June 24, 2018  
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Save Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument
Save Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument

On April 26, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order directing the Secretary of the Interior to review national monuments created in the past 21 years that are more than 100,000 acres or designated without “adequate public outreach and coordination with relevant stakeholders.” At the urging of Governor LePage, Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument (KWWNM) is on the study list. The apparent intent of the order is to shrink, open to harmful uses, or abolish these monuments.

On May 2, 2017, Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT), chair of the House Committee on Natural Resources and long-time opponent of public lands, held a hearing on “the Consequences of Executive Branch Overreach of the Antiquities Act.” Bishop believes the Antiquities Act, which gives a President the authority to designate national monuments, is “evil.” At the hearing, Gov. LePage advocated for abolishing the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument.

Urge the Trump Administration and your U.S. congressional representatives to oppose any effort to eliminate or weaken Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument.

1. President Donald Trump: (202) 456-1111, www.whitehouse.gov/contact#page

2. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke: (202) 208-3100, www.regulations.gov, code DOI-2017-0002; comment deadline is July 10, 2017.

3. Congress: US Capitol switchboard (202) 224-3121 (to find your reps http://whoismyrepresentative.com/)

4. If you live in Maine:
U.S. Senator Susan Collins: (202) 224-2523, www.collins.senate.gov/contact
U.S. Senator Angus King: (202) 224-5344, www.king.senate.gov/contact
U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin: (202) 225-6306, https://poliquin.house.gov/contact/email


The Trump Administration is reviewing possibly eliminating or changing the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument in Maine. They want to rescind national monuments, reduce their size, and/or open them to uses such as mining, oil and gas extraction, and logging. They are using a number of review criteria. It is important for the review to show that there was significant public input prior to the designation, that there is currently a lot of public support, and that the monuments are economically beneficial.

Fact: KWWNM has had extensive public input
• 13,000 people have signed petitions supporting the national monument
• 1,400 Mainers attended a meeting about KWWNM at UMaine where support was overwhelming
• U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin hosted a meeting where local support was overwhelming
• Scores of meetings have been held in the region with elected officials, businesses, citizens, etc.

Fact: KWWNM has extensive public support
• All statistically legitimate polls show strong majority public support for KWWNM
• Many former opponents are now supporting KWWNM
• A new group, Friends of KWWNM, is garnering even more public support
• 19 local officials sent a letter urging Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke “to do everything in your power to ensure that this Monument is a success,” signers included a majority of the Select Boards of 3 local towns
• Katahdin Area Chamber of Commerce has strongly and consistently supported the monument
• 200+ businesses in the greater Katahdin region support the national monument

Fact: KWWNM has bipartisan political support
• U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R), who previously opposed KWWNM: “I intend to support efforts to make the Monument a success and to help the Katahdin region thrive and chart a better economic future. I believe that any effort to rescind the designation at this point would be a mistake.”

• U.S. Sen. Angus King (I), who previously opposed National Park Service ownership in northern Maine: “Rather than reignite controversy in a region that is beginning to heal and move on, I hope we can allow the monument to continue to serve as one important part of a multifaceted economic revitalization strategy which is already underway.”

• U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (D): “The monument has brought new visitors to the area, boosted sales at local businesses, and is helping the real estate market. In a part of the state that’s eager for good economic news, I don’t think anyone wants to see those benefits undone.”

• Maine Rep. Stephen Stanley (D), who represents the Katahdin region and who previously sponsored legislation for Gov. Paul LePage (R) to stop KWWNM: “We had a little bit of hope. And now all of a sudden, here we go again, the spike is in the coffin again [with the Trump review of the monument].”

• Dozens of Maine legislators support KWWNM

Fact: KWWNM has already had a beneficial economic impact
• Millions of dollars have been invested or pledged for this economically depressed area since monument creation
• Realtors in the Katahdin region report a rebound in real estate prices
• Many businesses have been investing in anticipation of increased activity, which is already evident
• One business owner attributed to KWWNM an unprecedented 33% year-to-year increase in revenue
• Even former opponents, such as Rep. Stanley, now see the monument as sparking economic hope

Posted on Thursday, June 22, 2017 (Archive on Saturday, July 22, 2017)
Posted by Jym St. Pierre   Contributed by Jym St. Pierre

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