September 23, 2020

Baxtergate Committee Decides on Compromise

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At the end of the final day of discussions pertaining to the complicated and highlly controversial Baxter land swap debacle, lawmakers voted 8-4 to support a compromise – although somewhat tentatively. The compromise will split the 6,015 acres into two parcels – a northern and southern piece. The northern spread, which is half the size of the southern parcel, will be left open to hunting, trapping and all other general recreational activities. The southern “no fly zone” will be closed to pretty much everything except foot traffic.

Although the compromise was reached, there are still many unanswered or rather unresolved problems. One major issue is who will manage the northern zone. It has become very clear to me that the Baxter Park Authority has zero interest in doing anything to support any efforts when it comes to hunting and other recreational activities they don’t like. This is unfortunate for everyone and readers need to understand that although Baxter land swap proponents want to pin the blame for any failure of this proposal on hunters and snowmobilers, they are just as responsible for derailing any plans for Baxter expansion.

Another issue involves the grooming of snowmobile trails around the perimeter of the park and the northern zone. The Park Authority, who say they have no intention of managing that parcel, say that if the Legislature tries to force them to manage it, they will not allow any grooming of trails.

Next week the debate will move to the full House and it is doubtful that a 2/3 majority can be achieved to approve this deal.

I agree with Rep. Roger Sherman (R) Hodgdon, when he said that it’s a “skirmish in the greater war over who controls the 8 million or 9 million acres across northern Maine.” I think he is right on the money, that those pushing this purchase of the Katahdin Lake parcel to preserve it as a sanctuary, is only one small step in controlling all the forest lands in northern Maine. Residents need to pay attention. It appears their agenda is to control it and close it off to the rest of us.

The only person who seemed to remain optimistic that the deal would survive was Department of Conservation director Patrick McGowan.

88 x 31 Hunting Clothing

*Previous Posts on Baxtergate*

Baxtergate Ovens Get Cranking

The Shortsightedness of Maine’s Leaders

Two Opposing Sides Speak Out on Baxtergate

Clearing Up Two Misconceptions About Baxtergate

Putting Maine’s Wilderness In Perspective or Fighting Fire With Fire

Baxtergate Debate Continues

Millinocket Continues Its Battle

Adding a Personal Touch to Baxtergate

Many Small Percentages = One Big Percentage

More on Baxtergate

Katahdin Lake to be Added to Baxter State Park

Land Swap Proposal to Increase Baxter State Park

Not Everyone Happy About Baxter Land Swap

Millinocket Wants To Be Heard In Regards To Baxter Land Swap

Monday Morning Podcast (audio podcast about the Baxter Land Swap)

Why The Baxter Land Swap Shouldn’t Happen

Maine’s Governmental Leaders Have Messed Up – The Saga of Baxtergate

More Information on Baxtergate

Baxter and the Anti-Hunting Crowd

Tom Remington

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