Appalachian Trail Histories


Percival Baxter Publicly Voices Opposition to a National Park at Mt. Katahdin

This brief article from the Portland Herald in May of 1937 contains Percival Baxter's argument against the creation of a national park at Mt. Katahdin and its surrounding lands.  Baxter relies on the legal restrictions which prevent the federal government from taking ownership of these particular lands, as well his own ideological opposition to the implications of a national park in the area.  To Baxter, a national park at Mt. Katahdin meant grand log-cabin hotels, the development of ecologically damaging roadways and the increase in automobile traffic, and a destruction of the purity of Katahdin's wilderness.  It is on this third point that Baxter finds the most conflict with the federal government in its efforts to create a national park on the lands which he gave to the state of Maine.  Baxter's argument points strongly to the fundamental ideological differences between the two organizations which would lead to numerous annoyances in the following decades.