Maine Park Misconceptions


Recently someone posted our “sign petition” link onto a New England hunting  forum bulletin board.  A couple of the responses there were rather shocking, one of which was – why should we be concerned about this, hunting is allowed in National Parks.

So, just to clear up some obvious misconceptions, here is what the NPS has to say about that, taken directly from their website -

“Most  National Parks do not allow consumptive use of the resources, such as hunting, trapping, timber harvesting, and mineral extraction.”

What about a National Monument? – we have been hearing that word lately from park proponents – again, directly from the NPS -

“Monuments are essentially under the same guidelines as a Park.”

Perhaps there is some confusion surrounding Park nomenclature – there is a link here to the NPS website that explains their names and what they mean.

That is not to say there are occasional exceptions to the rule – the permitting process for which would be akin to visiting your local DMV office.

Think of it this way – To casually wave off concerns of freedoms within a National Park would be analagous to saying the following;  we’re going to take a city just like what is on Manhattan Island and plop it in the middle of the North Maine Woods – we think it would be great for business and the economy of the region…..and the resulting uproar being dismissed with – yeah, but I’ll still be able to camp there.  Maybe you “could” – but the experience would never be the same.

The same for snowmobiling – remember, Park proponents may say all kinds of things that may be ‘allowed’ – but once the land is handed over, all of that goes out the window, and it’s the NPS’s word from then on.  Sure, you can answers “yes” to the statement that snowmobiling is allowed in some Parks – would it be the same as it is now on the ITS trails? Absolutely not.  Both in Acadia and Yellowstone (which seems to be the most cited Park for sleds) it is restricted to tarred roads within the Park – that’s the precedent.  As far as snowmobiling goes – preservationists have been suing for years with varying degrees of success to have snowmobiling stopped in Yellowstone.  There are so many rules and regulations it boggles the mind – is that what you want for Maine?  I don’t, and I don’t even own a snowmobile – but I respect the rights of others to recreate as they see fit – and someday I may want to get a sled and ride the trails of Millinocket.  See the link here and do a search for yourself on the lawsuits to keep sleds out of Yellowstone.  They will keep at it and at it until one of these days, they’ll win.

Just because you can answer “yes” to a question does not mean the experience will be the same, or even close to what we have now.  The area of the proposed Park is historically a consumptive use area.  In Park Planning 101 the first thing they teach you is you don’t change the traditional use of an area to create a Park.  A National Parks rules will effectively stop the historic activity of the region, which is why Roxanne herself has said it could take many many years to attract visitors to the Park…because the historic use of the area would be changing – is that what you want for Maine?  Think carefully about your answer.





2 Responses to Maine Park Misconceptions

  1. Chris says:

    In Many parks there is also no fishing allowed, or it is regulated to the point it is not worth it to go. For the past 50 years of my life I have recreated in these North Maine Woods. Snowmobiling, 4 wheeling, hunting, fishing, hiking, No fees, no regulations, full access. A National Park would take that all away!! Fees and regulations and lack of access, or no access in some cases. No motorized vehicles would exclude my Handicapped friends too. A National Park would change Maine traditions completely. Limit access, deny traditional uses of the land, and if you do some research a lot more. It is no secret that the 70,000 acre donation is a seed for a 3.2 million acre park. Some groups even are touting a 16 million acre park. A wolf in sheeps clothing folks. We cannot let this happen under any circumstances. The firs step is a reconaisance study, followed by a feasibility study and then a park appears. Sign the petition!!! Vote against this every time!! Be active in saving our Maine Traditions in the North Maine Woods!!


  2. Paul Del Gaudio says:

    I’m fairly new to the state of Maine and the North Woods. It was only four years ago when I was invited by a friend to drive up and try my hand at grouse hunting. On our 11hr. trip from long island he tried explaining what it’s like up there in the north woods but said that I would have to experience it myself to really know how incredible it really is. Well let me just say the area and the north woods are everything he said they were and much more. To imagine that the area could someday change and those changes would restrict peoples ability to enjoy the freedom that the area now offers is unthinkable. This is from someone who only gets away 6 days out of the yr. to escape to the beauty known as the Maine North Woods. For people who live and work in the beautiful state of Maine know that you aren’t alone in your fight to preserve this great area. We all must do whatever we can to stop this attempt to change what is now one of the last true wilderness areas on the east coast……I think you’d like this excerpt from comments of Wallace Stegner, born in Iowa in1909, and a novelist from the American West: ” … We need wilderness preserved — as much of it as is still left, and as many kinds — because it was the challenge against which our character as a people was formed … We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in. For it can be a means of reassuring ourselves of our sanity as creatures, a part of the geography of hope.”….. In my opinion an excerpt that should be written in stone.

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