First off, for sentimental reasons (sniff, sniff), I remember that research of this topic is what brought me to the "As Maine Goes" site for the very first time. A year or so later, I've been called a commie, an idiot, an a-hole, ridiculous, stupid, moronic, and many other adjectives. Such fond memories. However, I continue to stick around because it's more fun than debating the issues where everybody agrees with you. Thanks for the memories.As I'm sure that Naran, Michelle, and the rest of the AMG crowd is waiting with baited breath to hear my reasons for support of the National Park, I'll try not to veer to far off-topic before I divulge them. Before I do, let's start with the responses I expect to receive:- You're from away. (I'm not, by the way, I grew up in Mexico, downwind of Rumford, a mill-town from the beginning)
- Typical Southern Maine liberal, thinks he know's what's best for us.
- What do you know, you tree-hugging S.O.B.?
- You'll put everybody out of work.
- You're throwing away our heritage.
- It will never work because (insert conservative mis-guidance here)...
- All the good paying jobs will evaporate
- How dare the government take over the land
- Creating a Maine National Park will cause civil unions to become Maine law.
- Too many un-shaven women will move to the area.
- A park will threaten our rights to bear arms.
(or, as the infamous Great Lost Bear bumper sticker states, "protect your right to arm bears" And so on. There's no way to avoid such discussion on here, so I'll just have to wait for it, I guess.Finally, a disclaimer for those who have conspiracy theories about everything in Maine. - I'm not a member of the United Council of Nations undertaking a top-secret mission of assisting the United Nations in taking over Northern Maine.
- I've never worked for Matt Polstein (although I was a Maine Master Raft Guide for a few years), nor do I know anybody on M.A.G.I.C.
- I plan on hiking the 100 mile wilderness this fall.
- I don't earn a living anyplace within a 50 miles of Greenville, Millinockett, or other locale in the National Park Zone.
- I don't know who Ms. Quimby is, other than a darn good businessperson.
- I don't own a snowmobile.
- I don't hunt, but I gladly eat venison and moose steak.
- I do like 16 ounce Pabst Blue Ribbon in a can.
- I do drive a 4 wheel drive pick-up truck.
- I do love to hike and camp.
- I don't think cutting down trees is an evil thing to do.
- I heat my house primarily with wood.
O.K. Guess the stage is set, so to speak. I'm by no means an expert, but after reviewing information on BOTH sides of the debate, I have to agree with the arguments of the FOR side more than the AGAINST side. I do not see economic armageddon if a Park is built. Maine industry which is based on timber has been on the decline for decades, and I've not seen any indication that it will ever turn around. Regardless, with the exception of pulp and paper related industries, wages have never been that great in the timber industry. From what I read lately, there's not many Maine people interested in working in the woods, thus companies petitioning to have Canadian workers. Thus, would the park reduce timber jobs? Doesn't sound like it. Are our current pulp and paper industries expanding? Nope. Look at all the mills that have closed in the past decade. Compare the number of machines in mills such as Rumford and Millinockett to what they were in the 60's and 70's. I think Rumford is down to 2 machines operating, down from 8-12 in its heyday. It's "newest" machine (#15) built in the 80's.
Is there anything to indicate that this industry is going to rebound, ever? Tree's grow quicker in the south, fewer taxes, lower utility costs, etc. etc. etc. Would these entities be selling off their timberland investments if they had a long-term plan to stay in our state? Hmmmmmmmm....O.K., if you agree with those statements, then what type of timber-related industries will cause an economic-boom to this area? Toothpick factory. Nope. Shut down. Baseball bat production? Nope. Clothespins? Nope. Then what?What types of major investments have been made by anybody in the "timber-related" industry that is so important to this area? That's right, nothing. So let's say you at least "kind-of" agree with my logic thus far. If the existing industry is on a downward sloping curve, what else can we replace it with? A call center? Nope- not enough people. A bio-technology center. Nope. too far way, not enough degreed individuals. Hot Dog manufacturing? Nope, can't even do that in Portland. Then what?The only thing that comes to my mind is tourism. Yeah, I know, the moneybags you love to hate. The know-it-alls from Boston and New York that are looking for the nearest Starbucks. That will pay good money for a pair of moose-poop earrings. That want imported beers, not Budweiser. They want dinner-shows, paved roads, zoning ordinances, trash picked-up, etc. Damn nuisances. But how would you prefer to have this nuisances in your area? Full-time - meaning, they purchase 5 to 100 acre lots in a sub-division, which is gated for security purposes, and subsequently posted as "NO Trespassing" with armed security guards, or, perhaps, just visit for a few weeks in the summer and spend a lot of money. Perhaps a National Park would cause more people to move to the area, working from home via the internet and/or start up or maintain existings businesses. They could help revitalize adjacent towns and provide economic opportunity in the process. They drawn to northern Maine due to the beauty of the National Park and the outdoor opportunities it provides. Sound far-flung? What about Bar Harbor? Surveys of island residents indicate that a majority consider the park to be a positive aspect of living there. Tourists don't go too far from their cars, thus the locals still get to enjoy the beautiful locations without the crowds, and at the same time, enjoy the music, theatre, shops, restaurants, etc. that the tourists allow to happen. Think its a plus for the recruiters at Jackson Labs? You betcha!!!! Come work next door to Acadia National Park! What modifications would I make to help make this Park idea fly? - Allow limited snowmobile trails through the park in the winter.
