Judge rules Penobscot Nation reservation does not include river’s waters

December 15, 2015 | by Kevin Miller | Portland Press Herald

Link to original article

But U.S. District Judge George Singal clarifies that Penobscot tribal members’ sustenance fishing rights extend throughout the main stem of the Penobscot River.

A federal judge has ruled that the Penobscot Nation's reservation does not extend to the waters of the Penobscot River, but the tribe's members can conduct sustenance fishing on the river's main stem. This is the East Branch.

A federal judge has ruled that the Penobscot Nation’s reservation does not extend to the waters of the Penobscot River, but the tribe’s members can conduct sustenance fishing on the river’s main stem. This is the East Branch. 2014 Press Herald File Photo/Gregory Rec

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the Penobscot Nation’s reservation ends at the shoreline of tribal islands, siding with the state in a jurisdictional dispute over the waters of the Penobscot River.

But in a mixed ruling, U.S. District Court Judge George Singal reaffirmed tribal members’ sustenance fishing rights throughout the main stem of the Penobscot.

Singal rejected arguments from the Penobscot Nation and federal agencies that the tribe’s reservation boundaries extend “from bank to bank” of Maine’s second-largest river. Instead, Singal sided with Attorney General Janet Mills in ruling there was “no ambiguity” in the definition of the reservation as laid out in the landmark Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1980 negotiated between the state, federal government and tribes.

“The Settlement Acts clearly define the Penobscot Indian Reservation to include the delineated islands of the main stem, but do not suggest that any of the waters of the main stem fall within the Penobscot Indian Reservation,” Singal wrote. “That clear statutory language provides no opportunity to suggest that any of the waters of the main stem are also included within the boundaries of the Penobscot Indian Reservation.”

But Singal rejected the state’s interpretation on the fishing issue and, seeking to clarify what he said was ambiguous language, said the tribe has a “retained right to sustenance fish in the main stem, as it had done historically and continuously.” Under the state’s erroneous interpretation, Singal wrote, tribal members would only be allowed to fish from land.

“There is no evidence that the Maine Legislature, Congress, or the Penobscot Nation intended for the Settlement Acts to change and further restrict the already long-accepted practice of Penobscot Nation members sustenance fishing in the main stem, such that tribal members would need to have at minimum one foot on an island and could no longer sustenance fish from boats in the main stem,” Singal said.

This ruling doesn’t address a dispute over water-quality standards in the waterways that pass through tribal lands. A separate lawsuit on that issue that the state filed against the federal government is pending.

Tribal leaders were evaluating the ruling Wednesday evening and plan to “huddle up” with attorneys from the U.S. Department of Justice, which helped argue the tribe’s case, to discuss next steps, which could include an appeal.

Penobscot Nation Chief Kirk Francis described the ruling as “a mixed bag.” Francis was gratified Singal upheld the tribe’s sustenance fishing rights “from bank to bank” but disappointed that the judge did not believe those waters are part of the reservation. That is concerning, Francis added, because the tribe needs to understand how to manage a resource that members depend on for sustenance.

“Obviously it’s not the greatest decision for the tribe,” Francis said. “We are trying to understand how the existing statute and the decision fit together.”

Mills said the case, which has been watched closely by American Indian organizations around the country, could have had “potentially enormous” ramifications for river users. While the tribe’s attorneys argued that the case was primarily about sustenance fishing rights, lawyers for the state said Penobscots’ interpretation of their boundaries could allow the tribe to exclude fishermen from the river, charge fees for access or even regulate industrial and municipal discharges into the Penobscot.

“The state respects that federal Judge George Singal has digested thousands of pages of filings by all the parties and intervenors,” Mills’ office said in a statement. “In this very thorough 64-page ruling the judge decided very clearly that the reservation itself does not include the main stem of the Penobscot River. The river is, as the state argued, held in trust for the benefit and use of all. The State is equally pleased that the court recognized the historical right of individual tribal members to engage in sustenance fishing along the river, a right which the state has always accorded and never denied.”

The case stems from a 2012 letter from then-Attorney General William Schneider, although the underlying tensions over tribal jurisdiction and fishing rights date back decades.

Responding to reports that tribal game wardens were stopping and summonsing non-tribal sportsmen on the river, Schneider advised the Maine Warden Service and Maine Marine Patrol that the Penobscot reservation does not include the main stem of the river.

