Paul LePage Loses, Conservationists Win With Designation of a National Monument

President Obama designated a new national monument today covering over 87,000 acres of forest in the wilderness of Maine despite protests from conservatives.

The Katahdin Woods and Waters monument adjacent to Baxter State Park includes the East Branch of the Penobscot River and views of Maine's tallest mountain, Katahdin. The land is cherished by Native Americans, and its history includes visits by naturalist Henry David Thoreau and President Theodore Roosevelt.

"Katahdin Woods and Waters' daytime scenery is awe-inspiring, from the breadth of its mountain-studded landscape, to the channels of its free-flowing streams with their rapids, falls, and quiet water, to its vantages for viewing the Mount Katahdin massif, the 'greatest mountain,'" Obama said in his proclamation.

Not everyone is pleased about the designation of the nation's newest national monument, including Maine Governor Paul LePage himself.

The possible designation of the Katahdin Woods has been pending for a long time and in more recent months the campaign against it became increasingly nasty.

We covered it here at the time so you may recall that Governor LePage instructed his staff to track down conservationists who supported the designation of the woods and send them threatening letters.

Governor LePage and other local conservatives opposed federal protection of the land for the usual reasons, like fear of the big scary government, but LePage also had plans to open up the land to mining operations.

LePage responded to today's news in a manner you might expect.

“That’s one way to get out of paying taxes to the state of Maine,” LePage said. “It’s also an ego play for Roxanne Quimby and Senator Angus King. It’s sad that rich, out-of-state liberals can team up with President Obama to force a national monument on rural Mainers who do not want it. As I’ve said all along, the fix is in.”

Yes, the fix is in. LePage's dream of mining under Mount Katahdin is never going to happen now.

LePage framed his pitch for mining under the mountain as an anti-poverty program that would enrich the locals, but we all know locals never would have seen a dime of that money.

The designation of the monument will actually create several hundred local jobs for the National Park Service.

  • I’ve been camping in that area. It really is wilderness. not many people in the area to begin with

  • There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why… I dream of things that never were, and ask couldn’t we just tear down this forest and mountain and put a gaping, toxic hole in it’s place?

  • Draxiar

    We need much more of this.

  • Ceoltoir

    One thing you got wrong is that NOT ONLY would the locals never see a dime but after the mine in question is tapped out or no longer profitable the locals would be the ones stuck with the bill for clean up.

  • Groundloop

    LePage is the exact type of pig ignorant conservative fuck knuckle my father would support. Despite us being Canadian. Here’s an example I’ll try to keep short. Ten or so years ago my older sister was living in Edmonton Alberta, and The Old Man came out for a visit. My sister thought it would be a treat for him to take him to Jasper National Park (https://www.google.ca/search?q=jasper+national+park&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi42vrrmtvOAhVF2BoKHdowCwQQsAQIRA&biw=1518&bih=1051). So, after the 4 hour drive to get to the nearest park entrance, paying the visitor fee, and driving through the park to one of the elevated lookout points, my sister parks the car, they get out, and look down and across one of the deep river valleys and up to the rugged peaks beyond. The Old Man’s observation? “Look at all that wasted space”. My sister told me she walked back to the car, sat down, and cried.

    Shorter version: Suck it LePage. Sic Semper Douchecanoes.

  • Aynwrong

    This would be a great time for No Fucks Obama to engage in some classic trolling. One simple tweet.

    “”Why does Paul LePage hate Maine?”

  • muselet

    New Oxford American Dictionary:

    mercenary |ˈmərsəˌnerē|
    adjective derogatory
    (of a person or their behavior) primarily concerned with making money at the expense of ethics: she’s nothing but a mercenary little gold digger.

    That came to mind while reading comments from various opponents of the national monument designation.


  • ninjaf

    And those would be middle class-paying jobs.