“A Magnificent Obsession”

Baxter State Park is the result of a dream of former Governor Percival P. Baxter who donated the first parcel of land in 1931 and over the years added various parcels until his final acquisition in 1962 brought the Park’s area to 201,018 acres. Since then, the Authority has purchased and been gifted additional acreage to bring the Park to its current size of 209,644 acres. In addition to the various gifts of land, Governor Baxter also left two sizeable trust funds to carry out the operation and maintenance of the Park without the need for state funding.

Acquisitions Map

Click to download.


While Baxter State Park bears the name “State” it is separately administered, free from any connection with the larger State Park system (Bureau of Parks and Lands/Dept. of Conservation). The Baxter State Park Authority, a three person authority consisting of the Attorney General, the Director of the Maine Forest Service and the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, has full power in the control and management of the Park and in the exercise of all Trust obligations.


About 40% of the costs of Park operations are financed from a combination of entrance fees, camping, and wood products revenues with the remaining 60% provided by revenues from trusts established by Percival Baxter in 1945 and again through his will after his death in 1969 to provide funds for the care and maintenance of Baxter State Park. Park operations are also assisted by donations from independent trusts and organizations such as the Baxter Park Wilderness Fund and the Friends of Baxter State Park. The Baxter State Park Authority also accepts numerous donations from individuals every year.


The Authority operates the Park through a Park Director and administrative staff consisting of a Chief Ranger, Park Naturalist, Business Manager and Resource Manager. The Park currently employs 22 year round, and 39 seasonal employees to protect, maintain and operate the Park. Park operations are also supported by the Maine Conservation Corps and other contracted personnel to prepare firewood bundles, perform road maintenance and forest harvesting and management operations and other maintenance work.


The Park is assisted in the development of policy and operational procedures by a number of committees including the Baxter State Park Advisory Committee, the Scientific Forest Management Area Advisory Committee, the Baxter Park Research Committee, and the Baxter Park Investment Committee. These groups of dedicated volunteers are composed of individuals with either a wide range of Park experience or specific technical expertise who are interested in assisting the Park. The committees operate at the pleasure of the Authority and provide helpful advice on emerging Park policy or operational concerns.


Percival Baxter submitted legislation in 1939 that established the Baxter State Park Authority as the sole governing body of the Park consisting of the Director of the Maine Forest Service, the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Maine Attorney General.
Some background regarding the Baxter State Park Authority:

Janet Trafton Mills – Maine Attorney General

From 1995 through 2008, Ms. Mills practiced law in Skowhegan with her brother, former State Senator S. Peter Mills. In 2002, she was elected to the House of Representatives, representing the towns of Farmington and Industry. She served on the Judiciary Committee, the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee and the Appropriations Committee. She had run successfully for her fourth term in the House in November 2008 when she became the first woman to be elected by the Joint Convention in December 2008 to be Maine’s 55th Attorney General. From 2011 through 2012, she was of counsel in the Litigation Group of PretiFlaherty, LLP. She also taught in the Justice Studies Program at the University of Maine Augusta and served for two years as Vice Chair of the Maine Democratic Party.  In December 2012, Ms. Mills was elected to serve as Maine’s 57th Attorney General. Ms. Mills and her husband Stanley Kuklinski live in Farmington. She has five stepdaughters and three grandsons. Read some of Janet’s thoughts on the Park here.

Chandler Woodcock – Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife

Chandler Woodcock is former Executive Director of the Maine Harness Horsemen’s Association. Prior to Woodcock’s involvement with MHHA he was an English teacher for 27 years. He served three terms in the Maine Senate and two terms on the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee and campaigned for Governor in 2006. Woodcock is also a former registered Maine guide and member of “Brook Trout Maine.”

