Letter to the editor: Premature Baxter decision will hurt Maine’s economy

Announcing that the park will be closed to everyone except walk-in day use until at least July overlooks the measures that can be taken to protect gate staff and rangers.

| Carl Wilcox – Press Herald April 19 |

Baxter State Park’s decision to not open to camping and traffic until at least July 1 is one more part of our economy succumbing to fear that sets a very poor example.

As President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, “So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is … fear itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

The park typically opens the access roads about the middle of May. Why not wait until May 1 to make a decision when to open the roads and the park to camping and traffic? Grocery store workers, toll takers, trash collectors, et al., in our state are all soldiering on.

Provide the gate staff and rangers with face masks, gloves, coveralls, etc. Or require gate fees to be prepaid by credit card with the staff checking the license plate at the gate. Evaluate closing the few rental cabins. Require social distancing from rangers.

Announcing that the roads, campsites and Katahdin trailheads are to remain closed until at least July 1 is premature, succumbing to fear and unnecessarily hurting the region’s and Maine’s economy.

Carl Wilcox

New Gloucester