Maine Governor Paul LePage may actually be closer to something resembling a statesman than Donald Trump is (it's a low bar), but he still doesn't know his ass from his elbow.
LePage is asking Trump to make the Maine wilderness "great again."
How? By mining it.
Republican Gov. Paul LePage asked Trump to take the unprecedented step of returning land in the northern part of the state to private ownership in a Feb. 14 letter. Burt's Bees co-founder Roxanne Quimby's foundation donated the land in hopes of revitalizing a struggling rural area.
The governor says if the land remains a federal monument the state should manage it to avoid economic damage. He says he wants to "make the Maine woods great again."
LePage opposed federal protection of the land because he wanted to open it up for mining operations. That's his idea of "great."
Even if you accept his stated motivation at face value, opening up the land to mining operations won't create jobs or transform the rural region into an economic powerhouse. That's not the way things work in the 21st century. Precious metals mined in Maine would be mined by a combination of private workers imported from out of state and automated machines. The metals would then be sold on the global market. Republicans would probably even give them a tax cut for doing this.
On the other hand, the national park service has the capability to create permanent jobs that won't ruin the pristine environment while retaining public ownership of the land.
Our national parks and monuments generate revenue for taxpayers; far more revenue than a private mining operation would.