“Willing Seller Willing Buyer”


Reprinted from The New York Times,
Editorials/Letters, Saturday, August 22, 1992

Who's Behind Hysteria in the Maine Woods

To the Editor:

“Your Aug. 2 news article on Mainers who are worried the Federal Government will take their land for a wildlife refuge implies that there is a genuine threat this night happen. There Isn't.

“You report that last year the Government bought 318,000 acres to add to national parks, forests and other public land units. Three of the four agencies that purchased these areas did not use condemnation at all. The fourth, the National Park Service, did use its condemnation powers in some cases, almost exclusively to purchase tracts in Florida’s Everglades ecosystem, which the owners had bought sight unseen and do not live on.

“The Mainers are suspicious of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, which manages the adjacent Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge. Last year, not one of the 235,727 acres acquired by the agency around the country was obtained through condemnation. The landowners near Moosehorn should believe the refuge manager’s assurances that they can either keep their land or sell it.

“This is one more example of nationwide efforts, financed mostly by the extractive industries and their allies, to whip up hysteria among citizens by convincing them that steps to protect our environment will hurt them.”

President, Wilderness Society
Washington, Aug. 12, 1992

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