Elliotsville Plantation, the land conservation foundation of Burt's Bees founder Roxanne Quimby, purchases further 11,000 acres of forestland in Maine
September 30, 2011
(The Associated Press)
– Roxanne Quimby, the founder of Burt's Bees, has purchased more than 11,000 acres of forestland that she intends to open up to hunters and snowmobilers to help make up for the land she hopes to transform into a national park, where those activities would be off limits.
Located east of the Penobscot River's East Branch, the newly purchased land includes forestland, a flood plain with significant wetlands, the Seboeis River and Peaked Mountain.
Quimby's land-conservation foundation, Elliotsville Plantation Inc., announced the purchase Wednesday. It didn't disclose the sale price.
The foundation said the long-term plan for the 11,291 acres and 8,000 acres it already owns is to allow motorized recreation, hunting and logging to offset Quimby's proposal to donate more than 70,000 acres for a national park. Quimby also envisions setting aside 30,000 acres of woodlands north of Dover-Foxcroft to be managed like a state park, with hunting and snowmobiling allowed.
Quimby said Wednesday that her ultimate goal is to have a giveback to sportsmen that's equal to the size of the parcel she hopes to donate to the National Park Service in 2016.
"I'm attempting to work out an amicable solution to meet everyone's needs and desires," Quimby said Wednesday from Arizona, where she was recharging after a series of summer meetings in which she sought support from stakeholders for a national park feasibility study.
Quimby has been using part of the roughly $350 million she made when she sold the business to purchase land for conservation.
Her initial efforts were met with fierce opposition by sportsmen because she didn't allow hunting or snowmobiling on her land, but she has been trying to address critics' concerns.
Over the summer, there was a dustup with snowmobile clubs when her land manager was accused of trying to coerce snowmobilers into supporting the feasibility study. Snowmobilers said they were told Quimby would cut off access to her land if they didn't support the study.
Bob Meyers of the Maine Snowmobile Association said Wednesday that Quimby "is using her land as a sledgehammer to beat the snowmobile clubs into supporting her park proposal."
On Sunday, Quimby held a three-hour meeting with local snowmobile clubs to discuss the issue. She said her idea is to roll all of the trail easements for snowmobile clubs and land transfers to the state into one big deal that would be included in her transfer of federal parkland.
Quimby said it's in everyone's interest to have a feasibility study of the park, which she believes could be an economic engine for the Millinocket region.
"It would help to clarify the real issues at stake here and look at the region as a whole," she said. "We could make a good decision based on good information."
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