“Like private landowners, the Penobscot Nation may also restrict access to their lands, here islands, as it sees fit,” Schneider wrote. “However, the river itself is not part of the Penobscot Nation’s Reservation, and therefore is not subject to its regulatory authority or proprietary control. The Penobscot River is held in trust by the State for all Maine citizens, and State law, including statutes and regulations governing hunting, are fully applicable there.”

The Penobscot Nation filed suit in federal court 12 days later, claiming that any attempt to enforce state law against tribal members who are sustenance fishing in the river “threatens to violate the federal law right of the Nation’s members to be free from state authority over such activity.”

The case is emblematic of the growing rift between Maine’s tribal governments and the LePage administration as well as ongoing tensions over the 35-year-old settlement agreement. In May, the Penobscot Nation and Passamaquoddy Tribe withdrew their representatives to the Maine Legislature and accused the state of attempting to perpetuate a “guardian-to-ward relationship” with the sovereign tribal nations. Mills, meanwhile, is suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over water quality standards in waters that pass through tribal areas.

Escalation in Penbscot River Battle: ACT NOW

flotilla 5-23-15Defending Water for Life in Maine and Stop the East-West Corridor are fully committed to supporting the Penobscot Nation in their fight to maintain their River.  Below is an urgent update and call to action from Penobscot historian, activist, and founder of Dawnland Environment Defense, Maria Girouard:

From: Maria Girouard <sacredhomelands(at)gmail(dot)com>

Date: Mon, Sep 7, 2015 at 8:15 AM 

Dear Friends and Allies of the Penobscot River,
Last week, Maine Governor Lepage escalated the river dispute between Penobscot Nation and state government by calling on our elected officials in Washington to “intervene” (…interfere…) in Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) efforts to protect Penobscot fishing rights and ensure a clean, healthy river for all. (letter attached)
I’m sharing an essay (also attached) so you can decide whether Lepage is acting on your behalf.  For those who feel compelled to help Penobscots and the beautiful River we all love, addresses for our Washington delegates are provided below.  I encourage you all to raise your voices. They heard from Lepage, now they should hear from the People.   And if you’d like to send words of appreciation or a thank you note along to the Environmental Protection Agency for protecting the health of the Penobscot River, that address is provided below as well. 🙂   Please feel free to share this communication far and wide to help sound the alarm about the looming threat of industrialization and accompanying territorial theft at the hands of state government.  There is a quote attributed to Elie Wiesel: “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”  I implore you to please do something…. for the Water, for the Grandchildren.
Kci Woliwoni (“Great thanks”)
Maria
Senator Susan M. Collins
413 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Senator Angus S. King
133 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D 20510
Congressman Bruce L. Poliquin
426 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Congresswoman Rochelle M. Pingree
2162 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 201515
To send words of appreciation or a thank you note along to the Environmental Protection Agency for protecting the health of the Penobscot River:
Mr. H. Curtis Spalding
Regional Administrator
USEPA REGION 1 – New England
5 Post Office Square
Mail Code: ORA
Boston, MA 02109-3912
Email:  Spalding.curt@Epa.gov
A million thanks to you for caring!  ><)),>  ~ ~ ><)),>  ~~ ><)),>
Due to file size constraints the File Attachments mentioned are archived at:
0831 Governor Letter to Senators and Congressmen  ‘Clean Water Act’
 
Escalation of an Age-Old Conflict Update from the trenches

Flotilla on Penobscot River to Support Tribal Territory and Rights

flotilla 5-23-15

On May 23, 2015, people converged on the Penobscot River in Bangor to show their support of the Penobscot Nation’s rights over its ancestral territory- the waters of the Penobscot River.  The State of Maine issued a letter to the tribe in 2012, redefining the Penobscot’s territory to NOT include the River itself, a direct departure from historical treaties and previous interpretation of treaties and the Land Claims Settlement Act of 1980 by the State of Maine.

Around 150 people were present in boats or on shore to demonstrate their support.  Following is a video, news coverage, and photos of the event:

WABI-TV 5

BDN

3 minute video by Sass Linneken

photos by the Maine Paparazzi (including photo above)

Will legislators take mining ‘jobs’ bait this time around?

Link to Original Article

Op-Ed in the BDN by Dennis Chinoy | May 6, 2015

A screenshot from the website of Aroostook Resources, a firm that formed to mine in Aroostook County.
Contributed photo
A screenshot from the website of Aroostook Resources, a firm that formed to mine in Aroostook County.

In December 2012, three lawyers from the legal firm Pierce Atwood published a somewhat self-congratulatory article in a mining journal. “About Face: How a mine moved toward operating in Maine” described how the authors helped craft a bill mandating relaxed mining regulations on behalf of the J.D. Irving Company.

