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LePage Administration to Preserve Access to Public Land in the Katahdin Area
February 12, 2016
For Immediate Release: Friday, February 12, 2016 Contact: John Bott at John.C.Bott@maine.gov, Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, (207) 287-3156
AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage announced today the Bureau of Parks and Lands has taken initial steps to preserve the State’s access to roughly 2,500 acres of publicly held land that is threatened by efforts to create a National Park / National Monument in the Millinocket area.
For years, the Quimby family has worked to impose a National Park on the residents of Northern Maine. When this proposal was voted on by local citizens, it was roundly rejected. Undeterred by the will of the people, Quimby’s effort continues to march forward.
“Despite lack of local support and lack of support from members of Maine’s Congressional delegation, this proposal has now changed direction,” said Governor LePage. “Through the use of high-paid lobbyists in Washington, D.C., the Quimby family has focused its efforts on lobbying the Obama Administration, seeking to have the President use sweeping authority granted to him under the Antiquities Act to unilaterally designate this area a National Monument.”
Given this threat of federal takeover, the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry today commenced efforts to re-establish access to Public Reserved Land surrounded by the Quimby property. The State has clearly established legal crossing rights to access the public’s land.
Despite these crossing rights, roads to the State’s land have been blocked and bridges have been removed. The Department, however, intends to re-establish its crossing rights and harvest timber on the public’s land, once these roads are rebuilt.
“The time is right to clearly re-establish the public’s legal rights,” said Governor LePage.