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  1. #1
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    Default Should we leave Baxter?

    A simple question if we should withdraw the AT from Baxter, based on their letter to ATC and their unfair treatment of AT trail runner Scott Jurek and other recent actions. The way I see it is the moral high ground is with us, though they (Baxter) acts like it's with them. The ball is really in our court, should we leave Baxtor Park given the current situation (maybe then try eminent domain to get the AT as the Northern Terminus as the peak of Katahdin and forever abolish the abomination of 'Baxter Peak')?

    Either way, I think we have to stop considering ourselves the problem and start looking out for the future of the trail and the good of us all and nature.
    Last edited by Starchild; 09-10-2015 at 19:12.

  2. #2

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    Where would u have the at end? Abol bridge?

    Sent from my SM-T110 using Tapatalk
    Love people and use things; never the reverse.

    Mt. Katahdin would be a lot quicker to climb if its darn access trail didn't start all the way down in Georgia.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starchild View Post
    A simple question if we should withdraw the AT from Baxter, based on their letter to ATC and their unfair treatment of AT trail runner Scott Jurek and other recent actions. The way I see it is the moral high ground is with us, though they (Baxter) acts like it's with them. The ball is really in our court, should we leave Baxtor Park given the current situation (maybe then try eminent domain to get the AT as the Northern Terminus as the peak of Katahdin and forever abolish the abomination of 'Baxter Peak')?

    Either way, I think we have to stop considering ourselves the problem and start looking out for the future of the trail and the good of us all and nature.
    You think the moral high ground is with us? I'm hoping you're just ignorant and not wicked.

    I'm quite inclined to say 'yes,' for the opposite reason that you assert. Bissell's handling of the Jurek situation was ham-fisted and hurt his cause. But his overall grievance - lost in the Jurek kerfuffle, is legitimate. Our numbers are a problem for BSP, and there may be no solution at this late date but to remove ourselves from the situation.

    To try to resolve the situation by eminent domain will merely create more conflict. Federal eminent domain also extinguishes any State public trusts, so would completely obliterate the terms of Baxter's will. Given the way that things have been going with other Federal lands, the most likely result of an eminent domain taking would be that the Feds would turn around and sell it off to Disney or somebody a few years later. Even if the Government were to hold on to the land, the heavy-handed move would engender resentments that would last for generations.

    Ask any Mainer on this forum about Roxane Quimby's proposal for a new national park adjacent to Baxter - involving a gift of land from her land trust, not a taking. You'll get nearly the same reaction that you see all along the Trail corridor from people who had their land stolen - yes, stolen, they got pennies on the dollar for their acreage - to transform the Trail from private easements to National Park Service land. The transformation was unnecessary. The Trail had existed for decades without it, with a partnership of public and private landowners and a system of easements to cross. But hikers persistently abused the landowners' rights, and when the landowners demanded relief, that was the Federal response.

    No wonder hikers act entitled. We get to do as we please on other people's property, and anyone who complains - up to and including State governments - simply gets the property taken away altogether.

    I'm seriously ashamed that I as a hiker benefit from all this. And all it will do in the long term is that sooner or later the patience of the non-hiking public will crack, support for the rights of the remaining landowners and of the communities that adjoin the Trail will grow, and we'll suddenly lose it all.

    https://farm1.staticflickr.com/8/106...d6a_z.jpg?zz=1
    A farm along the corridor near DWG. The sentiment is held by most of the neighboring community.
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

  4. #4
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    The AT should start/end on Katahdin.

    Unless...

    It could be rerouted to a New National Park.

    That would be beyond fabulous. They could link it up the IAT and call it the Appalachian Trails National Park.

    http://katahdinwoods.org/faq/

  5. #5
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    Remember those beautiful views from Katahdin's summit? Now think what those would look like if the trust was extinguished by eminanant domain. In 15 years it would look like the summit of mount Washington. All those ponds in the basin would be surrounded by rich people's summer homes. The forests would be cut, the roads paved over and packed with RV's. It would turn into Acadia for the masses. What makes it special now would be forever destroyed and the terminus of the AT would be moved, regardless, because the summit would become a dump.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Aren't there already a dozen threads asking this same question?
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

