Here’s a note I have from a friend who loves trail running:
I’ve been meaning to send you an email about the uproar around Scott Jurek’s Appalachian Trail record, so I’ll make it quick… here is the written statement by the rangers of Baxter State Park:
and here is Scott’s response:
Both pieces provide a whole new view at his awe-inspiring accomplishment! I’m sure you will have your own stance on the matter as well…
Thank you for your message and links below, and congratulations on your own successful climb! I like that picture you sent via text.
You are right about my own stance. I read enough of the park’s criticism to see quickly where it comes from. The word corporate is a dirty word for people on the environmental left. I cannot figure that out. Corporations are made of people. Corporations have done great things for environmental preservation. When managers of state parks post a critique of Scott Jurek that says he is not welcome because he has corporate sponsorship, I just cannot figure that out. It confirms the sense I’ve had about the environmental left’s attitude: natural land belongs to us, and if you don’t show you’re one of us, you’re not welcome.
Baxter belongs to everyone. Scott did nothing inappropriate at all. I don’t even want to go to Baxter anymore, and I was thinking of climbing Katahdin until this whole issue came up. In any case, I’m leaning toward my favorite places near Rangeley Lakes now, where I can enjoy beauty without park management that takes a narrow view of its own mission.
The Baxter State Park Authority even suggested it might cut its ties with the Appalachian Trail following Scott Jurek’s accomplishment. Imagine if authorities at d’Orly airport in Paris had cited Charles Lindbergh because he landed at night, and the crowd waiting to greet him was too big! The airport authorities also want you to know American flyers are no longer welcome here. After all, the $25,000 prize Charles Lindbergh won was offered by hotel owner Raymond Orteig, a wealthy man just like Scott Jurek’s sponsors!
“What kind of man would live where there is no danger? I don’t believe in taking foolish chances. But nothing can be accomplished by not taking a chance at all.”
~ Charles Lindbergh