Wash. Post Article On Push For Maine Natl. Park

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Thomas O
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Wash. Post Article On Push For Maine Natl. Park

Posted by ewv:

quote:You lose either way with a National Park. Assuming you get to keep your rights to your property at all if you are in the way of what they want, it does not fullfill the PR promises to improve the econcomy, and in whatever regions there are a lot of tourists the crowds destroy the gateway areas.

Exactly! I once visited Yosemite National Park the week before they offically opened for the season. The valley was so congested with people that we had to share a campsite among thousands of other campers. I can only imagine what it would be like when the park was offically open for the season. Yet the backcountry is hardly used. Why do you suppose it was like this? Well, from the valley you can see Half Dome and Yosemite Falls. Gee do you think all those people just came to see the marque attractions that a National Park in the Northwoods of Maine would not have?Plus, on the theory that the park would bring in a economic boost to the region and attract tourism.Well, I ask you this. When was the last time you saw a television commercial or a tourist ad for a National Park? I know I have never seen one. So how are all these prospective tourists going to find out about this National Park?And without a marque attraction like Yosemite Falls, Giant Sequoia Trees, Grand Canyon, Old Faithful or any one one the many geological features that you find in many of the nations National Parks you will not attract these hores of tourists that are supposed to boost the Northern Maine economy.I ask the people who are proposing or in favor of this park show where a National Park was established and since that point the local economies turned around and are now prospering.

Thomas O
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Wash. Post Article On Push For Maine Natl. Park

Sunday, December 5, 2004Battle for the woodlands Many Mainers unsettled by push for huge national park
By JONATHAN FINE

