Dream Hangs in the Balance as Ocean Wood Auction Results Upheld

GOULDSBORO — After losing a round in a federal appeals court March 20, Jim Brunton says his dream of creating a model for rainforest preservation and a self-sustaining economy for a Panamanian tribe now hangs in the balance.

The 1st Circuit U.S. Bankruptcy Appellate Panel in Boston refused to postpone the results of a March 3 foreclosure auction of J.A. Brunton Inc.’s Ocean Wood Campground property in the village of Birch Harbor.

In that auction the two-acre lobster pound property with several buildings was purchased by Dana Rice of Birch Harbor for $345,000.

There were no bidders on the larger portion of the property. Schoodic Point LLC, of which Nicholas Bayley of Auburn is the principal, held a $7.3-million note on the property and set the minimum bid at $5.5 million.

J.A. Brunton Inc., filed an 11th-hour bid in U.S. Bankruptcy Court the night before the auction, but the court refused to block the auction.

Brunton, owner of JAB Enterprises, a computer software company in Westport, Conn., said Ocean Wood is the only asset of the Pajaro Jai Foundation, whose goal it is to protect the Darien Rainforest in Panama by partnering with the indigenous Chocoe Indians.

Brunton said the loss of Ocean Wood would be catastrophic for the foundation, would put the campground’s environment at risk and would drain dollars from the local economy if the campground ceased to operate.

John McVeigh, a Portland attorney representing Schoodic Point LLC, said the court found that J.S. Brunton Inc. lost all its interests in the property once the foreclosure auction was held.

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Nicole Ouellette

Nicole Ouellette

When Nicole isn't giving advice she's completely unqualified to give, she runs an Internet marketing company in Bar Harbor, where she lives with her husband Derrick and their short dog Gidget. She loves young adult novels, cooking and talking French to anyone who'll talk back. [email protected]