For BDN readers who only glance at headlines, the Page One story “Quimby opens land to sportsmen” (BDN, Oct. 14) could easily be misconstrued. Read the story’s fine print: “Activities allowed on the land before…the purchase…will continue until Sept. 1, 2007.”
What this means is that traditional users (hunters, trappers, snowsledders and ATVers) have, in effect, about 10 months to get out of Dodge. If you don’t believe it just ask the traditional users who once enjoyed Ms. Quimby’s other land purchases.
According to this same BDN story, a number of concerned state policymakers are reportedly relieved somewhat by Ms. Quimby’s willingness to meet and discuss recreational access to her new land purchase. Perhaps their optimism is justified. We can hope. The more likely scenario, however, is that Ms. Quimby, who is unabashedly anti-hunting and anti-trapping, is orchestrating a cynical public relations gambit.
The Katahdin Lake deal, which is not sealed, has been newly imperiled by the revelation of the Quimby township purchase. If Ms. Quimby envisions the Katahdin Lake deal as a prelude to her vision of a national park, she is trying to calm the masses and smooth the waters until the Kathadin Lake deal is concluded.
Ms. Quimby is shrewd. Your headline serves her purpose. It gets sportsmen and their spokesmen heaving a sigh of relief, thankful for any crumb that comes their way. This used to be called the Patty Hearst Syndrome, when the victim-hostage out of fright grows appreciative of the slightest kindness from the perpetrator.
Sportsmen should not let their guard down. The fact remains that as of today, both the Quimby purchase and the Kathadin Lake deal are historic disenfranchisements that will deny our children and grandchildren the right to hunt, trap and snowsled on thousands of acres of wildlands.
A more accurate headline on your story might have been: “Quimby Allows Sportsmen Temporary Access.”
V. Paul Reynolds