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Proposed Maine national park on hold

A landowner wants to donate 75,000 acres east/southeast of Mount Katahdin for a national park, but opposition remains strong.

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The New York Times has a fascinating article today on the fight to create a national park just east/southeast of Maine’s Mount Katahdin. Under a long-standing proposal, the 75,000-acre park would allow minimalist activities such as hiking and camping, but would be bordered by an equally-sized recreation area where hunting and snowmobiling would be allowed.

The landowner, Roxanne Quimby (co-founder of the Burt’s Bees skincare line), has been trying to donate the acreage to the government for years to create such a park. However, the process is being slowed by local animosity toward Quimby herself and a reluctance to give the federal government jurisdiction in a famously ornery and independent region of the state. Plus, as the Times reminds us, it’s actually very difficult to create national parks:

It’s a complicated issue, filled with economic ramifications, conservation concerns, and personal grudges. The whole NYT piece is well worth a read.