National Park Week: Will a New National Park Destroy a Local Way of Life?

Candice Gaukel Andrews April 8, 2014 45
North Rim of the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon was named a national monument (in 1908) long before it was designated as a national park (in 1919). ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

Each spring, the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation sponsor National Park Week, this year designated as April 19–27. To kick off the celebration, Saturday, April 19, and Sunday, April 20, are fee-free entrance days.

I encourage you to go out and visit one of America’s more than four hundred areas within the national park system. This year’s theme is Go Wild.

I have to admit, though, that while I generally love our national parks, they have sometimes frustrated me. They’ve closed when I most wanted them open and suffered so many incursions into their peace and solitude that I often wonder if an experience in them will ever again match the Ken-Burnsian image I have of them in my mind. As a buffer against these modern-day assaults, I think we need to set aside more national parklands — as many as we can get.

So when I read about Burt’s Bees founder Roxanne Qimby’s attempt to gift a new national park and the opposition to it, I thought: How could anyone be against having a new national park?

A beehive of trouble

Yellowstone in winter

Congress named Yellowstone the first national park in 1872. ©Candice Gaukel Andrews

Roxanne Quimby, who owns land in Maine’s North Woods with stunning vistas of Mount Katahdin, the state’s highest peak, has been trying for years to turn a huge parcel of it — with an expanse of forest, granite outcroppings, and abundance of wildlife — into a national park. But ferocious opposition has stalled her plan, partly out of antipathy toward Quimby, who closed off her lands to hunters and snowmobilers, defying a longtime Maine tradition; and partly because many in this strongly independent region loathe the idea of giving the federal government in Washington a toehold in the region.

Quimby acquired her thousands of acres of Maine land after co-founding and later selling Burt’s Bees, a skincare company known for lip balm. She is one of the nation’s 100 largest landowners and has been trying to establish a national park for years by giving more than 100,000 acres to the federal government. Her son, Lucas St. Clair, is now spearheading a grass-roots campaign to win over the hearts and minds of local residents. What Lucas wants to do is donate another 75,000 acres of land for what the St. Clair family calls the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Park. Low-impact activities, such as hiking, fishing, and camping, would be allowed. In addition, the St. Clairs want to donate an adjacent area of equal size as a national recreation area, which would permit hunting and snowmobiling.

Many local residents, however, oppose the idea. They distrust the federal government and resent Mrs. Quimby for closing her lands to some of their favorite activities. They worry that if the government should get a foot in the door, so to speak, it would seize control of local decision-making, take over even more land, ban hunting and snowmobiling altogether, and ruin the local forest products industry by restricting air emissions from mills and limiting the timber supply. In addition, most people in the area feel that working in a mill year-round is better than having a seasonal job in a national park.

Those are hard beliefs to counter in a poor economy.

Birthing a new national park is not easy

Since Congress named Yellowstone the first national park in 1872, most national parks — including the Grand Canyon — received lesser designations, such as national monument, long before they officially became parks. In fact, the most recent national park, Pinnacles in California, which was signed into law in January 2013, was done only after being named a national monument in 1908.

In April, I encourage you to visit a national park. ©Travis J. Andrews

In April, I encourage you to visit a national park. ©Travis J. Andrews

Today, grand gestures of philanthropy are rare. And even for the old, established, well-off families, such as the Rockefellers and Mellons, trying to build national parks wasn’t easy. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. spent three convoluted decades trying to overcome local opposition so that he could add land to Grand Teton National Park.

So, go out and enjoy one of your national parks in April. And remember, they could be a dying breed.

Do you think creating a new national park from donated land in Maine is a good idea, or will it destroy the local way of life?

Here’s to finding your true places and natural habitats,

Candy

45 Comments »

  1. Jonathan Look, Jr. April 8, 2014 at 11:06 pm - Reply

    Kind of sad really that paranoia and desire to kill animals, by small number of folks, on land not available for hunting now, may jeopardize the enjoyment of that land by others for generations to come. Is Maine becoming the new Texas when it comes to selfishness?

    • Bob April 9, 2014 at 12:55 pm - Reply

      Texans are probably the most unselfish folks you’ll ever meet. It’s true we only have 2 national parks here in Texas, however those two are over half as large as Yellowstone. And besides, it seems Easterners are more greedy because almost 90% of land in National Parks are west of the Mississippi.

