Growing up, I didn’t know much about Maine.

Acadia National Park and the Allagash National Wilderness Waterway told me that Maine was a place that belonged to all Americans.

Their “national” status literally put them on the map. When I first came to Maine, that’s where I went.

M.D. Harmon’s had it all wrong in his column “Maine North Woods object of many visions,” (March 12). A national park in the Maine North Woods is not just for those in Maine below the “Volvo Line.” It would be, like other national parks, a place forever preserved not just for wildlife but for the inner city kid in Detroit, the senior citizen in Florida and their children and their children’s children.

National parks are not just places “to look at” but places of dreams, refreshment and renewal that are valuable even and especially to those who never have a chance to visit them.

Ronald Heifetz writes about leaders having the view from 30,000 feet. The view from 30,000 feet tells us that we need to consider the good of the few who live there rather than 300 million Americans who do not.

As a former chaplain in the national parks, I can attest to their spiritual as well as economic and environmental value. The Maine North Woods are a national treasure. To quote Ken Burns, the national parks are America’s best idea.

We have a chance to honor both these truths, help the economy, give a gift to the nation and preserve the magnificence of Maine forever. Let’s do it.


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