The essential ingredient: “Metallic mineral mining,” they wrote, “was framed as a chance to grow opportunity in Aroostook County, a place where opportunity is lacking”

The lead author, Tom Doyle, also happened to be one of three J.D. Irving lobbyists the company paid $226,000 in aggregate to do this “framing” for Maine lawmakers. A second lobbyist was Anthony Hourihan, who predicted “300 to 400 jobs on site with the potential to create 300-400 indirect jobs so the potential to create 700 jobs…”

Representing Aroostook Resources, Irving’s designated mining subsidiary, Hourihan may not be the most credible jobs messenger. Nevertheless, “700 jobs” has been repeated like a mantra by mining promoters, by Aroostook County legislators and its chamber of commerce, and by other legislators reluctant to deny their underemployed fellow Mainers a shot at development.

If only it were true.

History is a guide. The last promises of mining jobs in Maine were from the Black Hawk mine in Blue Hill in the 1960s. Their estimate: 400 jobs for 10-20 years. The reality: Peak employment never exceeded 100, and the mine closed in less than five years.

Aroostook Resources’ job predictions may have no more substance than does its actual existence: That is, on paper only. The company was incorporated eight months after the mining law’s passage, apparently for the express purpose of applying to excavate Bald Mountain. Aroostook Resources has never mined an ounce of anything. Until recently its only sign of life was an upbeat web page featuring photos of green fields, clear water, and an employed-looking man in a hardhat.

Aroostook Resources’ “good paying jobs” will likely be far more limited in number and duration than advertised. Many slots would be filled by non-Mainers having requisite skills for the project: In states without existing mining operations, the skilled jobs are most often imported.

Doyle’s article concludes: “without the promise of jobs and prosperity, lawmakers would likely have shied away from this proposal.” Indeed, this promise was the only counterbalance to what legislators and regulatory agencies have heard by lopsided margins from hundreds of Mainers who testified in Augusta.

Their overwhelming message: It is a fool’s errand to consider mining at Bald Mountain and possibly anywhere in Maine, given the high sulfide content of its metallic deposits in a very wet state. The risk of acid mine drainage polluting Maine’s environmentally and economically precious watershed is unacceptably high and escalates with time. Moreover, the huge cost of remediating in perpetuity the damage caused by mine failures virtually guarantees that this burden will be borne by generations of future taxpayers, no matter what “financial assurances” the regulations feature.

In 2014, the Maine Legislature listened to those voices and rejected the mining regulations that the mining law had spawned. However, neither J.D. Irving nor its lobbyists have disappeared. So, like a bad penny, the proposed regulations re-surfaced this year, word for word.

Though the Environment and Natural Resources Committee has neither the in-house expertise nor the budget to do so, its members went to great lengths to re-write the regulations by themselves. This approach permits sending the modified rules to the full Legislature for a vote without any further delay. Having had the rules rejected last year, the committee’s Republican members plus Rep. John Martin — who sponsored the mining bill at J.D. Irving’s behest and now sits on the ENR committee — want to “get it done” this time around.

So once again, the claim will be that “responsible mining” can protect Maine’s environment while providing hundreds of good paying jobs for those who desperately need them.

We won’t know until afterward how much J.D. Irving will spend this time around to get the regulations it wants. But we’re about to learn this: Can another well financed lobbying campaign’s inflated promises of jobs for Northern Maine again override legislators’ basic instinct to protect Maine’s waters?

Dennis Chinoy of Bangor is a volunteer for Power in Community Alliances.

Orono panel endorses withdrawal from Penobscot Nation water rights lawsuit

Orono resident and Penobscot Indian Nation member Maria Girouard speaks to the Orono Community Development Committee about withdrawing from a lawsuit the Penobscot have against the state over tribal waters. &quotI have a sense you don't really understand the severity of the decision," she told council members. &quotI’'ve spent the good part of a year or so [educating people] and nobody has any idea that the state government is in this fight with the Penobscot Nation." At the end of the meeting, the committee voted to recommend to the full council that they withdraw from the lawsuit.
Nok-Noi Ricker | BDN
Orono resident and Penobscot Indian Nation member Maria Girouard speaks to the Orono Community Development Committee about withdrawing from a lawsuit the Penobscot have against the state over tribal waters. “I have a sense you don’t really understand the severity of the decision,” she told council members. “I’’ve spent the good part of a year or so [educating people] and nobody has any idea that the state government is in this fight with the Penobscot Nation.” At the end of the meeting, the committee voted to recommend to the full council that they withdraw from the lawsuit. Buy Photo
Posted March 16, 2015, at 8:58 p.m.
Last modified March 17, 2015, at 12:26 p.m.

