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  • Congresswoman Pingree urges President Obama to create national monument in Maine

    Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (photo right) wrote to President Obama today to urge him to create a national monument in northern Maine.

    "I am writing today to express my strong support for the creation of a national monument on land owned by Elliotsville Plantation here in Maine.  I believe the case for the creation of a National Monument is strong and is supported by most people in the region and throughout the state," Pingree wrote.

    In her letter, Pingree cited independent polling that shows strong support for a national park or national monument in Maine as well as a recent study that found substantial economic growth in regions where a national monument has been created.

    "I've heard directly and indirectly from business owners throughout my District who benefit from the visitors who travel to Acadia National Park.  Hotels and motels, outdoor recreation equipment dealers, restaurants and other businesses around the state benefit from the millions of visitors headed for Acadia, and I have no doubt the same would be true if a national monument were established in northern Maine," Pingree wrote.

    Full text of Pingree's letter to President Obama is below:

    Dear Mr. President:

    I am writing today to express my strong support for the creation of a national monument on land owned by Elliotsville Plantation here in Maine.  I believe the case for the creation of a national monument is strong and is supported by most people in the region and throughout the state.

     As you know, Senator King recently invited National Park Director Jon Jarvis to a series of meetings and a public hearing in Maine.  Director Jarvis heard a range of voices, differing viewpoints and some legitimate concerns.  Most of the Mainers who turned out at the public hearing supported a national monument designation, which is indicative of the proposal's support across our state.  In fact, according to one recent public survey conducted by an independent polling company, by a 3-to-1 margin Mainers support the creation of a national park from the Elliotsville Plantation.

    According to a recent independent study conducted for small businesses by BBC Research and Consulting, in ten communities in which a national monument has been created during your administration over 1,800 jobs are being supported by the increase in visitors to the area.  And I've heard directly and indirectly from business owners throughout my District who benefit from the visitors who travel to Acadia National Park.  Hotels and motels, outdoor recreation equipment dealers, restaurants and other businesses around the state benefit from the millions of visitors headed for Acadia, and I have no doubt the same would be true if a national monument were established in northern Maine.

    The private landowner who has agreed to donate the land to the American people and provide a $40 million endowment for its operation has made an unprecedented and generous offer.  And as National Park Service Director Jarvis found when he visited the region earlier this month, the flora, fauna and culture significance of the land clearly meet the criteria for creating a national monument with that land.

    In addition, the landowner's offer to donate additional land nearby where traditional recreation uses like hunting, fishing and snowmobiling can take place further ensures the public will be able to enjoy this part of our state in many ways.

    The creation of a national monument in northern Maine would bring economic benefit to our state, is supported by the large majority of our citizens and would permanently protect a unique and beautiful area for the public to use and enjoy.  I urge you to use the authority that Congress granted under the Antiquities Act to create a national monument in northern Maine.

    Sincerely,

    Chellie Pingree

    Member of Congress