Jamies Pond, a stunning small piece of public land in central Maine, has been mostly protected from development for 100 years. It is about to experience a massive tree harvest. The announcement signs went up a month ago. Most of us who have enjoyed its amazing beauty to hike, hunt or swim, or to experience the feel of wild area, were shocked. So, to calm us, public information meetings were held.

I learned the following:

Everyone believes that Jamies Pond is unique. For the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, who call this area a “protected woodland,” it has an unusually healthy representation of wildlife, is heavily used by the public compared to other wildlife management areas, and is unusually close to urban communities. For years many conservation organizations and private citizens have worked to protect Jamies Pond.

Previously there were quiet public notices of this large project. There were meetings, but now that it is openly public the discussion process is over.

Jamies Pond has been studied extensively by state foresters and wildlife biologists, and the conclusion is that for nature to be healthy it needs our help. The land needs a tree harvest. Jamies Pond is surrounded by large tracts of privately owned woodlands, managed as they should be with harvests, but now this small piece of state-owned public conservation land in the middle needs the same.

I have three requests:

1. Perhaps we should pause, and see what the public thinks.

2. Since everyone agrees that Jamies Pond is special and unique, even amongst wildlife managment areas, perhaps there could be compromise.

3. If any of you have not been to Jamies Pond recently, then go. Take a swim, or a walk in the evening. Go now before it is too late.

Scott Schiff-Slater

Hallowell