We are thrilled about President Obama’s decision to establish a new national monument in Maine on land east of Baxter State Park. We can think of no better way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service than with the addition of the wonderful Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.
We are delighted that today’s historic announcement will conserve this spectacular place so Mainers and visitors alike can experience the area’s stunning beauty and learn about its rich history.
Acadia National Park is a treasure for those seeking Maine’s beautiful coast, and this new national monument celebrates Maine’s amazing inland woods, mountains, waters, and wildlife.
Mainers are fortunate to live in a state with such amazing natural resources. Now we will have the additional good fortune of a new national monument to help conserve these wonders so they can be shared with people from across the state, the country, and around the world for generations to come.
This will be good for Maine and good for our economy.
Today’s announcement was made possible through the generosity of Elliotsville Plantation, Inc., which donated the land and will provide a $40 million endowment to support the monument’s operations. We offer our heartfelt thanks to EPI. Their gift to the American people follows in the great tradition of others who have used their personal resources to guarantee permanent public access to treasured landscapes across the country. It is fitting that this wonderful gift of more than 87,500 acres will border Maine’s treasured Baxter State Park, made possible through the generous gifts of former Maine Governor Percival Baxter.
Today’s announcement also was made possible by the leadership and vision of residents from across Maine, and particularly from the Katahdin region, who helped shape and support the monument proposal and worked tirelessly to make it a reality. At a time of economic hardship due to the closure of many paper mills in Maine, this new national monument will help boost and diversify the economy of the Katahdin region and provide new jobs and investment opportunities throughout Maine.
Most importantly, the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument will be protected for the ages as a place where visitors can sit along the pristine shores of the East Branch of the Penobscot River, camp under the dark skies of Maine’s North Woods, watch the sun set behind majestic Mount Katahdin, learn about the region’s history, and explore the area’s woods and waters in hopes of seeing a moose, loon, or Bald Eagle.
We are deeply grateful for this historic decision by President Obama to establish a new national monument in Maine. We also are grateful for the vision and persistence of EPI, and for the passion and hard work of all those who helped make today a great day for land conservation in Maine. NRCM could not be more pleased by this news, and we could not be more proud of the central role we have played for the last five years in helping move the proposal forward.
—Lisa Pohlmann, NRCM Executive Director
View a map of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.
Watch a video and read the Down East magazine story about the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, including an interview with NRCM’s Cathy Johnson.