Definitions

furbish lousewort

Maine North Woods

The Maine North Woods is the northern geographic area of the state of Maine in the United States.

Location and economy

The Maine North Woods is a region of over 3.5 million acres (14,000 km²) of top forest land in north-western Maine. It includes western Aroostook and northern Somerset, Penobscot, and Piscataquis counties. Much of the woods is currently owned by the Seven Islands Land Company, Plum Creek, Maibec, Orion Timberlands and Irving timber corporations. Ownership changes hands quite frequently and is often difficult to determine. Its main products are timber for pulp and lumber, as well as a thriving hunting and outdoor recreation economy. Included within its boundaries are two of the most famous wild rivers of the Northeastern United States -- the St. John and the Allagash. The North Maine Woods completely surrounds the Allagash Wilderness Waterway.

Wildlife

The Maine North Woods are predominantly forestland consisting of mixed northern hardwoods and conifers, much of it artificially planted after harvesting by the various landowners. The major tree species are sugar maple, American beech, balsam fir, quaking aspen, Northern white cedar, red spruce, white spruce, black spruce, yellow birch, paper birch,and Eastern white pine. The area is also home to moose, coyotes, beavers, ruffed grouse, white-tailed deer and Black bears. There are official hunting seasons for the grouse, deer and bears, with a state-run lottery system for awarding moose-hunting licences. The Maine North Woods are also home to the endangered Canada lynx, bald eagle and the Furbish lousewort, a rare plant that is found only in the St. John river valley.

Proposed US National Park of the Maine North Woods

Robert Redford, Harrison Ford, and other well renowned supporters of Americans for a Maine Woods National Park, an interest group that also includes scientists, educators, and environmentalists like Jane Goodall and Edward O. Wilson. The committee was founded by RESTORE: The North Woods, a conservation organization that's spearheading a protection plan for an enormous swath of woodlands in the U.S. East.

The proposed national park would encompass 3.2 million acres (13,000 km²), an area larger than Yellowstone and Yosemite combined. The woods in question hold a special place in American history.

As of May 2006, no specific action had been taken by the United States Congress on this action.

Opposition to the National Park

Native residents of the state of Maine are largely opposed to this project spearheaded by out-of-staters, like RESTORE in Boston and by many like Robert Redford, Harrison Ford and Jane Goodall who have never stepped foot in the North Woods. True environmentalists understand that balancing the needs of humans like jobs, providing wood products and traditional recreational opportunities is not contrary to good stewardship of this beautiful area. As an example, 29,537 acre Baxter State Park, located on the eastern side of the North Woods is a Scientific Forest Management Area (SFMA) and was provided by Percival Baxter to offer an accessible example to the people of the state of Maine of long-term forest management, "a showplace for those interested in forestry, a place where a continuing timber crop can be cultivated, harvested, and sold.."'

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