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Maine has incredible public lands and waters, which protect beautiful places and contribute to the state’s $8.2 billion outdoor recreation economy. The Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument – spanning 87,563 acres – preserves amazing landscapes in Maine’s North Woods and contributes significant economic benefits to the region.

Senator Angus King and Representative Chellie Pingree have questioned the Trump administration’s review of the monument, given the broad public support for the monument. In a letter to a Maine constituent, Senator Susan Collins wrote, “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.”

President Barack Obama designated the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument on the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, following the land’s donation to the federal government. Citing the rich biodiversity, unique geography, and historical and cultural significance to Native communities, President Obama’s designation began a second century of National Park Service conservation.

People around the country are speaking out in support for national monuments, such as Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. Communities submitted over 2.7 million comments to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to keep these public lands in public hands. Around 192,000 comments – more than 99.9% of comments mentioning the monument – specifically highlighted their support for the Katahdin Woods and Waters’ designation.

Secretary Zinke said of the monument, “Scaling back, I don’t think, makes a lot of sense from here.” Despite this, he has kept the monument on his list for review. Rather than continue playing games with our public lands and waters, Secretary Zinke must end his review of our national monuments, and keep these places protected.

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