In his column Feb. 6, V. Paul Reynolds suggested that outgoing Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Commissioner Dan Martin had, as a member of the Baxter State Park “Advisory Council,” failed sportsmen by voting in favor of including Katahdin Lake in the park in 2006 without opposing the hunting ban on the 6,000-acre tract.

Martin served on the Baxter State Park Authority, not the “Advisory Council.” Members of the authority, formed by Gov. Baxter in 1938, act as the principal trustees for Maine’s largest public trust — Baxter State Park. By law, members include the commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the state attorney general and the director of the Maine Forest Service.

In deciding what land uses would be acceptable on the Katahdin Lake parcel, Martin was not acting in his capacity as commissioner of the IF&W but, instead, as a responsible member of the Baxter State Park Authority. He had to vote on what was best for the park.

It is unfair to suggest that his actions on the authority reflect on his tenure as IF&W commissioner.

In 2006, the voices of hunters were clearly heard. The 6,000-acre tract was divided and approximately one-third was accepted by the Department of Conservation for multiple uses, including hunting.

Negotiations to secure access to additional land for hunting and critical snowmobile links continue and would be threatened by attempts to change the status of Katahdin Lake. In 2006, this compromise received overwhelming support in the Legislature.

Anne Huntington, Wayne

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