In the summer of 2009 the Maine Bureau of Parks & Lands is going to spend nearly $165,000 in the Seboomook Unit. One might think such a large sum of money would be going toward campsite maintenance or road repair. That is not the case.
This money is being spent to remove the state land from the North Maine Woods management system so that no day-use fees will be charged.
To accomplish this, the 20-Mile Checkpoint needs to be moved north. The price tag for this could reach $75,000 depending on what needs to be done to the new checkpoint location.
Another $90,000 will go toward installing two electronic gates controlled from a remote location via satellite Internet. These gates are needed to allow access to the state land from the north and east.
Keep in mind 20-Mile Checkpoint is on private property. The state is insisting on free day use. Since the state wants the checkpoint moved, they are basically telling a private landowner what to do on their property.
The state purchased this property knowing full well that 20-Mile Checkpoint was there, and that fees were charged. If they wanted property that had free access, they should’ve looked for land that already had free access.
With the economy in a recession, I feel this money should be spent elsewhere. There must be other projects that this money could go toward.
Note to readers: The BDN reserves the right to edit Outdoor essays for libel, taste, clarity, and to fit available space. Outdoor essays should be 300 words or fewer and include a signature, full name, address, and daytime phone number. Outdoor essays may be mailed to: P.O. Box 1329, Bangor, ME 04402, or e-mailed: email@example.com