Last week, Bob McIntosh, president of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation, announced release of the first heritage resource assessment of the famed Allagash Wilderness Waterway.
There’s a lot of good news in the announcement, although they did report that more money will be needed to complete some of the projects and plans.
Here’s the press release issued on the day of the announcement.
The “Storied Lands & Waters” project marks a milestone in the history of the Allagash and offers a roadmap for action in the years ahead.
Augusta ME – Bob McIntosh, president of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation, today announced release of the first heritage resource assessment of the famed Allagash Wilderness Waterway. The announcement was made at a press conference at the State House with key leaders from the state.
The 300-page volume, Storied Lands & Waters of the Allagash Wilderness Waterwayis the product of a two-year collaboration between the Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation (AWWF) and the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, with financial support from the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund and private donors. Principal author is Bruce Jacobson, former Chief of Planning & Land Resources for Acadia National Park and Superintendent of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area.
In addition to the Waterway’s heritage resource assessment, Storied Lands & Waterspresents an elaborate menu of options to interpret these exceptional assets for Waterway users and the general public, and to advance teaching and learning about the Waterway in Maine’s classrooms.
McIntosh, a former senior official with the National Park Service, stated that, “If the Allagash Wilderness Waterway had a voice, Storied Lands & Waterswould surely be it. Never before have the heritage resources of the Allagash been so well documented and presented; nor have the possibilities for telling their story been so well conceived.”
Don Hudson, president emeritus of the Chewonki Foundation and a participant in creating Storied Lands & Waters, noted that the publication “marks a milestone in the history of the Allagash. It offers the best possible assessment of these Waterway resources, and an abundance of interpretive projects to deepen understanding of the Waterway’s enduring importance.”
Tom Desjardin, Director of the Bureau of Parks and Lands, noted that, “Our staff worked for two years with the Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation and other, knowledgeable partners to inventory and assess the heritage resources of the Allagash. Together, they have created an interpretive plan that, if implemented, will bring the history and character of the Waterway alive for visitors and the general public, alike. Funds to supplement Waterway resources will need to be raised to move ahead with some projects.”
Matt LaRoche, Superintendent of the Waterway, received the first copy from McIntosh (see photo attached). LaRoche commented that, “A great challenge in managing the Waterway is to tell the rich human histories of the area without intruding on its wilderness character. Storied Lands & Waters offers a range of projects for the Bureau and our Advisory Council to consider and act upon in the years ahead.”
The Allagash Wilderness Waterway was established by the State of Maine in 1966 and designated in 1970 as the nation’s first state-administered unit of the National Wild and Scenic River System. The 92-mile Wilderness Waterway in northern Maine is considered one of Northeast’s most iconic rivers. Release of Storied Lands & Waters of the Allagash Wilderness Waterwaycomes on the 50thanniversary-year of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
The Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation was created in 2012 to build a community of support for this exceptional and remote public resource, and to raise funds to supplement its state funding. Its focus areas of interest include youth access to the Waterway, resource interpretationand education,foundation support for the protectionof important adjacent lands, and capital projects to enhance the experience of the Waterway. Learn more at www.awwf.orgor friend us on Facebook.
Storied Lands &Waters is available by visiting the Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation website, www.awwf.org,and through the Maine State Library at http://digitalmaine.com/awwf/.