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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Friday, December 26, 2014

Our longtime friend Michael Kellett(along with Jym St.Pierre) of RESTORE THE NORTH WOODS checked in today with information about how the Penobscot Indian Nation of Maine has endorsed the 150,000 acre National Park that RESTORE, Roxanne Quimby and her son Lucas St. Clair have been pushing to create.................Opposition continues from the town governments of East Millinocket and Millinocket with the overwhelming majority of residents living there feeling that their traditional way of life will be overrun by out of state tourists, congestion and low paying service jobs................I would like to put forth the suggestion that a Maine Woods National Park be modeled not on a Yellowstone or Yosemite "disneyworld" paradigm, but instead be crafted to mimic the Voyageur National Park up in Minnesota which does not push retail and amusement establishments but instead focuses on more traditional hunting, fishing and camping aspects----a much lower key footprint(few roads) and less intrusive on long time area residents sense of place................Thoughts from those up in Maine and environs to this idea?

From: Michael Kellett

Subject: Penobscot Indian Nation supports Quimby's Maine national park plan, Bangor Daily News, 20141225

Penobscot Indian Nation announces support of Roxanne Quimby national park plan
By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff
Posted Dec. 25, 2014, at 3:36 p.m.
Last modified Dec. 25, 2014, at 7:09 p.m.
INDIAN ISLAND, Maine — The Penobscot Indian Nation has endorsed a proposed 150,000-acre national park and recreation area, saying the parks would protect the Penobscot River and associated waterways much the way the tribe has "since time immemorial."
Nation President Kirk E. Francis called upon U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Angus King, I-Maine, to introduce a bill to Congress supporting the creation of the park and recreation area.
"Residents of the Katahdin region and tribal members alike would benefit, not only from the long-term protection of the lands surrounding the rivers, but also from the economic activity that a new national park and national recreation area would bring to the greater Bangor and Katahdin regions," Francis said in a statement released earlier this week.

"Visitors coming to Acadia [National Park] would have a reason to spend a few extra days to go explore the new national park and national recreation area in the Katahdin region," Francis added. "They could fish, camp, hunt, watch birds and other wildlife, snowmobile and see spectacular views of Katahdin."
Francis and leading park advocate Lucas St. Clair, entrepreneur Roxanne Quimby's son, did not immediately return telephone or email messages left Thursday. Nor did a spokesman for the Quimby family foundation, Ian Grady.
Quimby and her son St. Clair in 2011 proposed creating a 75,000-acre national park and nearby 75,000-acre multiuse recreation area. The park and recreation area would be located on Quimby lands east of Baxter State Park. The family's foundation proposes to create a $20 million endowment and raise another $20 million to fund park maintenance.

Attempts to reach the spokespersons for Collins and King were not immediately successful on Thursday. The Indian nation is the first group to publicly endorse a park since the last election, in which four of 11 East Millinocket and Millinocket candidates for public office said they favored the park for what they said would be its positive impact on the Katahdin region's economy, which had its mills' last two paper machines shut down in 2008 and 2013. Two of the four, East Millinocket Selectman Mark Scally and Millinocket Town Councilor Anita Mueller, were elected.

The Katahdin Area Chamber of Commerce and several environmental groups endorsed the idea, but East Millinocket and Millinocket governments and residents have staunchly opposed the proposed park. Officials in Medway, which elects its selectmen during town meetings in the spring, have said they favor a park feasibility study. An independent committee of town officials and residents formed to support the study but later withdrew its support.

Opposition to the park remains daunting. The Penobscot County Board of Commissioners, Gov. Paul LePage, the Maine Legislature, gubernatorial candidate and U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud and Collins have opposed the park. King told the New York Times that he was "opposed and skeptical but listening." East Millinocket residents voted 513-132 in 2011 against a feasibility study of the park.
Francis said that about 25 miles of the East Branch of the Penobscot River would flow through park lands, as would several associated streams. A bill offered by a member of Maine's federal delegation would be a crucial element to the creation of a park.

The bill would have to pass in the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate and be signed into law by President Obama before a park could be created.

Voyageurs National Park  

 Located in the wild country of northern Minnesota, and perched along the United States/Canadian border, Voyageurs National Park is one of the few parks in the national park system which is primarily oriented to water. Although there are thick forests and interesting landforms, it is the lakes and waterways which make the park especially noteworthy. A full third of the park is accounted for by lakes, ponds, channels, and other waterways.
Voyageurs is different than some of the most famous parks in the National Park system in that it does not feature world-renowned features such as the Grand Canyon or Yosemite Valley. But the land here is lovely and noteworthy in its own way, and it preserves a type of wilderness that is not really present in other park other than nearby Isle Royale in Lake Superior. But experiencing the treasures of this park requires some extra effort.
One of the striking things about the Voyageurs National Park is its wilderness nature. There are few roads in the park (less than 6 miles total!), and for the most part the visitor who wants to experience the park is going to have to get out of the car and into a canoe, motorboat, or other watercraft. There are trails and old "tote" or logging roads in the interior of the park, particularly on the Kabetogama Peninsula, but the main mode of visitation is surely on one of the many lakes in the park. The view familiar to most visitors to the park is the shoreline of the lake, and to the fortunate ones the view is from a watercraft skimming across the surface of a lake.

Voyageurs National Park features some 30 lakes and 900 islands in its 218,054 acres. It's a fairly large park, about 55 miles long, and sits on the US/Canada Border, which runs through some of the major lakes in the park.

The park offers a number of amenities for visitors, including several visitor centers, an historic hotel, and concessionaires who rent canoes, kayaks, and other kinds of boats, or provide excursions and tours on the lakes in the park.

Many of the country's most famous national parks are extremely popular, but this popularity can unfortunately compromise the experience for the visitor, since it is the natural beauty and not the sight of other tourists that draws most to the park. While many people visit Voyageurs, the tranquility of the wilderness experience can certainly be enjoyed in this lovely park, as it is possible to get away from other folks very easy. 

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