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  March/April 1999 Features:
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Sierra Magazine
Dream Parks

Maine Woods National Park & Preserve | White Mountain National Park | Sequoia Ecosystem & Recreation Preserve

Maine Woods National Park & Preserve

As Ted Williams discovered (in "Thoreau's Dream"), the Maine Woods has everything: tall white pines, mossy spruces, and delicate orchids; free-flowing rivers and clear lakes; rugged mountains and canyons. Conservationists have proposed a park and preserve that would protect 3.2 million acres of this diversity, an area the size of Connecticut.

Such species as moose, deer, black bear, beaver, loon, broad-winged hawk, blue-spotted salamander, and brook trout are common in the proposed park and preserve, which also shelters rarer creatures such as the bald eagle, Canada lynx, pine marten, northern bog lemming, blueback trout, and Atlantic salmon.

Enjoying the Park
Maine Woods National Park visitors would enjoy camping, hiking, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and motor boating. Hunting and snowmobiling would be allowed on adjacent National Preserve areas. Private charter companies would provide fly-in access to designated lakes.

Making It Happen
Currently most of the Maine Woods is privately owned and unprotected. To build support for establishing a park please contact Mark Bettinger, Sierra Club, 85 Washington St., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 or

White Mountain National Park

White Mountain National Park would cover more than 3,000 square miles in central New Hampshire-what is now White Mountain National Forest. The area's rugged granite peaks would include Mt. Washington, the tallest mountain in the Northeast. Bold, daunting, and yet inviting, these peaks already attract over 7 million visitors each year.

The proposed park shelters moose, peregrine falcons, spruce grouse, loons, northern bog lemmings, and pine martens now, and the area once provided habitat for wolves, lynx, and catamounts.

Enjoying the Park
Visitors to the new park would enjoy skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, camping, fishing, swimming, climbing, and a regional pastime known as leaf-watching.

Making It Happen
In 1902, author and reformer Reverend Edward Everett Hale asked Congress to make the White Mountains a national park. The timber barons hung on to the area instead, and today it is managed for logging and recreation by the U.S. Forest Service. The timber program is subsidized by more than $1 million a year from U.S. taxpayers. To learn more about the national-park proposal, contact the Sierra Club's New Hampshire Chapter, 3 Bicentennial Square, Concord, NH 03301; (603) 224-8222;

Sequoia Ecosystem & Recreation Preserve

Half of all the sequoia groves on Earth would lie within the boundaries of the proposed 340,000-acre Sequoia Ecosystem and Recreation Preserve. A national forest now, the area would still be managed by the U.S. Forest Service. But the agency's emphasis would shift from timber cutting to protecting and restoring these magnificent groves and the conifer forests around them. Livestock grazing would continue, but logging would be prohibited.

The last wild condor chick was hatched in a sequoia here, and condors released from captive breeding are beginning to return. Black bear, mountain lions, and bobcats are still plentiful. Rarer sightings include the California spotted owl, California wolverine, American marten, Pacific fisher, and Sierra Nevada red fox.

Enjoying the Preserve
The primary attraction would be the sequoias, but visitors would also be able to camp, hike, ride horses, fish, hunt, and cross-country ski.

Making It Happen
To help make this preserve a reality contact Joe Fontaine at P.O. Box 307, Tehachapi, CA 93581;

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