- Create mountain bike trails through the park in the summer.
- Allow overnight camp sites.
- Allow limited, low-impact logging.
OK - I've got to get away from this computer now. Let the bashing begin....[ 12-06-2004: Message edited by: laMaine.com ]
Even if you favor conservation and more tourism in the North Woods, a national park is not the way to go. A national park would turn control over to a large federal bureaucracy which ships in superintendents from out of state who rule by fiat and with little respect for local concerns. A national park also does not guarrantee interest. People come to Maine primarily for the coast. Hunters, fishermen, and snowmobilers love the north woods but there will never be the demand for that area as there is along the coast.
Take a Maine atlas and figure out what natural attractions would be available where the park would be located, then ask yourself how much draw would they have.
LAmaine...remember for every YELLOWSTONE, there will be an East YELLOWSTONE. The park will encourage sprawl and strip growth at its entrances. Losing manufacturing jobs and property tax revenue to seasonal tourism isn't quite the same thing...unless your a Green Trustafarian?
You're missing the point. Do you really believe the reason the supporters want a National Park here is to attract visitors?[ 12-06-2004: Message edited by: 1Maine1lostcause ]
quote:Originally posted by FJH:
[b]LAmaine...remember for every YELLOWSTONE, there will be an East YELLOWSTONE. The park will encourage sprawl and strip growth at its entrances. Losing manufacturing jobs and property tax revenue to seasonal tourism isn't quite the same thing...unless your a Green Trustafarian?[/b]
Again - what is happening with timber-related manufacturing jobs? Any new ones being created?
And I would support limited snowmobiling in the park. I don't believe this is what other park proponents have in mind, however. Property tax revenue isn't that high to begin with, I suspect, and would be compensated by a federal payment in lieu of taxes program. Adjacent communities can control sprawl and strip growth quit easily. But wouldn't any type of growth be palatable to folks living in Millinockett, Greenville, etc? Or are they just happier complaining all the time?Make no mistake, creating a national park would create "change" in the adjacent communities.
quote: - I plan on hiking the 100 mile wilderness this fall.
Would that be the fall of 2004? Looks like you have about 2 weeks left to do it - Good Luck :p Have to agree with 1ME1LC - I don't believe the reason for the North Park is to attract tourists. I think we're looking to establish our own ANWR here in Maine...
[b]OKAY HERE GOES!!!!![/b]laMaine,
Some and I say some of your reasoning may be valid. But it is clear that you do not have all the facts.Like for instance this statement:
quote:What types of major investments have been made by anybody in the "timber-related" industry that is so important to this area? That's right, nothing.
The people at Seven Islands about four years ago put a multi million dollar hard wood mill in the old Loring Air force Base. Most of the wood that supplies it comes from their land with in the proposed park boundries.Then you made this statement:
quote:But how would you prefer to have this nuisances in your area? Full-time - meaning, they purchase 5 to 100 acre lots in a sub-division, which is gated for security purposes, and subsequently posted as "NO Trespassing" with armed security guards, or, perhaps, just visit for a few weeks in the summer and spend a lot of money.
Well, the money that paid for that mill came from a huge conservation easement (the largest ever at the time) on 750,000 arces of Seven Islands Land. Land that can never ever be developed, subdivided, posted, or built upon.In case you missed my earlier post they own one of, if not the largest portion on land with in what would be the park boundries. This land will remain forever wild and yet be harvested where it will provide good forestry jobs.Yet another myth:
quote:Perhaps a National Park would cause more people to move to the area, working from home via the internet and/or start up or maintain existings businesses. They could help revitalize adjacent towns and provide economic opportunity in the process.
Well, yes Millinocket is a suffering town. The mill is not doing very well BUT.
They have many of the states whitewater rafters come through this town for the West Branch of the Penobscot, Most of the canoers for the Allagash Wilderness Waterway come through there. Just about all the hikers on the Appalachain Trail (including your 100 mile wilderness-which I have done twice) also go through Millinocket. AAANNNNDDD Finally all the Baxter State Park and Mount Katahdin campers go through Millinocket.IF these people ( which are the EXACT same kind of people the National Park would bring) cannot boost the economy of that town then 20 National Parks will not boost the economy either. Do you actually believe that the park is going to bring in much more then all these combined??? Come on get real.Now what concerns me:
quote:I do not see economic armageddon if a Park is built. Maine industry which is based on timber has been on the decline for decades, and I've not seen any indication that it will ever turn around.
Maybe you don't consider the small business's that make a living off of the north woods but here is some of the things the park would be destroying.Sporting Camps and Lodges. Off the top of my head I can think of about 12 different lodges that would be affected by the park. Including my own. Yes I have heard the promises that lodges would be allowed to continue to run.
But then we have the no hunting in a national park thing about 70% of my business. Limited snow mobiling about 5% of my business. Plus who knows what other regulations they will throw at us.
