By Richard Pérez-Peñaaug
New York Times news story
President Obama turned a vast stretch of Maine woods into the nation’s newest federal parkland on Wednesday, siding with conservationists in a dispute over government control of land in a state that has long been averse to intrusion from Washington.
Mr. Obama designated more than 87,500 acres, donated by a founder of the Burt’s Bees product line, as the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, administered by the National Park Service, a day before the service’s 100th anniversary. He has created two dozen national monuments, more than any previous president, ranging from small sites like the Stonewall Inn, a gay rights landmark in Manhattan, to more than 300,000 acres in the mountains east of Los Angeles.
After selling Burt’s Bees in 2007, Roxanne Quimby bought the land and hoped to turn it into a national park, but faced local opposition from people who opposed federal involvement, or feared loss of access for recreation.
Senator Angus King, independent of Maine, said he was satisfied that the terms set by the Obama administration addressed local concerns like use for recreation. But Gov. Paul R. LePage, a Republican, released a statement saying, “It’s sad that rich, out-of-state liberals can team up with President Obama to force a national monument on rural Mainers who do not want it.”