Although I sympathize with some in Maine’s North Woods who oppose a national park in the vicinity of Baxter State Park, I firmly support this park project. Like many who long for the “good old days,” and are unhappy with aspects of federal regulations, I too long to preserve a way of life that no longer exists.

Having grown up in Brunswick about 70 years ago, I fondly recall stories from my babysitter’s youth, when horse-drawn snow rollers packed down fresh snow so her family and other townsfolk could travel by sleigh to town. I also long for the days when it was unnecessary to lock our homes.

Like many Mainers I am extraordinarily grateful to Elliotsville Plantation for its gift to the federal government and Maine of 87,500 acres and a $40 million endowment to preserve this beautiful land. Nevertheless, there is a caveat that needs to be addressed prior to the acceptance of this gift. Strict zoning regulations accompanied by well-designed regional planning must be adopted to prevent blatant disregard of the region’s natural environment. The lack of such planning is evidenced when driving to Acadia National Park: strip malls, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, chain hotels, motels and restaurants, and lobster shacks, along with traffic jams.

I am, however, saddened that this generous gift has become a political football taken up by Gov. Paul LePage and his administration. Their intention is to undermine this vital project for Maine’s posterity and prosperity. We, the people of Maine, have a rare opportunity to break through this deadlock by uniting behind the effort to establish a North Woods National Park for the good of all.

David O. Solmitz


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.