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Quimby, state agree on land deal


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The Founder
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Quimby, state agree on land deal

Quimby, state agree on land deal

Conservation philanthropist Roxanne Quimby is buying 8,900 acres east of Baxter State Park as part of a complex deal that will open up additional acreage in the Millinocket area to hunters, snowmobilers and other sportsmen, state officials said Friday.

In what is being described as an unprecedented win-win-win situation, Quimby will acquire a remote yet valuable parcel known as the "Valley Lands" just east of Katahdin Lake that had been at the top of the state’s wish list for several years.

As part of the deal, Quimby has given the state a two-year option to purchase 5,000 acres closer to Millinocket as well as a working forest easement — with guaranteed public access — to an additional 6,600 acres nearby.

The acquisition and easements, if completed, will ensure fiber supplies to local mills while protecting public access to popular recreational lands, including two snowmobile trails.

The land deals are a product of months of closed-door negotiations between Quimby and Millinocket-area leaders, sportsmen’s groups, state officials and the nonprofit Trust for Public Land.

More importantly, it signals a warming of relations between Quimby and groups that have denounced her record of buying large chunks of the North Woods and then posting the land to prevent hunting, mechanized recreation and timber harvesting.

"What is wonderful here is the town of Millinocket, the state … Roxanne and local groups have all sat down and figured out what makes sense" for all parties, Karin Tilberg, a senior policy adviser to Gov. John Baldacci, said Friday. "This is a huge tribute to people working together and valuing everyone’s needs."

Quimby apparently has agreed to pay the Gardner Land Co. $6.1 million for the Wassataquoik Valley lands. Maine, meanwhile, now has two years to raise the $3 million needed to buy the Quimby land and easements near Millinocket.

When completed, the deal will:

*
Add to the state’s land ownership 5,000 acres in T2 R8 WELS north of Millinocket Lake, in the southern portion of what is known as the Sandy Stream property. This land includes portions of ITS 85 and ITS 83 snowmobile trails.
*
Secure a working forest easement with public recreational access on 6,647 acres in T3 R7 WELS. The acreage is located in portions of the Three Rivers and Mud Brook sanctuaries owned by Quimby’s nonprofit foundation, Elliotsville Plantation Inc.
*
Ensure continued use of the ITS 83 and 85 snowmobile trails that may cross other Quimby holdings.
*
Open the door for additional ATV trails along the corridor.

"This collaboration demonstrates once again that when Maine people are confronted with a challenge, they don’t give up until they find a solution," Baldacci said in a statement. "The traditions and economic drivers of hunting and motorized recreation are part of the fabric of who we are. Likewise, having climbed Katahdin and paddled the Allagash with my son this past year, I am a firm believer in the importance of the wilderness experiences that our state has to offer."

Seven months ago, things did not look so rosy for the Baldacci administration or for Millinocket-area sportsmen.

The Baldacci administration had secured an option to buy the 8,000-acre Wassataquoik Valley lands from Gardner Land Co. as part of the deal that added Katahdin Lake to Baxter State Park. The option was key to winning the support of legislators concerned about lost hunting and snowmobiling access around Katahdin Lake.

But the deal began to unravel in the spring when the Gardner family rejected the state’s offer for the land. When the option timeline expired, the land went back on the market.

Quimby, whose support for limited-use wilderness and past espousal of a North Woods national park is highly unpopular in some circles, seemed a likely potential buyer given her other holdings in the area. Quimby and the Gardners also have negotiated past land deals.

But over the months, the various parties worked out a compromise plan that balances Quimby’s desire for wilderness protection with the economic and social needs of local residents, those involved said.

In a statement released Friday night, Quimby praised Millinocket Town Manager Gene Conlogue and representatives of sporting groups for their willingness to compromise.

"What kept us all at the table was a shared commitment to this landscape," Quimby said. "In the past, while we argued about whose vision was best, the land was changing hands and opportunities were passing us by. The reality of an unpredictable future brought us together to try and bring some predictability to a region in transition."

Tom Gardner said Friday his family agreed to the sale with Quimby because the price was right, and the money will help keep him and his companies’ 150 forest products employees in business.

Baldacci and local officials are expected to formally unveil the agreement during a ceremony in Augusta this Tuesday.

Post Sun 02 Dec, 2007 7:21 am 
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Chub Fisherman
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Joined: 14 Mar 2006
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The land deals are a product of months of closed-door negotiations between Quimby and Millinocket-area leaders, sportsmen’s groups, state officials and the nonprofit Trust for Public Land.

Why weren't more people made aware of the secret backroom deals that go on. Will anyone who owns a camp in the land she buys be able to keep it? Or will they be forcefully expected to vacate them as she did to all the camp owners in T5R8?

She Sucks plain and simple Plum Creek= Roxanne Quimby

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Post Mon 03 Dec, 2007 8:11 am 
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Miss Information
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which one of the two do you feel will make a good decision for the residents of the state? Quimby or Baldacci?

Post Mon 03 Dec, 2007 1:14 pm 
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Chub Fisherman
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I really dont hold either in high regard...however I would hope Baldacci( a native Mainer) would want to protect the working forests of Maine just on the economic standpoint for all the hunters, snowmobilers, 4wheelers, fisherman than to have land conserved for nature lovers who hardly ever visit these areas.
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Post Tue 04 Dec, 2007 10:43 am 
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Tfin
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Good luck gaining access to this land once its all bought up and posted. Do you think Babs in her Lexus is going to allow hunting anywhere near her 2 MIL dollar piece of property, or snowmobiles for that matter.

I hear what you're saying, but I don't think that many individule people owning that much property is a good idea either.

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Post Wed 27 Feb, 2008 12:25 pm 
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sourdough
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Quimby, state agree on land deal

I think the bigger problem here is that we have people who can afford to buy up huge parcels of land but then they want to put this land into tree growth and when this happens all of the rest of us taxpayers are subsidizing the taxes for them, there not paying the full amount of taxes on the property, and they can post the property after they have in free growth, and that keeps us from using the property that our tax money is subsidizing. and to stop beating around the bush here I believe anybody who buys property pays their full share of taxes on it should be able to close that land and keep everybody off if they want this is a free country and that's their choice but as soon as they take a subsidy on the taxes by putting the property entry growth that should be the end of posting that piece of property that should be left open for use by hunters and fishermen and campers as long as they're not destroying the property, If we are subsidizing the taxes on it we should have access to to the land if you want to have complete control over your property pay your taxes yourself and that's my two cents worth.
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Post Mon 05 Apr, 2010 7:20 pm 
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