Seems public opinion has really turned around on the national monument/park idea in the Katahdin region. Fifteen years ago when I was working with people on the North Woods National Park, there was stiff resistance, probably because there’s nothing much else going on economically.

There has always been hard local resistance to national parks, then later, they find the benefits. Check out Ken Burn’s film “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea” and see what they went through for the Great Smoky Mountain and Olympic national parks.

National parks are “America’s Best Idea,” as touted in the film. It’s also a socialist idea, by the way.

My main problem with it is that it will put a lot more pressure on Baxter State Park when they see the 137-square-mile parcel eastern section isn’t as interesting as the state park — few things are east of the Rockies — so a lot more people will hit Baxter, and it’s not designed to take a lot more pressure. There seems to be enough now.

There is a splendid opportunity for rafting, backpacking, horseback riding and swimming down the east branch of the Penobscot River, however. And it will be a great buffer for Baxter.

Ted Elliott


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