The completion of the Crocker Mountain Conservation Project in Carrabassett Valley is a big victory for our shared outdoor heritage and our region's economy.
Thanks to the leadership of senators Susan Collins and Angus King, and U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, that eight-mile buffer of the Appalachian Trail will be transformed into a world-class destination for outdoor recreation, hiking, mountain biking, skiing, snowmobiling and ATVs, while protecting local timber jobs and increasing regional tourism.
This conservation success story was made possible by the Land and Water Conservation Fund, this nation's most important tool for conserving the nation's most special outdoor places. Funded by a small portion of off-shore oil and gas royalties, it protects working forests, provides grants to states and towns for parks, and protects lands within our national parks, like Acadia. What is even more impressive is that it does not use a dime of taxpayer money.
Unfortunately, this remarkably successful program is under attack. A budget proposal in Congress would eliminate all funding for the LWCF, putting future conservation in Maine at risk.
The public must not allow that to happen. Elected representatives in Washington must fight to protect this valuable outdoor conservation and recreation program, so we can continue to strengthen our local economy while protecting our most special places and Maine’s brand for the next generation.
Lloyd Griscom, Phillips