NEW YORK, NY - January 23, 2006 - The Open Space Institute, in partnership with the Margaret Chase Smith Center at the University of Maine at Orono, has assembled a team of experts to study the development proposal set forth by the Plum Creek Timber Company for the Moosehead Lake region of Maine. The company, one of the largest landowners in the U.S. with almost 900,000 acres in Maine alone, has proposed to Maine's Land Use Regulatory Commission to rezone approximately 426,000 acres of land for a mix of development and conservation, (For more information, visit the website at http://www.plumcreek.com/). The company, one of the nation's foremost real estate investment trusts, is revising its proposed “concept plan” and is expected to resubmit the plan in early March.
OSI's study, conducted with Industrial Economics, Inc., a Cambridge consulting firm, will assess the net financial benefit to Plum Creek from approval of the concept plan. The study will establish the development alternatives should Plum Creek not pursue rezoning; model the likely financial value to the company from approval of the concept plan; and analyze the financial value of conservation including sale of land and easements proposed by Plum Creek. “Our goal is to provide analysis and factual information that will inform public discussion and policy concerning the Plum Creek proposal,” said Peter Howell, OSI's vice president of Conservation Finance.