Members of the Katahdin-area business community want Maine and the nation to know that support for the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is growing, even among those who initially opposed the 88,000-acre conveyance from Maine environmentalist Roxanne Quimby.
Gail Fanjoy, president of the Katahdin Area Chamber of Commerce, told reporters at a Bangor press event that she was not a fan of the monument at first. But that was before she heard more about the proposal from Quimby’s son, Lucas St. Clair.
“I was asked to attend a meeting, I met Lucas St. Clair and I heard his story, I listened to his vision and I became a supporter that night,” she said.
Kathadin-area businessman John Ellis also said he initially opposed the monument, after his family’s camp was lost as the result of Quimby’s land acquisition. But he said his late father’s advice changed his mind.
“I remember it distinctly, he said, ‘Boys it’s time to move on, it’s time move forward and embrace this opportunity for our community and go forward, we need to move beyond the past,’” he said.
Monument supporters staged their press conference the day after the beginning of a 60-day comment period on an executive order from President Donald Trump, who has directed the Department of the Interior to review the designation of tens of millions of acres of land set aside as national monuments since 1996.
This story was originally published on May 12, 2017, at 6:11 p.m.