May 27, 2020

Park’s opponents

Bravo to Congressman John Baldacci and his ironclad opposition to a Maine Woods National Park. As an article (BDN, Dec. 23) aptly noted, the National Park Service is having a hard time keeping up with its current obligations ($4 billion backlog of necessary improvements to existing parks).

Why take on a new park that is controversial in theory, unwanted and unneeded in reality? In order for the “ball to get rolling” for a new national park, Congress must act to allow a feasibility study to take place. If it were found that such a park is “feasible,” a top-down approach emerges whereby the federal government begins to proceed with the possible acquisition of land.

Thankfully, our congressional delegation understands the many concerns the people of Piscataquis, Penobscot, Somerset and Aroostook counties have regarding such land acquisition. As town manager for a primary service-center community, I cringe when I think of Greenville losing land from the tax rolls yet at the same time being expected to provide additional services for the “many visitors” who would come to the proposed park.

Add to this the great loss of the snowmobile industry through much of the Maine woods, and an injunction on wood cutting on 20 percent of the working forest in Maine, and you’ll see Piscataquis County in particular reclaims its spot as the poorest county east of the Mississippi.

John Simko

Town manager


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