The Washington PostTOWNSHIP 5, RANGE 8 -- Here in the shadow of Mount Katahdin, near the finish line of the Appalachian Trail, elephant-size moose share stands of spruce with sportsmen on snowmobiles. Sparsely populated swaths of land are known by their numbers, not names. And Ken Conatser, who runs a commercial hunting lodge, sees a Maine that used to live up to its slogan: "The way life should be." Others, such as multimillionaire cosmetics maven Roxanne Quimby, who became Conatser's landlady last November when she bought more than 24,000 acres of what locals call T5 R8, see something far more unsettling: an unspoiled wilderness with an uncertain future. Infuriating her neighbors, Quimby has banned hunting and plans to end snowmobiling on what she calls her "sanctuary." And her long-term goal is about as palatable to some rural Mainers as tofu with their venison: a 3.2 million-acre national park that would be larger than Yosemite and Yellowstone combined, and where hunting, snowmobiling and logging would be heavily restricted. "This land is a treasure made by something larger than ourselves, but there are no guarantees right now that things will look like this up here forever," she said. "It's too important to the world to be left to chance." Northern Maine, one of the last western-scale vestiges of backcountry east of the Rocky Mountains, is in the midst of its greatest land grab since the arrival of the paper tycoons who ruled the woods here for more than a century. Almost 7 million acres -- a quarter of this largest New England state -- has changed hands in the past six years, as environmentalists, sportsmen and a host of private investors wrestle over parcels sold off by timber companies that have fallen on hard times. The state's large and influential hunting and snowmobiling communities are fighting attempts to curtail their access to some private land. Advocates of the troubled paper industry are seeking to secure continued access to the woods to harvest trees. And with more than 94 percent of the land in the state owned privately, conservationists have expressed concern about some of the new buyers' commitment to preservation. The largest sale yet was announced Nov. 10, when a Connecticut-based investment firm said it had bought 1.1 million acres in Maine and New Hampshire from International Paper Co. "For generations, the paper companies sort of managed everything for us up here," said Patrick McGowan, commissioner of Maine's Department of Conservation. "They gave sportsmen pretty much free rein, and in turn the people up here helped out as stewards of the land. But with all of these new buyers, nobody knows quite what will happen now, and people are getting nervous." A MASSIVE PARKAgainst this backdrop of free-wheeling land sales is the ambitious plan pushed by Quimby and backers of a Concord, Mass.-based group called Restore: The North Woods, which in 1994 first proposed the gigantic park to be made up of land either donated or bought by the government from willing sellers. The group has collected more than 100,000 signatures and is lobbying the state's congressional delegation to submit legislation for a feasibility study, the first formal step in the process of creating a new park. While the park plan has fared well in a series of public opinion polls conducted in recent years, Maine's most prominent elected officials oppose it. Democratic Gov. John Baldacci has referred to it as a "non-starter" and has put forth his own plan called the Maine Woods Legacy, which seeks to balance conservation and more traditional land uses. But park proponents say that concerns over the volume of land transactions have given them a new opening. "We are starting to see some momentum," said Jym St. Pierre, who runs the group's Maine office. "We have gotten assurances that Congress will consider launching a study sometime next year." The Maine woods are in some ways an ideal locale for a national park, wilderness experts say, encompassing habitat suitable for species as diverse as wolves and Atlantic salmon. The area under consideration -- an oval patch across the northern tier of the state that is part of a vast forest stretching west to New York's Adirondack Mountains and north into Canada -- is virtually unpopulated, with moose outnumbering people. Land can be bought for as little as $200 an acre, and the Restore group has estimated the amount required to purchase the necessary land at $500 million to $900 million. The park would be an easy drive up Interstate 95 from a major population center, Boston, and would be served by the international airport in Bangor. "Areas under consideration to become parks need to meet some standard for ecological, cultural or recreational significance, and this would seem to make the grade," said Robert Manning, a professor at the University of Vermont's Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, who has worked on several national park projects. "In most parks, hunting and motorized sports are banned, but some of the newer ones are more amenable to mixed uses," Manning said. "This might be a good candidate for something like that." But detractors say that as a potential tourist attraction, the Maine woods have plenty of drawbacks. They lack a high-profile land feature, such as Yosemite's picturesque Half Dome mountain or Yellowstone's Old Faithful geyser. And the vast forest contains only a few stray stands of old-growth trees, which environmentalists deem most important to protect. Many Mainers also mock the proposed park's stable of celebrity backers -- such as actors Harrison Ford, Jeff Bridges and Morgan Freeman. "Answer me this: What right do these people have to make a decision that concerns us?" said Conatser, a retired Marine whose rustic Bowlin Camps has been in operation on its current site since 1895. "You couldn't find five people up here who think it's a good idea. It would ruin what makes Maine special. It would ruin us." 'I OWN IT'Quimby, 54, a self-described flower child who founded the natural cosmetics company Burt's Bees in Maine in the 1980s and has bought up more than 50,000 acres of woodlands in the state, is undeterred by such arguments. Many of this country's 58 national parks were established with the help of wealthy individuals, some of whom were vilified by locals opposed to the projects. John D. Rockefeller, who donated much of what became Montana's Grand Teton National Park, was pilloried as out of touch with rural needs and sensibilities. Here, Quimby has emerged as a lightning rod for criticism. As a resident of Guilford in the 1980s, she collaborated with Burt Shavitz, a local beekeeper, on products including beeswax lip balm. She moved the company headquarters to North Carolina in 1993 and recently sold 80 percent of the firm for a reported $180 million. Since she began investing in land, she said, she has received threatening phone calls and e-mails that led her to live outside the state for much of the year. "I think there's enough land here for all of us to use the way we want to. I never expected such controversy, but at this point I have $20 million at stake in this argument," said Quimby, who splits her time between Winter Harbor and Palm Beach, Fla. "At the end of the day, I insist that this is my property. I paid for it, and I paid to control its fate while I own it." Proponents say the park would give a much-needed kick to Maine's struggling rural economy, which has suffered as northeastern paper companies have begun to lose out to overseas competitors. The civic symbol of that decline is Millinocket, on the eastern edge of where the park would be. The once bustling mill town's two nearby paper mills, which were shuttered in recent years, have returned to operation, but with only half the 1,100 jobs they once provided. The town's desolate Main Street bears the visible scars of economic depression: boarded-up shops and storefronts unchanged in decades. Unemployment there is estimated to be as high as 30 percent. An economic impact study commissioned by Restore estimates that a park would generate $109 million to $435 million in annual retail sales and bring the state 5,000 to 20,000 new jobs. But Millinocket Town Manager Gene Conlogue, a leading critic of the proposed national park, calls those numbers a pipe dream. He has printed bumper stickers that are plastered on more than a few pickup trucks in town and that say "RESTORE: Boston, Leave our Maine Way of Life Alone." "Are things ever going to return to be the way they were? No. But a national park is not the answer. It would be death of the wood products industry," Conlogue said. Pointing to the revival of the mills and the recent arrival in town of a manufacturing company, he said: "The answer is to diversify the economy through industry. A park would just be bringing in seasonal, low-paying, trinket-selling jobs that'll make people even poorer."Quimby, meanwhile, is pressing on. She met with state environmental leaders recently to discuss plans to honor a hiking and canoeing trail along the eastern branch of the Penobscot River, commemorating the route traversed by Henry David Thoreau in 1857. "It's not a park, but it would be a start," she said. "We still have a long way to go."

