Monday, May 22, 2017

Maine governor bans signs to Obama-designated monument, Interior employee seeks place signs inspite of Gov's order

Gov. Paul LePage is refusing to put signs along state roads showing the way to Maine’s national monument, pending the outcome of a federal review, state officials said Friday. The governor won’t allow official signs for Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument to be placed along Interstate 95 and Routes 11, 157 and 159 — all Katahdin region main roads — until federal officials determine whether the executive order creating the monument was valid, Maine Department of Transportation spokesman Ted Talbot said.  “While it is under review, we really have to wait for that decision,” Talbot said Friday. “What we don’t want to do is commit taxpayers’ money to signage or any type of project without knowing that it [the monument] is in place and that everyone is on board with it.”LePage’s determination came in response to monument Superintendent Tim Hudson’s request for the state to install the signs. Hudson learned of the decision in a letter that he said he received on Friday from the DOT, and said he is working with local towns to place signs on their roads...more

This is a great example of the type of cooperation states will receive from the feds on national monuments. The DOT letter(embedded below) states the Governor's position that it would be "imprudent and premature" to install the signs before the review is completed. Totally ignoring the Gov's concern, the Park Superintendent is seeking to place signs elsewhere.

Under the Presidential E.O. the final report is due by July 26. That means Park Superintendent Tim Hudson was unwilling to wait the less than 90 days it would take to comply with the Governor's request, and instead is seeking to subvert the state's position. Secretary Zinke has stated on several occasions that he wants Interior to be a "Good Neighbor". This is not an example of that approach is it Sec. Zinke?

Tim Hudson
The press release issued by the Park Service says Hudson "has dedicated his career to building partnerships." It would appear the State of Maine is just not one of those "partners".

Here is the letter:

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