Defending Maine’s unspoiled forest lands
A couple hours north of Bangor, Maine, you’ll find one of the newest gems in our national park system—Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. This monument of moose-filled woods and craggy peaks was designated in 2016 to protect 87,500 acres of Maine’s wild North Woods. But despite being protected as a national monument, Katahdin is still threatened by reckless logging proposals and efforts to loosen protections. We’re working against potential management changes that could put Katahdin’s forests at risk.
Katahdin Woods and Waters offers true backcountry recreation in one of the largest tracts of unspoiled wildlands in the nation. It also provides key habitat for animals that need plenty of room to roam, including black bear and Canada lynx.
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is threatened by unwanted logging and development due to proposed management changes. The monument was lawfully protected by President Obama, and the move was supported by the majority of Mainers. But a pro-logging, pro-development minority successfully lobbied the Trump administration to put the monument under “review” in 2017. A few months later, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recommended management changes for the monument. The ambiguous management changes are widely seen as a way of opening up Katahdin Woods and Waters to logging. There are also attempts at the state level to change land-planning rules on lands surrounding Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, potentially opening them for development.
What we’re doing
Working to prevent management changes
We are working in the nation’s capital and with local groups in Maine to prevent damaging management changes and ensure Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is managed in a way that keeps it safe from destructive logging.
Defending the law
Currently, development in Maine is governed by a rule that says it has to be near other, similar developments. This helps avoid intrusions on wild, undeveloped land. We are working to uphold this “adjacency rule” and block proposals to extend development into areas like Katahdin Woods.
Advancing scientific research
We’re conducting scientific research to identify the most ecologically important and imminently threatened lands in and around Katahdin Woods and Waters. We use the results to guide our advocacy work.