Environmentalist, and wealthy cofounder of Burt’s Bees, fights to create America’s next National Park

Burt’s Bees cofounder Roxanne Quimby wants to hand the government a new national park in northern Maine—election-year politics and residents’ NIMBYism be damned. Brian Kevin investigates the boldest conservation plan in decades.

Technically, this Idaho-shaped chunk of land, which contains a 30-mile stretch of the International Appalachian Trail, is known as the East Branch Sanctuary. But around Millinocket it’s simply referred to as “Quimby’s land.” The self-made millionaire owns it, along with 119,000 acres of other timber-company lands that she started buying up back in 2000, when Burt’s Bees was raking in about $23 million a year. Her plan was to give the property to the National Park Service, thereby galvanizing other donations that would eventually establish a 3.2-million-acre wilderness in the last great undeveloped region east of the Rockies.

But the campaign stalled out of the gate. Public land is a tough sell in northern Maine, where residents are accustomed to hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, and cutting timber. Many didn’t cotton to the rhetoric of a wealthy environmentalist; others feared that the proposed park would spell the end of the region’s struggling paper mills.

But a dozen years and a few hundred Ban Roxanne bumper stickers later, Quimby is back with more practical ambitions. Last spring she announced plans for a dramatically reduced 74,000-acre Maine Woods National Park just east of Katahdin, carved entirely from her own property. And thanks to better diplomacy and a new emphasis on economic benefit, Quimby is beginning to win hearts and minds.

 

The uncut storyThe Fight to Create America’s Newest National Park

 

 

Continue reading Environmentalist, and wealthy cofounder of Burt’s Bees, fights to create America’s next National Park

Netflix goes to Washington D.C. – forms PAC

In yet another move to boost its Washington profile, Netflix has formed a political action committee (PAC), new federal records indicate.

Called FLIXPAC, the committee may now make contributions donations directly to federal candidates — up to $5,000 per election.

And it provides Netflix with another political tool with which to aggressively press a pro-intellectual property, anti-video piracy agenda — an effort it began in earnest in 2010, when the company began heavily investing in federal lobbying efforts.

In 2009, for example, Netflix spent just $20,000 on federal lobbying, congressional records show. But that figure grew to $130,000 in 2010 and $500,000 in 2011.

via Politico

 

// Photo via Mr. Thomas