Do you know that when the Feds and the State took over the Allagash Waterway all private camps were terminated and destroyed. Sporting Camps were allowed to continue to operate but they could never sell their business's and when their owners died or could not take care of them any longer they were destroyed also.Then there are all the private leases. Do you really think they are going to allow all of them to dot the park. Most likely not. But those camps provide money in the form of leases and property taxes. This year my property taxes were about $1200. Then there are the employee of North Maine Woods. Most of which are retired folks who do this as added income. Also, most of them are from these local towns that surround the park.Then what is going to happen to the canoeing and guiding industry if the Feds take over the Waterway??? Are they going to be allowed to continue to guide in the park or be restricted and cut back???There are game wardens, forest rangers and park rangers that all work this area. Are the Feds going to allow them to continue to govern the area or bring in their own people???How about the seaplane bases in Greeville, Millinocket and Shin Pond that fly into these areas. Are they going to be allowed to continue to fly into the park???I know there are many people out there that do not like trappers, but many of them supliment their incomes with trapping. Do you think they will still allow that in the park. No they will probably hire professional sharpshooters (like they have done elsewhere) if animal populations get out of control.Finally:
quote:O.K., if you agree with those statements, then what type of timber-related industries will cause an economic-boom to this area?
Well, with the rise in fuel prices firewood has become a cash crop for northern Maine but even more the tops of trees are being chipped up for fuel chips also because of rising fuel prices. So your no loss attitude about the park is far from being correct. There is plenty that would be affected adversely if this park became a reality. And to think I didn't even get into the recreational uses that would be lost.You have the Allagash Wilderness Waterway(protected, forever wild)The Baker Lake and St. John River corridor which is owned by the Nature Conservacy(protected forever wild)Seven Islands Conservation Easement of 750,000 acres (protected- forever wild)The West Branch Conservation Easement (over a million acres) protected-forever wild.andBaxter State Park (protected -forever wild)[b]JUST HOW MUCH PARK LAND DO YOU ACTUALLY NEED !!![/b]See that laMaine, no insults or attacks on my part just facts.
Oh, I forgot to mention Roxanne Quimbly's 24,000 arces plus of land (protected-forever wild) so far.
Posted by Michael:
quote: JUST HOW MUCH PARK LAND DO YOU ACTUALLY NEED !!!
[b]Exactly Michael![/b]LaMaine your arguement is good but I just can't agree with it. Can anyone site a area where a Park was put in that dramatically increased the economy of that area? I'm talking about economically dead areas ,not Arcadia were touisum is already high. We already know that attendance is dropping there.We don't need another park when we already have more then enough to satisfy everyone now.All this 3.2 million acre park will do is stifle business in the region. I'm not talking about hunting and 4 wheeling ,which it will do ,but woods working and manufacturing jobs which is the base of a good economy. Northern Maine needs good ,long term manufacturing jobs ,not minimum wage hotel and trinket store jobs.You are also missing one big point here LaMaine. People can already come to Northern Maine and see it ,go hunting in it ,go 4 wheeling in it ,go snowmobiling in it. But they don't to any extent even with all the camps and lodges that cater to it up here. They can also do it for free now and enjoy the area as they please. A park would take that freedom away.Baxter park is not helping the economy of Northern Maine. It's what 6 townships in size yet the towns like Patten and Millinocket that are right beside it are "ECONOMICLY DEPRESSED"!. Did I hear someone say Millinocket has a 30% unemployment rate?What makes you think LaMaine that a bigger Park run in the same way will change this?We heard a lot of talk about how the North Maine Woods were under the control of guides in the area durring the bear referendum. LaMaine you can come up here and I can take you anywhere you want in the woods. You can set up a campsite for free almost anywhere on big land owners ground around me. There are no signs that say no camping ,no hunting ,no snomobiling. There are even places where landowners have camp sites set up for you for free. I know a fella from down state that comes up here every year to hunt deer for two weeks on Huber Ground. Just sets up camp anywhere he wants and goes to it ,no charge.Noone uses most of these places now and putting up a big fence and calling it a "National Park" isn't going to change that.Perhaps we could build the worlds largest ball of yarn or frying pan. Maybe that would get people to notice Northern Maine. It's more feasible to help the economy then a National Park. :roll:
A correction, and a question:From Mr. Yencha:
quote:The people at Seven Islands about four years ago put a multi million dollar hard wood mill in the old Loring Air force Base. Most of the wood that supplies it comes from their land with in the proposed park boundries.
The mill is actually in Portage, not at Loring. I believe they looked at Loring initially but wound up building closer to the wood supply.Question: (Well, actually a statement and a question). I don't favor a National Park or a national anything in the North Woods. BUT, why couldn't the state, the landowners, the local businesses get together to better market the existing recreational opportunities that COEXIST right now with the timber industry? If the level of timber related business is stable/stagnant, and there are a large number of businesses catering to recreation already, and we are not near the carrying capacity, and many of the landowners already allow a lot of recreational activity on their land, wouldn't it make sense to be pushing for more of this type of business and let any tourism growth take it's natural course?If the park promoters think it is such a wonderful area for tourists, and the anti-park people think the tourists already come and a park would not draw more people, then "can't we all get along" and just work to get more people up there? The only sure thing I see; if nothing changes, then nothing changes. (?)
quote:Question: (Well, actually a statement and a question). I don't favor a National Park or a national anything in the North Woods. BUT, why couldn't the state, the landowners, the local businesses get together to better market the existing recreational opportunities that COEXIST right now with the timber industry?
