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Speaking My Mind: Should Maine's North Woods be preserved as a national park?

Speaking My Mind: Should Maine’s North Woods be preserved as a national park?
1 vote, 1.00 avg. rating (49% score)
by in Mar 2008

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Read the story of Roxanne Quimby and her plans for Maine’s North Woods.

Please Note: This article was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

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22 Responses to Speaking My Mind: Should Maine’s North Woods be preserved as a national park?

  1. bruce lunham February 22, 2008 at 8:42 am #

    It would be wonderful if that should happen. It should not be a missed oportunity. What would happen to the timber industry though? Can they work in tandem with the NPS?

  2. Ken Spalding February 26, 2008 at 3:54 pm #

    Maine’s North Woods is the largest undeveloped block of forest in the Eastern U.S. With it’s mix of mountains, rivers and lakes and its importance for both recreation and wildlife, it is an area of national significance and worthy of having a national park.

    The proposal is for a 3.2 million acre Maine Woods National Park & Preserve. Maine has over 10 million acres, roughly half the state, that has no local government and generally this is the area considered to be Maine’s North Woods.

    About the impact on the timber industry… Maine has 17.5 million acres (including most of the 10 million acres of unorganized territory) that is forested and available for commercial timber harvesting. So although a large area, the 3.2 million acres would only be a portion of Maine’s forest. Additionally, the proposal calls for the land to be purchased only from willing sellers, so as long as the landowners can continue to make a profit by managing for timber, they can do that.

    A problem is that managing for logging is becoming more difficult as the global economy is shifting manufacturing of paper and other wood products overseas. Paper companies no longer own the land in Maine. Much of the forest is owned by inverstor groups that want to make a profit from the land in any way possible. This is leading to development proposals such as that by Plum Creek, the largest landowner in the country and owner of nearly 1 million acres in Maine. They have applied to rezone a portion of land around the spectacular Moosehead Lake, including 20,000 acres of development for second home lots, resorts and commercial businesses. It is the largest real estate development proposal in Maine history, and it is in a part of the area proposed for a national park.

  3. Jeanne Bakhuizen February 28, 2008 at 11:28 am #

    Please leave as is. Every place we go now, is so packed full of people and cars, no one can really relqx and enjoy nature.

  4. Marina Oliva March 1, 2008 at 5:45 pm #

    The acreage should definitely become a National Park! How lucky you all are in Maine to have someone who wants to “preserve” nature. Especially, with the greed that is so rampant in our country today: trophy homes, strip centers, lots vs acreage for homes, etc.

  5. Roger Demers March 2, 2008 at 1:42 pm #

    Is this article available on the Internet????

  6. Patty Adams March 3, 2008 at 9:02 am #

    Can I read this article on your web site?

  7. Barbara Hall March 3, 2008 at 1:56 pm #

    We begin posting the contents of the March/April issue after the date that Yankee magazine is available at the newsstand. That day is Tuesday, so the new content will begin to appear online later this week. — Barbara Hall, web editor

  8. Terry Wild March 4, 2008 at 11:53 am #

    As a small primitive camp owner since 1986 at the old Camp Allagash on Moosehead Lake, I would give anything to have Mrs. Quimby (God bless her), take on Plum Creek and preserve as much around the lake and include it in a National Park- even if it means swapping some sections. It would be wonderful for her to start thinking west of Baxter.

  9. chris goodale March 5, 2008 at 9:09 am #

    It seems to me that the good people of Maine were duped into a sense of entitlement by the Scott Paper Co. for years, while the woods were decimated right before their eyes. Now that ownership has changed, these people want to keep their “entitlement”? As for Roxanne Quimby, I say, “You go, girl!” The woods are too precious to be given over to development.

  10. Jack Schwarz March 5, 2008 at 2:53 pm #

    The story reminds me of a movie I just viewed on the Halmark channel ( Out Of The Woods ) starring Ed Asner….. a same type story……..and that Mrs Quimby has such a great rags to riches story of her life I am awed and I support her wishes I hope she gets her wishes

  11. marjorie hoey March 6, 2008 at 10:10 am #

    We should all get behind this initiative and do whatever we can to make this National Park happen, It would be a tremendous gift to all of us.

