Community Lists Requirements It Wants Approved Before Supporting Maine North Woods National Park

A community close to the proposed Maine North Woods National Park has drafted a letter that outlines the requirements it would like to see met before it could support such a park.

The letter drafted by the Town Manager of Millinocket to U.S. Sen. Angus King, Maine’s former governor, touches on a number of issues, from air quality and the eventual size of such a park to free access for Maine residents. In the letter, Town Manager Margaret Daigle said the town wants the park limited to 150,000 acres in size, a far cry from the 3.2 million-acre proposal initially outlined by park proponents.

More recently, though, those pushing for a park have agreed with a 150,000-acre park, half of which would be designated like a national recreation area with more of a multiple-use philosophy than a traditional national park that could be more restrictive when it comes to snowmobiling and logging, two traditional uses of Maine lands.

Talk of creating a national park in Maine’s North Woods has been kicking around for roughly 20 years. Supporters say such a park would provide an economic boost to the region that has suffered through shrinkage of the timber industry, preserve a breathtaking landscape, help wildlife species threatened with extinction for lack of habitat, and protect the “wild forests of New England.”

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