Public meeting about nonbinding vote on Maine national park plan turns heated

Associated Press

A discussion about a proposed national park east of Baxter State Park turned heated during a public meeting in northern Maine.

Residents met Wednesday night to discuss the proposal, which will be the subject of a nonbinding vote June 25. The park would be made up of 75,000 acres owned by Roxanne Quimby, founder of Burt's Bees. Another 75,000 acres would be a recreation area.

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Maine Woods Coalition organized the meeting and opposes the park plan, WCSH-TV (http://on.wcsh6.com/1Lgailh) reported.

Supporters of the national park plan have said it would create jobs, drive tourism and include recreational opportunities such as hiking, camping, fishing and horseback riding. Opponents have lodged numerous criticisms, including a perceived loss of recreational access. Others have said they don't want to turn land over to the National Park Service.

Park supporter Matt Polstein of New England Outdoor Center took the podium from speakers at the event to tell them they got their facts wrong. He said he's "tired of not getting" accurate information about the plan. Other residents in attendance said they are conflicted about which side to believe.

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Information from: WCSH-TV, http://www.wcsh6.com