September 18, 2019

Instead of a Monument….

Instead of suggesting this nonsense, how about the rational idea that if a park located in the middle of nowhere, where there is nothing, or at least nothing more than can be seen or done just about any place else in Maine, is such a damned good idea, why hasn’t Free Enterprise/Capitalism jumped on the opportunity to do so?

It amazes me how people’s wee brains don’t work at all…seemingly. Most people distrust government and have very little good to say about their antics. And yet, call upon government to do everything for them, right down to wiping their rear ends. Hiding behind some need to protect more land, one has to wonder why. Enough is enough.

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Maine Rep. Poliquin’s Letter to Sec. Zinke Concerning Katahdin Woods and Waters

Maine Congressional representative Bruce Poliquin, upon request from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, has written a letter to express his thoughts and concerns going forward in an investigation into the designation as a National Monument continues.

Although repeated polls showed the majority of Mainers, specifically those in the immediate region of the Roxanne Quimby lands, opposed the National Monument (and Park) designation, I’m sure Quimby’s position on the Board of the National Park Service played a significant role in President Obama’s decision to make the appointment of a National Monument. It was first attempted by Quimby to convince the Federal Government to open a National Park. The opposition to such a move was quite significant and so Quimby sought then president Barack Obama to bypass the usual processes and so Obama, with the stroke of a pen, designated the newly formed Katahdin Woods and Waters.

President Trump has since, via Executive Power, ordered an investigation into many land designations, including Katahdin Woods and Waters, to see if anything can be done to remove the designation and if not what might be done to ensure what will be in the best interest of the Maine people.

Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke, inquired of Rep. Bruck Poliquin, for information about the land and the process of its designation. Poliquin’s letter back to Zinke (included below) presents much of the same arguments used against the designation leading up to Obama’s executive action. However, different from previous thoughts on the issue, Poliquin is asking Sec. Zinke, that should Maine remain stuck with the National Monument, to somehow let Maine be in charge and control over the monument and not necessarily the Federal Government. I’m not sure how that would work, but it is an interesting thought – one I’m doubtful of and probably could not support without knowing more specifics.

[pdf-embedder url=”http://tomremington.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Rep-Poliquin-Letter-to-Sec-Zinke-Katahdin-Woods-and-Waters-1.pdf” title=”Rep Poliquin Letter to Sec Zinke – Katahdin Woods and Waters (1)”]

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Did Quimby Send “FAKE” Letter to Sec. Zinke About KW&W Support?

“In the midst of review, Quimby and other monument proponents have boosted their efforts to retain the designation, including the drafting of a fake letter sent to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke on May 3 that found its way into the hands of the Bangor Daily News (BDN), who did little homework before printing their partisan report.

On May 10, the BDN published an article titled “Former critics sign letter asking to preserve Maine monument.” There’s just one problem – nobody actually signed the letter.”<<<Read More>>>

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The Views Are Incredible At Katahdin Woods and Waters

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LePage Testimony: Monument Designation “Blatant(ly) Disregard” For Opposition

*Editor’s Note* – Below is a press release from the House Committee on Energy and Natural Resources involving testimony toward considerations to amend the process of a president’s executive authority to designate lands as National Monuments. This PR is followed by Maine’s Governor, Paul LePage’s, testimony before the Committee and that of Lucas St. Clair, a representative of Elliotsville Plantation, donors of the land designated by President Obama as a new National Monument – Katahdin Woods and Waters.

Panel Outlines Devastating Social and Economic Consequences of Antiquities Designations
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 2, 2017

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Subcommittee on Federal Lands heard testimony on the consequences of Executive Branch overreach of the Antiquities Act. The panel discussed national monuments designated without significant local input or support or that included excessively large or restricted areas of land.

Director of the Utah Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office and former head of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management Kathleen Clarke discussed the devastating economic consequences for Utah communities after President Clinton designated 1.7 million acres in Utah as the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in 1996.

Families that have lived for generations in affected communities find their families torn apart due to lack of employment opportunities for the next generation. Populations are declining. In the twenty years since the creation of the Grand Staircase, school enrollment in Escalante has gone from 150 to 57 students,” Clarke said.

The monument included roughly 176,000 acres of Utah School and Institutional Trust Land Administration (SITLA) lands, which generate revenues for the state’s K-12 public education system. According to the Utah Geological Survey, the value of resources on school trust lands dropped by $8 billion immediately after the monument designation.

President Obama’s December 2016 Bears Ears National Monument designation similarly locked up 109,000 acres of SITLA land in southern Utah. “What impact will this have for SITLA as they try to grow their fund to benefit more schoolchildren in the state,” Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) asked Clarke.

This will “diminish opportunity,” Clarke responded, adding that it threatens Utah’s entire K-12 public education system.

Knox Marshall, Vice President of the Resources Division at Murphy Company, testified that President Obama’s January 2017 expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southwestern Oregon and California has “devastated the social fabric of our rural communities and crippled county finances.

Douglas County in Oregon, for example, has recently closed its entire public library system because timber sale revenues that previously funded those libraries and a robust set of other public services have largely disappeared,” Marshall added.

