State officials say conservationist Roxanne Quimby is buying 8,900 acres of land near Baxter State Park as part of a deal that will open up additional lands in the Millinocket region to hunters, snowmobilers and other sportsmen.
The deal calls for Quimby to acquire a remote parcel known as the Valley Lands just east of Katahdin Lake that had been on the state’s wish list in recent years.
In turn, Quimby has given the state a two-year option to buy 5,000 acres that she owns closer to Millinocket, while also granting a working forest easement with guaranteed public access to an additional 6,600 nearby acres of her land.
When the deal is completed, it will ensure wood supplies to local mills while allowing public access to popular recreational lands.
The plan appears to signal a thawing of relations between Quimby and groups that have criticized her for buying large tracts of the North Woods and then banning hunting, mechanized recreation and timber harvesting on those lands.