ORONO, Maine — Local resident John Banks, who is also a member of the Penobscot Indian Nation, told the town’s Community Development Committee on Monday that his tribe has been promised fishing privileges over and over by different governments, including the Colonial government of Massachusetts before Maine was even a state.

He said in 1775, Massachusetts leaders “asked my tribe to join the calling” during the American Revolution and that “our tribal chief at that time was named Orono.” In exchange for fighting the British the Penobscots were promised “our lands and our fishing privileges within our waters would be protected in perpetuation,” Banks said.

“It’s really hard for me, in 2015, to be fighting the same battle,” he said. “This is all about our fishing rights, which are located above the town of Orono.”

The Penobscot Nation in 2012 sued the state in federal court over the state’s interpretation of whether the tribe’s jurisdictional authority applies to parts of the river that abut tribal islands in the river. Orono is one of 18 municipalities and other entities with discharge permits into the river who have an interest in its water quality standards and are listed as intervenors in the suit.

Before Banks spoke, about a dozen others asked the town to withdraw from the lawsuit as a sign of support for the Penobscot Nation. After hearing from residents, Orono’s Community Development Committee voted unanimously to recommend to the full town council that Orono withdraw from the lawsuit.

Many of the 35 people at Monday’s meeting applauded their decision.

After reviewing all the materials, Councilor Mark Haggerty said: “The conclusion I came to is that we should not be interveners. I’m going to hope things work out and we’re not going to see additional cost with our [future] waste water discharges.”

The 1980 Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act provided the Penobscots with subsistence hunting and fishing rights for all sections of the Penobscot River from the Milford Dam to Millinocket. The tribe’s lawsuit against the state was filed in 2012 after then-Attorney General William Schneider issued an opinion that the Penobscots’ territory was limited to islands in the river and does not extend to the river itself.

While the Penobscot Nation lawsuit works it’s way through the system, on Feb. 2 the federal Environmental Protection Agency issued a decision, which some have described as “unprecedented,” that reaffirmed the state’s authority to establish water quality standards for “waters in Indian lands” and also required that Maine must adopt tighter water standards along the Penobscot River to better protect the sustenance fishing rights of the Penobscot Nation.

The state has 90 days from Feb. 2 decision to address the EPA’s position on increasing standards to protect human health along the Penobscot River, stretching about 70 miles from the Milford Dam up to Millinocket. If the state does not respond within that time, EPA officials said the federal agency “will propose and promulgate appropriate human health criteria for waters in Indian lands in Maine.”

BDN writers Judy Harrison, Chris Cousins and Bill Trotter contributed to this report.

 

CORRECTION:

An earlier version of this story said Banks was part of the group that asked the town to withdraw from the lawsuit. Banks made no such statement.

EPA Decision: Maine Water Quality Standards Inadequate for Tribal Waters

Link to Original Article and Radio Program

  FEB 5, 2015 | Maine Public Broadcasting Network

Download audio file: 

      1. 02052015spsmix.mp3

AUGUSTA, Maine – In a decision that is being welcomed as “historic” by Maine Indian tribes, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has asked the state of Maine to revise some water quality standards for tribal waters.

The decision comes during ongoing litigation brought by the state against the EPA. Maine’s chief of environmental protection says it could have far-reaching consequences for discharge license holders.

In a communique to Maine Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Patty Aho this week, EPA Regional Administrator Curt Spalding delivered the news:  that federal regulators disapprove of some state water quality standards established by Maine more than a decade ago.

Aho says she was stunned by the announcement that the standards could not be used on tribal waters because they’re not protective enough of human health, and of the tribes’ sustenance fishing practices.

“It is, in some cases, work that we thought had been approved and had been in place for many, many years,” Aho says. “So it is just simply, as I stated, breathtaking in the scope and the sweep.”

Breathtaking in its scope, Aho says, because of its wide implications for sewer districts, paper companies and other discharge licensees.  She says the EPA has not defined what it means by waters in Indian territory.  Nor, she says, has the agency indicated how it wants the state to revise the standards and on what scientific  basis.

“It’s asking us to redo something, but not telling us to what standards,” she says. “They’re not telling us which waters in the state, or what parts of those waters, we are to redo these standards.”