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    I will try to not take the emotional bait. Regardless how we feel about the conflict, how can we make this conflict the basis for such a decision? Too me it would be like saying I am going to leave Maine because of lePage or leave America because of Obama or try to take it away because of them. The good news is that it is easier to avoid BSP than Maine or America as a whole. We need peace and solutions, not more provocative statements. Bissel is not Katahdin. Bissell did not enact the Maine law that Scott paid a fine for violating. Scott is not the AT. Both are polarizing. Katahdin will still be the Greatest Mountain long after Bissell is dead. So much power should not be ceded to these two sides. This polarization over two people to the level of considering removal of arguably one if the most beautiful sites of the trail is not logical. Are we ever going to rise above this? What Scott did and what Bissell did evoke raw emotions. Given up such a treasure over those two is crazy. If we obey the law, how does any of this affect our walk? What burden is there on any hiker? Why move anything?
    Last edited by BirdBrain; 09-10-2015 at 20:28.
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  8. #8
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Time to put the iPad away Bird Brain!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BirdBrain View Post
    What Scott did and what Bissell did evoke raw emotions. Given up such a treasure over those two is crazy. If we obey the law, how does any of this affect our walk? What burden is there on any hiker? Why move anything?
    Right you are. I'm simply stating that if (God forbid) it comes down to the two "nuclear options" of closing the Northern Terminus or prosecuting a Federal condemnation of Baxter, I'm all for closing. After a closure, fences could still be mended. A taking would destroy what Baxter built, and the Greatest Mountain would not recover for generations of us puny humans.
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    Time to put the iPad away Bird Brain!
    Now those are fighting words. I don't own Apple anything.

    And AK, I am not disagreeing with anything you said.

    Okay. Putting thread on ignore and playing nice. Have fun guys. I don't want to debate this anymore.
    In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years. - Abraham Lincoln

  11. #11
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    I hope you know I said that because the game was starting.


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starchild View Post
    Either way, I think we have to stop considering ourselves the problem and start looking out for the future of the trail and the good of us all and nature.
    Just the type of mentality I'd expect from someone that hikes the trail depending on others.

    You need to recheck with all those spirits that guide you.

    They don't think you are listening.
    The trouble I have with campfires are the folks that carry a bottle in one hand and a Bible in the other.
    You never know which one is talking.

  13. #13

    Default

    ATers simply need to comply with the same rules all other visitors follow.
    Why is this so hard to understand?
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  14. #14

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    ATers simply need to comply with the same rules all other visitors follow.
    Why is this so hard to understand?
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starchild View Post
    A simple question if we should withdraw the AT from Baxter, based on their letter to ATC and their unfair treatment of AT trail runner Scott Jurek and other recent actions. The way I see it is the moral high ground is with us, though they (Baxter) acts like it's with them. The ball is really in our court, should we leave Baxtor Park given the current situation (maybe then try eminent domain to get the AT as the Northern Terminus as the peak of Katahdin and forever abolish the abomination of 'Baxter Peak')?

    Either way, I think we have to stop considering ourselves the problem and start looking out for the future of the trail and the good of us all and nature.

    you asked a simple question...

    here's a simple answer in 3 parts:

    1. comply with the BSP rules and you won't be the problem

    2. join an ATC work crew or AT Trail chapter, donate some time working on the trail, and you will be looking our for the future of the trail

    3. and if you are serious about 'eminent domain' to seize Katahdin from BSP, (which is a non-starter, but humor me here) ... get involved in State of Maine politics, announce your candidacy for the next Governor of the State of Maine, with the intent of abolishing Baxter State Park as it exists...and using your moral authority in representing free thinking hikers, you intend to fire all those closed minded fuddy duddys on the Baxter State Park payroll, replace them with more open minded staff that will permit alcohol, partying and drugs on Katahdin peak.

    party on Garth

  16. #16
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    Default

    Please, enough with the silly talk. Baxter is the terminus of the AT. We can all get along, it is so easy. Be respectful, follow the rules. Why is this so hard. Don't cut off your nose....

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Starchild View Post
    A simple question if we should withdraw the AT from Baxter, based on their letter to ATC and their unfair treatment of AT trail runner Scott Jurek and other recent actions. The way I see it is the moral high ground is with us, though they (Baxter) acts like it's with them. The ball is really in our court, should we leave Baxtor Park given the current situation (maybe then try eminent domain to get the AT as the Northern Terminus as the peak of Katahdin and forever abolish the abomination of 'Baxter Peak')?

    Either way, I think we have to stop considering ourselves the problem and start looking out for the future of the trail and the good of us all and nature.
    I could not disagree with your perspective on this more...so I'll just say thank you for putting a finer point on exactly what the problem is.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by WingedMonkey View Post
    Just the type of mentality I'd expect from someone that hikes the trail depending on others.

    You need to recheck with all those spirits that guide you.

    They don't think you are listening.
    Thank you for your ad hominem attack, really helpful there.

    But to address this, everyone who does the AT depends on other's it's what's called resupply.

    But going beyond that, yes I thru hiked the AT to experience human kindness, something that was very lacking in my life, and I was accepting of whatever was offered from the heart of the gifter. I was not dependent on their physical gifts, I could have gotten them myself, I have the means. But it was to allow myself to receive what people wanted to offer. OK in this they gave much more to me that I would have gave to myself. The AT is not a vacation for everyone, but serves many purposes. It is life changing and transforming, it is a pilgrimage for many, even if they do not know that. It has put me on a new path of life and I am working to get more people on trail and share with them what I have found. In that the trail needs the continued good will, that's what makes it special, and what one learns on the trail they take with them wherever they go.

