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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Op-ed: Baxter deal a disaster for sportsmen
By BDN Staff
Monday, January 1, 2007 - Bangor Daily News

When all is said and done, when there is no open space left in Maine for sportsmen to hunt, what will we see when we look back? Will we be able to say that we went down fighting to save our heritage, or will we lower our heads in shame knowing that we let our way of life slip from our hands with a whimper?

On Dec. 15, just a week after the 65th anniversary of another day that must never be forgotten, the main headline in the Bangor Daily News read, "Baxter park deal adds 4,000 acres." What the headline failed to say is that the 4,000 acres, which was once accessible to hunters (including the father of conservation, Teddy Roosevelt), is forbidden to hunters, forever. Our governor let that happen. Our state Legislature let that happen. Our state fish and wildlife commissioner let that happen.

The celebratory comments from state officials ought to be burned into the memory of all of us who call ourselves sportsmen. The governor likened the land annexation to an "early holiday present for Maine residents." For some Mainers it is not a gift. It is a rebuff, a slap in the face to all sportsmen. Our fish and wildlife commissioner, Roland Martin, said, "He [Baxter] is probably looking down on us right now and he is saying something like, ‘Finally it’s complete after all these years.’"

At this point, what else could Commissioner Martin say? He could have said some stronger words back along when the deal was in its formative stages. As a voting member of the Baxter Park Authority, he could have stood up and taken a stand. With a determined voice he could have said, "No, sir. As Maine’s fish and wildlife commissioner, I strongly oppose this deal as long as it excludes my constituents, hunters and trappers."

He could have said it then. He could have said these words again, later, as testimony to the state Legislature when this anti-hunting deal was being openly debated. But he didn’t. He didn’t speak for sportsmen at a time when his voice could have made the difference. Was he under orders from the governor’s office not to speak out? Perhaps, but we may never know. What we do know is that fish and wildlife commissioners before him, stronger leaders like Bucky Owen or Bill Vail, would have spoken out and even put their jobs on the line for a high- stakes issue like this one.

Even SAM spokesman George Smith, who earlier waged the good fight against this deal, sounded tired, resigned and low on pluck. "What we are trying to do is put this project behind us. It wasn’t a good project for sportsmen," Smith said. Not like Smith to be so cautious and understated. Face it. This was a disaster for sportsmen. It is more than a loss of 4,000 acres of accessible hunting land. It is an unsettling policy template for the future. From the Baldacci administration and his political patrons, Maine’s New Age environmental organizations, there are more exclusionary recreational land- use policies just around the corner.

Consider: 1) Roxanne Quimby’s new township purchase north of Millinocket. 2) Department of Conservation’s Backcountry Project that envisions multiple 1,000-acre Eco-Reserves that are off limits to hunters and other traditional users(INSERT POLESTEIN HERE!). 3) The 37,000-acre Katahdin Iron Works acquisition by the Appalachian Mountain Club.

One way or another, all or part of these aforementioned new-ownership timberlands will exclude hunters, trappers, snowsledders, and, in some cases, fishermen.

As sportsmen watch in dizzying disbelief, their Maine heritage is getting swallowed up by elitist environmental incrementalism. When traditional users no longer have access to Maine wildlands, there will be no solace in the knowledge that, in so many instances, sportsmen’s tax dollars and their hunting and fishing license fees were used against them.

If you are a sportsman with any fight left in you at all, you might not want to forget the Katahdin Lake land deal.

V. Paul Reynolds is editor of the Northwoods Sporting Journal. He is also a Maine Guide, co-host of a weekly radio program "Maine Outdoors" on WVOM-FM 103.9, WCME-FM 96.7 and former information officer for the Maine Department of Fish and Wildlife. His e-mail address is [email protected].

Polestein is right in the middle of this BACK COUNTRY Deal. Did anyone else see the snake on TV the other night.
 

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WOW i had not heard anything about this. Sounds like complete bullshit. What can we do?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nothing now! Our wonderful Democrat led Maine Legislature, and Chief Executive Bald one have made this decision for you. Now we have to live with it. Keep voting Democrat so we can eliminate our sport completely.
 

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They tout themselves as protecting Maine's heritage, but they squash it. Why isn't there some coalition of wealthy snowmobilers and manufacturers who could step in and secure our sledding rights by buying the land or maybe just a long term lease on the trail network...

Face it: the nutsjobs have more money, have more time, have more fight, and have way way better propoganda skills.
 

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whole deal sucks either way .... but at least quimby isnt the owner of it ....

its very frustrating ..... the environmentalists sure can pool up alot more money than the sportsmaen can ..... maybe we need a new organization to fund legal battles against situations like this in the future
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
whole deal sucks either way .... but at least quimby isnt the owner of it ....[/b]
Dude! What the FUCK is the difference? We cant hunt it, we cant ride it! She might as well own it. If she owned it there might be some tax revenue until she put it into the tree growth program. State of Maine under Baldacci/Democrat Enviro-Nazis = Quimby Just keep telling yourself that. Its easier to sort this out if you do.
 

