The Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM) today heralded the creation of a new national monument in Maine. “We are thrilled about President Obama’s decision to establish a new national monument in Maine on land east of Baxter State Park,” said NRCM executive director Lisa Pohlmann. “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.” NRCM is the leading Maine environmental organization that has been working to establish this new national monument.
The President’s action was made possible because about 87,500 acres of land purchased by Elliotsville Plantation, Inc. (EPI) is being donated to the Department of Interior to be enjoyed in perpetuity by the people of Maine, the nation, and the world. EPI also has pledged to provide a $40 million endowment to support the monument’s operations.
“We are delighted that today’s historic announcement will conserve this spectacular place so Mainers and visitors alike can enjoy the area’s stunning beauty and learn about its rich history,” said Pohlmann. “Acadia National Park is a treasure for those seeking Maine’s beautiful coast, and the new national monument celebrates Maine’s amazing inland woods, mountains, waters, and wildlife.”
The land includes stunning views of Mount Katahdin, the wild and beautiful East Branch of the Penobscot River, forests that inspired Henry David Thoreau and Teddy Roosevelt, and wonderful wildlife that will delight visitors of all ages.
The Katahdin Area Chamber of Commerce, representing 140 local businesses, strongly supports today’s action. In March 2015, more than 200 Maine businesses, primarily from northern Maine, endorsed creation of a national park and national recreation area for these lands. In November 2015, national park supporters delivered a petition to Maine’s Congressional delegation with more than 13,000 signatures from people living in 371 Maine towns, 50 states, and 53 nations.
“We are deeply grateful for this historic decision by President Obama to establish a new national monument in Maine,” said Pohlmann. “We also are grateful for the vision and commitment of EPI, and for the passion and hard work of all those who helped make today a great day for land conservation in Maine.”
“The Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument will be protected forever 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 cultural history, and explore its woods and waters in hopes of seeing a moose, loon, or Bald Eagle,” said Pohlmann.
“Our family would like to thank President Obama and the members of his administration for their hard work to safeguard America’s natural treasures and for their efforts to prepare the National Park Service for its next 100 years of success,” said the board of directors of Elliotsville Plantation, Inc. (EPI) in their written statement. “This designation is a fitting tribute to the ‘Centennial of America’s Greatest Idea.’”