Maine Bigelow Mountain Public Preserve (1976)

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The Maine Bigelow Mountain Public Preserve Initiative was on the June 8, 1976 ballot in Maine as an indirect initiated state statute, where it was approved.[1] The measure established a public preserve in the Bigelow Mountain area. It passed. It was the twelfth initiative to appear on the ballot in Maine subsequent to the time that initiative and referendum was approved as a process in Maine in 1908.[2]


The idea for the initiative was inspired by the news that the Flagstaff Corporation, a ski resort developer, was planning to purchase land around the Bigelow Mountain and develop a destination ski resort. The supporters of the initiative reasoned that if the government purchased the land and used it to establish a nature conservancy, the land would be permanently prohibited from development.[3]

Election results

Maine Bigelow Mountain Public Preserve Initiative (1976)
Approveda Yes 85,782 51.15%

Election results via: Maine State Law and Legislative Reference Library, Votes on Initiated Bills, 1910-

Text of measure

Bigelow Mountain

The language appeared on the ballot as:[1]

"Shall an Initiated Bill 'An Act to establish a Public Preserve in the Bigelow Mountain Area' become Law?" [4]

Path to the ballot

Supporters of the Bigelow Mountain Initiative discovered that by circulating petitions by polling places on election day, it was possible to obtain 25,000 or more signatures in one day--and the signatures would tend to include a much higher percentage of registered voters than with normal circulation techniques, since the petition circulators would know by who showed up to vote who was registered. The initiative coordinator for this effort was Lance Tapley.[5]

See also

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