Our Maine Street's Aroostook Issue 24 : Spring 2015 - Page 51

N at i o n a l Pa r k & N at i o n a l R e c r e at i o n Area By Lucas St. Clair An idea has been gaining support in northern Maine that could revitalize the region, creating new jobs and new opportunity. Through an open and ongoing conversation, the creation of a new national park and national recreation area in the Katahdin region is gaining traction. While a national park in the region has been discussed for a number of years, the idea has changed dramatically as people in the region have weighed in with their suggestions and concerns. After consulting with hundreds – if not thousands – of stakeholders, the current thinking would be to create a 75,000-acre national park with an adjacent 75,000acre national recreation area. The plan would combine the best of both worlds: the world-class brand of the national park with a recreation area that would permanently protect critical snowmobile trails and hunting in the area. The limited size of the proposal would also ensure that working forests could successfully co-exist and thrive with a national park and recreation area. SPRING 2015 49