Thursday, December 22, 2016

Son of national monument visionary exploring next steps for Katahdin-area site

Hanging on the wall of his office in Portland’s West End is a photo of a smiling Lucas St. Clair canoeing with U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell in August. The photo was taken on the East Branch of the Penobscot River a few days after 87,000 acres in northern Maine were designated a national monument by President Obama. The decision came after a battle over whether the land, purchased by St. Clair’s mother, Roxanne Quimby, should be set aside as a tourist destination in an area that was once the heart of Maine’s logging and papermaking industry. Three months later, St. Clair is still smiling. His role in soothing tensions among local residents helped pave the way for the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. And he’s not worried about speculation that President-elect Donald Trump may dismantle some of the more than two dozen national monuments that Obama has designated under the federal Antiquities Act of 1906. Having just returned from a tour of national parks and monuments with his wife and children, St. Clair, 38, is optimistic about the future of Maine’s national monument, the Katahdin region and the next step for Elliotsville Plantation Inc., the nonprofit foundation set up by his mother to conserve land in hopes of creating a national park...more

 How quaint.

I did, however, find this part of the article interesting:

Congress has the power to dismantle the national monument, said Robert Fischman, a public land scholar and law professor in the Maurer School of Law at Indiana University. What’s unclear, Fischman said, is whether a president does.

“The first thing to keep in mind is that, because no president has ever sought to revoke a national monument designation, we’re in uncharted territory,” said Fischman, a board member at the Conservation Law Center. “And there has been a lively debate about whether the legislation that gives the president the power to establish a national monument also provides a kind of implied power to revoke the executive order that established the national monument. …

“On his first day in office, Trump, among his executive orders, could sign one that revokes Obama’s executive order and dis-establishes the monument. Whether a court would uphold that action is unclear,” Fischman said.
 I've written about revoking or revising a National Monument designation here.

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