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Trump interior secretary recommends against changes to Katahdin W-and-W

BANGOR DAILY NEWS

Trump’s interior secretary recommends against changes at Maine monument
By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff • December 5, 2017 3:24 pm
Updated: December 7, 2017

Maine’s national monument should not be shrunk in size or feature commercial forestry, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Tuesday.

Speaking publicly for the first time about his recommendations to President Donald Trump, Zinke confirmed a Washington Post-reported leak and said that he has advised Trump to keep Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument at present size.

His 20-page report, released Tuesday, does not recommend commercial forestry for Maine’s monument, despite its featuring the words “active timber management,” which is typically part of commercial forestry.

“We think a ‘Made in Maine’ solution works better and that’s promoting a healthy forest,” Zinke said in a telephone press conference on Tuesday. “It is the best practices, best science and greatest good” in the uses of a forest ― not merely leaving a forest totally untouched, as environmental preservationists would typically advocate.

Timber management, Zinke said, represents the planting, growth and thinning of a broad diversity of trees, forest-fire and blight prevention, and landscaping improvements. All have been Maine forestry practices for generations, he said.

The Katahdin Woods and Waters monument has been among Maine’s most controversial public properties since then-President Barack Obama created it with an executive order in August 2016.

It was among 27 monuments created by presidential order since 1996 that Trump ordered reviewed in April, saying that he felt that previous administrations had used the Antiquities Act of 1906 to make land grabs.

Trump has yet to take any action on Katahdin Woods and Waters. He signed a proclamation on Monday shrinking Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.

U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, who represents northern Maine, said he was pleased that the monument would employ Mainers managing the forest.

“It is a special, rare process that he is recommending to the president,” Poliquin said Tuesday.

Maine’s national monument should not be shrunk in size or feature commercial forestry, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Tuesday.

Speaking publicly for the first time about his recommendations to President Donald Trump, Zinke confirmed a Washington Post-reported leak and said that he has advised Trump to keep Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument at present size.

His 20-page report, released Tuesday, does not recommend commercial forestry for Maine’s monument, despite its featuring the words “active timber management,” which is typically part of commercial forestry.

“We think a ‘Made in Maine’ solution works better and that’s promoting a healthy forest,” Zinke said in a telephone press conference on Tuesday. “It is the best practices, best science and greatest good” in the uses of a forest ― not merely leaving a forest totally untouched, as environmental preservationists would typically advocate.

Timber management, Zinke said, represents the planting, growth and thinning of a broad diversity of trees, forest-fire and blight prevention, and landscaping improvements. All have been Maine forestry practices for generations, he said.

The Katahdin Woods and Waters monument has been among Maine’s most controversial public properties since then-President Barack Obama created it with an executive order in August 2016.

It was among 27 monuments created by presidential order since 1996 that Trump ordered reviewed in April, saying that he felt that previous administrations had used the Antiquities Act of 1906 to make land grabs.

Trump has yet to take any action on Katahdin Woods and Waters. He signed a proclamation on Monday shrinking Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.

U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, who represents northern Maine, said he was pleased that the monument would employ Mainers managing the forest.

“It is a special, rare process that he is recommending to the president,” Poliquin said Tuesday.