“We’re talking only about the waters within tribal reservations and trust lands,” says Ken Moraff. “We’re not talking about the waters upstream or downstream, although there could possibly be an effect on upstream dischargers.”

Moraff is the director of the Office of Ecosystem Protection for EPA. He says existing permit holders will not be affected by the decision. But when new water quality standards are adopted in the future, any new or re-issued permits would have to meet the new standards, which have yet to be established.

Moraff says the decision is significant from the EPA’s point of view, too. That’s because this is the first time the EPA has determined that state standards are inadequate for uses in tribal waters, including sustenance fishing.

Chief Kirk Francis of the Penobscot Indian Nation couldn’t be happier.

“For the first time ever, what the EPA has said is that tribal subsistence and sustenance-based rights are a determinant factor under the Clean Water Act,” Francis says. “So you have to acknowledge those differences while setting your standards within Indian territory. You have to respect those practices. You have to respect the human health issues and the cultural identity of the tribes within those areas where the standards are being set.”

As part of an ongoing lawsuit brought by the state against the EPA over jurisdiction to set water quality standards, the EPA has concluded that the 1980 Maine Indian Land Claims Settlement Act, which extinguished certain tribal rights, allows the state authority to set water quality standards in tribal waters.

But Matt Manahan, an attorney representing discharge license holders along the Penobscot River, says what the EPA is also doing is setting up a two-tiered system for the tribe.

“What this is saying is, notwithstanding the fact that the Settlement Act treats them just like any other citizens of the state, we’re going to carve them out and say because they would like to have standards that are more stringent than the standards that apply to everyone else in the state, even though the science doesn’t support that, we’re going to basically carve that out and give them special treatment for purposes of water quality standards,” Manahan says.

The EPA has given the state 90 days to establish new standards for tribal waters. Commissioner Aho says she’s working with the Attorney General’s Office to determine a response.

Alliance for Common Good hosts 3rd Annual Rally of Unity

A tremendous showing for community and tribal sovereignty, and water protection

Augusta – Over a hundred Maine citizens and representatives from dozens of organizations joined forces at the State House’s Hall of Flags for the third annual Rally of Unity. The overarching theme for this year’s rally was protection of our water resources and respect for community and tribal sovereignty. Featured speakers included Shenna Bellows, former candidate for U.S. Senate and former Maine Senator Troy Jackson.

Other speakers shared the podium addressing concerns around the critical need to protect water in Maine. With many potentially destructive plans looming in Maine, such as extreme water extraction/privatization, mountain-top mining and the exorbitant waste it produces, the East-West Industrial Corridor and pipeline, industrial wind, and more, organizations came together to speak in a unified voice informing Maine legislators what Mainers expect from their service. A current critical issue between the Penobscot Nation and the State of Maine government was one of the topics at this year’s rally.

“Sadly, Penobscot people are anxiously awaiting the fate of our river,” said Maria Girouard, Penobscot tribal member and founder of Dawnland Environmental Defense. In Augusta 2012, state government asserted its opinion to Penobscot Chief and Council that the Penobscot Indian reservation did not include the water. The Penobscot Indian reservation consists of over 200 islands in the Penobscot River. “Frankly, this redefining of our territory feels outright hostile. Maine government is supposed to be working for all Maine people, yet most people have no idea that this is happening. This current legal battle has the potential to last years and cost millions of tax payer dollars. What I would like to know is why Maine government is asserting its claim to the water? And on whose behalf?”

Larry Dansinger of Resources for Organizing Social Change and an organizer for this year’s rally said, “The Maine legislature has been passing too many bills that benefit the one percent and hurt 99 percent of Mainers. The public needs to demand laws that benefit the vast majority of Maine people, not just a select and powerful few.”

All individuals and groups participating in this third annual event are unified under the principles of: Reserving Maine money for Maine people; keeping money out of politics; respecting community and tribal sovereignty; and promoting an economy that protects, rather than compromises, our environment. In addition to speakers and songs, the rally hosted organization tabling and provided opportunity for networking and alliance building.

