Thank you, President Obama, for putting rural, northern Maine in the spotlight on a day no less auspicious than that of the 100th anniversary of America’s National Park Service.

I know, like me, thousands of Mainers couldn’t be happier with this national recognition of Maine’s beautiful northern wilderness, important history and deserving communities.

In poll after poll, meeting after meeting, the overwhelming majority of Mainers have expressed our desire to have a national monument. Luckily, we can now thank President Obama for the opportunity to protect something unique and move northern Maine’s rural economies forward sustainably.

We also need to offer our collective thanks to the Quimby family. It is a rare individual who uses her success to do something so great to benefit so many, forever.

Roxanne has done something uniquely generous in the history of our national park system. She and her family donated not only the land but also a multimillion-dollar endowment to help America maintain this Maine gem.

But we also need to thank our neighbors, our friends, the hundreds of businesses and thousands of Mainers we’ve never met, all of whom worked for years to make this happen.

I went to the public meeting in Orono and saw well over 1,000 people express their support. This wouldn’t have happened without them.

This wouldn’t have happened without the people in the Katahdin region who worked so hard to create positive change.

This wouldn’t have happened without the leadership of the Natural Resources Council of Maine.

This wouldn’t have happened without people visiting our members of Congress, writing them letters, writing to the papers, attending meetings and making sure democracy works as it’s supposed to.

The majority of Mainers wanted this to happen. Finally, it has.

Trudy Ferland