United States President Barack Obama recently named a new national park site, Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine. Obama declared this site a national park on the night before the National Park Service celebrated its centennial anniversary. As of last week, the national monument, 87,000 acres and all, now has a park service superintendent on site, and two visitor centers that guests can check out.
The public can hike, snowmobile, hunt, cross-country ski, and do so much more on the site. The monument is east of Baxter State Park and encompasses the Penobscot River’s East Branch, as well as a bit of the Maine Woods as well.
The foundation of Roxanne Quimby, co-founder of Burt’s Bees, donated funds as well as land to the park service, along with the National Park Foundation, as part of a centennial parks initiative. Quimby is also on the board of directors for the foundation.
As per the White House, the incredible donation made stands at $100 million, which encompasses the land (estimated at in-and-around $60 million); $20 million to assist with the start-up infrastructural developmental needs and operational costs; as well as a donation of $20 million dollars that centers around future requirements.
CNN reported that Quimby’s son, Lucas St. Clair stated that he grew up in Maine, and noted that his family considers the land sacred. He goes on to state that having it designated as a national monument makes for an incredible moment. He also went stated that he looks forward to the public visiting and exploring the landscape, and he also looks forward to these seeing these struggling communities start to understand the economic benefits that a national park can provide.
St. Clair also stated that his mom, Roxanne, began purchasing land in the late ‘90s and has been hard at work to preserve this land for decades.
Still, his mom’s donation has been a huge source of debate for Maine residents over the years, as the paper business has dominated when it came to economics in the past. As with other national park designations in the west of the United States; there are a lot of people who simply do not agree with land transfers to the U.S. government.
Last week marked the 100th birthday of the U.S. National Park Service, an anniversary which lands specifically on August 25th. The National Park Service now manages over 400 sites, with over 80 million acres combined.