Allagash Wilderness Waterway in the News

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Super Moderator
Staff member
Sep 3, 2003
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Gorham NH

Fundamentally a popular Wilderness needs to be managed to be protected or it ceases to be wilderness as there are always attempts at opening up access. To an infrequent visitor any trapping of civilization would probably be regarded as an intrusion. On the other hand, a public agency managing an area can easily fall into making it easier to manage by building up infrastructure and ignore public wishes and perceptions.

Even BSP managed as a "wilderness", on occasion builds new buildings to improve operations and visitor experiences. Many VFTT folks have experienced the new bunkhouse and improved shelters. Daicey Pond Campground is closed this year and two cabins are being replaced in their entirety while the remaining ones are being restored and "improved". New staff buildings have been built and a small "power plant" (solar array) was installed near Togue Pond gatehouse to improve the ability to manage guest services. In BSPs case its all done under the scrutiny of the public and on rare occasions the public has sued the park commission when they perceive the Deeds of Trust were being violated.

Here is an interesting long term management plan document with a lot of history.

One long term sore point that the state has tried to live down is that the two locomotives were housed in a permanent structure under state control until a state employee in management sent directions to state workers to burn down the building and the contents including the engines inside it.
Thanks for sharing the link and your insights! Managing wilderness areas definitely requires a delicate balance between preservation and providing access. It's fascinating to see how different agencies approach this challenge, and the long-term management plan you linked provides some valuable context. The story about the locomotives is quite a historical anecdote, albeit a tragic one.