Thats all I want Bob but reason doesn't seem to work with people.When I heard that 4 people on the Northern Maine Development Commission voted to take away bear baiting I was astounded. How someone can sit on a board like that and advocate taking Millions out of the Northern Maine economy is beyond me.I certianly hope that those 4 people are pushed out of there. Not because they sided against me and bear baiting ,they can have their opinion ,but because they sided against Development in Northern Maine. Anyone with a 6th grade education can figure out that removing Millions in outside revenue will not help Buisness in Northern Maine. They don't belong in that position because they are obviously Incompetent! :eek:
quote:Originally posted by Rickie Keim:
[b] Perhaps we could build the worlds largest ball of yarn or frying pan. Maybe that would get people to notice Northern Maine. It's more feasible to help the economy then a National Park. :roll: [/b]
Hey, judging from the goodies handed out in the Omnibus Pork Bill, getting a grant for your frying pan or even the world's largest can of baked beans shouldn't be too hard.Suggest we put that on the agenda for Augusta ASAP.
Posted by Bob MacGregor:
quote:The mill is actually in Portage, not at Loring. I believe they looked at Loring initially but wound up building closer to the wood supply.
Sorry about that, last I heard it was going in Loring but Potage does make more sense. Either way it answers laMaine question about a substantal investment in the logging industry. I consider that a substantial investment.
quote:Question: (Well, actually a statement and a question). I don't favor a National Park or a national anything in the North Woods. BUT, why couldn't the state, the landowners, the local businesses get together to better market the existing recreational opportunities that COEXIST right now with the timber industry?
Basically they do now but there are some limits. North Maine Woods is a non-profeit organization so it is my understanding that they are restricted from advertising. They manage the land for the large land owners and provide clean campsites with pincic tables. The state, if you ever see commericals for the state, rarely ever shows the woods of northern Maine. You see lighthouses, coastline and boats and every once in a while you see a mountain (more than likely Katahdin) or a flyfishermen or rafter). But thats about it. Probably the people who spend the most advertising the opportunities in the north woods are people like myself (lodges and sporting camps), canoe guides and the rafting business.We can only do so much and advertising isn't cheap. Especially if you are talking TV time. We are only a small business but we put out about $7000 in advertising each year. Bob, there are plenty of people using these woods now. There could probably be more (especially in the summer months) but it is not like they are empty. Fact is that most people like the idea of wilderness but don't want to give up the comforts of Holiday Inn. This is why a national park will not work. The only ammenities in this region are the lodges like myself. I once stopped at Kokadjo to use the pay phone. While I was waiting there was a girl using the phone. Who ever she was talking to, she was telling them that Kokadjo was the ends of the earth. That there was no phones or pavement past that point. I think the type of people that will actually use these woods know about them already. And if you put huge amounts of advertising out there you will only end up attracting people with 40 foot motor homes looking for hookups and showers. Or people looking to stay in hotels like the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone or the El Tovar in the Grand Canyon. We see it with the some of the summer guests we get from New York City and Boston. They show up expecting all these fancy accommodations. Now if you actually sit down and read our website you will see that we spell it out to people what to expect but they just don't take the time to look into it completely.
quote:Who ever she was talking to, she was telling them that Kokadjo was the ends of the earth.
Let me guess. Her car had Massachusetts or New Jersey plates? :)
I understand your point, but one could read into it that you (by "you" I mean the guide/rafting/lodge industry, etc) do not want any more people to take advantage of the attractions of the North Woods, while at the same time bemoaning the fact that no one ever comes up there. How many of the businesses that currently survive on tourism in the North Woods are content to stay at their current size, rather than grow?Is it overrun now, or should we be trying to attract more visitors?
Hey, I'd love to see more sawmills in Maine, it would certainly make my job easier. But as I have opined before, it's not likely that we'll see many new mills, just improvements and growth at the existing ones.
quote: BUT, why couldn't the state, the landowners, the local businesses get together to better market the existing recreational opportunities that COEXIST right now with the timber industry?
Because they don't want anyone up here. God knows why, but they don't.The local government up here has already said that they want the population decreased by 20% (162 living units) by the year 2015. They want to bulldoze houses as they become vacant.Right here in Millinocket, they want to make us a "gateway community" to the park. That's been on MAGIC's agenda as a "priority project" since before the mills went belly-up.You know what people who live in gateways to parks do? They sell trinkets, that's what! there are a few people who make good money -- resort owners, etc. -- but by and large, the people who live and work in gateway communities work for minimum wage or tips.So, if you watch the sleight of hand going on up here, you'll see that the few industries up here are being set up -- or moved to -- Medway.
