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The Maine Snowmobile Association

When contacting elected officials, please be polite and concise. Note the legislation about which you are communicating, make your point, and thank them in advance for any support or consideration they give to your concerns. An attitude of "disagreeing without being disagreeable" will reflect well on the association and make your comments more powerful.


                               MSA News/Issues

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Park supporters admit defeat by pursuing monument plan




Park supporters admit defeat by pursuing monument plan
Supporters of a Maine woods national park have confirmed that they are now pursuing a national monument designation by President Obama as a path to creating a national park on land owned by Roxanne Quimby's Elliotsville Plantation, Inc. (EPI).
The monument designation, which can be accomplished by a presidential executive order under the Antiquities Act, would bypass the public process of creating a park through congressional action. Maine's congressional delegation has refused to introduce legislation to create the park, and with the exception of first district Rep. Chellie Pingree, have voiced varying degrees of opposition to the park.
The move follows crushing defeats in non-binding advisory votes in East Millinocket and Medway in June, and vocal opposition from groups like Maine Snowmobile Association, Maine Woods Coalition and the Maine Forest Products Council. In addition, over 225 Maine businesses ranging from Cianbro to small family stores have signed on a list of Maine businesses opposed to the park. In recent conversations with staffers from Maine's delegations, EPI president Lucas St. Clair has expressed frustration at the delegation' s refusal to introduce legislation to create the park. It is generally acknowledged in Congress that if the bill doesn't have the support of the state's delegation, it is dead in the water. In a recent interview, St. Clair said that the monument designation is not their preferred path, but may be the only one that exists for the park. Since the Antiquities Act became law in 1906, presidents have designated 145 national monuments. Obama has designated 17 in the past seven years and is expected to name several more in the final year of his administration.
The lack of public participation in the monument designation is frustrating to many people, and in late September the Maine Snowmobile Association filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Dept. of the Interior in an attempt to gain more information. The initial response included dozens of e-mails about setting up meetings between EPI and DOI leadership, but no details of the meetings themselves. Work to gain more information is ongoing.
Governor LePage expressed his opposition to monument designations in a strongly worded letter to Obama and Maine's Congressional delegation in August regarding plans to create a marine national monument at Cashes Ledge in the Gulf of Maine. Three members of Maine's congressional delegation have also issued a statement expressing concern with the potential of a monument designation in the Maine woods.
In any case, whatever happens with a monument designation is likely to happen quickly. Obama has slightly more than a year left in office, and 2016 is the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, which has been mentioned often in statements by Quimby and St. Clair. MSA members are strongly encouraged to write to their members of congress and ask them to stand firm in their opposition to a park.
Last summer, after residents of the Katahdin Area registered a resounding "NO!" to a national park in their backyard, members of the Maine Woods Coalition called upon park proponents to give up the push for a park, move on and work towards real economic progress in rural Maine. Click the links to read the press release and letter to Roxanne Quimby and Lucas St Clair.
Coalition Press release, Letter to Quimby and St Clair


Snowmobile Program Report Presented
The Report of the Internal Review of the Snowmobile Program by Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioner Walt Whitcomb, was presented to the Legislature's ACF Committee in early January. This study was initiated as a result of legislation introduced by the MSA last winter. We believe that the report and recommendations will help increase transparency and equity within the program and help clubs statewide as we move forward. View the report.




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