictive than the burden citizens bear at the present time. If the county is not more restrictive the application will be rejected. None of this is speculation. It’s all in the bill.


Suppose a county still wants to exercise a tiny bit of authority as a gesture toward the freedom they had before September 23, 1971, the day economic opportunity died in Northern Maine. The county, at its own expense, will have to hire a firm or firms to map the entire county and define all zones proposed. These will not be general areas as LURC acts by whims. The county areas will be required by the DEP to be specific lines on the ground like the lines defining zones for hunting. If the DEP doesn’t like the final product the final product can simply be rejected. The financial cost to a county would be huge. The county would need a comprehensive land use plan, standards for determining the above boundaries, the maps and “other proposed regulations or standards”. It is all a further loss of freedom because it would be illegal to have standards with more freedom than citizens have today. There are the details.


It may be hard to believe. A couple of centuries ago we fought a revolution over what was called “The Intolerable Acts”. Great Britain had passed what they called the “Townshend Acts” named for their author, but here in the colonies they were indeed intolerable. LURC and the DEP have immense power today. LD-1798 would give them far more power and the amendments to give them even more power continue to pile up. I reported the results of the February 23 mark-up session to a few people in Northern Maine. One citizen was visibly angry. It is necessary to paraphrase the language that is unprintable in these pages, but this may suffice: “Do these flippin’ people have any flippin’ idea who they are flippin’ with?” Those are the sentiments of the citizenry in Northern Maine.


LURC and the DEP have an agenda. Their co-conspirators have an agenda. The agenda has a number. It is the number of the century we find ourselves in and the agenda is a trip into darkness. The Devil is indeed in the details. Over the years the co-conspirators have told us all about their agenda, but our citizens were asleep as they lost their freedom piece by piece. It is very important to understand the motivations of the rogue elements in Maine’s own LURC and DEP. They are motivated by the writings of the leaders of their movement.


“We reject the idea of private property.”

Peter Berle, President of the National Audobon Society


“Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”

Maurice Strong, Head of the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro


“‘Protecting the Environment’ is a ruse. The goal is the political and economic subjugation of most men by the few, under the guise of preserving nature.”

J. H. Robbins


“Christianity is our foe. If animal rights is to succeed, we must destroy the Judeo-Christian Religious tradition.”

Peter Singer, the “Father of Animal Rights”


“The collective needs of non-human species must take precedence over the needs and desires of humans.”

Dr. Reed F. Noss, The Wildlands Project


“Cannibalism is a radical but realistic solution to the problem of overpopulation.”

Lyall Watson, The Financial Times, 15 July 1995


“If I were reincarnated, I would wish to be returned to Earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.”

Prince Phillip, World Wildlife Fund


“Human beings, as a species, have no more value than slugs.”

John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal


Our only hope is that we have enough clear thinkers in both parties to defeat LD 1798. When LURC was created four decades ago it passed by one vote. There is no greater example in Maine to the power of a single vote.


Roger Ek

Lee, Maine

A new writer

MCV is excited to introduce some new writers to our blog site.  First, is Roger Ek, who is one of the foremost experts on landowners rights and the war against human rights by environmentalist groups.  We look forward to his contributions.  Here is his testimony in Augusta on LD1798, the bill concerning LURC.

Last Chance in Augusta

Last year, Representative Jeff Gifford of Lincoln introduced a bill to abolish LURC. The legislature did what it normally does with controversial issues. They sent it to an appointed “study commission”. Their assignment was to formulate an efficient transition from LURC to the counties in the Unorganized Territories.
Rather than advancing the bill to abolish LURC, this committee has accepted and sent to be engrossed a bill which would make LURC bigger, stronger and meaner. The bill is LD 1798. How appropriate. In 1798 the totalitarian Federalists were trying to seize all power into the hands of government. Back then it didn’t work. However, in 1971 Maine’s legislature decided that the people up in the other Maine did not deserve to govern themselves. LURC celebrated their 40th anniversary last September.
People in the Northern Maine were dismayed at the result of the commission’s report. All twelve commission members were appointed. Nine had close ties to the environmental industry and the other three were easily controlled. Some commission members may be remorseful that they signed off on this today, but the fact is that all twelve signed their names to recommend a LURC that would be bigger, stronger and meaner. Oh, they mention “principles of sound land use planning and development”, but those principles are not the principles of our Constitution and our Founding Fathers. They are the principles of controlling people through a central planning regime as they did behind the Iron Curtain. Under the commission’s recommendation the hated CLUP would survive and grow in power.
Sound land use planning and development are buzz words for sustainable development and Agenda 21. It is total control by government. There is no language in the document to protect freedom, liberty and self determination. They decide what is “appropriate”, not the landowner. LURC would decide about “areas appropriate for designation as development districts when measured against the purpose, intent and provisions of this chapter”, not the owner. Even towns that choose to organize will be ruled by LURC unless the town chooses to be even more restrictive than LURC. In the future, towns can only organize if LURC likes their proposed zoning map. Many towns in Maine have no zoning at all except for the shore-land zoning imposed by the DEP.
I am old enough to remember watching men build a boathouse in a Maine lake. It was a very nice boathouse. It was legal and it was built for an old time lapstrake guide boat with a Model A engine. That boathouse did not harm the lake. In fact, bait fish congregated in the boathouse and larger fish were there for the opportunity to feed. Over time, LURC has forced Maine citizens further and further back from the shores they own.
LD 1798 would not only make LURC more powerful, it would freeze that power in place for more than three years until September 1, 2015. This gives them a long time to consolidate their growing power and resist any new attempt to change LURC. After 2015, if a County chooses to be even more restrictive than LURC is they might be allowed to manage their own development. However, if LURC doesn’t like even one permit approved by the county, LURC could seize authority back from the county. Unbelievable? it’s in there. Everywhere in this law it is OK to be more restrictive and take away more property rights, but not ever be less restrictive.
From the bill:
“All existing rules, regulations and procedures in effect, in operation or adopted in or by the former Maine Land Use Regulation Commission or any of its administrative units or officers and all permits, approvals and decisions of the former Maine Land Use Regulation Commission are hereby declared in effect and continue in effect until rescinded, revised or amended by the proper authority.”
There it is. Total control is preserved, set in stone forever.
The arrogance of this legislature and the bureaucracies is astounding. In the past year people all over the world have risen up and overturned tyrannical powers. How can you imagine you are immune from man’s natural desire for freedom? The people in the other 52% of Maine deserve to have their freedom back. No other state has anything like LURC.
Fate has not put you here at this time. WE have put you here. This is your time. Act now. Bring freedom back to Northern Maine. Reject this bill and return to the original bill to abolish LURC. Pass it forthwith and free Northern Maine from this egregious oppression.
Roger Ek
Lee, Maine