Michael, Rickie and others, thanks for your well-thought out responses. I learned a few things that I was not aware of. It's great to hear that at least one timber-related business investment (the sawmill) has taken place recently. Not much, but better than nothing. How I wish that the paper mills would expand as well and quality, high-paying jobs available to all. As I've stated before, I'm not an opponent of a working forest. It's just that I don't see much happening except for paper mills, toothpick, baseball bat, and clothespin companies moving south. We've been quite fortunate with the paper mills owning the forests. They've provided good jobs, let people use the land for recreational purposes, and for the most part, managed it quite well. Michael, I can understand your concern over your business. However, what protections do you have if the land is sold enough and developed? Am I off-base to think that the area could be popular for vacation homes at some point in the future? Isn't the cause of the current firewood shortage based upon the fact the mills are paying a higher price? And isn't the "shortage" mainly due to a lack of loggers in Maine willing to work in the industry? Do you honestly see a rebound which would create market conditions that would cause new loggers to enter the field... one with extremely high start-up costs and volatile market conditions?With the exception of paper mill jobs, just how many woods working and "manufacturing" jobs related to timber are good paying jobs? Loggers don't make much and work their butts off. The folks that used to work in the toothpick factories and clothespins factories (the one's I'm familiar with), weren't paid well at all. Probably not that much more than tourist type jobs that would be created.Forming a national park would help promote the area far more than is possible by the local chambers of commerce and tourist associations. Will it bring the people in as claimed by the RESTORE folks? I don't know.By the way, I do like the building of the worlds largest ball of yard! I'd go see it... lol. Bethel gained a lot of publicity when they broke the world record for the tallest snowman. Silly, but it worked.
quote:I think the type of people that will actually use these woods know about them already. And if you put huge amounts of advertising out there you will only end up attracting people with 40 foot motor homes looking for hookups and showers. Or people looking to stay in hotels like the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone or the El Tovar in the Grand Canyon.
I don't agree that "the only" type of people you'll attract are the RV's, but what's so bad about that? They're the same one's willing to shell out $50 to have somebody show them a moose.
They certainly tipped well when I was a raft guide. Of course, I told them how many years it took a deer to become a moose (3), showed them some freshwater lobster pools, and whatever lies I could get away with... such fun!Yeah - these people want to be pampered, and are willing to pay for it? What's the problem with that?Again Michael, thanks for your comments - you have some valid points. Do you have a web site? Maybe I'll be up this summer to cmap.It seems to me there should be some compromises on both sides as this moves forward.[ 12-07-2004: Message edited by: laMaine.com ]
Ia, you'll find no compromising from the majority of folks north of Bangor...the park is a farce, the playground for tree huggers from cement/highrise utopia, they'll come blowing through Millinocket in their Escalades and give the "folks" a little pittance, buy a t-shirt with a moose on it, grab a cappachino and the hell out of there.
laMaine,I will try to answer some of your questions;
quote:Michael, I can understand your concern over your business. However, what protections do you have if the land is sold enough and developed? Am I off-base to think that the area could be popular for vacation homes at some point in the future?
The conservation easement that Seven Islands ventured into with the New England Forestry Foundation would prevent that from happening.
First off, they could sell the land, but the developement rights belong to the Foundation which even if the land passed to another owner the developement rights would not.
This agreement (sale) keeps the land forever wild, 750,000 acres. Eight of the lodges that I mentioned are with in this conservation easement.
quote:Isn't the cause of the current firewood shortage based upon the fact the mills are paying a higher price? And isn't the "shortage" mainly due to a lack of loggers in Maine willing to work in the industry? Do you honestly see a rebound which would create market conditions that would cause new loggers to enter the field... one with extremely high start-up costs and volatile market conditions?
You could be right, but then again the shortage could also be from the fact that with oil prices being what they are wood is in demand. Possible reasons could be:
1. The timber industry may not have been prepared for the demand.
2. Many of the cutting plans are laid out in advance so woods workers may be on contracted jobs.
Either way I have been seeing plenty of hardwood cut this past season. There has been cutting going on quite regular in the area for the past several years.
As far as a rebound? I find it hard to see a rebound in any production based service(mills) because the cost of workman comp, employment costs, insurance, ect., ect., ect.
quote:I don't agree that "the only" type of people you'll attract are the RV's, but what's so bad about that? They're the same one's willing to shell out $50 to have somebody show them a moose.
I also said these types people are looking for the fancy hotels too. But to answer your question Northern Maine is not prepared for this type of people. Since you were a whitewater rafting guide you had to meet these same people. You know the ones who think all rivers flow south, or they stop at our lodge wanting to by an electic coffee maker (I kid you not). they forget the nearest Walmart is in Lincoln.
Plus North Maine Woods does not allow large motor homes and campers (for safety purposes). These vehicles cause problems with the logging trucks running the roads and because of the loads need to ride the crown. They get their big rigs (campers and rv's) stuck in out of the way places then require help. This wouldn't normally be a problem but you see the typical city person lives with a cell phone attached to their ear. Cell phones do not work in just about all parts of the North Maine Woods. Do you see the problems emerging here???
quote:Yeah - these people want to be pampered, and are willing to pay for it? What's the problem with that?