  12. Gregory Rein March 7, 2008 at 9:01 am #

    I’ve been camping, hunting, hiking,and canoe camping in the North Maine Woods for almost 40 years. During that time I’ve seen the standard of living decrease for the people living in that region. I realize they are hurting but the tax breaks these lumber companies have received over the years have affected every taxpayer living in Maine, not just them. Being born in Maine and lived here most of my life I resent lumber companies who are owned by overseas investors being allowed to cut and run. The tax that they will be required to pay if they are allowed to develop is pennies on the dollar. When it comes to answers to the financial woes of the people living in that area the answers should be longterm ones that won’t penalize taxpayers in every other area of the state. A National Park in this area would allow land use in this irreplaceable area while protecting it from the oncoming land grab. Mrs, Quimby and organizations like RESTORE are fighting an uphill battle in the same hard economic times as the lumber companies and people of the North country are. As an avid outdoor enthusiast and taxpayer I wish well for both The National Park and the stopping of development by Plum Creek. Deadline for public comments to the LURC pertaining the Plum Creek decision is March 14,2008. If you love the outdoors like I do please e-mail the LURC and tell them you don’t want this area lost forever. RESTORE, I’m sure has contact information on it’s web site.

  13. Lauren Schlakman March 7, 2008 at 4:39 pm #

    The story of Roxanne Quimby and her desire to preserve the pristine landscape of Northern Maine from developers such as Plum Creek is both heroic and painful. The pattern of investors destroying unique habitats for profit is all too familiar?it angers me and it breaks my heart. After living in northern Florida for thirty years, I have witnessed and experienced the destruction of countless habitats leading to the displacement of flora and fauna due to needless developments of resort condominiums, second home lots, and commercial businesses. Sadly, those that destroy the land for profit and immediate gratification are often not the ones that are impacted by the change. Once the land is ruined by development, it is almost impossible, if ever, to be restored to its original condition.

    I hope Ms. Quimby, and others like her, are able to save Maine?s North Woods and create a national park that will secure protection for wildlife to inhabit and offer a refuge for humans from their manufactured environments.

  14. Lauren Schlakman March 7, 2008 at 4:39 pm #

    The story of Roxanne Quimby and her desire to preserve the pristine landscape of Northern Maine from developers such as Plum Creek is both heroic and painful. The pattern of investors destroying unique habitats for profit is all too familiar?it angers me and it breaks my heart. After living in northern Florida for thirty years, I have witnessed and experienced the destruction of countless habitats leading to the displacement of flora and fauna due to needless developments of resort condominiums, second home lots, and commercial businesses. Sadly, those that destroy the land for profit and immediate gratification are often not the ones that are impacted by the change. Once the land is ruined by development, it is almost impossible, if ever, to be restored to its original condition.

    I hope Ms. Quimby, and others like her, are able to save Maine?s North Woods and create a national park that will secure protection for wildlife to inhabit and offer a refuge for humans from their manufactured environments.

  15. gwen price March 9, 2008 at 10:08 am #

    For many years we have camped at Lily Bay State Park on beautiful Moosehead Lake before children and after children. Many times we went to Lazy Tom Bog to see moose, traveled to Kokadjo, drove the Golden Road and traveled up to Northeast Cary. Maine is, as the sign reads, a way of life!!!!!! These trips created memories my boys will never forget.
    I applaude Roxanne and RESTORE for the tireless work they are doing. Keep the Plum Creek developers out of Maine and preserve the North Woods. Roxanne has my respect for being a self made successful business woman.
    I had the luxury of spending a week last September driving up Route 1 and going to Acadia National Park. What a beautiful gift Maine is to us all.
    I say again that I applaude Roxanne for wanting to donate this land for a national park and keep Maine the way it was intended to be. We should all be grateful for this loving gift of a national park that can be enjoyed for generations to come. Preservation of the flora, fauna, and wildlife is critical because once it is gone it is gone! What a selfless act of giving.
    Hopefully Roxanne can save land to the west of Baxter State Park also.
    Keep up the fight Roxanne, you have my blessing!!!!

