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Commissioner Designate Cheryl RussellBy Cheryl H. Russell, Special to the BDN

The noose is getting tighter. I attended the recent meeting in Millinocket where I listened to Roxanne Quimby extol the virtues of a Maine Woods or North Woods National Park. Mayors from Estes Park and Grand Lake, Colo., were part of a three-hour show like no other I have attended.

The wolf is at the door, speaking economic growth to an audience that wants desperately to have some hope. It’s time for people of good sense to not get lulled into thinking that a federal park is going to provide jobs. It’s time for us to oppose federal zoning in the Maine woods.

Quimby said by the year 2016, the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service, it is her goal to have another national park in Maine, a park that would be nearly twice the size of Acadia National Park. She said she has put aside $20 million and plans to raise another $20 million as an endowment for park maintenance, which she estimates at a 5 percent rate of return could provide $2 million annually to fund park maintenance. Even bad schemes have great talking points.

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