After Angus King left office as Maine’s governor, he and his wife traveled around the country visiting national parks. His writings about his travels reflect his admiration and enthusiasm for our country’s national park system. Because of this, it is hard to understand why the idea of a national monument in northern Maine has not yet earned Sen. King’s enthusiastic support.

In his communications regarding the national park proposal, Sen. King references early straw polls – with limited participation from a couple of towns that would abut the park – that did not come out in favor of the proposal.

Just as easily, Sen. King could talk about the endorsement of the Katahdin Area Chamber of Commerce, the 1,200-odd supporters who joined him and National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis at a public meeting in Orono, or the fact that supporters outnumbered critics 4-to-1 at a hearing in East Millinocket organized by U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, a park opponent.

Attitudes about the park are changing fast in the Katahdin region. Assessing changing attitudes is Sen. King’s business as a politician, but I would submit that the rest of the citizens of Maine have a view as well, and the sentiment is strongly tilted against Sen. King’s apparent reservations.

Sen. King could make this his legacy project, and he should put his full weight behind it. Sen. King garners a lot of respect in Maine. He is a great communicator. He needs to take off the gloves, avoid the political obfuscation and make this happen.

If Angus King wants to be remembered in the vein of Ed Muskie as one of Maine’s great lawmakers, this could be his moment.

U. Charles Remmel II