Alliance for the Common Good Members include: 350 Maine, 350 Waldo County, Ability Maine, Alliance for Democracy, American Friends Service Committee Wabanaki Program, Americans Who Tell the Truth, Artists Rapid Response Team, Bring our War $$ Home, CodePink, Community Water Justice, Dawnland Environmental Defense/ Justice for the River, Defending Water for Life, Don’t Waste ME, Food AND Medicine, Food and Water Watch, Food for Maine’s Future, Forest Ecology Network, Friends of Merrymeeting Bay, Friends of Penobscot Bay, Friends of the Piscataquis Valley, Global Network, Green Initiatives, anti-Industrial wind activists, Maine EarthFirst!, Maine Fair Trade Campaign, Maine Greens, Maine Peace Action Committee, Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition, Maine Students for Climate Justice, Maine Veterans for Peace, Midcoast Peace and Justice, Occupy groups statewide, Pax Christi Maine, Peace Action Maine, Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine, Peace and Justice Group of Waldo County, PeaceWorks of Greater Brunswick/ Waging Peace, Peninsula Peace and Justice, Pine Tree Youth Organizing, Power in Community Alliances (PICA)/ U.S. El Salvador Sister Cities Committee, Resources for Organizing Social Change, Riverbilly Coalition for Natural Resources Preservation, SEEDS for Justice, Southern Maine Workers Center, Stop the East-West Corridor, TWAC (Trans and/or Women’s Action Camp), We the People Maine.

Here is WABI-5 news coverage of the event.

Here is a video of the full event.

Here are pictures from the event by the Maine Paparazzi, Roger Leisner.

Lastly, here is an independent article published in The Cryer by Lew Kingsbury:

The Most Successful Statehouse Event You Never Heard Of

End Violence Together event draws crowd in Bangor

One week after hundreds of thousands took part in the People’s Climate Change demonstration in New York City, Mainers came together for a rally and march to connect the dots between climate destruction, poverty and war.

Defending Water for Life in Maine was one of 38 Maine cosponsors for the Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine’s “End Violence Together” event that was held on Saturday, September 27 on the Bangor waterfront as part of the national Campaign Nonviolence.

Chris and others marching with DWFL banner made by ARRT!

Chris and others marching with DWFL banner made by ARRT!

This public action featuring drumming, speakers, music and a march was one of more than 170 being held across the country. It was designed to raise awareness of the interrelationship of war, poverty and environmental destruction. Participants demonstrated a commitment to work collaboratively to build a culture of peace and nonviolence. 

Speakers included Mary Ellen Quinn, social worker and co-chair of Pax Christi Maine; Marc Cryer, Veterans for Peace, Jim Harney Chapter  and Chris Buchanan of Defending Water for Life.   Doug Allen of the Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine emceed.

A short performance by Voices for Peace set the tone for the event.  
To view Chris’s speech, click here.
Visit http://www.CampaignNonviolence.org to make a national connection.

 

Darryl Brown to lead Greater Franklin Development Corporation

Monday, Sep 8, 2014 | Lewiston Sun Journal

Link to Original Article

FARMINGTON — Greater Franklin Development Corp. has elected Darryl Brown as chairman of its board of directors.

The former vice chairman of the organization was elected unanimously at a special board meeting Aug. 20.

Brown has more than 40 years of experience in land use planning, soils evaluation and permitting at local, state and federal levels. As founder and owner of Main-Land Development Consultants Inc. in Livermore Falls, he represented clients all over Maine, including major paper companies and ski areas.

During that time, he developed relationships with all regulatory and planning agencies in Maine, including the Department of Environmental Protection, the Land Use Planning Commission, as well as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Following the sale of his company in 2011, Brown became a member of Gov. Paul LePage’s cabinet, serving as commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection and later as director of the State Planning Office. During his tenure at the governor’s office, he developed a relationship with the Department of Economic and Community Development.

Brown is senior project manager at Cianbro Corp., where his responsibilities include providing assistance on land use issues for projects that require regulatory approval and compliance. He also works on special projects for Cianbro CEO Pete Vigue to promote economic development opportunities for Maine, including improved rail service, port development and East-West connectivity to global markets.

Brown said in a statement, “The Greater Franklin Development Corporation is an organization that has a track record of bringing business to our service area. That is a testament to the former leadership of the organization.

“The current economic challenges that face our state and Franklin County have been with us since 2008 when the economy took a sudden negative turn, and we have found ourselves in the deepest recession since the Great Depression. In spite of that, Maine and Franklin County remain among the nicest places to live, work and play in America,” he said.

“We will continue to promote our area with the commitment to bring good quality companies and jobs to the region. As chair for the next year, it will be my privilege to work with my fellow board members and our very capable staff, who share my enthusiasm and positive outlook for the future.”

The corporation elected Brown because his attitude parallels the mission to create and keep quality employment opportunities in greater Franklin County by actively attracting new business, assisting local employers and encouraging entrepreneurs, according to officials.

Brown resides in Livermore Falls with his wife, Penny.

 

Darryl Brown

– Submitted Photo