Photo by: Steve Horne

Why did the Maine Woods Coalition form?

Lily Bay MountainThe Maine Woods Coalition formed in response to a threat to our way of life in the greater Maine Woods region. This threat is the proposed Maine Woods National Park, which is forwarded mostly by individuals from outside our region. After several presentations and discussions in the summer of 2000, the concept of the Maine Woods Coalition was formed in Maine Woods Coalition.

Many from within the region feel that this park proposal is not a threat because it will not happen. Considering the amount of money and the degree of organization exhibited by its proponents, it is clear that the will of the general public nationwide is being swayed by their efforts. When the public is told that this Park would be good not only for the environment and for the tourist, but also for the local economy, the public is not hearing all of the expected outcomes, such as:

  • loss of higher-paying woods products industry jobs over the entire region
  • acquisition of private property
  • erosion of the municipal and county property tax base
  • increase in the demand for services paid for by this now eroded tax base
  • restrictions on motorized recreational access to the Maine Woods
  • imposition of additional and/or higher fees where none exist now

The federally controlled Maine Woods National Park could happen someday if the public is not told the other side of the story. The Maine Woods Coalition exists in great part to make sure that side of the story is told. There are bigger reasons for the formation of the Maine Woods Coalition. We seek to be the voice of all of the stakeholders within the Maine Woods Region during the contemplation and possible implementation of several plans, including:

  • large-scale land transactions & conservation easements
  • continued transition from a wood-products based economy to a tourist-based economy
  • changes in the Maine Forest Practices Act

The Maine Woods Coalition is concerned with the well being of the stakeholders within the four-county area we have defined as the Maine Woods Region. For any and all of these issues, the MWC seeks only to look critically at the details, support changes in current policies which benefit the region, and oppose changes which are detrimental to the region.