Comments sought Tuesday on Baxter State Park

A view from Knife Edge. Baxter Peak is seen on the right. The peak on the left, which looks taller, is South Peak.  Photo Courtesy of Brad Viles/ Edscan 5/24
A view from Knife Edge. Baxter Peak is seen on the right. The peak on the left, which looks taller, is South Peak. Photo Courtesy of Brad Viles/ Edscan 5/24
Posted July 20, 2010, at 9:36 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 11:29 a.m.

BAXTER STATE PARK, Maine — The managers of Baxter State Park want to hear from you.

Now just starting the revision of the current Baxter State Park Management Plan, park officials will hold a meeting in Bangor from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Bangor Public Library to hear what people think of the park. That includes what it does well, or poorly; how it can be improved; favorite or most-disliked aspects of the park; how the park might adapt to future needs; and anything else people want to say about any aspect of park operations or the park’s more than 200,000 acres of wilderness and public forest.

“We really don’t put limits on it. We just listen,” park Director Jensen Bissell said Tuesday.

At the direction of the Baxter State Park Authority, park officials have begun to revise the management plan, last given a major overhaul in the mid-1980s but updated in smaller ways many times since, Bissell said.

A meeting in Portland last month drew a handful of people, Bissell said. Several suggestions were collected.

Another meeting will be held in the Presque Isle area next month. No date has been set.

Park officials considered holding more meetings, including some in the Katahdin region or western Maine, but chose not to. Summertime is the park’s busiest season and park workers are sufficiently occupied at the moment, Bissell said.

With the park website, www.baxterstateparkauthority.com, interaction with visitors at the park and at the park’s headquarters on Balsam Drive in Millinocket, and their periodic issuance of questionnaires, park workers and officials take in suggestions as part of their work, Bissell said.

“We hear from local people and park users all the time,” he said. “We look at the park as a state resource, and we don’t have the time to do eight or 10 of these meetings.”

The plan’s revision likely won’t start in earnest until late fall or winter, after summer, the park’s busiest season, ends, Bissell said.

“It might take more than a year,” he said. “It is really one of the front items on the agenda for the winter.”

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