Your recent editorial supporting a review of the current condition of the Allagash Wildnerness Waterway was very timely (April 3). In addition, Conservation Commissioner McGowan should be commended for waiting on the results of the federal review of the waterway.

What many Sun Journal readers may not understand is that the wild nature of the Allagash waterway lives on mostly as a myth. Years of neglect of its early wilderness designation has turned the river into more of a recreational playground than a wilderness.

Last fall, while canoeing the waterway, forestry clearcuts were visible from the river, harvest equipment could be heard working at night, motorized boats were heard and seen on most of the waterway lakes, and towering forestry transports were seen crossing many of the bridges on the river.

Certainly most of the waterway is visually beautiful, but wild it certainly is not.

The citizens of Maine now face a choice, they can continue to grant motorized access and confirm the Allagash as a shadow of its former wild personality, or they can realize this opportunity to restore the waterway to something of its former glory.

Surely there is room in the north woods for a truly protected wilderness experience free of mechanization and human intrusion.

Graham F. Hallward,

Scarborough and Toronto, Ontario


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