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hey homer... your crying over spilt milk now, all we can do is try to change any future of letting more deals like this happen.... and they will happen until the maine sportsmen get together and get better representation, legal and otherwise...... mailing out a voting petition aint gonna do it... it takes lots of money.

its only begun homer.... so get something figured out(with george smith) for the rest of us and we will be there
 

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We're getting some of this in N.H. My town had to spend tax money to buy conservation right to land to slow down growth, but it is protected that only hikers, birdwatchers, maybe cross country skiers and a potential future water shed for town use. Lee and Deerfield NH are doing same thing, but it is going to cause higher taxes to pay for conservation rights, but not neccessarily deed to the land. The land doesn't generate tax money. I heard rumor that one of the persons involved with land buying in Maine is friends with one of our newly elected officials in N.H. How come ARRA didn't get involved with you situation in Maine? The ARRA sends me newletters in email, when other states are having land use and land closures issues. What happened with the abandoned rail system the State was going to buy for snowmobile trail up north? plowking
 

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We need more $Ted Nugent$ type investors to show interest in Maine property. I had no idea that the 4000 acre baxter deal was going to be closed to hunting and snowmobilling. That is fucking terrible. The bottom line seems to be that no one sportsman or sportsmans group will pony up the cash to buy land and preserve it for future generations of hunting and snowmobilling, etc, where as the enviromentalists like Quimby and other wealthy "nutjobs" don't mind. If I had the cash I would buy the land and you would all be welcome to hunt, snowmobile, fish etc. and so would your children and thier children right down the line. Big Money in nutjobs hands SUCKS!!
 

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It's bad enough just to see it on paper and read about it, but y'all ought to be thankful it's not your backyard. Because it is my backyard!!

If a tree falls in the woods and lands on Roxanne Quimby and noone is there to hear it, does she still scream :lol2: , I mean does it still make a noise?
 

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It's bad enough just to see it on paper and read about it, but y'all ought to be thankful it's not your backyard. Because it is my backyard!!

If a tree falls in the woods and lands on Roxanne Quimby and noone is there to hear it, does she still scream :lol2: , I mean does it still make a noise?[/b]
sounds like an experiment to try !!! :smilielol:
 

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Okay, first, this is a large loss of land to snowmobiling. But, we can't expect to have it all. The State of Maine along with numerous land trusts across the state have acquired huge tracts of lands and/or easements along with rail beds over the past dozen years that have ensured trails for snowmobiles for future generations to come. Many of these acquisitions have been financed and supported by non snowmobilers.

I have been actively snowmobiling in the Western Mountains of Maine since 1970 and can easily say we have been closed off to far more land by the paper companies than any one group. Plowed roads have become widely expansive over the last twenty years cutting snowmobilers out of large area forest tracts and causing a constant rerouting of trails. This and along with all the gates they have added.

I also think the skiers, snowshoers and winter hikers have a right to areas to enjoy their sport without the dangers and noise of motorized vehicles passing them.
Their share of the state is still very small compared to the snowmobiler's network of trails. I enjoy hiking and bicycling in the north country during the summer and fall and can't say I enjoy ATV's and off road motorcycles wizzing by on quiet country lanes and hiking trails. I believe the best of both worlds can exist.

Another huge problem was created years ago when Governor McKernnen opened the flood gates to tourism. He basically was the one who said if we advertise heavily we can attract many tourists from away. And came they did. They loved Maine, they built big summer and winter homes, bought lots of land, gated it, posted it, created traffic jams and suddenly Maine was a lot more crowded. They created a demand for summer and winter land/camps that these Maine traditions are now priced out of the Mainer's hands. Our beautiful remote lakes are now stacked with camps owned by out of staters and beyond our price range due to out of stater demand.

I do not know Mr. Polestein but understand he rents cabins to snowmoiblers, rents snowmobiles and owns the groomers that groom his area. What is his crime? This article is headlined referring to him and there is nothing in the article that even mentions his name. Is he just capitalizing on the future of winter hiking, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing. Is this not being a good business man catering to both? Its a little hard to get a handle on Mr. Polestein and one man's hatred of him and never ending attacks on him when he is not here to defend himself.

A never ending hatred campaign against one man and referring to our governor by ethnic name calling reflects badly on us as snowmobilers. I hope we as a group can rise above this and find solutions that make our sport reflect on a well respected group of people that so many in this sport are.

mike
 

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They created a demand for summer and winter land/camps that these Maine traditions are now priced out of the Mainer's hands. Our beautiful remote lakes are now stacked with camps owned by out of staters and beyond our price range due to out of stater demand.[/b]
This is NOT just happening in ME. Many areas are seeing land costs sky rocket and exceed the limits of affordability to the younger genration who live there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
its only begun homer.... so get something figured out(with george smith) for the rest of us and we will be there[/b]
Gotta Match?

