National Monuments: Katahdin Woods and Waters

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National Monuments: Katahdin Woods and Waters
Take action

Elliotsville Plantation, Inc.

Defending Maine’s unspoiled forest lands

A couple hours north of Bangor, Maine, you’ll  find one of the newest gems in our national park system—Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. This monument of moose-filled woods and craggy peaks was designated in 2016 to protect 87,500 acres of Maine’s wild North Woods. But despite being protected as a national monument, Katahdin is still threatened by reckless logging proposals and efforts to loosen protections. We’re working against potential management changes that could put Katahdin’s forests at risk.

Why this place matters

Katahdin Woods and Waters offers true backcountry recreation in one of the largest tracts of unspoiled wildlands in the nation. It also provides key habitat for animals that need plenty of room to roam, including black bear and Canada lynx.

A vast remnant of America's forests
Kathadin contains one of the largest stretches of wildlands east of the Mississippi.
200+ Maine businesses
The amount that endorsed monument protections due to the economic benefits.
87,000 acres
Number threatened by logging through potential management changes.

The threat

Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is threatened by unwanted logging and development due to proposed management changes. The monument was lawfully protected by President Obama, and the move was supported by the majority of Mainers. But a pro-logging, pro-development minority successfully lobbied the Trump administration to put the monument under “review” in 2017. A few months later, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recommended management changes for the monument. The ambiguous management changes are widely seen as a way of opening up Katahdin Woods and Waters to logging. There are also attempts at the state level to change land-planning rules on lands surrounding Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, potentially opening them for development.

What we’re doing

  1. Working to prevent management changes

    We are working in the nation’s capital and with local groups in Maine to prevent damaging management changes and ensure Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is managed in a way that keeps it safe from destructive logging.

  2. Defending the law

    Currently, development in Maine is governed by a rule that says it has to be near other, similar developments. This helps avoid intrusions on wild, undeveloped land. We are working to uphold this “adjacency rule” and block proposals to extend development into areas like Katahdin Woods.

  3. Advancing scientific research

    We’re conducting scientific research to identify the most ecologically important and imminently threatened lands in and around Katahdin Woods and Waters. We use the results to guide our advocacy work.

What you can do
Tell officials to keep Katahdin Woods and Waters safe from logging. Sign up for WildAlerts to make your voice heard.