Maine Governor Paul LePage outlined current and anticipated adverse impacts resulting from the August 2016 Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument designation by President Obama, including economic losses to the forestry industry and public access barriers such as the loss of connectivity for ATV trails in the region.

Not long after President Obama designated the Monument, Maine residents started to feel the negative effects of having the federal government as their new master,” LePage stated. 

These designations were often imposed in spite of local opposition, without consultation with Congress, or the state or local government’s effected, and without regard for the economic damage these designations have had on surrounding communities,” Subcommittee Chairman Tom McClintock (R-CA) said.

After reading letters and resolutions from local tribes in Utah opposing the Bears Ears designation Chairman Bishop stated, “I hope that those listening today will remember these voices, the ones that have been excluded from this conversation and the ones that President Obama ignored when he designated Bears Ears National Monument.”

Click here to view full witness testimony.

[pdf-embedder url=”http://tomremington.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/testimony_lepage.pdf”]

[pdf-embedder url=”http://tomremington.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/testimony_stclair.pdf”]

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Katahdin Pie in the Sky

Daring to dream is often met head on with reality. Reality sometimes sucks and sometimes it’s much better than the dream. Once again we are faced with one’s perspective on what is desirable and what is prosperity.

I read Charles Lawton’s piece, “Approach Taken by Our Katahdin may Show the Way to Prosperity.” The foundation of the article seemed to be that both the tourism industry as well as the wood products industry can be “prosperous” in the Katahdin region – both at the same time.

I have to ask. What is prosperity and relative to what?

Let’s be real for a moment…if there really is such a thing. There is one thing and one thing only that keeps me going back to the Katahdin Region once every 20 years – there’s nobody there and the fishing can be pretty good. To prepare, I buy up an ample supply of bug dope. Aside from the “wilderness” about all there is is a glimpse at Mt. Katahdin and that can be done from Interstate 95. And, if you are one of the handful of people (by comparison) who would like to hike up the mountain, that can take a day.

The glamour (that would be one large sector of the public that see glamour in going some place where all the people that drove them there aren’t) of the area is what you see is what you get. I was taught by one of my ski coaches many years ago that you can’t make a good salad if all you have is lettuce.

So, can you live and run a business in the Katahdin region and be prosperous? Nobody’s figured that out so far. But then again what means prosperous? It appears that there’s a war of worlds, partly driven by the notion that millions of people crammed into the Katahdin Region would spell prosperity, YUK! And those that like the region because nobody is there. How much is good and how much is enough? What will spoil it? There’s already plenty of places to go where there’s too many people.

I was born and raised in Maine. I enjoyed the lifestyle…that is the outdoors, recreation, hunting, fishing, hiking, etc. It sucked being poor all the time, trying to be creative to come up with ways to pay the bills. Maine has a history of not producing year round jobs with benefits, especially when you choose to live in those areas that you share with the wood products industry and pretend you are a tourist destination. Large land owners and logging operations keep the “people from away” away. Isn’t that the attraction?

According to this article, this organization called Our Katahdin is planning for a future when there will be a “strip” running from Interstate 95, 15 miles to the entrance to Baxter State Park. This development will all happen as logging trucks, like bees to a hive, tool down the highway creating a cloud of dust – coexistence.

Evidently, this developing prosperity is going to be because Maine, and the Nation, now has a a piece of that land, of which the only appeal is gawking at trees and hoping to catch a glimpse of a mountain that is about as remarkable as the couple of books written about it, more often than not filled with tales of being lost.

I do recall that when I first began writing about hunting, fishing and other outdoor events, I was just coming out of spending many years in the tourism-related industry of hotel and motel management in Maine, along with owning my own bed and breakfast. After all, doesn’t every one think they can “retire” (prosperous) by opening up a bed and breakfast? Probably they dream about that as thoroughly as someone who actually believes they are going to “prosper” by the coexistence of logging and tourism in the same town – a town so removed it is why logging works and tourism doesn’t. Or, should I say logging used to work. I’ll spare the politics of why it’s a bit in trouble.

In the writing endeavor I quickly learned that there existed basically two kinds of outdoor sportsmen – those that thought Maine should spend gobs of money to advertise how great the hunting and fishing were, and those that thought it a better idea if things remained just as they are. Why spoil it? The war is real.

If you are in the tourism-related business, hauling them in by the bus loads seems a wonderful idea. Then what?

I remember stirring the ire of a lady one evening at a town meeting sponsored by the State of Maine gathering people’s thoughts on whether the state should undertake widening the Maine Turnpike. For those not familiar with Maine, it’s the only major highway entrance to the state from the south (Canada to the north and east). Most Mainers didn’t want more of “those from away” coming to their state. Those that didn’t grow up and live here, wanted it widened and even more major highways built saying that “where I come from we had….” I spoke up and asked if they were drawn to come live in the state for what it was, why is it that you now want to make it just like where you couldn’t wait to get the hell out of?

The way I see it, and I admit I’m as weird as weird can get, if the Katahdin Region has something there to attract more people, it would have already happened and maybe logging and tourism would live happily ever after.

