September 22, 2019

North Woods national park debate centers on distrust of government, jobs

*Editor’s Note* – Those that are familiar with my writings know that I support private land ownership and promote that a landowner should be able to do what they wish with their land. I’ve also said that if Ms. Quimby believes a park, on her land in northern Maine, would be such a grand idea, perhaps she should employ some of her own capitalism genius and open her own private park on her own private land. But, because she proposes a national park, which would involve taxpayer money, along with more co-existence with a fascist government, she leaves her proposal open to public debate and scrutiny.

According to the 2013 Operating Report of Baxter State Park, 117,481 visitors came to the park that year – or about 322 people per day. The headline above, taken from the article linked to below, may be what some are focusing the debate about, but it may be just a distraction. The reality is the talk of jobs and a bolster to the region’s economy is a moot point if nobody is going to come.

According to the National Park Service, 2,563,129 people visited Acadia Park in 2014. Some seriously believe a National Park in the middle of nowhere, that doesn’t come close to comparing with Acardia, with nothing more to see and do than Baxter State Park, will at least share some of those visitors to Acadia, or even come close to the same number of visitors.

Unless Ms. Quimby intends on building a modern theme park, which is nothing the National Park Service has really ventured into, I fail to see why more people would be expected to visit a piece of land adjacent to Baxter State Park when there is Baxter State Park, which is not, by park attraction standards, overrun with visitors.

The article, linked to below, describes for readers what the author thinks the proposed park would look like: a rough road, a “stunning” view of Mt. Katahdin, hiking trails, nearby camping and boat launches. He just described Anywhere, Maine, except the “Anywhere” is in the middle of nowhere.

The author can do no better that to offer up a couple of pictures of the region – a picture of water flowing over rocks (found in a million places in Maine) and a second picture showing the destruction by beavers on the forest.

If you build it, they won’t come. They don’t come to Katahdin and I’ve seen no proposed plans that would make this new park anymore attractive than Baxter.

And there is another aspect few discuss. As was told to me by a friend, a guide he knows from Northern Maine reminded him that, once folks find out that we have black flies, mosquitoes and deer flies they find better uses for their time and money.

The National Park Service cannot properly take care of the nearly 400 parks included in the system. Of the 280,000,000 million visitors to national parks annually, the average becomes around 700,000 visitors per year. I have serious doubts that any new park proposal adjacent to Baxter State Park will come close to that number, thus rendering any national park just another burden on Park System and ultimately the taxpayer.

With all of this in mind, has anybody considered that with all the talk we hear from lawmakers in Washington each year about selling off federal lands, are there ever any guarantees that the Federal Government, i.e. the National Park Service, along with its active participation with the United Nations in finding land globally to lock up and keep people out of, won’t sell this land to the Chinese or do with it something worse, should they discover this park a huge liability?

The ten least visited national parks, ranging in visitors from under 12,000 annually to 175,000 annually, have far more to offer than a view of a mountain, water tumbling over some rocks and trees that beaver have destroyed.

The bottom line is there is NOTHING within this park proposal that even remotely rises to the level of national park consideration.

Let it go. One would think that with the persistence in the effort, there must be some politics behind it and not just some generosity of a philanthropist.

I don’t even think the area would make a good location to raise bees.

A rough loop road includes a stunning view of Mount Katahdin, the state’s highest peak, and hiking trails lead to several nearby summits. Existing camping areas were used this summer by artists, Boy Scouts, summer camps, educational programs and Colby College. Several boat launches provide access to the East Branch of the Penobscot River, which Thoreau rode on a flat-bottomed bateau on his final visit here in 1857.

Soaring eagles, lumbering moose and bounding snowshoe hares are common sights. Other wildlife includes bears, fisher cats and federally protected Canada lynx.

Source: North Woods national park debate centers on distrust of government, jobs | Sun Journal

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