The state should take control of Maine’s national monument — regardless of whether President Donald Trump rescinds the executive order that created it, U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin said Tuesday.
Poliquin responded to a request from U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke with a three-page letter reiterating his opposition to the controversial Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.
Poliquin did not recommend reversing President Barack Obama’s executive order creating the monument in August 2016, but he did say that Mainers would be the best managers of the 87,562 acres the family of Burt’s Bees entrepreneur Roxanne Quimby gave to the nation.
“Maine knows best how to manage its land and abundant natural resources,” Poliquin, R-Maine, wrote. “Whatever the president decides regarding the national monument, I respectfully request the state be responsible for managing the land and its many uses — not Washington.”
Zinke’s review of the legality of Katahdin Woods’ creation is due by Aug. 24. It is unclear whether Trump can unilaterally rescind monuments or if the Quimby deeds giving the land to the federal government would permit a transfer to another party.
The monument opened its main entrance on May 26 after opening its north passageway a few weeks earlier.
Poliquin also advised Zinke to ensure that the logging roads around the monument stay available for forestry use and that the federal government establish a monument advisory board of Katahdin region residents to resolve local disputes.
As part of his review, Zinke seeks comment on the monument. To submit one online, click here, enter “DOI-2017-0002” in the search bar and click, “Search.” Or mail to Monument Review, MS-1530, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240.