Friday opened the 60-day public comment period for residents to weigh in on Maine’s national monument.
The new comment period signals a return of the bitter debate over a large-scale federal presence in the North Woods. The U.S. Department of Interior announced on May 5 that it was opening the comment period for 27 monuments under review per an executive order issued last month by President Donald Trump.
At issue is whether then-President Barack Obama created Maine’s monument in August “without adequate public outreach and coordination with relevant stakeholders,” the department said in a statement.
Comments on the monument may be submitted online at http://www.regulations.gov by entering “DOI-2017-0002” in the search bar and clicking “Search,” or by mail to Monument Review, MS-1530, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240.
It is unclear whether Trump can rescind Obama’s executive order. Attorneys general have said for decades that the Antiquities Act of 1906 allows presidents to create but not to reject executive orders. That determination, made by an attorney general serving President Franklin D. Roosevelt, came after President Woodrow Wilson cut nearly half the acreage of Mount Olympus National Monument, which Theodore Roosevelt had established.