That something figured out is to drive out all of the "AWAYS" so we can have our State back. :beerchug: Who do you think 95% of these Enviro-Nazis are? Their not Joe the local fisherman, or Fred the local farmer, or Jack the local wood cutter. For every "AWAY" with his head screwed on right like you, there are 10 more nut jobs shoving you aside and buying up the land once owned by Maine people or timber companies. Now all the young people are moving out, and so are the Timber holdings. This was just a matter of time in coming.
 

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Gotta Match?

That something figured out is to drive out all of the "AWAYS" so we can have our State back. :beerchug: Who do you think 95% of these Enviro-Nazis are? Their not Joe the local fisherman, or Fred the local farmer, or Jack the local wood cutter. For every "AWAY" with his head screwed on right like you, there are 10 more nut jobs shoving you aside and buying up the land once owned by Maine people or timber companies. Now all the young people are moving out, and so are the Timber holdings. This was just a matter of time in coming.[/b]
Yup i see this happening too. Lots of lobsterman and farmers (all but gone) going out of business and selling their land. Soon we will be selling our land. Taxes are just too high and fishing is too costly. Time to find another source of income. There are too many people in the lobstering industry. The Maine Department of Marine Resources has done a poor job in managing how many people they let into the industry. Take a piece of pie and cut it in 100 pieces. Nice big chunk ya got there huh? :banghead:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The more stories printed, the more the pieces all fit together, and the more we can see the connections in what people were talking about in those first reports from Mr Anderson.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
do not know Mr. Polestein but understand he rents cabins to snowmoiblers, rents snowmobiles and owns the groomers that groom his area. What is his crime? This article is headlined referring to him and there is nothing in the article that even mentions his name. Is he just capitalizing on the future of winter hiking, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing. Is this not being a good business man catering to both? Its a little hard to get a handle on Mr. Polestein and one man's hatred of him and never ending attacks on him when he is not here to defend himself.

A never ending hatred campaign against one man and referring to our governor by ethnic name calling reflects badly on us as snowmobilers. I hope we as a group can rise above this and find solutions that make our sport reflect on a well respected group of people that so many in this sport are.

mike[/b]
That article has EVERYTHING to do with Polestein whether or not he is mentioned in it, he will be benefitting of it! You need to inform yourself a little better friend. Read the other thread and take CAREFUL note of Venturers post. Polestein HAS defended himself by threathing WEBSITE owners into banning anyone that speaks ill of him. Didn't you know that or are you simply ill-informed again? I never said I HATE the guy, so don't put words in my mouth. I don't like people who play both sides of the field, and deny it when confronted or when proof of it surfaces. I don't like weasles who think they are so goddamned smart, and the rest of us are fucking stupid, and that no one knows what they are up to. Ever read the book about ENRON: THE SMARTEST PEOPLE IN THE ROOM?

Governor MEATBALL? The guy owns an Italian resturant that serves meatballs right? So one could argue that his head is one big MEATBALL. Stop playing the race card and making insinuations that I am some sort of racist! I'm half FRENCH, and half IRISH. You've never made a dumb Frenchman, or drunk Irishman joke? B.S.!
 

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I also think the skiers, snowshoers and winter hikers have a right to areas to enjoy their sport without the dangers and noise of motorized vehicles passing them.
Their share of the state is still very small compared to the snowmobiler's network of trails. I enjoy hiking and bicycling in the north country during the summer and fall and can't say I enjoy ATV's and off road motorcycles wizzing by on quiet country lanes and hiking trails. I believe the best of both worlds can exist.[/b]
I'd say the skiers, snowshoers and winter hikers are doing quite well now with Roxanne Quimby,the Appalachian Mountain Club, and other preservationist groups buying land and declaring it to be non-motorized ecological reserves. I don't pity these passive recreationists in the least, as the momentum is going their way. Our momentum on the other hand is losing steam, as we get shut out of more and more areas. All the passive recreation types have to do is sit back, as Quimby and other preservationists groups increase their recreational opportunities. We, on the other hand, are in the fight of our lives.

Think about this little angle. Roxanne Quinby left Burt's Bees with $180 million. She really hasn't spent that much. Say with investment growth, she's got $150 million left. $150 million will buy alot of land; and she is only one of the preservationists! Like I say, the preservationists are just getting started. They have the momentum.
 

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Mr. EvilHomer, you have used this Maine snowmobile forum to do nothing but promote your paranoia and obsessive hatred towards Mr. Polestein. It isn't much different from the 1950's McCarthy witch hunt, a Communist behind every closet door, is it?
mike
 
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