Why Do Many People Come To Baxter State Park?
Some people may wonder why there are so many people coming to BST every month? What attracts them to the park?
Firstly, this park is the favorite place for people who are into hiking and love to get closer to nature. It’s the place where they can leave busy life behind and find peace for the soul. Hiking is also an excellent way to exercise, keep fit and improve both physical and mental health.
Secondly, it is a widespread scene if you come across a group of scientists researching the park. They also hike in the park as all other hikers. However, their primary purpose is not to exercise or find balance in life through this recreation activity. They all come to BSP to work, to learn about nature here scientifically.
Is Doing Research In BSP Legal?
Scientific research is always inspired and supported. Your analysis in the park is legal if you ask for permission before conducting and following designed guidelines promulgated by the BSP Authority.
Research is an encouraged activity because there are many unknown things humans haven’t understood about this expansive wilderness park. Therefore, research is essential to relieve nature’s secrets that help people have the database to conduct related activities.
However, more and less, human activities such as hiking or doing research may cause impacts to the park’s wilderness that may do harm to the inhabitant of animals and endanger them.
So, legal research must follow a standard process to ensure that scientists can conduct their tasks and receive desired results but still maintain the natural environment.
The Park’s Information and Education Department
This department plays a role as a bridge, which updates and transfers information from the Park Authority to visitors and the community. The information must be precise and easy to understand so that people of all ages and all classes can remember and comprehend.
That the department well completes their role will help the management and operation become more straightforward and efficient.
Moreover, The Park’s Information and Education department is also responsible for educating visitors. When coming to Baxter State Park, each visitor is provided information about where they are standing, including values the park brings them and what they should and should not do to protect and maintain the wilderness of this place.
The Park’s Information and Education department directly receives requests and proposals from scientists and then checks them. The proposals are confirmed and passed by this department means that they meet the standard, and researchers can conduct their project in the park.
During the time the scientific studies are conducted, the Park’s Information and Education will follow and monitor the actual progress to ensure that research teams comply with the park regulations. Whenever researchers have any difficulty or need help, the department is always ready.
Thanks to the monitor and support from the Park’s Information and Education, everything will go smoothly, and scientist teams can reach the desired result.
Precisely, the Park’s Information and Education consist of some smaller departments. Of all, the Park Naturalist plays an essential role as a liaison between researchers and the park.
When scientists want to launch a research project in BSP or have any proposals about related subjects, they can send them to the Park Naturalist, and this team will forward those proposals to the Park’s Research Committee.
After considering those proposals, the Park’s Research Committee will give their recommendations and send them to the Park Director and Authority, who will bring out the final result about whether researchers can conduct their project or not.
Because each proposal has to go through 3 round consideration to receive the final permission to be conducted, researchers are suggested they should submit applications at least six months before the expected start date.
What Included In An Application Form for Scientific Study In BSP
There are nine main sections of information that researchers have to mention in an application:
The title should be brief, precise, and able to highlight the subject matter. Please choose a topic name that can help you impress the Authority and draw their attention to your proposal.
Name of Researcher
All researcher’s names should be listed because this information is essential to their interests and responsibility to the project and the park. The Authority also needs to consider the researcher’s background to approve their proposals.
Just name is not enough; scientists have to provide reliable credentials to prove their ability and be suitable to conduct the study in the park.
Benefits to be derived from research
Show the BSP Authority all benefits of the scientific study for both researchers and the park to convince them that the proposal is valuable.
Detailed description of research
This section is vital because the Authority will take it under consideration very carefully to make the final decision of the proposal’s feasibility.
Area(s) of the park for research
Like hikers, scientists who want to research BSP also have to choose one or more than one specific area they want to explore. Once the proposal is passed, researchers have the right to conduct the research within only those areas.
Impact on the park
Every human activity in BSP has an impact on the park and the wildlife here. Therefore, researchers need to prove that they can minimize the negative effects that their study causes to the park.
Researchers need to have substantial enough financial resources for their study because the Authority will base on this budget to decide whether the proposal is feasible.
Timetable for research and completion of application
Make a timeline for the research, which helps the Authority monitor the progress and believe that it is time feasible.
What Is BSP Authority?
Do you wonder what BSP Authority is? Why does it have the right to give the final judgment to all research proposals in the park? The Authority was established in 1939 as the submitted legislation of Percival Baxter, who was the land sponsor of the park.
The BSP Authority consists of the Director of the Maine Forest Service, the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and the Maine Attorney General.
Members of the BSP Authority’s management board:
- Janet Trafton Mills – Maine Attorney General
- Chandler Woodcock – Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
- Doug Denico – Director of the Maine Forest Service and Authority Chair
Guidelines for Scientific Studies In Baxter State Park
Goals and objectives of the park
The park needs a quite huge financial budget to maintain. Every year, a lot of people and organizations in the United States and over the world donate to Baxter State Park for dual purposes:
- Retaining a portion of Maine’s forest as forever wild.
- Providing primitive recreational opportunities to people of the State of Maine and over the United States.
With the donation and belief from donors and sponsors, the Authority and its staff have to try their best to protect, preserve and maintain the park for those purposes.
Three different areas within the park
The Sanctuary: the most prominent area – 150,564 acres
This place must be kept forever wild, so any activities that harm the wildlife here are not permitted.
The Scientific Forest Management Area (SFMA) – 28,594 acres
Research proposals which are rejected to conduct in the Sanctuary might be acceptable in this area because its goal is to ensure there are no impacts to nature in the long term.
The open SFMA – 51,500 acres (22,906 acres outside of the SFMA)
In this place, hunting and trapping are allowed. So, scientific studies have a greater opportunity to be conducted here.
Criteria to evaluate request for scientific research
Impact to the park
Priority will be given to scientific projects which cause fewer impacts on the nature of the park.
If researchers want to receive funding from the park, they should make a request application two years prior to expected funding. The Park Authority will consider funding projects which provide valuable data and ideas to deal with management issues of the park.
Applications submitted for research permission must be made within these following categories and lead-time.
Category 1: Requires only short-term approval of Park Director.
Apply for projects which use purely visual or auditory observation methods. These researches have the most negligible impact on the natural environment of the park.
Category 2: Requires six-month lead-time approval from Director’s Research Committee and the Director
Category 3: Requires nine-month lead-time approval from the Authority, the Park Director, and the Director’s Research Committee.
The Director’s Research Committee
Members of the committee will meet and sit together every year, in the spring and fall, to review and discuss all research applications and give recommendations to the Park Director to support its final approval decision.
Research can only be conducted in the park after receiving the permit from the Park Director.
A group of staff will be assigned to follow and monitor the site and program of each scientific study site.
Rules, regulations, and fees
All research conducted in BSP has to follow its rules and regulations and pay research fees.
Revoking of Permit
The Park Director can revoke the research permit at any time if scientists do not follow designed rules and regulations.
Research teams are liable for all equipment and property they leave in the park during the research period.
After completing a research project, all researchers have to submit the final report to the Park Director.