Friday, January 25, 2008

Roxanne Quimby and Maine land protection

Here is an article about Roxanne Quimby, who purchased the 24,000-acre Township 5 Range 8WELS in Maine several years ago.

The article describes Quimby's land management philosophy:
Quimby’s intent for her latest property will be "wildlife sanctuary" -- a designation that will mirror the management of the adjoining Baxter township, T5R9. "I'm interested in creating wilderness to allow natural processes to evolve" and where human impacts are as minimal as possible, she said. In keeping with her policy for her other conservation lands, there will be no timber harvesting and no hunting in T5R8. Motorized access will be limited, Quimby said.

The article further goes on to state, "The environmental organization RESTORE: The North Woods is working to establish a 3.2 million-acre national park and preserve around 'forever wild' Baxter State Park. Quimby has been a public advocate of RESTORE’s effort."

Great term paper topic!!


Elena Olsen said...

I think that a preservation of that much land in Maine is great. As mentioned in class, concerns were raised about the habitat for the moose and other grazing animals in the area, but I am not sure if these are entirely valid claims.
Nearby Baxter State Park (mentioned in the article) is 204,733 acres of preserved land. Baxter State Park is as close as a forest can possibly get to being untouched by human hands in the north east, with hundreds of acres just as they were 1000 years ago. Most of the land is a wildlife preserve with small sections set aside where are hunting and trapping permitted. The rest of the park is only open to a small number of activities with only a limited number of people are permitted into the park at a time.
If this new township bought by Roxanne Quimby is to be managed the same way Baxter State Park is I see no reason why there should be a decline in the population of moose and other grazers. While visiting Baxter State Park this past summer not only were the forest floors throughout the park covered in moose prints but I also saw a pair of moose one day as well as a mother moose and her calf the next. The moose still have the interspersed meadows and higher altitudes grassy areas to graze in this park. Also the hiking trails created for visitors to the park provide unobstructed paths for the moose when they don’t want to walk through the dense forest (although from what I saw from their tracks they still walk through particularly dense spots). The preservation of Baxter State Park has not hurt the moose population there so I don't see why this new land reserve will.

Anonymous said...

Has any of you ever lived in that part of Maine? Even in the unperserved land around Baxter State Park you will see a lot of Moose, Deer, Bear, etc. The Maine people have done a pretty good job of balancing wildlife management and humane uses. One off the greatest things about Maine has been the freedom from open use of the land. That is one of the things that inspires people when they visit. The problem is people with money get so inspired they try to control it by buying land and bringing with them there city way of thinking. They try to control what they own instead of sharing with their neighbors. They end up killing what inspired them in the first place. There is no place I love more then Northern Maine and I am a conservationist but it kills me to see the miss guided efforts of Roxanne Quimby.

Anonymous said...

I whole hartedly agree with anonymous. After spending countless summers camping, swimming, hiking Katahdin (the main moutain in Baxter) it breaks my heart to see a woman (who is not a Mainer, she is from San Fransico)try to take something away from the people of Maine. GO AWAY!! Let us hunt, fish, swim and be in peace in the North Woods as we have done for hundreds of years. Our freedom to use the woods has been a source of pride for Mainers for generations. To restrict the use of those woods and to stop hunting and logging is actually detremental to the very woods she is trying to save. Responsible hunting and logging preserve the woods, allowing for new growth to begin and stoping the deer and moose populations from over running and destroying themselves and the woods. Read about conservation before you try it Roxanne and go back to California and leave us Mainers alone!!

Fiona said...

In defense of Roxanne, I believe her efforts are actually quite well guided and done so through her own experiences. Yes, she may not be a true "Mainer" in the sense that she came from away, however, she lived in the woods of Maine and raised her children off the land. She did not live in the luxury of running water from pipes or electricity. Instead, she began using beeswax to take care of herself and her children and began Burt's Bees. If anyone could buy the land in Maine and put it to good use, for our future generations, I believe that Roxanne is one who deserves that opportunity after living off the land and woods of Maine.

You may ask why I care...however, I worked for Roxanne and her family and lived in the same town as her. You would never guess that she has come as far as she has and would also never guess her to have the money she does. However, to turn around and put that money into preserving the land that we are so lucky to still have not destroyed, I believe is an amazing feat towards saving our Earth as it should be.

AEW said...

I disagree with statements in both anonymous posts. It seems that you are resentful towards others who do not live in Maine and that you feel that you have a right to the land in Northern Maine. I would say that if people have a right to the use of natural lands than that right is shared by all. For example, all Americans can use the lands in National Parks and all the citizens of the World can visit lands preserved as World Heritage Sites. If this is taken in conjunction with the property rights that our nation is founded on it seems that your claim to the land that surrounds Baxter State Park is invalid. I would think that most people in Northern Maine would be happy with her purchase of the land; the land will not be destroyed in such a way that would negatively affect the prominent tourism industry in the state.
I personally am glad that the land is being bought up. Without efforts from singularly wealthy individuals large areas of land will not be set aside in our capitalist society (unless the state intervenes).
I also would like the following statement explained to me: “To restrict the use of those woods and to stop hunting and logging is actually detrimental to the very woods she is trying to save.” This statement is a value judgment and I would like to know on what basis you see this as detrimental to “the woods.”
To wrap up this post, I would like to say that it is my understanding that Roxanne is not infringing on the use of the land within Baxter State Park. If this is not the case, I will be greatly alarmed because as an avid backpacker I plan to camp there and hike Katahdin.

Anonymous said...

As a Mainer, and a sportsman that has hunted in the Patten area for several years I am very dissapointed in the "conservation" efforts of Ms Quimby. Snowmobiling Hunting and fishing are huge economic draws to Maine, especially rural Northern Maine and Ms Quimby's plans are putting a damper on these activities in the places that need them most. I don't mind that she is buying the land and setting it aside from developement, but why hurt local small town economies by not allowing access to the lands that keep the small towns of Northern Maine running. With few sportsmen and snowmobilers vacationing to this part of Northern Maine guides will have less business as well as local dinning establishments, hotels and lodges. Roxanne Quimby is doing more harm than good by closing down her large tracts of land to hunters, fishermen, and snowmobilers.