  2. Jane Wilson April 9, 2014 at 6:16 am - Reply

    I would hope we could save as much land so that our
    future generations will have a chance to escape and explore and see what beauty we have in this country.

  3. Duncan Bryden April 9, 2014 at 7:51 am - Reply

    Hi Candice
    Interested in your article on an NP proposal for Maine. Travelling in British Columbia in 2011 I noticed roadside signs opposing an NP and subsequently leaned that after 10 years of investigation Parks Canada withdrew their interest. I see you have travelled to Scotland, where I am Chairman of Britain’s largest NP – the Cairngorms. We have a very different model to the IUCN NP designation. In the Cairngorms, an area of 4500km2 there are 17,000 people living and working, the Park GDP is around £400million per annum. We also have 25% of Britain’s rarest species. In recent years communities have lobbied hard to become part of the park because of the benefits and we have socio economic aims in our founding legislation.
    Next month we are hosting a conference on the future of National Park, which will be attended by Jon Jarvis of the USNPS – I may ask him about Maine!

    Best Regards
    Duncan Bryden

  4. Sachikanta Chakrabarti April 9, 2014 at 9:13 am - Reply

    A National Park will benefit the locals AND WILL NOT DESTROY THEIR WAY OF LIFE.

  5. Dr Binh Tran April 9, 2014 at 9:19 am - Reply

    The article truly portraits the common “clash” surrounding the establishment of national park. Personally, I don’t think the establishment of the park can alter local way of life especially it has sound management plans in place. The difficulty is to discuss and reach agreements with all stakeholders involves. This process will take time. I hope an agreement can be reached, so that both current and future generations can see the beauty of the areas

  6. Gary Nickerson April 9, 2014 at 11:37 am - Reply

    Interesting. Thanks.

  7. Lawrence Broderick April 9, 2014 at 11:38 am - Reply

    tough call. I am all for it, yet I am not local. Locals have a lot of pull and their concerns and needs must be addressed. But heck yeah! save a 100,000 or 75,000 acres yes, but don’t let government some how turn that into logging or open top mining permits!

  8. Vilma Kuuliala April 9, 2014 at 11:39 am - Reply

    I think that is a discussion that is had/should be had in the context of every new National Park. There will almost always be losses to someone when a NP is established.

    Management can do a lot to prevent and mitigate the clashes, by having an open dialogue with the stakeholders. The local people need to be heard, and they need to feel like they are being heard. Genuine involvement could even convert at least some of them to the side of the NP. Then again, if the people have already had bad experiences with the government, things are definitely going to be difficult.

    The article doesn’t say whether there is a particular feature in the area that needs protection. It will be difficult to justify having a National Park just for the sake of having a National Park, if it is going to take away livelihood from a significant number of people.

  9. Paul Sadin April 9, 2014 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    Yes, I think there can be very good reasons not to establish new national parks, aside from local opposition. In talking about national parks in the article, you mentioned, “They’ve closed when I most wanted them open and suffered so many incursions into their peace . . .” These situations point to the fact that the park system often does not have sufficient funding and staffing to adequately protect the existing parks (and adequately compensate the staff we need working in them). Adding more parks may mean spreading the available budget and staffing even thinner to cover the expanded system.

  10. Bintoora Adonia April 9, 2014 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    By and large, communities usually find the exclusive nature of national park interfering with their rights to access basic park resources, cultural and historical sites and other socio- economic interests. It is vital that the public is sensitised on the conservation values of the area in question and potential benefits that local people are likely to get from the national parks. They should be actively involved in the planning and management of the park. Once their interests, concerns, problems and issues are addressed or seen to be addressed they will support the idea of creating a national park.

  11. Patricia Follweiler April 9, 2014 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    It would be nice for those of us that live in the northeast US to have closer access to national parks that encompass land such as the parcels being discussed in Maine. The question is whether the needs and wants of a large population of citizens trumps the wants of local residents.

    I would think that the dollars generated by tourists would go a long way to helping the economy of the State of Maine. In addition, an expanse of land that could be preserved, especially in the crowded northeast US would be a real plus.

    Roxanne Quimby, as the landowner, has the right to protect her own property and to limit access to it. If she is willing to give such a generous gift to our nation, should we turn it down? Local residents would then be able to legally enjoy it.

