I do not understand why U.S. Sen. Angus King has not come out publicly in support of a new national park or national monument in Maine – a no-brainer to me and my neighbors.

Is it because he is holding tight to the forest products industry’s claim that air quality restrictions would prevent future industrial development near the park? I hope not, because those claims are false.

Since the adoption of the Clean Air Act in 1977, there has not been a single reclassification of air quality standards in areas near where new national parks have been created. Not one.

This means that there is no evidence that the presence of a national park (or national monument) in the Katahdin region would prohibit future industrial development.

A national park, alone, will not return the Katahdin region to what it once was, but it can be a part of a larger effort. I am assured that there is room for many different economic development opportunities in this area. We need a leader like Sen. King to deliver the only economic development opportunity on the table today: a new national park.

Maria Gifford

East Millinocket