MILLINOCKET, Maine — Baxter State Park is unique among public lands.  It is a precious gift given to the people of Maine by former Governor Percival P. Baxter.

As Maine sprawls and evolves, Baxter becomes even more important.

Leading the effort to protect it and make it available for all is the job of Eben Sypitkowski.  He is a Bangor native who graduated from Bates and went on to receive a Master's Degree from Maine in Forestry.

"This is really fascinating work. Bringing together constituencies that are interested in this is an art," said Sypitkowski.

Cheerful, thoughtful and articulate, Sypitkowski speaks carefully because he knows a number of constituencies are listening to his every word.

Eben and his wife Lucy have a two-year old, one of 23 born in Millinocket in 2017.  Lucy is a Bowdoin graduate who works on community development for a non-profit known as Our Katahdin. Their young family represents the future of the region as the dominance of the Great Northern Paper Company fades into the past.

"It's a really interesting time to be working here because there is a real effort to look toward the future," he told NEWSCENTER Maine.

Eben is the fifth Director in the 88-year history of the park.