    I’m not a resident, but I know I would prefer a national park in my backyard to another casino or a high-end development that only the rich can afford.

  12. Bill Bleisch April 9, 2014 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    Bintoora, I agree completely. The flip side of this is that if local people are not consulted and do not give their free, prior, informed consent, the resulting conflicts can plague the park for generations. We often see this in China and Vietnam where I have worked, but I have also heard that is an issue at Great Smokey and Medicine Bow National Parks in the U.S. Building local support before park establishment or extension is not just the right thing to do, it is the way to do things right.

  13. Dennis Williamson April 10, 2014 at 9:26 am - Reply

    Yes, I agree with what Bill, Bintoora and Vilma have said. However, do think that those Maine residents who are opposed to Roxanne Quimby’s and her son Lucas’ philanthropic proposal seem to place their own ‘rights’ above those of the people who actually own the land in question. Regardless of what traditions and past events may have been, there are many alternative locations in Maine where people can hunt and snowmobile. According to Candy’s article, the Quimby family are not only offering to donate 175,000 acres to the public (yes – same as the Government) as a National Park, but they are also offering another 175,000 acres for a public recreation reserve in which the public can hunt and snowmobile. Rejection of such a generous offer could well be described in many ways – none of which reflect positively on those objecting to the proposal.

    Although public consultation is very much recommended, conducting such consultation soley to placate some local vexatious objectors could well become a misguided, costly and futile activity. From the gist of the article, timber harvests and other extractive uses are not currently taking place on these private lands. The Quimby’s could just as easily retain the land and lock it up for their own personal use – so what would be the public gain in that? The benefits to the local and wider community of Quimby’s proposal will be around long after the objections of those opposing the park are long forgotten. Bill’s examples from China and Vietnam have value, but it should also be said that in many instances China and Vietnam have bent over backwards in recent years to establish World Heritage Areas, National Parks and other forms of natural and cultural protected areas. My personal experience has been in the nomination process for the South China Karst World Heritage Area – where I was told that 10 million local Chinese people danced in the streets when the Wulong Unit was approved for listing! In many ways they see such reserves as a way of gaining status and respect on the world stage and have emulated the United States and other western nations in this regard. However, they also see that the economic benefits associated with tourism, along with the protection of sacred sites and other traditional values as of great help to many local communities who have survived only a subsistence lifestyle on the meager resources they could utilise from many of these locations.

    It may be possible that the area would be better qualified as some other form of reserve, other than a National Park, but that is subject to a detailed assessment. However, those in the local community who have some future vision should support Roxanne Quimby and her son.

  14. Julie Johnston April 10, 2014 at 9:28 am - Reply

    An issue for locals is whether they’ll get stuck with the extra policing, firefighting and health care costs inherent in having a huge new whack of strangers, er, tourists visit the area. Something else (speaking from experience here, as I live in a region with a new Canadian national park reserve) that can concern locals is whether their activities in the area will be restricted. For example, will they still be able to ride bicycles on trails that they used to ride on? Or will they be “shut out” in a way?

  15. C. Tsopito April 10, 2014 at 9:29 am - Reply

    one would like to know as to whether the land in question was privately owned or not. If it was, it would imply that the community had no claim to it and as such had no claim to it and the owner had the right to do what he/she wanted with it. However, even with that observation made, whatever went in within the NP could pose opportunities and threats to the community. Thus, in the spirit of Natural Resource Management, consultations between the concerned parties would go a long in finding a lasting and satisfying conclusion as to what was best for everyone involved.

  16. Ray Wilson April 10, 2014 at 9:31 am - Reply

    Hi Candice
    I don’t know about the USA, but here in the UK there are all sorts of restrictions placed upon local building and planning and occasionally tpes of business within National Parks. I am not saying that the restrictions are bad, they are there to protect the park, but they are a source of frustration for locals, so I could see why there could be local objections.

    I love National Parks but I wouldn;t want to live in one as I think it would be like living in a museum since all home improvements or change of business have to be approved by the park authority. As always there are two sides to every story.

  17. Phomolo Mohapi April 10, 2014 at 9:31 am - Reply

    I fully agree, with the concerned community. people need to be consulted and notified on any developments around their area.