Anonymous
Re: Wash. Post Article On Push For Maine Natl. Park

Nothing new in this story. It's just a rehash of the conflicts between Roxanne Quimby and those who want to preserve the traditional way of life in the North Woods. But as usual, money talks.

Rickie Keim
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Re: Wash. Post Article On Push For Maine Natl. Park

quote: An economic impact study commissioned by Restore estimates that a park would generate $109 million to $435 million in annual retail sales and bring the state 5,000 to 20,000 new jobs.

And how many jobs that are here now will be lost to create these "NEW" low paying jobs? Why doesn't someone do a study on that?I've said it more then once and I will say it again. Arcadia's attendence is down to nothing and this is down on the coast were torisum is at it highest. For every 500 people that come to Maine 1 will make it to northern Maine. I know ,I live here. People can already come to northern Maine and see the woods but they don't. Now we want to take hunting ,fishing ,snowmobileing ,4 wheeling and everything else away and then charge new park fees to come here! Oh yea ,thats going to work!

Thomas O
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Re: Wash. Post Article On Push For Maine Natl. Park

quote:Originally posted by Rickie Keim:
[QB]I've said it more then once and I will say it again. Arcadia's attendence is down to nothing and this is down on the coast were torisum is at it highest. QB]

[i]Rickie, I wouldn't quite say it's 'down to nothing'.[/i]
Visitation
Total Recreation Visits for FY 2004- Not Yet Reported
Total Recreation Visits for FY 2003- 2,433,493
Total Recreation Visits for FY 2002- 2,550,589
Total Recreation Visits for FY 2001- 2,504,708

Rickie Keim
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Re: Wash. Post Article On Push For Maine Natl. Park

Hey thats pretty good Tom. Can you find the numbers for baxter now?

cecil
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Re: Wash. Post Article On Push For Maine Natl. Park

The tradition of big paper companies and their reaping tax breaks, tree growth tax breaks, cutting everything, selling off to investment/developement corps., who more aggressively cut the rest; while throwing us the bone of hunting and snowmobiling access, will continue to end. Compromise and the active investigation of it, is the only thing that will preserve some of what we have now. The chief landowners in recent history have again pampered us because it suited their goals. It will be different in the future. Many landowners will lead to many definitions of access. How do we approach and find friendly potential land owners?

Rickie Keim
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Re: Wash. Post Article On Push For Maine Natl. Park

[b]The tradition of big paper companies and their reaping tax breaks, tree growth tax breaks [/b]Boy you have a problem don't ya Cecil. How is this any different then say Wal-Mart "reaping huge tax breaks" for coming here to create jobs or any other company for that matter? It's commen place to offer tax exemption to get jobs in Maine.Compromise Cecil. Unfortunately "Compromise" is not in Quimby's vocabulary nore any other of the "Nature Nuts" that want to take Northern Maine away from Northern Mainer's and form it to suit themselves. Like you Cecil.

