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

Waterville


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