December 17, 2017

SAM Resolution Opposing National Park

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From the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine’s Facebook page:

The SAM Board of Directors has passed this Resolution in opposition to a new National Park as proposed by Roxanne Quimby adjacent to Baxter State Park. Feel free to share it. It will also appear in the next SAM News.

RESOLUTION OF THE SPORTSMAN’S ALLIANCE OF MAINE REGARDING A PROPOSED NATIONAL PARK AND RECREATIONAL AREA IN NORTHERN MAINE

WE, The 10,000 members of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, assembled for the purpose of advocating for conservation of our natural resources and for the defense of our sporting heritage believe that the proposed National Park and Recreational Area plan is flawed in that it excludes a range of vital economic, cultural and traditional recreational uses such as hunting, trapping and snowmobiling; in addition; Maine’s public access and forestry policies have historically ensured a productive industrial forest which over many generations has provided high paying jobs for Maine citizens and contributed to Maine’s tax base while providing a rich range of recreational opportunities which are not allowed under National Park Service policies.

Further, the proposed park is not a Maine idea but quite the opposite. It threatens established land management practices, robust forestry-related economic activity, and the varied traditional recreational uses which Maine citizens hold dear. Additionally, the so-called “Recreational Area” proposal rests in very large part on the future acquisition (by unspecified means) of tens of thousands of acres to which the park’s proponents have neither rights nor title. And,

WHEREAS, the forests of Maine provide thousands of proud Mainers with good jobs and sporting opportunities to recreate; and

WHEREAS, the creation of a National Park would prohibit economic activity such as logging, operation of sporting camps, and retail activities to support the businesses there; and

WHEREAS, management of Maine’s historic fisheries would be thrown into question, possibly stifling opportunities to seek native brook trout and landlocked salmon; and

WHEREAS, sustainable forest practices enhance wildlife habitat and prevent fire danger; and

WHEREAS, hunting, trapping, snowmobiling, and other traditional outdoor activities would be severely limited or banned in a National Park, obliterating hundreds of years of traditional access; and

WHEREAS, the so-called Recreational Area is mostly owned by private landowners and proponents of the Park and Recreation would have to acquire the property and that acquisition is in question, and

WHEREAS, hunting, fishing, and snowmobiling are worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Maine’s rural economy every year, and would be negatively affected; and

WHEREAS, “eco-tourism” around a National Park can be defined as seasonal tee-shirt shops, water slides, and miniature golf courses as found in the approaches to Acadia National Park in areas that were once abundant farmland; and

WHEREAS, our sporting tradition and heritage is what makes Maine truly a special place and world-class destination that would be impossible to maintain in or around a National Park; and

WHEREAS, the discussion of a National Park creates divisions within our communities when we should be working together, therefore The Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, as the state’s largest conservation organization, resolve that:

1. We stand in strong opposition to the creation of a National Park and Recreational Area and further, and,

2. We stand in firm defense of our sporting heritage, in order to bestow and endow future generations with the same blessings that have been bestowed to us.

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