FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 8, 2021
(Augusta, ME) – Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher announced today that his department will drop its planned changes to the Kennebec River management plan that had been the subject of a controversial rule-making process that ended recently.
The plan called for removal of at least two dams on the river and consideration of removing two more.
According to the Bangor Daily News Keliher said, “We’ve never seen this kind of response before,” in reference to the 1,100 comments submitted regarding the proposal. He also said the state will be more proactive in speaking with people, communities, and others who are impacted by the dams. He said the state will explore alternatives to dam removal that will accomplish the fish-related goals.
Senator Brad Farrin: “The people of the Kennebec region spoke loudly, and their voices were heard. My hope is that the Mills administration will follow through on its promise to engage local communities in future plans. I remain willing to help facilitate those discussions.”
Senator Scott Cyrway: “The impact of removing these dams would be devastating to property values, tax revenues, recreation, and much more. I am hopeful that going forward, planning for the river will be more inclusive of local interests and consider fishways as an alternative to dam removal..”