President Obama designated Katahdin Woods and Waters as a National Monument and this will change the course of history making an amazing place even better.

Throughout the history of our National Parks System, it has often taken the vision and leadership of many people to protect the places in our country that are now cherished by millions throughout the world. This was true of Acadia, which exists today because President Woodrow Wilson shared the wisdom offered by George Dorr, “The Father of Acadia.” Dorr had a vision and set out to ensure his dream could be enjoyed by everyone forever. And, he had the means to make those dreams come true. Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument took the same path.

Along with President Obama, I want to thank Roxanne Quimby, Lucas St. Clair, their family and foundation for their amazingly generous gift. Over the years they patiently acquired beautiful properties bordering the Penobscot River’s East Branch, preventing them from falling into the hands of Wall Street speculators, the fate of thousands of other pieces of the North Woods. The foundation’s sole purpose was to ensure this place be protected for everyone to enjoy forever. And, as if that weren’t enough, they have also pledged to create a multimillion dollar endowment to help America pay for its maintenance.

Now we must gather together and work to ensure we take full advantage of this gift in a way that preserves it for future generations, and brings much needed diversity and investment to the regions hit so hard by the demise of the paper mills.

All who have made this possible deserve our gratitude. Today, we enjoy this moment. Tomorrow, we roll up our sleeves and embrace this unique opportunity.