New park naturalist appointed for Baxter State Park

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BAXTER STATE PARK — It is with great pleasure that the Baxter State Park Authority announces the appointment of its new Baxter State park naturalist Marc Edwards. Edwards is currently the park’s interpretive specialist.

A National Association of Interpretation certified interpreter trainer, Edwards holds both a bachelors and a masters in science in parks, recreation and tourism from the University of Maine. He brings years of experience to the park, including stints as a park tanager in the Vermont State Parks system, as a tourism economic development professional at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, and as an interpretive ranger in the National Park Service and the US Forest Service.

“I am looking forward to furthering the mission of Baxter State Park as Park Naturalist,” Edwards said. He lives with his family in Strong.

Edwards will manage the park’s information and education department, including interpretive programming, public information efforts, research and resource monitoring and will serve as a member of the park’s administrative team.

Baxter State Park is a 209,644 acre public trust headquartered in Millinocket. Gov. Percival Baxter made it his life’s “magnificent obsession” to purchase these lands and donate them to the people of the state of Maine. With this gift he left a governance structure unique from all other Maine state parks, a large endowment that allows the park to operate independently from the state general fund, and several directives that describe how to manage the park. These include a focus on preserving the wildness of the park above all else and providing opportunities “for those who love nature and who are willing to walk and make an effort to get close to nature.”

The Baxter State Park Authority, comprised of the Maine attorney general, the commissioner of Inland Fisheries and wildlife and the director of the Maine Forest Service, has been charged since 1939 with carrying out Gov. Baxter’s vision of protecting and preserving Baxter State Park and ensuring that it remains “forever wild.”

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