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Sally Bouchard

Speaking for the People
By Sally Bouchard
Oct 13, 2006 - 7:05:00 PM

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Two members of the Millinocket Town Council think they should be involved with any talks about the future of the woods of northern Maine with Roxanne Quimby.

These two councilors, as members of MAGIC, the area's (quasi) growth and investment council, invited the Wilderness Society into the area without a care as to what the people thought then.

They also are friends of The Nature Conservancy, demonstrating their lack of concern over what The Nature Convservancy has been doing all across the world.

Their hope for our town's future is that we become a gateway to a new national park. With this scheme, some fortunate few will make money while the rest of the people will be pushed out, as is happening now.

The hunters, fishermen, and all of us who grew up in the woods of Northern Maine know who is speaking up for us, and it is neither Councilor McLean or Councilor Polstein. They are friends of The Nature Conservancy, the Wilderness Society, and all of the other organizations that are changing what we have had into something that will destroy our heritage and the way of life that we have enjoyed for over a hundred years.

We have the Katahdin Land Swap; it was good for Baxter State Park, and it was good for Gardner, as they got land at a very good price; it was good for Haynes, who sold his land to Roxanne Quimby for more than the state could pay. But it was not good for the people of the Katahdin Area. With the exception of a fortunate few.

We have the Backcountry Project - another conspiracy that will do more damage to our way of life, and which also was done in secret. Our state government is selling out the people of northern Maine, and both Councilors McLean and Polstein knew about the Backcountry Project, participated in it, and did not inform the rest of the town councilors what they were involved in.

Last winter showed how important the snowmobile industry is to our area; no snow meant a loss of business for the motels, restaurants and the stores. With the Backcountry Project, there will be no motorized vehicles, no roads, no trails and no motor boats. Will Millinocket survive the Backcountry Project?

To be a spokesman for the people of this area, you need their trust and you should listen to what they have to say. By ignoring the voices of the people you seek to represent, you lose any faith and trust that anyone may have had for you.

Be friends with the Nature Conservancy and the Wilderness Society; enjoy your new friendships - but by doing so you cannot have the trust of the people of Millinocket who see that their culture and heritage are being sold to the highest bidders.

We the people of Northern Maine are under attack and too many citizens of Millinocket are ignoring the danger of the sellout of the Woods of Northern Maine by some of our elected officials, at both the state and local levels.

Compromise is sometimes good, but as my Acadian Ancestors found out, by compromising you can lose everything, as they did when they were expelled from their homes and their land to distant places. Remember their history and hope it doesn’t happen to you.

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