Last week Roxanne Quimby bought even more land in the maine woods. In doing so, her acreage is now upwards of 100,000 and she wants to make a chunk of it into a National Park. This whole thing is so controversial that she has started bribing groups to support her cause. Snowmobile trails run all through the land and Quimby has offered to let those trails stay there for up to 5 years if the snowmobile groups support her in moving ahead with a feasibility plan that if the first step in creating the park. The Maine Snowmobile Association opposes her plan Its as thought she is a 5 year old and doesnt want anyone playing in her sand box; but you can play in it for a short period of time, if you help her build up the sides. Then, you cant play anymore. You are kicked out.
As I have said before on this blog, I am not a fan of Quimby. I can’t help it. I think my upbringing and years I have already spent and will spend in the Maine woods make it impossible for me to see her as anything but a bully. This land that she is trying so hard to protect has been working land for years before Quimby set foot in the State (1975). It has been hunted on, harvested and used for recreation. Mainers are proud of what we have here. We don’t want to see it being mistreated by anyone – that’s why there are always concerns about Plum Creek cutting and why we are working to keep the deer, moose and coyote populations in check. We give a damn about what we have here.
I can trace my family roots in Maine back to the 1700’s. Maybe thats why I am so passionate about keeping what I have grown up with.
Quimby’s Wiki page says that when she moved to Maine (’75 – my Dad was 20), she moved into a cabin and outhouse. My mom had an outhouse at her home until she was 18. Quimby wants people to think she has all kinds of back woods knowledge and appreciation for what we have in Maine. Her experience living in the woods for a few years is what generations of people have been doing long before 1975. It may be unique for someone in who had moved from San Fran but not for the generations of Mainers who grew up with outhouses, no running water, no electricity and relied on the land to provide food and meat for the winter.
As I gear up for hunting season and hear stories from friends who have shot their moose this year, I cant help but wonder whose land is it really? Quimby may own it but what will happen in 100 years? 200 years? Will that land be restricted and continue to echo the bullying behavior of Quimby. Or will it be land that will be used to hunt, trap, hike, sight see, snowmobile on and enjoy. Just like it was hundred of years ago?
I hope the latter
No disrespect meant, but property ownership is property ownership. We lost open access to private land in the Mid-Atlantic after about the fourth Virginian King's Grant in the 1650s.
Fighting against private property rights is not going to result in a long-term public benefit (access). It's one thing if a property is purchased with government funds. It's different if a private individual buys property.
If the snowmobilers are serious about long term access on the private property of this imported crazy lady, they should offer up money for a permanent access easement, and put the issue to rest forever. They could also encourage (read: pay) this landowner to convey the land to Maine's DNR/game department, instead of NPS (who is not a great steward of public land) so it has REAL guaranteed public access.
Just my .02. Good luck keeping the gates open to the public. It's a good fight.
Last I knew, the MSA is working to get easements set up on the land. Within 2 weeks, she has bought up tens of thousands of acres.
I totally agree – conveying the land to DNR would be great giving NPS's history.
Thanks for reading my little blog
Ya know, I'd be curious to see NPS' take on the whole situation. They are not known to be great stewards of land or resources, which is largely a funding issue but also a known bureacracy issue within the agency. They are the agency most likely to get land and say "NO ACCESS!" and clearly, Quimby knows that.
More than anything, NPS, as far as I know, is not looking for MORE policing and land management responsibilities. If anyone in your community has any doubts about NPS' inability to arrive at common sense solutions to public use quandries, please google "hatteras seashore ORV plan." Basically, NPS never completed some BASIC reporting on their own property re: whether endangered birds were impacted by ORV traffic. Then Audubon sued them for not doing the paperwork. Now, the whole gigantic area (which has horrendous public access…duh, barrier island) looks like it will get largely shut down to the ORV traffic (birders, anglers, surfers, families) who have defined it and defended it for the last 50 years.
I dont think anyone involved wants to see it turned into some piece of land in limbo. But, the idea of bribing a sportsman group to be on your side so they can use the land seems super shady to me.
I totally agree- I would love to know what NPS thinks about this!