On the eve of the August 2016 National Park Service centennial, President Barack Obama officially 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.

The site’s vast boreal forests, abundant wildlife and wild rivers make it an exceptional new addition to the park system. Its landscape has inspired poets and presidents alike, and families in Maine have been enjoying hiking, horseback riding, skiing and fishing for generations here. Now, Americans will have a piece of these wonderful conservation lands to enjoy 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.

This monument, managed by the National Park Service, 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 new monument will:

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

  • Interpret 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

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

  • Complement existing protected land at the adjacent Baxter State Park

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

  • Honor and interpret 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 includes an unprecedented $40 million private endowment to support future operation of the monument.


  • More Than 6,400 Sent a Thank You Note

    Sep 2016

    National park advocates thanked President Obama for designating Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument on the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

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