U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin met with a White House official in Washington on Monday to argue against any designation by President Obama of more than 100,000 acres in Maine’s North Woods as a national monument.

Poliquin, who represents Maine’s 2nd District, and U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King have asked the president to back off from designating land in the Katahdin Region as a national monument, a threatened executive action that would bypass the national park process, which requires extensive public input and an act of Congress before a park can be established.

In a statement released by his office, Poliquin said he met with Christy Goldfuss, managing director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Poliquin told Goldfuss there is strong local opposition to a national monument designation. His office said he also discussed with Goldfuss the negative impact such a designation could have on jobs in the forest products industry, concerns over the costs associated with maintaining a national monument, the safety of the region’s road system, and the threat it poses to recreational access for private citizens.

“Today’s meeting is a critical step in conveying the interests and concerns of local residents and stakeholders,” Poliquin said in a statement. “We raised serious issues that White House staff indicated they had not heard prior to today, including road safety concerns. We are continuing to urge the President to understand the grave consequences that his unilateral designation of a national monument would have on the local Katahdin Region now and for generations to come.”

Representatives of Maine’s logging industry, snowmobile association and the Maine Forest Products Council also attended the meeting.


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