The proposed national monument in the Katahdin region east of Baxter State Park is a bad idea. It’s bad for sportsmen, bad for recreation, bad for timber and bad for Maine. Here are my top 5 reasons to back it up.
1. Federal land use restrictions
There are many differences when hunting on federal land such as national parks & preserves. The use of firearm and ammunition type is strictly regulated. What may be legal under Maine state law as outlined in the Maine Hunting & Trapping Summary we are all familiar with doesn’t mesh with federal restrictions.
This will result in much confusion and may result in making law abiding citizens into criminals by unwittingly stepping across the state land border onto federal lands with federally prohibited equipment.
Federal lands come under the authority of U.S. Fish and Wildlife service, with their own set of laws, rules and penalties.
2. Access and control
Removing the timber industry’s ability to operate freely and without crushing regulation will only further cripple Maine’s economy. While proponents of this monument initiative have said big timber is the cause of the state’s mill closures, I’d bet more heavily on the cost of doing business in the United States and Maine in particular.
There is simply nothing the federal government does that the private sector can’t do better and more efficiently. Case in point: Who delivers the best value and service, UPS or the United States Postal Service?
President Obama’s administrative ideology dictates that the elite and power brokers in government know better than we do about how to manage our own affairs. We are simply put, not smart enough to take care of ourselves, our property and our communities. It appears Roxanne Quimby shares this mentality judging by her remarks in Forbes magazine regarding the citizens of Maine, the Katahdin region in particular.
By allowing federal control over Maine lands, we relinquish some of the deeply held beliefs and character traits Mainers are known for: Autonomy, Leadership and Independence.
3. Empty promises
“If you like your insurance, you can keep it” may be one of the more famous broken promises made by the federal government and President Obama but it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The government has made promise after promise about the economy, jobs and transparency. It has made good on none of them. How can we in good faith trust their word regarding this national monument? How can we believe the promises made regarding eminent domain and the future of these lands?
It’s easy to proclaim job creation and economic prosperity, but it’s a whole other ball of wax to actually implement them. If history is our judge, the past ten years have been an abject failure.
The Katahdin region’s success lies within Maine, not outside of it. Only we have a truly vested interest in our resources, communities and lifestyle.
4. We reap what we sow
Make no mistake about it, this proposed monument will eventually be transformed into a national park. After that happens, the woods and lands east of Baxter State Park will never be the same. The federal government can’t meet it’s financial obligations now. How on earth do they expect to fund and maintain another national park?
They can’t and they won’t. This park will sink low on the priority list and will become a gated memory operated by a skeletal staff of federal employees, lost to Mainers for the foreseeable future. But then again, that was the goal all along wasn’t it?
5. It’s all about the legacy
“Conservation” is a term widely thrown around to justify the gobbling up of land by government. Nonprofit organizations such as Ms. Quimby’s Elliotsville Plantation act as co-conspirators in removing land from public use and putting it under government control. Elliotsville Plantation isn’t just doing this in Maine either. The same ploy has occurred in Arizona, Colorado, Pennsylvania and Montana.
According to The Washington Post, President Obama has seized more than 260 million acres of public land during his presidency, more than any previous president. This was made possible by foundations such as Ms. Quimby’s.
For all of her hard work in wresting control of public lands unto the federal government, Ms. Quimby was rewarded with an appointment to the National Park Foundation board of directors in 2010.
It seems to me this proposed “national monument” is more about conserving a legacy than it is about what is good for Maine.