MBNA plans Ducktrap Mountain cabins

By Lynda Clancy | Sep 30, 1999
Northport — MBNA Corporation wants to build 40 cabins on its Ducktrap Mountain site in Northport, and an application for the project is now in the permitting process at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

David Silver of the DEP said the application was filed last Friday by Bracebridge Corporation and he determined at that point, after reviewing it with an MBNA project coordinator, that the application was complete. Now, it is up to the DEP and other Maine agencies to decide whether or not to approve the project.

The public has until Oct. 6 to request in writing that a public hearing be held or a request that the Board of Environmental Protection assume jurisdiction over the application.

MBNA wants to build 40 20-by-20 cabins in two clusters on its 254-acre site, which stretches from Route 1 to Knights Pond. MBNA already has constructed its Point Lookout Conference Center near the top of the hill; closer to Route 1 is MBNA's Ginley Hall.

Abutting MBNA's land to the northeast are 349 acres belonging to the Nature Conservancy

To be called Point Lookout Cabins, the cabins would be open through the three warmer seasons, and will offer recreational oppoortunities for MBNA and its employees. The application does not say whether people will be staying overnight in these cabins, but they will have running water and indoor plumbing.

According to the DEP application, which is available for review at the Northport Town Hall or at the DEP's Augusta office, the development, which is estimated to cost approximately $1 million, "has been designed to minimize visual impact on the surrounding area." The cabins are designed to blend into the natural landscape. Exterior lighting on the site would be down-lighting.

While a portion of that MBNA land is considered deer wintering habitat -- which the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife considers significant or essential wildlife habitat -- the application maintains the project will improve the deer yard.

"I anticipate this issue will be addressed fully," Silver said, adding that he had sent the application along to IF&W for review and comments.

MBNA proposes to manage a contiguous 122 acres of land as deer management area and create a deer travel corridor of five acres. Its goals include: longterm maintenance of deer wintering habitat; creation of greater browsing opportunities; maintenance of a dense canopy of softwood stands; maintenance of a productive trail corridor; and establishment of year-round forage.

"This plan is intended to replace and expand the current deer management area and travel corridor that was agreed upon in 1996," the application said.

"Additional disturbances next to the 122-acre deer management area should have positive effects on over-wintering deer habitat," the application said. The application also said that holes in the canopy with the two new drives and cabins will prove beneficial and that the deer will use the cabin areas in the winter, when no humans are around.

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