Melvin Udall
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Re: Wash. Post Article On Push For Maine Natl. Park

Acadia averages 7,000 visitors a day all year? That's a pretty impressive number.And Roxanne is a "flower child" who splits her time between Winter Harbor and Palm Beach, Florida. Yeah, both of those are well known as headquarters for the non-bathing, back to the earth types.

bogeys
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Re: Wash. Post Article On Push For Maine Natl. Park

Look on the positive side of the issue folks....we'll all be able to take our LL Bean bags and load up on Spruce Gum as the trees will now be safe from the predatory loggers...you'll be able to get up close and kiss a moose...swim with the fishies...and some of us luckier ones will be able to wear an official looking hat and uniform and kiss the rear ends of those beloved flatlanders as they pass through the gates of the land that was once ours. Oh, here's a complimentary sample of Roxanne's new lip balm, called "fukamaner" you may purchase many of her fine products just up the road a bit

Anonymous
Re: Wash. Post Article On Push For Maine Natl. Park

Spent two weeks roaming around Acadia in late September. Park use is largely confined to one day visits to the most popular areas--seal drive, blow hole, ocean walk, Cadilac mtn. for sunset, and a walk on a carriage road at Jordan Pond before eating. Many people come on bus tours; perhaps dozens or more buses were parked, engines running, diesel fumes spewing into the still air.The rest of the park is left to real hikers, rock climbers, bikers, kayakers, and others. I'd bet only about 20% of the park visitors ever use the rest of it. There are sections that are remote and unused. So while the stats appear high, wear & tear on the park is limited to the 'most visited' areas.Baxter is like that as well, i.e. I've camped for over two weeks at a stretch in the Northern part of the park and it was quite empty, with the exception of boat trailers going through to the big lake to the west of the Park. One campground with spectacular views attracted most of the people, but Trout Brook was relatively empty. Day hiking was a pleasure w/plenty of wildlife.

loonlodgemaine
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Re: Wash. Post Article On Push For Maine Natl. Park

First of all Acadia is a poor comparision to what a National Park would be like in Northern Maine. Do you think as many people would rush up here to see Acadia if there wasn't Bar Harbor with its hundreds of shops, fine dining, boat tours, mini golf, airport, fancy hotels and the Cat rushing people of to Nova Scotia each day???I highy doubt it!!!! No the proposed North Woods National Park should be compared with National Parks like Great Bend in Texas, Saguaro National Park in Arizona, Olympic National Park in Washington or Canyonlands National Park in Utah. WERE YOU SAY???? Thats right with out a major city close by and with out a marque attraction that is what our North Woods National Park would be like. Virtually unknown. Sure people will come but at what expense to the people of Maine. Loss in logging jobs.Loss in hunter access.Loss in Snowmobile access.Most of the great moose hunting zones closed down.Displacement of private and commerical sporting camp leases.
We don't have a Grand Canyon, an Old Faithful, a Half Dome or Yosemite Falls, so just what are the people going to come an see. Are they going to spend time shopping in the bussling towns of Millinocket, Ashland and Patten? No more than likely they will stay in Greeville on Moosehead Lake where they can go power boating on the lake. They will ignore those other towns.Yep, if they let us keep our lodge in the middle of this proposed National Park I guess we can sell hats and t-shirts to all 100 people that may stop by. If that many make in that far to the real woods and not the outskirts like they do in most parks. Like FJH stated above about Acadia, the same is true at most national parks 80% of the visitors venture less than a mile from the major attractions and parking areas.Posted from Cecil:

quote:The tradition of big paper companies and their reaping tax breaks, tree growth tax breaks, cutting everything, selling off to investment/developement corps., who more aggressively cut the rest; while throwing us the bone of hunting and snowmobiling access, will continue to end.

Do you realize that one of the largest landowner's in this proposed park is Seven Islands Land Co. This is an owner who has held this property for over 100 years now. They were the first in the state to have a green certification (as a large landowner) on their cutting practices. Meaning they are enviromentally freindly.
They allow hunting, fishing, canoeing, camping and snowmobiling on their land.They just recently sold off three quarters of their land into conservation easement to stay forever wild. DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH LAND THAT IS???750,000 Acres!!!! Most of which surrounds the Allagash Wilderness Waterway.They also own about one million acres of land in Maine.I think companies like Seven Islands deserve a tax break just like any other business that brings jobs and leaves their land open to the public for use gets in this state.

thejohnchapman
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Re: Wash. Post Article On Push For Maine Natl. Park

Absent an act of madness / treason by our legislature, we will see no North Woods national park.

