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14 www.northmainewoods.org In 1966 the Maine Legislature approved the creation of the Allagash Wil- derness Waterway AWW. Concurrently a bond issue in the amount of 1.5 million dollars was sent to referendum to acquire the restricted zone land within 400 to 800 feet of the normal high-water mark. The bond issue was overwhelmingly approved by Maine voters on November 8 1966. By 1972 acquisition of the restricted zone with the exception of the Telos and Lock Dam lots was complete with the assistance of federal money from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The total acquisition cost of the waterway was 3 million. The Allagash River watershed was first suggested for public acquisition in A Recreation Plan for Maine published in 1956 by the Maine State Park Commission. In 1961 the Na- tional Park Service recommended that the federal government purchase the lands and waters of the waterway to pre- serve and protect them as a component of the National Park System NPS. Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall strongly endorsed a NPS recommendation for the federal government to acquire almost three mil- lion acres of land and water to create an Allagash National Rec- reation Area. The State of Maine preferring state control prepared a less extensive counter-proposal in 1965. That state proposal which included review of wood harvesting within one mile of the watercourse was eventu- ally endorsed by Secretary Udall the Maine Legislature and voters of the State of Maine The 92 mile long waterway has had a turbulent political history with vari- ous groups and stakeholders advocating for more or less access points and water crossings. One thing that everyone can agree on is that the waterway is a special place and should be protected for future generations. The found- ing legislation that established the waterway calls for the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands to preserve protect and develop the maximum wilder- ness character of the watercourse. 50 years later- I would say that the wa- terway is in a pretty good place. We have some special events planned for this year. Wildlife artist Mark Mc- Collough was commissioned to paint a picture of a family canoeing below Allagash Falls. The painting was reproduced as prints 500 of which are signed and numbered by the artist. We were very fortunate that Mark was willing to paint the original picture for the waterway. He has canoed the waterway several times and is sup- portiveofusingthepaintingtoraisefundsfor the AWW. Mark is a well-respected Maine artist who painted both the loon and chickadee license plates. Rollin Thurlow who is regarded as one of Maines finest wooden canoe build- ers generously offered to donate a 17 foot Atkinson Traveler Canoe. The canoe will be a special 50th Anniversary edition a true one of a kind watercraft. The canoe will be sold at an online auction offered by the Northern Forest Canoe Trail to benefit the waterway A celebration is planned at Churchill Dam on July 23rd. We will host an open fire baking contest and bean hole bean supper with homemade ice cream. There will be demonstrations by a blacksmith the Maine Forest Service De- partment of Inland Fisheries Wildlife and others. AWW staff will provide bateau rides up to the Jaws Campsite and back give tours of the boarding house and History Center. We will have artifacts on display- including a working Lombard Log Hauler We will run canoe flows from Churchill Dam all day and provide shuttle service back to the dam. Outfitters will be on location with canoes for those that need a canoe. The day will close with a Matthew LaRoche Superintendent Allagash Wilderness Waterway Celebrating 50 Years of Conservation