View Full Version : Big new development outside of Baxter State Park

09-29-2021, 10:17
This development has been planned since 2007. https://bangordailynews.com/2021/09/28/news/penobscot/new-england-outdoor-center-owner-aims-to-revitalize-katahdin-region-with-new-complex/

I worked with one of the firms that helped with the initial design back them and their comment then was it was going to look like development typically associated with a high end ski resort. Hikers may not realize that the area is just as busy or busier in winter during snow machine season. The developer was the one that developed the whitewater rafting industry in the area. More than a few hikers end their hike with a meal at the River Drivers restaurant at Twin pines if someone else is meeting them. Bar none its the best restaurant in the area although a bit pricey on thru hikers budget.

Every one that has driven to BSP from Millinocket has driven by Twin Pines and the location of the new development just south of the causeway between Ambajejus and Millinocket Lake.

Tipi Walter
09-29-2021, 11:03
Just what we need---more development and sprawl in what's left of our backcountry. Reminds me of Dan Tomlin who built Sugar Top Condos on a mountaintop in North Carolina and it was so bad the locals passed the Ridgetop Development Law.

This is sad and it's from Dan Tomlin, once president of US Capital Corporation and the man responsible for developing Sugar Top Resort Condos, a ten story skyscraper destroying a small part of Western NC.
"What is world class to (one person) is not world class to another. Some like red ties, some like green ties. The public desires a view. Everybody who is rich desires to be on top of a mountain. Period."
Because of his stance the Mountain Ridge Protection Act became law on January 1, 1984. (Quote from "The View From the Top: The Battle over Mountaintop Development in Western North Carolina, Part 1---How One Western NC Developer Changed the State's Mountaintops" (carolinapublicpress.org).


09-30-2021, 01:31
That thing is so ugly it defies imagination as to how it came to be with NO ONE apparently stopping it being built!!! I simply cannot see how anyone could think about destroying the top of a mountain to put that thing in it's place and call it a "home."

09-30-2021, 02:12
As someone that has used his current services, all I can say is I hope he does as good a job with the new ones as he did with the older ones. Service was great, prices in line with what was provided and if you had not looked to see the services you never would have know they were there. IE they were good neighbors to the people around them. The photo does look like a little to big of a building for the number of people that are around the area but, the plan looks like it is going to not negativily impact the local people. With current Maine employment problems the workers should end up making a good living.

09-30-2021, 06:47
Maine has a lot of unorganized townships that have never been settled with enough people to form a local government body. Some townships have names but many are referred to by the original township number. If you look at a map of Maine and cut it in quarters, you will see the Northwest Quarter of the state has no public roads and is mostly commercial timberland. The Golden Road a 90 mile private logging road that starts in Millinocket and runs by the proposed location on its way to Quebec. It is tied to 100s of additional miles of major logging roads. The last state road in this region ends at the BSP gate. The proposed development is in a township (Medway, Millinocket and East Millinocket are the exceptions in the area). In that case the state has the Land Use Planning Commission. It acts as the planning and zoning organization for the unorganized townships. New development of any kind is very restricted and major developments may take years to get approved. The AMC 100 wilderness property was purchased by the AMC at a low cost as mitigation for a major project around Moosehead lake that was subsequently canceled. There are provisions in the rules to allow expansion adjacent to developed areas.

The proposed location is adjacent to a developed area which was developed before the LUPC existed. Thus it can be developed but has to go through a fairly strict process to minimize its impact on the surroundings. Luckily Maine missed out on the type of development pictured in NC and got the LUPC and its predecessor the LURP in place before the land rush moved in. Sad to say they didnt stop all high altitude development, the summit of Sugarloaf mountain got sacrificed to the ski industry and the Bigelow ridgeline was on the block for development before Maine voters forced the legislature to protect it from development.

One big difference with southern states is the majority of the undeveloped lands in Maine are not federally owned, the vast majority are now owned by Timber Management Organizations (the 100 plus years of land ownership by pulp and paper companies is long gone) and many of the owners have sold various development and conservation easements to prevent or severely limit development as well as have to agreed to third party "sustainable" logging practices. The result is large tracts of industrial timberland surrounding numerous wilderness lakes and ponds. Its not a national park or forest and the trees are cut on a routine basis but the land is protected from development. The area has been designated a "dark sky area", there are no electric power lines at all beyond hydroelectric transmission lines so the only lighting will be from the sprinkling of camps in the region running generators.

The various developments built by the developer in the area have been fairly well planned and low impact facilities targeted to the LLBean or REI crowd in the summer and fall with the Cabela crowd from mostly southern New England heading up in the winter for snowmobiling. In winter snowmobiles can go hundreds of miles on groomed trails (including through BSP on the perimeter road). The buildings are laid out and painted to blend in to the surroundings and lighting at night is minimal with dark sky type fixtures used to cut down on light pollution. As for jobs, they will be tourism jobs, sure some folks will string together year round employment like the local real estate agents but few folks put their kids through college on tourism jobs. The developers projects do pay well and there is local competition for their jobs but they still are seasonal. Its better than nothing but the days of high paying paper mill jobs in the area is long gone.