12/07/16 “Wilderness and a Way Forward” - Bangor Daily News

​Betting on the Lake

By Matthew Stone, Bangor Daily News Maine Focus Reporter

The first people to settle the region around Moosehead Lake didn’t even come because of the sprawling body of water that covers 120-square miles.

They came for the woods. And the work they did — clearing land, farming, setting up sawmills — set the stage for a lumbering tradition that powered more than a century of growth.

Today, however, Greenville has a population almost 20 percent smaller than at its 1960 peak. Its school enrolls 40 percent fewer students than in 1999.

Without significant effort, the town — and the area around it — will continue to decline.

But Greenville is one of the few places in the rural reaches of the state that has a chance of stopping its downward trajectory. That’s because residents — mostly members of local businesses — are devoting years of their lives to changing the region’s projected fate.

They’re betting on the lake…...........

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