In 20 years, I may eat my words, but the chances of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument attracting enough people to the region that “prosperity” sets in from tourism, are about as good as Mt. Desert Island tipping over due to too many people.

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Katahdin Woods and Waters Dog and Pony Show

*Editor’s Note* – If the new Obama/Quimby national monument, Katahdin Woods and Waters, is so damned “beautiful” that the world would want to come and see, the media and promotional information about the monument can only come up with two pictures to show off – the Penobscot River (in fall foliage) and Mt. Katahdin (which isn’t in the park).

Maine is headed into black fly season, perhaps this new “tool kit” written about in the below linked article will suggest close-up photographs of mosquitoes and black flies, as they will most certainly be the featured distraction for a great part of the duration of when people might think about coming to the monument to see…..er, to experience….er, uh, to be part of….um. Well maybe they will just consider a ride through the park, gazing at stands of dense spruce and fir trees, except in places where they have cut the trees down to see outside the park.

Also, the article attempts to compare a recent “monument” in New Mexico in hopes of convincing people the park will be popular despite its so-called “controversies.” What that means is the majority of the people didn’t want the monument but fascist power forced us to have it anyway. Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks officials say visitors to the park has risen 102% since the monument was created. Swell, but someone help me with the math. 0 visitors before monument designation, times 102%, equals? But maybe you don’t quite understand.

And remember, all the two-faced Environmentalists who wanted so much to “protect” this piece of land, good mostly just for its timber, are eager to bring the entire world to the park…after they get done cutting down trees, building roads, building visitor centers and bathrooms, picnic grounds, etc. Yessiree, that’s some protection.

In addition, how are these mentally unstable Environmentalists going to handle any Trump Administration laws that will provide that this monument remain open for such things as hunting and snowmobiling, etc?

“Rather, Hamblen says new opportunities are likely to open up. However, the task of developing a new regional economy is not a small one. One piece of the puzzle that’s perhaps been missing from other designations, says Hamblen, is a plan to guide local businesses to help them get the most out of the new monument.”<<<Read More>>>

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The Two Faces of Environmentalism

A man who is a member of the National Parks Conservation Association, wrote: “The northern Maine of my childhood was a perfect wilderness. In the car, as we drove north, houses and businesses would disappear from the sides of the highway, and the woods would close in. They were dense and dark and appeared entirely wild. I imagined, as a child, that no human had ever before dared to set foot in them. No one but us, of course.”

And this: “As it turns out, from the summit of Mount Katahdin I was looking out over what would become Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. The area appeared then as it does now, and as it has for thousands of years: It’s a rolling green sea of pine trees, broken only by granite peaks and shimmering lakes. It looked the same to Henry David Thoreau, who described finding “a primitive forest, more interesting” than any other for “a thousand miles westward.” It looked the same to a young Theodore Roosevelt, who took his experiences in the Maine woods and turned them into a life dedicated to conservation.”

Along with: “Having left Maine….There is simply nothing like the woods of Maine left in the eastern United States….Miles of forest floor covered in a thick bed of pine needles. Stands of fir so dense you need to turn around and use your back to push through.”

And finally this little tidbit: “My grandfather taught me years ago that Maine’s environment doesn’t stay wild on its own; rather, it requires ceaseless effort from those who are dedicated to protecting the land.”

These quotes were authored by a man, who not only supported the National Monument, Katahdin Woods and Waters, but claims to have been an active participant in getting the job done.

What puzzles me, and which is part of the nonsensical, two-faced hypocrisy of Environmentalism, is how can any person, with a straight face write such wonderful words to describe his memories of what Maine meant to him and his family, and then turn around and actively participate in creating a park, hoping to bring in hundreds of thousands of people, cutting trees, building roads and other infrastructure?

I think there is one small part of what this author writes that might go unnoticed. In the beginning the author describes how, while driving further and further north, the woods grew ever more wild and dense, imagining that no human had ever stepped foot into these forests, or ever would – No one but us, of course.”

And isn’t that the real face of Environmentalism?

The wonders of “conserving” wild lands and forests!

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Fishers Sue to Get Rid of Obama’s New England Ocean Monument

*Editor’s Note* – For those who believe government owned and control property guarantees access.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A coalition of commercial fishing groups filed a lawsuit on Tuesday to challenge the creation of a national monument off the coast of New England.

President Barack Obama created the monument in September using executive authority under the Antiquities Act. The monument is called the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, and it is made up of nearly 5,000 square miles of underwater canyons and mountains.

The creation of the monument closed the area to most commercial fishing and has been opposed by fishing groups for months. A coalition of the groups filed their lawsuit Tuesday in federal court.<<<Read More>>>

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Katahdin national monument now has its own support group

And just like alcoholics need support groups, so too do dysfunctional totalitarians need support groups.

“Eventually, the nonprofit organization will provide financial support for specific projects in the monument and surrounding communities, raise private funds to supplement — not replace — federal appropriations, protect the integrity of the monument and its resources, and speak for users in the betterment of monument operations,”<<<Read More>>>

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