Saturday/Sunday, Dec. 3-4, 2011: Maine Woods National Park, Gov. LePage and coyotes

Posted Dec. 02, 2011, at 5:28 p.m.

Keep exchanging ideas

The Bangor Daily News has done a wonderful job of presenting both sides of the argument for a study of the Maine Woods National Park.

What I have noticed in my reading of the BDN’s stories online is that it seems to be more of an argument about personality than the issue itself. It seems that in the comment sections, detractors in most cases talk about what has been “done to them” rather than the park itself. It’s a shame that it has closed minds and the exchange of ideas.

Sheryl Lee

Portland

Skeptical of numbers

On Nov. 26, in his weekly broadcast, Gov. LePage claimed to have heard from “hundreds of business leaders” during three recent summit conferences of Maine’s employers. “They” spoke of the “high cost of doing business in Maine.”

No argument with the message, but “hundreds” of messengers within such a short time frame seems a bit extravagant, particularly since our governor is not well-known for listening. Perhaps the “several” mural objectors have been cloning or maybe we are just being treated to more of the usual stable commodity from our best supplier.

Rick Fayden

Starks

Park friends response

I am writing to clarify a few points in response to Mr. Sambides recent story about the Friends of the Maine Woods. First, we are an organization made up of park supporters from all over, including hundreds from northern Maine. Our small board of directors includes a Millinocket business owner.

Second, the resolution sponsored by the Maine Senate president opposing the study and creation of a Maine Woods National Park was taken up by the Legislature because it is a statewide issue with ramifications for all Mainers. Park opponents want to cast this as a “north-south” issue, or one about personalities, because there are no valid arguments against the merits of a Maine Woods National Park.

The recent Critical Insights poll shows 60 percent of Maine people support studying the feasibility of a Maine Woods National Park, and 9 percent are undecided.

Maine can’t afford to reject a gift of 70,000 acres and $40 million that will create jobs and business opportunities, enhance our quality of life, raise property values and tax revenues and conserve a small piece of the biggest forest east of the Mississippi.

Sen. Cynthia Dill

Friends of the Maine Woods

Help defeat park

Roxanne Quimby’s economic interests are represented by the Sewall Company of Old Town (2nd Congressional district) but her political interest, support and advocacy are planted firmly in the 1st District and not surprisingly with state Sen. Cynthia Dill of Cape Elizabeth. Sen. Dill has established the Dill Leadership PAC with $12,000 of Roxanne’s millions and then donated $5,000 of those funds to the Friends of Maine’s Woods.

Now where do you suppose most of those folks reside?

I say enough of this. It is time for the people of the 2nd District to form their own PAC. If Maine wants to preserve its forest products industry and have a chance at economic revitalization and mill expansion, Ms. Quimby’s efforts need to be outflanked and defeated. She has already tried extortion with the snowmobile clubs and that didn’t work. Now, she is practicing power politics with her money to get what she wants.

It has nothing to do with what is best for Maine people. Companies and their employees need to stand with the people of the 2nd District to spread the evidence that a national park will be an economic disaster and environmental desecration. All the attendant infrastructure will destroy the North Maine Woods and the industry it supports: paved roads, wind turbine electricity for all the facilities, parking lots, trinket shops, kiosks and eateries will require septic systems, wells and probably a landfill. Is this really what we want?

Dudley Gray

Rangeley Plantation

Coyotes and the moon

Sen. Roger Sherman’s confusion about Maine’s northern deer herd is difficult to understand (“Conflicting information on coyote plan,” BDN OpEd, Nov. 26).

Biologists for the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife have explained the

science about predators and particularly coyotes in Maine. These biologists spend time in the field and school and study peer-reviewed, recent research. These professionals inform the public that coyotes are not the problem, lack of habitat is.

I equate these biologists to astronomers who explain to the public that the moon is made of rock.

The other side of the story comes from those who hunt deer. Despite the fact that a healthy predator population never endangered a healthy prey population in good habitat, the thought of deer being eaten by coyotes brings a visceral response from these outdoorsmen. They tell Sen. Sherman coyotes are the reason for a declining deer population.

This is the equivalent of people arguing with astronomers that the moon is made of Swiss cheese. After all, it is yellow and full of holes.

Until there is peer-reviewed science that proves otherwise, we should be listening to our biologists. The moon is not made of Swiss cheese and coyotes are not the reason that deer populations have declined in parts of Maine.

We won’t see a day that snaring meets standards for an incidental take permit. The federal consent agreement signed by our state mandates snaring is illegal and must remain so until an ITP is issued. These are the facts.

Daryl DeJoy

executive director

Wildlife Alliance of Maine

Like the wooden puppet

Concerning the scurrilous attack on voter’s rights waged by state GOP Chairman Charlie Webster during the recent debate over Question 1 which dealt with Election Day registration of voters, the public has every right to be stunned and sickened by his actions. But to vilify only Webster would not be totally accurate.

Webster is just the GOP’s attack dog doing his masters’ bidding. Charlie Webster’s actions bring to mind a more famous Charlie — Charlie McCarthy. Charlie McCarthy was a wooden puppet who performed on the knee of his master Edgar Bergen. Webster deserves the scorn being hurled at him, but the people pulling his strings are to be blamed even more.

It was House Speaker Robert Nutting and Senate President Kevin Raye who sponsored the original bill to suppress voter rights. They are the real movers behind Charlie Webster’s actions. They seem to have forgotten, that just like the wooden puppet Charlie McCarthy, when you looked closely you could see his master’s lips moving.

Gary Guisinger

Perry

 

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