National Park Service Report Undermines Case for a North Woods National Park

February 10, 2016

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, (207) 287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage today reiterated his opposition for a proposal from out-of-state liberals to create a north woods national park in the Katahdin region. The Governor’s criticism followed a recent National Park Service News Release citing statistics that reveal an $11.9 billion nationwide federal maintenance backlog for Fiscal Year 2015, $440 million more than the previous year.

According to the National Park Service, “Deferred maintenance is necessary work – performed on infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, visitor centers, trails and campgrounds – that has been delayed for more than one year. Aging facilities, increasing use of park facilities and scarce resources contribute to the growing backlog.” The National Park service noted that “the annual bill for maintenance in America’s national parks is still almost twice as much as is appropriated.”

Governor LePage and residents from affected communities have opposed creation of a national park on several grounds, including its reliance on scenic views in Baxter State Park and wildly unsubstantiated economic projections.

“The National Park Service, by their own admission, cannot adequately maintain our existing national parks with existing resources,” said Governor LePage. “It defies logic that we would create a new national park right next to Baxter State Park when the federal government is facing a massive deficit that amounts to over $58,000 for every man, women and child in the United States. Rather than creating a new, unsupported national park in Maine, the focus should be on maintaining the parks we already own.”

National Park Service Deferred Maintenance backlog for Maine (FY 2015):

• Saint Croix Island International Historic Site $555,237.

Source: National Park Service Press Release (Feb. 5, 2106)