Doug Denico – Director of the Maine Forest Service and Authority Chair

A native of Vassalboro, Doug Denico earned his Bachelor of Science in forestry and Master of Science in forest economics at the University of Maine School of Forestry. He is immediate past president of the Maine Forest Products Council and currently serves as chair of the Maine Landowners and Sportsmen Relations Advisory Board. He is a licensed professional forester. His career includes forest management positions with International Paper, Scott Paper, S.D. Warren, Plum Creek and Sappi. He also owns and manages 1,300 acres of working forest in central Maine from Vassalboro to Township 7, Range 11, Piscataquis County.

Park Advisory Committee

This 15 member volunteer committee is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Baxter State Park Authority. The committee is formed by individuals with experience in Baxter State Park and often other wilderness settings around the nation or the world. The committee assists the Park by working closely with the Park Director and other Park administrators to provide an active forum for discussion, review, comment and critique in the formation and revision of policies, procedures and operational systems.
Baxter State Park Advisory Committee members are appointed to 2 year terms and service is limited to 3 consecutive terms. The operation of the committee is guided by a Statement of Purpose document. The committee typically meets monthly from November to April and visits the Park as a group one or two times per summer for group projects or hikes to visit areas of resource concerns or emerging policy development.
The Baxter State Park Authority makes appointments and other changes to the committee at the May Authority meeting. Individuals interested in serving on the committee should fill out and submit to the Park Director a short information sheet providing contact information and describing their experience in the Park.
Waterville, ME
Woodland, ME
Hampden, ME
Bethel, ME
Norway, ME
Houlton, ME
Fort Kent, ME
Millinocket, ME
Wayne, ME
Cumberland Foreside, ME
Bangor, ME
Gorham, ME
Etna, ME
Orono, ME
Houlton, ME

Scientific Forest Management Area Advisory Committee

In the mid 1980’s an advisory committee was formed to guide forest management activities in the SFMA.  Comprised of some of the most thoughtful and knowledgeable forestry minds in the state of Maine, this 15-member group serves at the pleasure of the BSP Authority to advise Park staff on issues related to third tenet of the Park’s mission, to conduct exemplary sustainable forest management operations with the SFMA.
Late Summer 2016 Advisory tour beside Pelletier Bros. Inc. service truck. L-R, Craig Troeger, John Bryant, Allison Kanoti, Bob Seymour, Forest Tech Kevin Osborne, Jim O’Malley, Park Director Jensen Bissell, Any Cutko, Intern Emily Higgins, Forester Dee George, Intern Jacob Cerminar, Barrie Brusila, Rob Bryan, Shawn Fraver, and Joe Wiley.”
Allison Kanoti 2019 Old Town, ME
Shawn Fraver 2019 Orono, ME
Andy Cutko 2019 Augusta, ME
Emily Meacham 2019 St. Johnsbury, VT
John Bryant 2019 Milford, ME
Jim O’Malley 2019 Fort Kent, ME
Ken Laustsen 2020 Augusta, ME
Robert Seymour 2020 Orono, ME
Craig Troeger 2020 Van Buren, ME
Aaron Weiskittel 2020 Orono, ME
Barrie Brusila 2018 Warren, ME
Rob Bryan 2018 Harpswell, ME
Philip Ahrens 2018 Yarmouth, ME
Alison Dibble 2018 Brooklin, ME
Joe Wiley 2018 Dresden, ME

Baxter State Park Research Committee

Dykstra Eusden Lewiston
Richard Dearborn Mount Vernon
Don Hudson Arrowsic
Dave Courtemanch Brunswick
Kathleen Murray Augusta
Don Cameron Augusta
Charlene Donahue Whitefield
Cindy Loftin Orono
Shawn Haskell Ashland
Paula Work Augusta

Baxter State Park Investment Committee

Brian Noyes, Chair South Freeport
Steve Hutnak Cumberland Foreside
Rupert White Brunswick
Chris Nelson Orono
Carl Gercke Falmouth
Edward Creedon Portland
Rick Bray Brunswick
Erin Kinsella Portland
Ned Creedon Chicago


May 31, 2017.  Our year round staff of 21 swells to more than 60 in the summer.  To join us, please visit our employment page.