Roxanne Quimby, North Maine Woods, National Park
Wow. I just found this great article from Yankee Magazine. The story of what’s going on with the north Maine woods, a national park and what Roxanne Quimby is doing and… why! The article is quite long but very interesting! It looks at the plight of:
1. the locals who feel they deserve to access the land as they wish; to hunt, fish, hike, camp (like they have always had) – even if they don’t own it and the owner of the land doesn’t want them doing that there.
2. a few wealthy individuals who see huge tracts of Maine land being sold to foreign entities for division and development – and want to preserve it in its entirety (with access to visitors), possibly as a national park.
Jym St. Pierre, Maine director of a group called RESTORE: The North Woods, says in the article, “The biggest reason we don’t have a national park in Maine today is because we’ve had a de facto park for generations. People feel entitled to that land, just because it’s always been there.”
Roxanne speaks about The Whetstone Bridge and how locals are feeling the hurt with the loss of a back-woods east-west road…
“These two pieces of land here effectively stop all east–west traffic. This bridge, the Whetstone Bridge, here — it’s one of the very significant nails in the coffin because it’s the only way to get across the river for something like 30 miles. Okay, you can go over the bridge, but you can’t go across my land with a car. So you can have your bridge, but it ain’t doin’ you any good. I’m closing in, and I’m doing this to demonstrate that you cannot leave this to chance.”
She is speaking broadly to those who oppose a park, those who ironically also claim they believe in property rights: “Yes, it’s a private road, but it’s been in such permissive use for so many years, people forget that the state doesn’t own that road.”
Up there, where she is pointing, people slapped bumper stickers onto their cars and wore T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan “Ban Roxanne.” Letters to the editor condemned her. But… she agreed to keep open two important snowmobile trails that cross portions of her land, perhaps heralding a thaw in her relations with area sportsmen and residents.
Read the entire article at Yankee Magazine