The newspaper’s front-page story about Baxter State Park (“Keeping Maine’s ‘Forever Wild’, Aug. 2) was perfectly timed for an experience I had the day before.

A group of us from this area were in Millinocket for an American Legion Riders rally, and decided to visit the park. We rode over to the Togue Pond gate, but that was as far as we got. You see, we were on our motorcycles.

Baxter State Park does not allow any motorcycles inside its borders. This rule is in effect despite the facts that my bike is legally registered for street use on public roads and has a current inspection sticker, which means it has been found to meet all state and federal safety, emissions and noise regulations. As the rider, I am fully insured and have the proper endorsement on my drivers license. The park roadways are public roads financed by my taxes.

Had I been driving a dilapidated old pickup truck, jacked up on oversized wheels and running glasspack mufflers, I could have rolled right in, no questions asked.

The very polite park ranger at the gate explained that when Gov. Percival Baxter gave the land to the state, he specified that it should remain “forever wild” and that no motorcycles should be allowed inside.

My question is this: How does “forever wild” include cars and trucks, but no other motor vehicles?

I think it’s time the Park Authority re-examined who can and cannot drive in the park. And maybe it’s time to ban all motor vehicles in Baxter State Park so it really would be forever wild.

Bill Crowley, Farmingdale


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