Well, like I said, there are no El Tovar's or Old Faithful Inns within the North Maine Woods. I don't mind people paying for the pampering and over the last 6 years we have been turning our camps into a more family oriented place but it still cannot compare to the luxury or size of either of the places I mentioned. The nearest places that could accommodate those numbers???Millinocket or Greenville, I don't know if there are any hotels that size in Patten and Ashland has a small hotel. But anyone staying in these places might as well stay home they are miles and miles from what would be the parks interior. For instance, Millinocket is 75 miles(two and a half hours) from our camps.
quote:Again Michael, thanks for your comments - you have some valid points. Do you have a web site? Maybe I'll be up this summer to cmap
Our website is [URL=http://www.loonlodgemaine.com][/URL]stop in and see us. If you have any questions just let me know.
quote:It seems to me there should be some compromises on both sides as this moves forward.
Don't you think that the park people which have:
Baxter State Park
The Appalachain Trail
The Allagash Wilderness Waterway
The St. John River Corridor
Plus the Seven Islands and West Branch Conservation easements which add up to about 1.5 million acres of protected land forever wild and open to the public for camping, boating, nature tours, hunting and fishing is enough???
Anybody ever hear of Denali? You can't even go in the park without being on a guided bus tour and then you are only allowed out of the bus in certain parking areas where you aren't allowed to step foot out of the parking area. My guess is a similar aproach would be what was pushed for here. Park proponents don't care about tourists the main objective would be to "save" the land from all of us terrible people.The north woods can be enjoyed now. I go fishing up there every year from Spider lake to the lower end of the allagash. There are alot of primitive campsites that aren't even used. We park at those sites to put in. Why would calling it a park, suddenly have all kinds of people start showing up? Leave it alone.Shortsightedness could cause a lot of problems as well. Wouldn't the state of Maine be smart to leave this alone in case we need to retap these resources at a later date. Just because business has turned sour up there now doesn't mean that 20 years from now the same situation will be going on. The way things stand in this state now we should be looking down the road to make sure we don't shoot ourselves in the foot for businees down the road. If the national economy takes a header down the road who says anyone will be able to afford vacations up north it's a long drive from NY to millinocket. If gas is $5.00 a gallon Paul Newman and Roxanne will be the only ones that will be able to afford a vacation in the great north woods.
I have a personal account of how my families uses the Maine woods. We have owned camps on leased land for about 35 years, and they are close from the North entrance to Baxter State Park. The camps are used by family and friends from ice-out through hunting season, with occasional winter use accessed by snowmobiles.
I would estimate that over the course of a typical year our combined contributions to the local economies are at least $15,000.00. We are minutes away from the park, yet most of us have never entered it while staying at the camps. I have entered the park just once, for about 3 hours, in the past 35 years. I am not counting the northernmost part of the park, as I will wander past the orange-painted trees while hunting in the section of the park that allows such behavior.
I realize we are only one example, but I have met other leaseholders and sportsmen who hunt/ fish/ recreate in the area who do not use the park also, but spend money locally. It seems to be the rule rather than the exception that the people I meet do not use the state park, yet spend a lot of money in Patten and surrounding towns.
I'm not sure how a National Park would affect area revenues, but you can be sure if we do not have access to our camps or cannot hunt, fish, or drive on the land we now use recreationally, the local economy will likely loose the $750,000.00 we may otherwise contribute to the region over the next 35 years.[ 12-08-2004: Message edited by: 1Maine1lostcause ]
Mike - after reading your comments, I gotta say, I don't think we're really that far apart on the basic issue. The issue being, we don't want the area ruined, cut up into vacation lots. If the area can remain wild, with sustainable forestry, I'm all for it. Guess time will tell how that unfolds.Thanks again for your valuable insight.
We have been losing access and losing camps in the North Country for generations. Those losses are accelerating. Just look at the inholders inside Baxter Park. Those camps have been destroyed. We used to have a north gate so we could get to the lower end of Telos Lake and start the Allagash trip by the traditional route. Gone. We used to be able to drive by Daicey Pond. That road is gone. We used to be able to drive out the west gate at Baxter. That road is gone. Several internal roads are gone. This not what Governor Baxter wanted and it prevents handicapped people from enjoying what they used to enjoy. The West Branch of the Penobscot is being choked off from traditional use. I remember dozens of camps that are now gone, probably forever. The environazis whine about development while we actually have devolvement. Maine has created over 70,000 acres of forest every year since 1940. The environazis have their own Goebbels who says we are losing forest. "Tell the lie often enough and it becomes truth." That's what Goebbels said and todays environazis embrace that principle with ardor.[ 12-08-2004: Message edited by: Roger Ek ]
quote:Rickie Keim: ...why couldn't the state, the landowners, the local businesses get together to better market the existing recreational opportunities that COEXIST right now with the timber industry?
quote:Michelle Anderson: Basically they do now but there are some limits. North Maine Woods is a non-profeit organization so it is my understanding that they are restricted from advertising. They manage the land for the large land owners and provide clean campsites with pincic tables.
