Thursday, June 08, 2017

Interior secretary to visit Maine’s national monument next week as part of review

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke will visit Maine’s national monument next week as part of a federal review of whether it was created legally, he said Thursday. Speaking before the House Interior Appropriations Committee, Zinke discussed plans to visit Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, but didn’t mention the date. “I can’t wait to see it. My understanding is that I am going to go canoeing, which is something that Maine is known for,” Zinke said in response to U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, who mentioned the visit. Zinke said he will gauge residents’ feelings about the monument in the 9½ months since President Barack Obama signed an executive order creating it. Zinke will meet with members of the family of Burt’s Bees entrepreneur Roxanne Quimby, who donated the 87,562 acres east of Baxter State Park. Zinke said he will determine whether the monument designation was properly applied to Quimby’s gift. “My sense is this,” Zinke said. “I don’t intend to rip up Band-Aids where there is no [wound]. Many of our monuments are to a degree settled. There are some controversial ones more than others, but is it in the best public interest?” Zinke will also see whether Katahdin Woods has enough infrastructure to fulfill its mission. During a visit to Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument, he found no signs, lavatories or parking lots, he said...more

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