February 14, 2013

Reports focus on economic potential of North Woods park

By North Cairn ncairn@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

The possible economic impact of a national park in northern Maine will be the focus of two reports to be released Thursday in Portland.

Elliotsville Plantation, a private land conservation foundation established in 2002 by Burt's Bees co-founder Roxanne Quimby, is considering a donation of land to create a national park and recreational area on the eastern edge of Baxter State Park along the East Branch of the Penobscot River. The foundation now manages over 100,000 acres of wild forest and coastal lands in northern, north-central, and mid-coast Maine.

The foundation is releasing two economic reports that examine the economy in Piscataquis and Penobscot counties as well as compare those areas of Maine to similar areas elsewhere in the U.S. and the the economic impact of national parks there.

The reports were developed and prepared by Headwaters Economics, an independent, nonprofit research group from Montana, with input from Maine economists and public policy leaders. The studies attempt to clarify the potential economic impact that a national park and recreation area could have on the two northern counties.

Headwaters Economics seeks to improve community development and land management decisions by working with community leaders, landowners, public land managers, elected officials, business owners and other nonprofit organizations.

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