Maintenance Backlog Cited by LePage in Opposing North Woods National Park
Maine Gov. Paul LePage says the state doesn't need another national park, especially when there's a $12 billion backlog of maintenance.
LePage has never supported a North Woods National Park. But yesterday he said it makes even less sense when the National Park Service is falling behind on maintenance, based on figures released last month by the federal government.
Burt's Bees founder and conservationist Roxanne Quimby proposed donating land east of Baxter State Park for a new national park in 2011. Her son, Lucas St. Clair, hopes to win support this year — on the 100th anniversary of the park service.
LePage says it "defies logic" that another park would be created when the park service can't fund its existing properties.
Quimby has dismissed recent statements by the Governor as "bluster" and "politiical grandstanding", including his announcement that the state will re-establish access to state land surrounding her property. Quimby said yesterday that rights to the 2,500 acres of public land have never been denied and the area has been largely ignored by the state as having little value.
She says the Governor's intent to begin plowing snow and fixing roads has nothing to do with right-of-way and that the area had been neglected after paper companies pulled out of harvesting and processing in the years since the turn of the millennium.