North Maine Woods and a long tradition preceding it have worked to support recreational use of the timber lands for a very long time and it worked very well. Anyone who wanted to come has been able to, and if they like that kind of vacation they found a very well-run operation. Even the Federal CEQ compared it favorably with state parks in the early 1980's.It is the mostly out of state viro pressure groups who are trying to drive industry and the landowners out by any means possible that is destroying the system. Government control of the land would do nothing to improve recreational use; on the contrary it would destroy it and a lot more. The National Park Service does not create natural attractions, which are already there or not, it only controls land and people through stifling bureaucracy. And that is what the viros want -- absolute control for their own purposes, which is wilderness preservation and restoration."Picnic tables" are the least of it. These are the same groups that are constantly lobbying and suing for millions of acres of "roadless areas" in National Forests across the country, locking them up as a precursor to Federal Wilderness designations. Instead of the North Maine Woods project maintaining logging roads so they can be used for recreational access, the roads would be closed leaving only "hiking access" over long distances used by only a handful of fanatical "eco-tourists".They don't want to improve the economy, they want to destroy it and get rid of the people. They will say anything, including meaningless disingenuous promises for the "economy", in their promotions to get the kind of control they want. Once they get that control, like being caught in quicksand, it's too late to go back -- You can't argue to a Federal bureaucrat that the political promises resulting in Federal legislation establishing his power were phony.
Quote from LaMaine
quote: How I wish that the paper mills would expand as well and quality, high-paying jobs available to all.
Foreign imports LaMaine, Canâ€™t compete with high quality paper produced at low cost from low wages and no environmental rules.
Mead-Westavco sold their land to investers and itâ€™s being chopped up already. IP just sold theirs and will they sell some off? They already had been for the last 20 years. Not a good thing indeed.
quote:Keenan: Anybody ever hear of Denali? You can't even go in the park without being on a guided bus tour and then you are only allowed out of the bus in certain parking areas where you aren't allowed to step foot out of the parking area. My guess is a similar aproach would be what was pushed for here. Park proponents don't care about tourists the main objective would be to "save" the land from all of us terrible people.The north woods can be enjoyed now. I go fishing up there every year from Spider lake to the lower end of the allagash. There are alot of primitive campsites that aren't even used. We park at those sites to put in. Why would calling it a park, suddenly have all kinds of people start showing up? Leave it alone.
The situation in Alaska is far worse than even what you describe about Denali. There was a [i]major[/i] viro lobbying campaign in the 1970's for the big National Park Service takeover there. The campaign was heavily funded with outside money and was worked, as always, from the inside by Federal officials in Washington and elsewhere in a major strategic assault for power. With "compromises" that were supposed to protect the rights of the people and private property, the ALASKA NATIONAL INTEREST LANDS AND CONSERVATION ACT (ANILCA) was passed over the objection of Alaska's Senators, which had generally not been done to a state before that, but the viros had established a perception that Alaska was a Federal colony with "nationally significant wilderness" rather than a state, just as they are attempting to do to Maine.ANILCA has been a disaster as the Federal bureaucracy has clamped down more and more, squeezing people like a cobra, over the last two decades, gradually strangling people's rights and their access not only to "public" land, but also to their own property. See for example [url=http://landrights.org/ak/wrst/shortcourse.htm]http://landrights.org/ak/w... and the "Media Log and Chronicle of Events" at [url=http://landrights.org/ak/wrst/Pilgrims2003.htm]http://landrights.org/ak/... and [url=http://landrights.org/ak/wrst/Pilgrims.htm.]http://landrights.org/ak/wrs... Listen to ordinary people discussing the problems on an Alaskan radio station at [url=http://landrights.org/ak/wrst/KCHU.03-10-21.htm,]http://landrights.org/a... and this report on Alaska National Public Radio about an "airlift" to private property in an attempt to bypass an NPS blockade at [url=http://landrights.org/ak/wrst/APRN.03-10-10.airlift.wma.]http://landrigh...These outrages have been fully supported and pushed by the big national viro groups on behalf of their "wilderness" crusade, groups who have the means to promote their agenda nationally while local people trapped in this eco-socialist nightmare in Alaska (less than 1% of the land is privately owned in all of Alaska) are rarely heard from -- hardly anyone in the country knows what is going on there in what should be a national scandal. It's as if the the world never found out what Lenin and Stalin were doing in Russia and occupied countries. St. Pierre of RESTORE, counting on normal people not knowing what it means, has openly stated (in the Portland paper) that he thinks Alaska is a good model of the National Park Service for Maine.But you shouldn't need to see recent examples to know in principle that there is something very wrong with replacing a free society, private property and local government with absolute bureaucratic eco-rule for the sake of "wilderness utopia". Those who still think that government control over people is some kind of moral ideal will never understand no matter how many examples they are shown. They will always be regarded as "exceptions" that can be "fine-tuned" while they experiment with the next round of victims. Normal people, take note of the warning, before you too are asking "what country is this?"
quote:It seems to me there should be some compromises on both sides as this moves forward.
The viro ideologues are after power and control, planned in advance without regard to their victims and with the goal of attaining it by any means possible as long as it takes. They cannot be trusted to do anything else. Their notion of "compromise" is no more than a political tactic through extortion and moral intimidation to take what they can get and come back for the rest later."Compromise" is not a universal virtue or a duty; it properly pertains, as an option, to situations in which people have common goals, mutual trust, and both side have something legitimate to gain. There is no requirement to "compromise" with an ideological power seeker with a political agenda to take what you have and it is foolish to try. Civilized people have nothing in common with viro thugs no matter what superficial carrots they may dangle. Better to follow Winston Churchill's advice that there is no compromise between the fire and the fire brigade.
quote:Mike - after reading your comments, I gotta say, I don't think we're really that far apart on the basic issue. The issue being, we don't want the area ruined, cut up into vacation lots.