    Going to Baxter, Bissel's actions speak to very bad will, a negative effect on the trail, so speaking of this spiritually as you bough up, even though Katahdin is a very powerful spot and was the place for the AT to end, the current negativity brought about by Bissel is not a good place to complete the trail, it's almost the feeling of placing the hikers in cages at the summit ' for their own good'.
    Last edited by Starchild; 09-11-2015 at 07:50.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Another Kevin View Post
    You think the moral high ground is with us? I'm hoping you're just ignorant and not wicked.

    I'm quite inclined to say 'yes,' for the opposite reason that you assert. Bissell's handling of the Jurek situation was ham-fisted and hurt his cause. But his overall grievance - lost in the Jurek kerfuffle, is legitimate. Our numbers are a problem for BSP, and there may be no solution at this late date but to remove ourselves from the situation.

    To try to resolve the situation by eminent domain will merely create more conflict. Federal eminent domain also extinguishes any State public trusts, so would completely obliterate the terms of Baxter's will. Given the way that things have been going with other Federal lands, the most likely result of an eminent domain taking would be that the Feds would turn around and sell it off to Disney or somebody a few years later. Even if the Government were to hold on to the land, the heavy-handed move would engender resentments that would last for generations.

    Ask any Mainer on this forum about Roxane Quimby's proposal for a new national park adjacent to Baxter - involving a gift of land from her land trust, not a taking. You'll get nearly the same reaction that you see all along the Trail corridor from people who had their land stolen - yes, stolen, they got pennies on the dollar for their acreage - to transform the Trail from private easements to National Park Service land. The transformation was unnecessary. The Trail had existed for decades without it, with a partnership of public and private landowners and a system of easements to cross. But hikers persistently abused the landowners' rights, and when the landowners demanded relief, that was the Federal response.

    No wonder hikers act entitled. We get to do as we please on other people's property, and anyone who complains - up to and including State governments - simply gets the property taken away altogether.

    I'm seriously ashamed that I as a hiker benefit from all this. And all it will do in the long term is that sooner or later the patience of the non-hiking public will crack, support for the rights of the remaining landowners and of the communities that adjoin the Trail will grow, and we'll suddenly lose it all.

    https://farm1.staticflickr.com/8/106...d6a_z.jpg?zz=1
    A farm along the corridor near DWG. The sentiment is held by most of the neighboring community.
    I'm pretty much in agreement with this, but I do wonder....

    Who is "we"? I think we is such a small minority of AT hikers that it doesn't really matter, not to mention that even we are definitely not in lockstep as a group; we are like a herd of cats.

  20. #20

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    I disagree with Starchild's most recent post, not one of the benefits he ascribe to a thru hike are in anyway impacted by the Park directors comments to ATC and MATC. If he reviews the original Bissel letter to ATC and MATC which actually is a follow up to a prior letter, there is no negativity in those letters with respect to the majority of thru hikers. Overall hikers should welcome the goal of maintaining BSP as a wilderness preserve and that unfortunately includes placing reasonable restrictions on unrestricted access to the park. This is not a single case, the JMT is managed with a heavy hand with mandatory registrations for thru hikers. It might be best to review the concept of "Tragedy of the Commons" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons. I have been to Springer and have been to Katahdin and vastly prefer that some entity is managing the northern end versus the effectively unrestricted access to the southern end (which is decidedly far more trashed than BSP). Move the end point where you will and it inherently will end up overcrowded and abused unless some entity elects to manage it. About the only viable option is relocate it to an area where the thruhikers are far less of an impact to the area than other uses, like Mt Washington where auto traffic and Cog Railroad traffic has a far greater impact.

    I support the director's actions to remove highly publicized commercial elements to what is essentially a wilderness preserve. If that is regarded as negativity I support it. I expect that most people can tell the difference between a spontaneous celebration of a small group of thruhikers at the summit from an highly orchestrated media event. There have been past highly publicized thru hike efforts that were even more visible than the recent effort like Bill Erwin and Earl Shaffer's anniversary hike and they managed to deal with parks intent with respect.

    On the other hand after visiting the park many times and observing how thru hikers are actually treated by the staff, keep up the bad PR, it just makes it easier for me and others to visit if folks believe the overblown imaginations of armchair "hikers". The reality is 99% of the thru hikers who visit the park have a great experience to end their hike. Those who have a bad time generally decide that they the rules in place to protect the overall resource don't apply to them.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 09-11-2015 at 09:06.

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