All Things Maine
All Things Maine

Thursday, August 31, 2006

A Brief History of Maine Rafting

Jim Motavalli recounts a rafting trip on the Kennebec on the website of E/The Environmental Magazine, and includes a history of rafting rights in Maine.
It’s hard to believe that Maine rafting is only about 30 years old. In the early 1970s, the wonderfully named Howard Trotsky (an anarchistically inclined University of Maine biology graduate student, one presumes) researched the 1835 legislation that enabled the centuries-old and environmentally destructive log drives on the river. He concluded they were violating state laws about the public’s right of access. Trotsky received a sympathetic hearing for his argument that the Kennebec should be open for recreational use, so in 1971 the last mill operator, Scott Paper, announced that it would cease operations within five years. [Link]

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