- View of Katahdin from Foss and Knowlton Pond
Park donor Percival Baxter expressed his wishes regarding the management and operation of the Park innumerous communications attached to the deeds gifted to the State of Maine that comprise the Park8. Baxter wished that the Park
"“…shall forever be retained and used for state forest, public park and recreational purposes…shall forever be kept and remain in the natural wild state…shall forever be kept and remain as a sanctuary for beasts and birds” , and in its Scientific Forest Management Area, shall “become a show place for those interested in forestry, a place where a continuing timber crop can be cultivated, harvested and sold…an example and an inspiration to others."
The principal intentions of Park donor Percival Baxter regarding the management of the Park as expressed in the Deeds of Gift and Formal Communications provide the fundamental mission of Baxter State Park. The mission of Baxter State Park can be expressed in six primary objectives:
- To protect the natural resources of the Park for their intrinsic value and for the enjoyment of present and future generations.
- To provide various appropriate recreational opportunities to Park visitors.
- To conduct exemplary sustainable forest management operations within the 29,537 acre Scientific Forest Management Area of the Park.
- To maintain the facilities, infrastructure and data systems of the Park.
- To provide for the safety of Park staff and visitors.
- To manage and protect the fiscal integrity and independence of the Park for current and future generations.
These six elements of our mission, and much more, are explored and defined in detail in the Park Management Plan
The Baxter State Park Authority was established to operate and maintain Baxter State Park for the use and enjoyment of the people of Maine in accordance with the wishes of its donor, former Governor Percival P. Baxter, that this Park "…shall forever be retained and used for state forest, public park and public recreational purposes…shall forever be kept and remain in the natural wild state…shall forever be kept and remain a sanctuary for beasts and birds."
The primary responsibilities of the Authority are to protect the wildlife, fauna and flora within the Park for the enjoyment of present and future generations; to operate and maintain various campgrounds, campsites and rustic log cabins within the 209,501 acre Park; to conduct exemplary sustainable forest management on the 29,537 acre Scientific Forest Management Area; to receive and expend monies from the trusts and other income for maintenance and operation of the Park; to acquire additional land for the park as authorized by law; to establish rules and regulations as necessary for the protection and safety of the public; and to exercise police supervision over the Park.