  18. Stephen Mason April 10, 2014 at 9:34 am - Reply

    There are and should always be mixed feelings towards any proposal for change. This indicates a healthy level of interest and allows space for open and frank discussion for all parties involved. Whilst i personally would almost always be in favour of any new parkland on a local or national basis i realise that each individual situation has its own particular considerations. As has been said it is local opinion that carries weight and the impact on the local communities and their infrastructure must be considered. However in a world where the living environment is so abused the bias should be towards implementation of positive change.

  19. Patricia Follweiler April 10, 2014 at 9:36 am - Reply

    There are two scenarios — either the land remains in private hands or it becomes public. In private hands, any type of development can occur at some point in time. Public ownership can protect it.

  20. Susan Main April 10, 2014 at 9:37 am - Reply

    I believe it could only be a good thing… having another National Park will ensure that the beauty of the land will be enjoyed not only by the present generation but future generations to come.

  21. Tom Potter April 10, 2014 at 9:49 am - Reply

    I love National Parks and all the great outdoors. I am blessed to have gorgeous Rocky Mountain National Park just a 2 hour drive from my home. I guess there is always going to be opposing input from different folks; human nature. I love the idea of having these lands set aside for all to enjoy, us and future generations. You may think I’m a comedian just for suggesting this, but, perhaps limiting the Fed Govt’s reach into the National Parks System?? I know, I know – I’d sooner part the Red Sea, right?! Told you you might think I was being funny. Shame, really – initially, one might think the idea of creating a new Natl Park would be a no-brainer.

    Tom Potter
    Landscape, Nature Photographic Prints For Sale
    Focusing On Colorado
    http://www.tompotterphotography.com
    tom@tompotterphotography.com

  22. Jim Barborak April 10, 2014 at 5:31 pm - Reply

    Though the US has still not ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity, almost every other country on earth has, and in each of them and in the US there are efforts underway to strengthen national protected area systems to make sure they are ecologically representative. Even 99 years after creating the National Park Service, in the US there are still many biomes that are un- or underrepresented in the National Park System, like the forests of New England and the Great Lakes, southern long-leaf pine forests, and short and tallgrass prairies. With that in mind, creation of a large new national park in Maine would fill an ecological gap in the US national park system. An important way of dealing with local interests and concerns such as those mentioned in this case is the creation of permanent local advisory councils for parks and reserves, something that many countries now use to ensure that there is not just public input when a new area is being proposed or a management plan is being updated, but on a permanent basis. As was mentioned by other commentators, in this case if a willing donor wants to give lands they have acquired on the open market to the government, and has even gone so far as accommodating local concerns and interests by making sure that part of the lands to be donated will still be open to activities like sport hunting and snowmobiling, I think Roxanne Quimby should be hailed as a philanthropic visionary. Once the park is created, I am sure that the opposition will die down once the economic benefits of the park become more obvious. I don’t recall seeing any protest signs or hearing any unhappy campers in my visits to the booming towns around Maine’s other long-extant national park, Acadia, which likewise was in part a gift of philanthropic donors.

  23. s j brown April 10, 2014 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    National Parks not only preserve the natural area but they promote tourism. I would love to have a National Park close to my home. I think they are a good thing for any area. But then I admit I am bias.

  24. Rosemary Lee April 10, 2014 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    Yes, change is inevitable, and it is positive change to create a National Park. Parks always face resistance in my experience, so it’s important to keep community stakeholders involved throughout the planning and life of the park.

  25. Angela P. Schapiro April 10, 2014 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    Hi Candice,
    Yeah for Burt. As we know the bee population is being decimated by mites. Anything to protect them is good. Without bees the whole structure of nature and agriculture will, and is, being negatively affected.

  26. Dean Schlichting April 10, 2014 at 5:37 pm - Reply

    The Park Service cannot keep adding parks without more funding. They are already underfunded, and cannot afford to properly manage the resources they already have. Every new park need to come with the funding to pay for it. The NPS is already in a bad position and this makes it worse. In addition the NPS needs to re-establish relevancy with the people, and the political power that comes with it. Politicians see no consequences to the beating up of the NPS and it’s employees. Remember the shutdown?

  27. Jacqui April 11, 2014 at 11:33 pm - Reply

    The reason that parks are strapped for money is that conservation projects are one of the first things cut from budgets when the economy is bad. To place blame on the parks for these cuts to their funding seems ridiculous to me. If people there are limitations on staff, we should hire more people so prorams, opportunities, and education remain solid and diverse. If everything came down to protection of old livelihoods, we’re never progess or change old land-use choices.