  16. Daniel Foster March 10, 2008 at 4:01 pm #

    That part of Maine, Moosehead Lake etc…, is some of the most beautiful country we have left! It is so pristine and full of wildlife. I was up there last weekend on my snowmobile and i went a hundred plus miles out into that territory and saw Nature at it’s best! Please do not allow another shallow, money-hungry developer to go out there and throw up another 20,000 acre eye-sore! And another thing… Go up there yourselves people and have dinner and rent a Snowmobile or some Cross-Country skies. Those people up there are struggling and need some people to get out of the malls and Wal Mart and come see what it’s all about up in Northern Maine… You won’t regret it! Don’t Jersey New England!

  17. Shelly Pellerin March 22, 2008 at 11:47 pm #

    You know I really get a kick out of reading all of the comments posted, by people who “visit” Maine. They come year after year and spend a week and think they know Maine and worst of all they think they know what’s best for the people of Maine. I especially like the gentlemens comments about riding his snowmobile through the Maine woods. Well if Roxanne Quimby gets her way…you won’t be doing that any longer. You should really read more about her plans before you go applauding her. NO hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, ATVing..none of the things that bring people to Maine. I own a home in Maine, my grandkids and family are there but because of the economy I have to work out of state. There are NO jobs in Maine, none that can support a family. But every year more and more retirees and people with money move to Maine. They inject their politics and “Lets keep it small town” philosopy. They vote down everything they can that would help Maines economy. We are losing all of our young people, not because they want to leave, they have no choice. I know I don’t have a choice…I have to work in NY! Maine needs jobs..we are all sick of fighting for the 3 openings at Hannafords! Can you believe that a grocery store is our largest employer! Roxanne Quimby gave up her rights to our state when she closed her business and left. Maines North Woods should be left up to the people of Maine. Not just to the ones who can buy it.

  18. John Cubberly March 29, 2008 at 9:22 pm #

    Yes. Please preserve the woods as a national park.

    Three summers ago I traveled all the way from Houston to Baxter State Park hoping to see a moose. The ranger told me there was not much wildlife there, they had all been chased away long ago by the snowmobiles.

    I enjoyed the camping and saw a chipmunk, and the park was invigorating for me. I swam and jogged – it was a blessing. But I was saddened that there was not more wildlife.

    If people want trophy homes they can come to Houston. There is room here. I am leaving. There should also be a job in a cubicle here, plenty of stress and heart attacks available.

    And I do not want a snowmobile. Snowshoes and peace will suit me fine. Even if I am hungry and cold. I know the alternative. Do you?

    Try the lyrics to the song below. Special attention to the last verse. Careful. It is more than just a song. Hope it don’t become you, pardner.

    Did you ever see Dallas from a DC-9 at night?
    Well Dallas is a jewel, oh yeah, Dallas is a beautiful sight.
    And Dallas is a jungle but Dallas gives a beautiful light.
    Did you ever see Dallas from a DC-9 at night?

    Well, Dallas is a woman who will walk on you when you’re down.
    But when you are up, she’s the kind you want to take around.
    But Dallas ain’t a woman to help you get your feet on the ground.
    Yes Dallas is a woman who will walk on you when you’re down.

    Well, I came into Dallas with the bright lights on my mind,
    But I came into Dallas with a Dollar and a dime.

    Dallas is a rich man with a death wish in his eye.
    A steel and concrete soul with a warm hearted love disguise.
    A rich man who tends to believe in his own lies.
    Dallas is a rich man with a death wish in his eyes.

    - song by Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Texas songwriter.

  19. Evelyn Scott March 31, 2008 at 2:47 pm #

    Leave the woods the way they are. We are running our animals out all over the country by building, building and more building. People ruin beautiful people, places and things. Let’s leave some wonderful part of this country alone. I live in Texas now, and buying a cabin in New Hamsphire to enjoy the woods, wildlife and small town atmosphere that is hard to find anymore. In my city, I have seen deer get hit by autos because they have no place to go!! Too many houses, apartments shopping centers, etc. – it is just sickening. I have seen and photographed moose in New Hampshire and Maine and the beautiful trees everywhere along the east coast. What a sense of peace and tranquility it brings me – will take the cold weather and beautiful surroundings to this hot hustle bustle place any day. Looking forward to staying there. Let us all enjoy the north woods as god intended – he does not want us destroying anything else for our future generations. It appears most of us writing here feel the same – I agree with the others who have strong feelings about this area.

