In August 2016, President Barack Obama designated more than 87,500 acres of land along the East Branch of the Penobscot River in Maine as the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. But the Trump administration could attempt to alter or rescind the national park site’s federal protections following an April 2017 executive order mandating a federal review of national monuments created since 1996.

NPCA is adamantly opposed to any attempts to rescind or alter the size of any one of our country’s national monuments. An attack on one of America’s national monuments is an attack on all of them, and the history these places represent.

Katahdin Woods and Waters is a nationally significant part of America’s natural and historic legacy. The site’s vast boreal forests, abundant wildlife and wild rivers have inspired poets and presidents alike, and families in Maine have been enjoying hiking, horseback riding, skiing and fishing for generations here. These wonderful conservation lands belong to all Americans, and it is up to all Americans to protect them for generations to come.

A private foundation, Elliotsville Plantation Inc., donated the land to the federal government to preserve the region’s distinctive natural and cultural features, including mixed hardwood forests, diverse topographic terrain and geologic features, and portions of four major watersheds.

Under National Park Service management, the monument will protect the region’s ecology, support scientific research, provide year-round recreational use and create hundreds of jobs in the Katahdin region, giving an economic boost to the entire state.

The monument:

  • Provides unrivaled wildlife habitat for Canada lynx, ruffed grouse, brook trout, deer, moose, bears and loons

  • Interprets the rich history of the Penobscot tribe and the birth of American conservation through the eyes of Henry David Thoreau, President Theodore Roosevelt and Percival Baxter, the former governor who donated Mount Katahdin to the people of Maine

  • Protects land surrounding the Appalachians, one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world

  • Complements existing protected land at the adjacent Baxter State Park

  • Enhances opportunities for hiking, camping, paddling, fishing, biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hunting and snowmobiling

  • Honors and interprets the history of logging

NPCA has been a strong supporter of the creation of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, working with Elliotsville Plantation Inc. for more than four years to preserve this nationally significant land. The designation included an unprecedented $40 million private endowment to support future operation of the monument. NPCA urges the Department of the Interior and the Trump administration not to attempt to alter this important monument or any other of our country’s national monuments.

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