  28. bherbig April 12, 2014 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    The concept of the Maine Woods national park was being talked about in the 1970s, as I can remember. I’ve encountered local people who still resent eminent domain used to buy land to form NPS units such as the national seashore in the Outerbanks, Shenandoah NP, and others. Maybe current sociological studies and outreach early in the process can illuminate the problems of persuading the public to support new parks. I expect that human dimensions research has improved since the 1970s.

  29. Gresley Wakelin-King April 13, 2014 at 9:54 am - Reply

    Is a new NP ever a bad idea? Depends if the administering level of government has the funding to run it. Most land needs some economic base to secure its maintenance. Land without active management is prone to feral pests and weeds, and unregulated fire.

  30. Sune Holt April 13, 2014 at 9:55 am - Reply

    This is no more than a simple conflict of interests between hunters and snowmobilers on one side and hikers and sports anglers on the other. Maybe the first group is just better in lobbying? And maybe we can learn something from this case?

  31. Govind Bharad April 13, 2014 at 9:55 am - Reply

    Candice, people with vested interests are bound to oppose such activity. The government and the supporters for greenlands have to take the stern action, considering the welfare of the Society as well as the future generations.

  32. Mark Kraych April 13, 2014 at 9:56 am - Reply

    That was a wonderful article. Thank you Candice!

  33. Daniel Mattos April 13, 2014 at 9:59 am - Reply

    This is very interesting. As far as I could understand, the land is privately owned and is already closed to outsiders therefore conservation is already in place. However, it doesn’t add any value to the community as it can’t profit from it (debatable, but lets simplify it). This already bothers the local community, or a fraction of it. Then we add the fact that it will become Government owned and the whole thing explodes. I think this has to do more with a rejection to the government, rather than the concept on it’s self. In Chile we have a special figure where land owners can “donate” their land to the government, keeping ownership but handing the administration of the land as a National Park to the government. Also, the concept for sustainability is applied in a system of Multiple-Use Protected Areas where detailed Zoning is carried out within the park (there is even a case of a power plant built inside a park). I do believe that community engagement is essential and a stakeholder analysis would pinpoint the conflict groups and allow for a separate discussions as they might not reflect the whole community, but are the most organized and the loudest. In many cases I also believe that disinformation is the worst enemy and sitting down at the table together will undeniably solve that.

  34. Bob Hedburg April 13, 2014 at 10:00 am - Reply

    The name “park” has different meanings of what is acceptable use of resources differs across the world with respect to “national” parks. It can vary a from an absolute no human use allowed, (other than observation) to regulated resource use that includes hunting and timber harvest. Each one here has their own vision of what is park is based on their own experience.

  35. Leslie Gecy April 13, 2014 at 10:01 am - Reply

    I worked on a parcel of land proposed for a State Park. Prior to that it had been proposed for a private gated community with 20 acre lots. The list of CCR’s was extensive covering everything from light restrictions to avoid night-time pollution to maintaining most of the land in a native state. The local community uproar was extensive. Even though privately owned, the idea that a gate could be put on the property was upsetting. So a gate was put on and the battle raged even hotter, with cries of wetland destruction filling the air. Ultimately subdivision permits were denied by the County. In my experience it was the best designed and most environmentally conscious subdivision plan I have ever seen and had only very minor wetland impacts.

    Fast forward a couple of years. The State purchased the land and developed a new state park. It was also well designed but did result in substantially more wetland impacts including cutting down of riparian forest trees. In both cases, the plans were good and the majority of resources protected. In both cases former vehicular traffic was prohibited with gated entries. In one case the county would have received huge tax income, in the second, none. In both cases, local establishments would have benefitted.

    The big difference in terms of local concern was in my opinion was how traffic was routed to and from the site.

  36. Jimmy Kiema April 13, 2014 at 10:04 am - Reply

    It depends on what will change after the change of status. In Kenya National Parks are no go Zones to community out to utilize resources such as forages for livestock, medicinal plants or fuelwood. If such a proposal was done in anywhere in Kenya, chances are, the local community will reject because of lost of benefits and occasional harassment by government officials out to enforce No utilization policy.

