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Sally Bouchard

A Public Meeting in Millinocket
By Sally Bouchard
Feb 27, 2006 - 4:42:00 PM

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There was a public hearing in Millinocket, allowing council members and the public to give their opinions on the land swap for Baxter Park.

Will this be another meeting that was just put on for show? Millinocket has had many meetings where people voiced their opinions, but the council did what they wanted to anyhow, not what the citizens of Millinocket wanted them to do. Will Augusta do the same?

Councilor McLean said that he has been talking to the people. Why didnít he do that before bringing the Wilderness Society in? He, and the rest of the board of MAGIC ignored the people then and stated quite clearly that they didnít care what the people thought. Why is he talking to the people now when he wouldnít then?

Councilor Paul talked about our heritage in the Maine Woods. Well, we have been fighting for that very heritage for years but we were called kooks by MAGIC's lawyer, who is now the town attorney.

Councilor Nelson talked about people losing their camps which have been in their families for years. Not being from here, he should of talked to the people long before; and then he would have known about leases and how angry the camp owners are and how long they have been fighting to save their camps. Thanks in large part to MAGIC, many of them will also be losing their camps in the near future. Talk to them, Councilor Nelson.

Those of us who have lived here for years know that the anti-hunting crowd is winning the fight. We also know that the officials for Baxter State Park are not our friends. Will they listen to the voice of the people of this area?

The people were angry about the land that Irving sold to Rosanne Quimby. More hunting land was lost, a hunting camp was told to move, and snowmobile trails were lost. People lost camps that they have had for years. Yes, the people were angry in Millinocket over yet more loss of land, further eating away at our heritage.

Rather than listening to the people, MAGIC brought The Wilderness Society into our area; an organization that doesnít like hunting, and is in favor of no roads, and no cutting of trees. Of course, people were angry.

For some strange reason, these same people who brought The Wilderness Society and The Nature Consevancy to the area are now talking about our heritage, saying that they want to have a voice in any future lands deals. Where were they before, when the people were fighting for their heritage and a way of life that has been passed down from generation to generation.

Is what we are hearing from our elected officials hypocrisy? Are they telling us what we want to hear, yet doing the opposite of what they say? Listen to what they say and watch very closely what they do - that is what people should do with all elected officials.

Our heritage is worth fighting for, as is fighting to keep our economy of this area growing. We have a paper mill that needs fiber, and to get the fiber trees will have to be cut.

Hunting is a big part of this economy. Hunting camps and guides are also important but The Wilderness Society and friends do not want any of that.

Kooks, we were called, but we care about the Maine Woods. our heritage, the people in those areas and, most of all, we donít like The Wilderness Society, RESTORE and what all that these organziations stand for.

We do not want a National Park in Maine.

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