If the area can remain wild, with sustainable forestry, I'm all for it. Guess time will tell how that unfolds.Thanks again for your valuable insight.
Your welcome. I think companies like Seven Islands have got the right idea and I would like to see more conservation easements guaranteeing that the developement of the north woods will not happen but yet keep it out of the hands of the Feds or Enviros. There are companies that do scare me though. Investment companies worry me the most. Because they are there for the investor and not for the public or the wildlife. But on the other side of the coin you have the ultraenviros. Like for instance the groups pushing for tighter regulations on the Allagash Waterway. You have people pushing for less and less access. For example.Allagash Lake is open for only one month of ice fishing. Now I don't have a problem with that, but here is what I do have a problem with:Right now there are three approved access points to a five thousand acre lake. They are trying to elliminate all access points by snowmobile and want to make the fishermen walk in a mile!!! In february in three feet of snow!!!One of the access points had a closed gate across it and sledders had to go around it over big rocks logs and very uneven terrain. Making access unsafe. It wasn't until I complained about the situation to my land owners that they put pressure on them to open the gate.At another approved access point on the lake. After they did some logging in there the waterway people had them put up a big stone blockade across the road. Now, there was always boulders across this road but you could take a sled through them. Now you have to wait until there is about three foot of snow to get over the rock barracade they put in.We once sledded into the lake over a series of old roads and skidder trails to a different point on the lake. Well, when the waterway people found out, you would swear I shot the president with the way they came down on me. Threatening legal action. They tried to say we went out on the lake with sleds and cut down trees (both illegal activities) and we didn't do neither of which. But they wanted blood because we found an access point to the lake.Finally they have been driven to close access points because a few selfish eco-wannabes want the entire length of the waterway to themselves.
They do not want to see people coming in and fishing for the day, hiking in to see places like the ice caves, locomotives or little Allagash Falls. They don't want to share the waterway with anybody but their own tight bunch.Don't get me wrong it is not the people running the waterway that are causing these problems. It is a group which I used to belong to(until I found out their agenda) that is putting pressure on the right people to get these restrictions. A good comparison of what they are trying to do could be summed up like this. If the group that oversees the Appalachain Trail got the same things that these people wanted you would not see a road, boat, cabin, bridge or access point for the entire one hundred mile wilderness of the trail. Nobody but hikers. No canoers, kayakers, fishermen or hunters. Now, I ask you. Do you think these people are going to want to compromise??? When they do not even want someone walking 2 miles into where the old locomotives are on Eagle Lake.Believe me I am the last person who wants to see developement and half million dollar summer homes dotting the shorelines of lakes in the north woods. But then again I have been to many of the national parks there are in this great country and that is also not what I want to see happen to these woods.
quote:George: Even if you favor conservation and more tourism in the North Woods, a national park is not the way to go. A national park would turn control over to a large federal bureaucracy which ships in superintendents from out of state who rule by fiat and with little respect for local concerns.
Even if they aren't shipped in, giving someone that kind of power is extremely dangerous. Give a bureaucrat power and he will use it. Douglas Mullen, the previous manager of the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge downeast lived in Maine for a long time, considered himself to be "local", and collaborated with local viro activists -- such as the Misanthropic Coast Heritage Trust, its satellite the Quoddy Trust, the Natural Resources Council of Maine and activists working for LURC -- to shaft the property owners along the Cobscook shore (and tried to expand into other areas) because the viros wanted the land. Mullen eventually caused so much controversy with their abuse that his embarrassing the agency led it to deport him out to the mid-west some place, not that that helped his victims by then. The kind of power they exercise varies with the personal at any one time, but on average increases across the cycles, and once they are in you can't get rid of them; it's a permanent loss leading to ever cumulative abuse. No one should have to live under that, especially in this country. But that is precisely why the viros want the Federal government to come in -- for the power.
quote:George: A national park also does not guarrantee interest. People come to Maine primarily for the coast. Hunters, fishermen, and snowmobilers love the north woods but there will never be the demand for that area as there is along the coast.
Actually you see the same phenomenon along the coast, too. There are mobs along the southern coast at the beaches and at Acadia, but not downeast despite all the land the viros and the state and national governments have taken over. Campobello International Park has been well known for decades, but it is what it is, and it's not Mt. Desert overlooking the ocean and the area generally does not have swimming beaches or water warm enough for most people to swim in. The National Park Service just takes over whatever it can get; it doesn't create mountains and beaches. As nice as the area is, it's too far for most people. In many ways that is a good thing because it keeps the crowds from destroying it, but it's not doing economic life any good either, as business-- especially the natural resources industries -- are being strangled by viro and other regulations. The viros' insistence on no development (including convenient public access to the coast on the land they get) as they grab more and more land for wilderness guarantees that tourism is locked out almost completely from most of the region. Coastal land values and property taxes are escalating in accordance with artificial shortages while the relatively few people aren't enough to sustain the economy and the population, despite the desirability of the immediate shore, is generaly going down as people leave for work elsewhere. 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.