  37. Shri Jai Krishna Tewari April 13, 2014 at 10:05 am - Reply

    We should not jump on to something just because it is free. Its value to fulfil the ecological gaps should be analysed on stand alone basis as large public funds are to be committed on a permanent recurring basis. If yes then local consultation and incorporating local wisdom is a must for long term sustainability and positive public opinion for conservation programs. Regulators must burn their ego and think in terms of facilitators. Positive public opinion is a must for success of any conservation program in any political set up. Quality education incorporating and inculcating environmental values and sensitization would go a long way to soften the majority public opinion in a positive way.

  38. Lala A. K. Singh April 13, 2014 at 10:06 am - Reply

    If properly managed by motivated field officers, a ‘Protected Area” will streamline and make the local way of life sustainable.

  39. Adcharaporn Pagdee April 14, 2014 at 3:28 am - Reply

    Definitely, it will change or destroy local ways of life. Since the land is open as a national park, you can’t control a massive of tourists coming in. Think of water supply, parking areas, hotels and restaurants, on and on and on to serve tourists. That’s a big chunk of resources. In addition, an idea of protected areas is good but should not be considered as an answer for all. If local communities can protect their land while sustaining their livelihoods or if they decide to change that is their choice, why not let they do it. Diversification of conservation options is also part of diverity, don’t you think?

  40. David Sollitt April 14, 2014 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    It’s never a bad idea, but it’s not surprising that some are opposed. I reflect on the local opposition to the formation of Grand Teton National Park and the projected deleterious effects it would have on the economy of the Jackson Hole area. Clearly, those projections were misguided and short sighted, but they represented the voices of specific interests. Parks mean change. Parks mean transfer of control from local interests to national supervision and regulation. In virtually every case, those transfers of control have benefitted local economies and property values. Teton County, WY, now enjoys some of the highest real estate values in the nation, in part because the beauty of the Tetons and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem has been preserved. It is significant that Cliff Hansen, one of the most bitter opponents to the formation of the park and former Wyoming Governor and two term Senator, stated toward the end of his life, “I’m glad I lost the fight.I have to appreciate, as everyone else does, the beauty and uniqueness of this area.” Hopefully, the folks in Maine who are fighting the formation of a new park will have the opportunity for such an epiphany.

  41. Alex Afdhal April 14, 2014 at 2:07 pm - Reply

    I am as local tourist guide agree with Mr. Sollitt who says; “It’s never a bad idea,….” for I have proven that tourism industry brings positive impact to the local economic and also open locals’ mind that the National Park where they live nearby needs tourist guide to obtains new side jobs.
    For instance; CROSSING BORNEO WEST TO EAST OVERLAND, it needs 4 local people for every couple visitor to carry on logistic to go into the ragged jungle remain in the world.
    They (the local) with their local believe will teach the tourists not to do any type of vandalism in the Park.
    In my country where I live tourism is not yet that popular as in the other country. Some of my experiences, I guided tourist to Cross Borneo Island through the rugged jungle of Betung Karihun National Park in the West Kalimantan connect to National Park Bukit Raya Bukit Baka, in Central Kalimantan and Kutai Barat in East Kalimantan, we do not meet any tourist neither local in 8 days jungle walk except our group. I would like to say that my adventurers clients I garantee that they do not destroy my National Park, in contrary they brings benefit to local people.

  42. Gillian Gaspard April 14, 2014 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    Caribbean Greetings. I don’t think a new national park would destroy a local way of life. Actually I think it is a great idea. Having a new national park can actually be very beneficial to locals as it can be very relaxing for them and help them to appreciate the beauty of nature. It can also motivate locals to keep their environment clean and lead to a better and healthier environment for all.

  43. Beverly Burmeier April 14, 2014 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    National parks add so much to what the U. S. has to offer. I can’t imagine turning down an offer to preserve beautiful landscapes.

  44. Kathryn Papp April 15, 2014 at 11:08 am - Reply

    The most effective way to preserve biological diversity is to maintain land in private hands. This is how the rarest of animals survived as Europe suffered war and deprivation.

    People are excellent caretakers, when they do so as a dedicated group with a common cause. Community and Commons are well-known and practiced. They were the basis for Elinor Ostrom’s Nobel prize.

    Quimby’s son’s effort to open a broad conversation with local folks is just the right way to start. I wish him luck!

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