Visitors to the Pacific Northwest often return to Maine filled with admiration for the numerous state and national parks along the coast. Long ago, Maine lost many pristine coastal areas to private ownership. The nation’s rich settled into their very large (and very private) summer homes in places like Seal Harbor, Prouts Neck and North Haven.
With a few exceptions, Maine’s north woods remained the camping, hunting and fishing destination for all of Maine’s people. Until now. Billionaire John Malone’s purchase of Spencer Lake removed forever a piece of land that Maine people used as their own. Even George Smith, director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, is upset. But in their zeal to demonize any form of government regulation and ownership, SAM always advocated private ownership.
The trouble is, it cuts both ways, and every time ownership changes hands, it’s a roll of the dice. This time, Maine people lost another precious treasure to the richest 1 percent. This is a wake- up call to Maine citizens. We can hold the title to places like Spencer Lake in the form of a national park, and forever protect the last remaining significant wildlands east of the Mississippi, not just for us, but for the generations yet to come. The sale of Spencer Lake was a sad event for Maine. Let’s not have another. Steve Swift Chair Forest Ecology Network Augusta