Anonymous
Re: Wash. Post Article On Push For Maine Natl. Park

quote:Originally posted by Michael Yencha:
[b]First of all Acadia is a poor comparision to what a National Park would be like in Northern Maine.[/b]

That is a key point. Not all parks get as many visitors as Acadia. If Baxter was made a national park, it would not draw the number of people that go to Acadia because Acadia and that area has things that draw more people than inland Maine. Also, the things that most people go to the north woods to do -- hunt, fish, snowmobile -- would likely be limited or eliminated if there was a national park.[ 12-05-2004: Message edited by: George ]

Anonymous
Re: Wash. Post Article On Push For Maine Natl. Park

The only way a national park would be created is through federal funds. Honestly, with the record deficit and the war in Iraq still raging, do you think Congress is willing to piss away any money on such a project? C'mon, folks.

Anonymous
Re: Wash. Post Article On Push For Maine Natl. Park

Actually Michael, Acadia and the archipelago around Bar Harbour, is a major draw for huge cruise ships. During our two week stay in Lemoin, there were at least 2 ships in the harbour and once there were three. These are self sufficient communities and while people do buy tourist stuff in town , they only go as far as the tour buses take them in an afternoon. Each ship holds about 700-1,000 people, none of whom has a car. Bar harbour, N.E. Harbour, Seal Harbour and other areas can hardly be said to be boom towns. the major growth industry is Jackson Labs, and any growth stems from their expansion. I love going there because much of the are remains as it has 100 years ago; the library for example is in an elegant old mansion with a marble bathroom. Nice touch!

Editor
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Re: Wash. Post Article On Push For Maine Natl. Park

Hey Guys -Let's call it a government park, not necessarily a "national" park. And, yes, it's happening. Piecemeal. Look at how much land government and NGO's own from Rangeley to Upper Somerset County, up to the Allagash Wilderness, down to Baxter, and then down to Washington County.Waiting for the Naitonal Park may be like waiting for Gidot. Meanwhile, private property in rural Maine remains under attack by government and NGO landgrabbers.skf

Anonymous
Re: Wash. Post Article On Push For Maine Natl. Park

Help fight for traditional uses and reasonable public access to Maine woods and waters. Join the coalition.[url=http://www.ebepc.com]East Branch Economic Protection Coalition[/url]

cecil
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Re: Wash. Post Article On Push For Maine Natl. Park

anti: How do you get around landowner rights, such as permission to come on their land and hunt if they do not allow you to. The Fin & Feather folks have fought hard to get free access and their legal attempts have all failed. The tax break idea may be a good one, but I think it will always be the landowners call. We need friendly owners.

Editor
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Re: Wash. Post Article On Push For Maine Natl. Park

Enough -Tell me about public access in government designated wilderness areas.skf

Rickie Keim
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Re: Wash. Post Article On Push For Maine Natl. Park

quote:Do you think as many people would rush up here to see Acadia if there wasn't Bar Harbor with its hundreds of shops, fine dining, boat tours, mini golf, airport, fancy hotels and the Cat rushing people of to Nova Scotia each day???

Thats right Mike. I've seen families come up here for a weeks vacation all ready and rearing to go and by tuesday most of the family is board and wants to go home.Why because theres nothing to do up here. No shops ,or big malls ,or other great attractions. Just woods thats what we got ,just woods. Even though most think they want to get away from it all (The City) they find out quickly this isn't for them.

Snowalker
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Re: Wash. Post Article On Push For Maine Natl. Park

And just who pays the taxes for these millionaires who buy up all the land ? Since they all seem to be NON-PROFIT, you and I do. I for one resent that. Read : Trashing the Economy by Ron Arnold

Tim4Trout
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Re: Wash. Post Article On Push For Maine Natl. Park

National park does not necessarily equate to a popular tourist attraction.

