STRATTON — The Greater Franklin Development Corporation, in partnership with the Western Mountains Alliance, will host a community forum exploring land use and the potential impact of proposed legislation to reform the Land Use Regulation Commission. The forum will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Eustis Community Building in Stratton.

Panelists include Franklin County Commissioner Fred Hardy, Saddleback General Manager Chris Farmer, Robert Carleton of Freeman Ridge Forestry, Franklin County writer and conservationist Robert Kimber and acting LURC Director Samantha Horn-Olsen.

The Franklin County event is one of four forums in a western Maine series featuring perspectives from residential and woodlot property owners, foresters, policy experts, conservation and tourism interests. The first forums were held in February.

A final forum will be held Tuesday, March 27, in Monson.

The series is supported by the Emanuel and Pauline A. Lerner Foundation, the Western Mountains Alliance, Somerset Economic Development Corporation, Piscataquis County Economic Development Council, Greater Franklin Development Corporation, the Western Maine Economic Development Council and the Western Maine Legislative Caucus.

In 2011, the LURC Reform Commission, charged with making recommendations to improve the Land Use Regulation Commission, released its recommendations. A small state agency with oversight for more than 10 million acres in Maine’s unorganized territories, LURC is responsible for permitting projects such as new home development, as well as resort and large-scale wind projects.

Legislation introduced this session to improve how the agency operates includes increasing the representation of county commissioners on its board; and, allowing counties that meet certain requirements to provide their own oversight for land use planning and permitting in their unorganized territories.

The public is invited to explore what these changes may mean in western Maine’s unorganized territories, and the broader topics of land use and Maine’s tradition of public access to large tracts of private lands.

RSVPs are requested by Monday for planning purposes.

For more information, email [email protected] or call 778-5887.

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