  20. Brian Campbell April 27, 2008 at 9:54 pm #

    Joshua L Chamberlain promoted Norway Immigration fo Maine in the 1870 – 1910. My Great Grand mother came in 1904 and my Great-grandfather craved her a set of Xski’s. In 3.3 M barrel / day, Oil Exporting Norway today, it is hard to get a Japanese ATV or Snow machine. The Nordic Way is still Xskiing.

    In USA today Japanese ATV or Snow machine is a must have along with cheap??? Arab Oil. In WW2 USA fought for those cheap Japanese ATV or Snow machine and Cheap Oil.
    Exxon Rules! Plumb Creek Rules! If Plumb Creek is denied it’s Lilly Bay Development all UnAmerican Communism will rule. It is your Patriotic Duty to auction of the Grand Canyon to hghest bidder as it is to have Pumb Creek Lakeshore Mac-Manisions on every wilderness lake. No Trepassing signs will finally stop the cheap Japanese ATV or Snow machines and maybe the price of fuel. But the real loss will be to the Canada Lynx, opps the Endangered Species Act is UnAmerican, National Parks are UnAmerican and Global Warming is a farce, MotorHeads Rule!

  21. George Sly June 1, 2008 at 2:23 pm #

    My daughter attended the University of Maine and once worked for the Bangor Daily News. I have been going to Maine for years and I hope to retire there. As much of the North Woods as possible should be preserved. It need not be a National Park, preservation could be achieved through State Parks, Forests and Wildlife Management Areas or National Forests and Recreation Areas. Most likely a combination of these areas would preserve the woods for future generations, while permitting traditonal recreation such as fishing, hunting, camping, etc; and permitting regulated timber harvesting where it has previously been conducted.
    If the woods are left entirely in private hands they will be lost. The old timber companies cared about sustained yield. They would harvest an area of timber, replant it and the harvest it agian in twenty or thiry years. They would permit recreation either gratis or for a nominal fee. Companies like Plum Creek don’t care about sustainable harvest. They cut and run and then sell the property off for development. In short you will see the pattern that occurred in New Jersey when first farmers would lease their lands to hunting and fishing clubs to the exclusion of others and then the farms were sold off for development. I have lost count of the number of farms sold off in my town in the last twenty years. What fishing and hunting I do is done on public land primarily the Deleware River National Recreation Area, without public land I could do neither. The difference in Maine is instead of farmland you will lose the forests. Do something now or they will be lost forever.

  22. Michael Parletta January 11, 2010 at 11:01 am #

    I cannot understand this fierce opposition to the creation of a National Park or wilderness area in this very remote and, sparcely populated area of the state. There are approximately 9 millions acres of land in the North Woods. Much of it owned by logging companies that changes ownership like infants that have their diapers changed. I’ve been up there much of what I’ve seen is irresposible multi land use with regard to logging operations. Clearing and Grubbing operations where little reclaimation and negligable soil stabilization take place. Poor logging and sustainability techniques that result in over logging and stripping of soil. I’ve seen sediment plumes within many of the pristine rivers and steams, impacting the water quality of the region.
    It always comes down to protecting jobs vs protecting the environment. It’s a nasty pendulum that can never find a midpoint. The fact is this area can still exist as a multi use area if people and industry were more responsible in how they expolit their resources. Setting aside a portion of the area, between 2 to 3 million acres for the rest of the world to experience would not only add to the uniqueness of the area, but set aside an eco-zone so wild that no other area of the Northeast could match. It could protect an area that could be compared to some of the wild parks set aside out West and in Canada. A park on a scale compared to places like Yellowstone and Denali. It would protect an area for future generations to experience, while enhancing peoples understandings and notions about the importance of preserving some of the last wild places on earth. Protecting and preserving our natural treasures is such a difficult concept for many people. Our next generation won’t have an opportunity to save much of anything in the world because there won’t be anything left to save.The people of Maine need to come to their senses and stop using the excuse that they’re independents is being threatened by conservation and preservation minded people and start believing that mankind needs places in the world where they can escape to and know that it won’t be threatened by logging companies and greedy land peddlers. Places that represent a part of the past where humans didn’t always rule

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