Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request, the Maine park proposal as delivered to the Department of the Interior is below. Please note the letter from the Szelogs requesting that a feasibility study be done for the 3.2 million acre RESTORE proposal. We all know, and it is shown throughout the pages of this website, that the proposed park will be an anchor parcel for the 3.2 million acre park, which most of Maine has rejected for years.
By and large the response I get from most Mainers I talk to is “that park is never going to happen” and “it’s a ridiculous idea”. Read through the proposal. Proponents were closer that I would like to believe just a few short months ago to having this park become a reality. I think we have been very successful in putting at least some of the brakes on it. They have done their due diligence. The proposal reads just as the NPS would like it to.
However, we need your help. Ken Salazar and the Dept of the Interior needs to receive many more letters showing our disapproval of this park proposal.
I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do. [Edward Everett Hale]
You may be only one, but you are one. You can do something – do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. Make your voice heard – ask those that sell their land knowing the agenda if their greed is worth short selling the future of our great State There is a lot you can do as one – if we all do it, together we can stop that first domino from falling, together we can stop the Park. Please take a moment to write a letter to Ken Salazar at the Department of the Interior.
Here is the address;
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240
If you don’t want to write one yourself, simply copy and print this one, just add your name and address;
We are a group of citizens concerned about a proposed second National Park in Maine. Our understanding was that the issue had been dealt with in a vote to defeat by the Maine Legislature, and votes to reject by the towns of Millinocket and East Millinocket, who would be most directly affected by the proposed Park. We feel that the will of one person is being thrust against the will of the People of the State of Maine.
Our concern is that there are many unanswered questions about the proposed Park. The current ~70,000 acre proposal has been described many times as a “seed”, and there are many current references to a 3.2 million acre “goal” quoted in articles in the past year. A park of that size would devastate the economy of the region and was soundly rejected by the State, ten years ago, when the idea was initially put forth by “Restore: The North Maine Woods”. It is a real concern that, should the current proposed parcel be accepted, it will become larger over time. Should this happen, the economic impact will be enormous. The proposed ~70,000 acre parcel in and of itself would have a substantial economic impact on the area. The statistics of that impact are clear. Forest manufacturing jobs in Maine are responsible for 1.9 jobs per thousand acres according to “The Economic Importance and Wood Flows from Maine Forests” in 2007. Snowmobiling, ATV, and hunting are responsible for statewide income of $350 million, $200 million, and $240 million, respectively, annually, according to recent articles in “The Bangor Daily News”. All of these activities would be severely restricted or banned by a National Park. Furthermore, the region in question has historically and traditionally been suited for these exact types of consumptive uses.
The Katahdin Region has just recently been put in a position that will enable the revitalization of their economy. The Class 1/Class 2 Federal standards imposed with a National Park, such as the Clean Air Act & the Adverse Impact on Visibility policy, will effectively stymie the Katahdin Region by restricting its ability to diversify its own economy.
As the Millinocket town council has stated, there are no outstanding characteristics or unique attractions outside of Baxter State Park to justify the creation of a National Park. The jewel of the region, Mt. Katahdin, has already been effectively preserved. If the real intent of the offer is preservation, there are many viable alternatives to a National Park such as Public Reserve Land, Wilderness Area, or Land Trust to name a few. These options would be considerably less restrictive on the people of the area.
We have concerns about a financial donation made to a southern Maine senator, Cynthia Ann Dill, who is now presenting the issue to that region of the State and to people who a National Park in the North Maine woods would not directly affect. The controversy created during the acquisition of these properties has been substantial. Most notably the extortion of the snowmobile clubs in an effort to garner support for the proposed Park.
A reconnaissance or a feasibility study will only determine the value of the land as a park, and not examine the potentially devastating consequences for the region. We respectfully urge you to thwart all earnest efforts to push this through. The Maine tradition of public access to private land is without parallel in the nation and is something we should be proud of. We also pride ourselves on our independence, and believe we can achieve economic prosperity again given the fair opportunity.
While you’re at it – send it along to Maine’s elected officials – you can find their addresses here.
You are only one, but you are one.
Here is the proposal for the park;
(The first two pages are empty, scroll to the third page)