AUGUSTA — A Maine environmental advocacy group is urging legislators to not weaken the powers of a regulatory agency that oversees the state’s vast Unorganized Territory.

Environment Maine today delivered 17,000 letters, postcards, petitions and emails from Maine residents to the State House in opposition to proposed legislation it says would weaken the scope and power of the Land Use Regulation Commission. The commission regulates development in the 10-million-acre region.

A public hearing on the bills is scheduled next Thursday before the Legislature’s Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

Opponents say the bill would roll back protections for Maine’s North Woods, but bill supporters say the region needs less restrictive regulation to better attract jobs and development.

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