Steven Scharf
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Re: Wash. Post Article On Push For Maine Natl. Park

I think that is what the North Woods folks are hoping for. That virtaully no one will want to come invade their kingdom.Steven Scharf
SCSMedia@aol.com

Naran
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Re: Wash. Post Article On Push For Maine Natl. Park

quote:Originally posted by Dusty's Dad:
[b]The only way a national park would be created is through federal funds. Honestly, with the record deficit and the war in Iraq still raging, do you think Congress is willing to piss away any money on such a project? C'mon, folks.[/b]

After reading some of the details of the newly-passed Omnibus Spending Bill, I have no doubt they would view a national park for Northern Maine as a mere fillip, a dot on the check, a fiscal afterthought. There's an article in yesterday's PPH on page C1 explaining just part of the pork, totalling $15.8 BILLION. Enjoy.... I especially appreciated the $100K for a weather museum in Punxsatawney, PA. No doubt home to all the past and future Phils. Hey, maybe our own taxidermists up north can get jobs there when their own business dries up.
:mad:

Michelle Anderson
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Re: Wash. Post Article On Push For Maine Natl. Park

quote: The only way a national park would be created is through federal funds. Honestly, with the record deficit and the war in Iraq still raging, do you think Congress is willing to piss away any money on such a project? C'mon, folks.

Of course Congress is willing to piss away such money! Numerous federal agencies have ongoing budgets for such things.The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is a special account which was authorized by Congress in 1964. LWCF has been the main federal source of funds for acquiring new recreation and conservation lands.LWCF is intended to fund federal land acquisition by the National Park Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the US Forest Service as well as a state land acquisition and recreation program. The program is authorized at $900 million annually. The Bush administration has cut the budget for land-grabbing significantly, and the Senate Democrats are complaining bitterly because that $900 million is not fulfilled. Their complaint is that the actual federal land acquisition request for Fiscal Year 2004 is:[list][*]National Park Service: $78.6 million [*]Fish and Wildlife Service: $40.7 million [*]Bureau of Land Management: $23.7 million [*]Forest Service: $44.2 million [/list:u]The House Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, 2003 (H.R. 5093) called for $377 million increase for federal land acquisition. The House asked for $49,286,000 for the Bureau of Land Management's land acquisition funding. That's up $4,600,000 President Bush's request of $44,686,000. And that's [b]just[/b] for the Burear of Land Management!The President's 2003 request for the land acquisition budget for the US Fish and Wildlife Service was $70,384,000, while the House thought they needed $11,866,000 more and weighed in with $82,250,000. That's [b]just[/b] for the Fish and Wildlife Service! Oh! And the US Fish and Wildlife Service also have what's called their "Cooperative and Endangered Species Conservation Fund" in the amount of $121,400,000 (that's up $30,400,000 from Bush's recommendation). This fund includes an increase of $30 million for habitat conservation plan land acquisition. The House upped President Bush's recommendation to $146,336,000 for land acquisition for [b]just[/b] the Forest Service!The National Park Service has budgeted $253,099,000 in their Land Acquisition and State Assistance budget. The land acquisition program is funded through the conservation spending category. The Forest Service also has these monies in their land acquisition budgets:[list][*]Acquisition of Lands for National Forests, Special Acts: $1,069,000;and [*]Acquisition of Lands to Complete Land Exchanges.[/list:u]So yeah, I think that Congress is [b]MORE[/b] than willing to piss away money on such a project.[ 12-06-2004: Message edited by: Michelle Anderson ]

Anonymous
Re: Wash. Post Article On Push For Maine Natl. Park

quote:Numerous federal agencies have ongoing budgets for such things.

True. But just because they have a budget doesn't mean they're obligated to spend it. Maine's Congressional Delegation is already on record as opposing a national park.

David Burke
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Re: Wash. Post Article On Push For Maine Natl. Park

Too bad. I think it would be a great thing for our state and for our country.

Michelle Anderson
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Re: Wash. Post Article On Push For Maine Natl. Park

quote: True. But just because they have a budget doesn't mean they're obligated to spend it.

Clearly you've never worked for the government. :) Bureaucrats are obligated to spend it. If they don't spend their allotted budget, it gets cut next year. Bureaucrats don't allow that to happen.

quote:laMaine posted:
Too bad. I think it would be a great thing for our state and for our country.

How so?

Naran
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Re: Wash. Post Article On Push For Maine Natl. Park

LaMaine, would you explain your position?

loonlodgemaine
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Re: Wash. Post Article On Push For Maine Natl. Park

Yes laMaine I would like to know your reasoning.

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