A National Park in the North Maine Woods is Possible…Good Idea?
Roxanne Quimby of Burt's Bees fame, owns a lot of land in northern Maine. Her group has offered to donate 150,000 acres of the land on the east side of Baxter State Park with the stipulation that it be turned into a NATIONAL park (like Acadia, Maine's only national park).
With both mills in Millinocket and East Millinocket now closed, the area needs something that will turn the economy around and this seems like a pretty good option, but it's not without opposition.
Wally Paul of Millinocket asks, "“Why does this have to be a national Park? Why couldn’t it be donated to Baxter Park with a proven record of all of managing Wilderness?”
Bottom line is, the landowner can do whatever she wants with the land and, if a national park is the only way it's gonna fly, there may not be other options.
All of those who want to see a national park, and the numbers are growing, agree it's going to have to fit in with the local fishing, hunting, recreational heritage. Currently, the land is open for all of those activities. The added value of it being listed on a national park directory might be just what it takes to bring loads of people into the Maine woods.
That, by the way, is another issue I've heard among Mainers. Why do we want to bring tons of people from away into our forests. Well, if these folks were trying to survive in Millinocket or Medway or any of those areas right now, they may be singing a different tune.
Time will tell what happens but, one thing's for sure, something has to happen and this may be a good option to grab because who knows how long it'll be on the table?
Check out a nice report WABI TV just did on this issue and then take the poll.