Interesting discussion lately on the AT-L list regarding park director Buzz Caverly's "Wilder Within" proposal. Any thoughts on making Baxter "wilder" to help contend with over usage? It's impact on thru-hikers?
To reduce foot traffic on the Abol and Hunt trails (the latter from Katahdin Stream Campground):
-Set limits on the number of day hikers. Develop a resource protection plan which controls the numbers on these two trails and enforces limitations. Explore a reservation option for day use, free of charge, for those who plan ahead.
To reduce noise and water pollution:
-Eliminate the use of outboard motors, aircraft and snowmobiles on Webster Lake. Restrict snowmobile use on Togue Ponds. Outboard motor use on Lower Togue would be restricted to the inholders on Clark Island.
To reduce the growing pressure of automobiles and to increase the wilderness character of campgrounds:
-Have road access to Kidney Pond end at Foster Field (on the Perimeter Road) or the bridge over Nesowdnehunk Stream, making the campground a walk-in site. Over the years, as the cabins required major repairs, they would be replaced with lean-tos. Under this proposal, Daicey Pond would continue to have vehicle access and facilities for cabin camping.
-Have road access to Roaring Brook Campground end at Windey Pitch, as it did in the 1940's, thus making Roaring Brook (about three miles away) and all points beyond backpacking sites. At present, on any given day, over 300 people hike into Chimney Pond. Many are unprepared, from going barefoot to wearing sandals, and without other proper gear. Their ignorance of the difficulties of such a hike results in unreasonable impact on the Chimney Pond Campground. The additional distance proposed within the ³Wilder Within² concept would tend to separate out the curious and unprepared.
-Close the Perimeter Road from Trout Brook Crossing southwest to Camp Phoenix (approximately 10 to 12 miles). This would eliminate transient and thorofare traffic using the Tote Road, which then would become an access road to trailheads and facilities, as intended by Governor Baxter.