One of America’s greatest treasures is our system of protected public lands, built on the wisdom and energy of President Teddy Roosevelt, John Muir, Gifford Pinchot and others. Our system is a model to the world for protecting the lands that undergird any nation’s greatness – economically, recreationally and spiritually.

Gov. LePage’s efforts to fight the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument are nothing new in the history of the designation of our public lands – they have been fought every step of the way. Great ideas always engender resistance but eventually win out.

There are many reasons to support this new monument. One is to ensure the health of our native brook trout, one of Maine’s most beautiful creatures.

Maine is home to most of the remaining native wild brook trout in the United States. They are under increasing threat from the warming climate, development that fragments their habitat, pollution and other factors. Brook trout thrive in clean, cold, connected waterways and are an indicator of environmental health.

The Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument will permanently protect four heritage brook trout ponds, key habitat in rivers and many miles of tributaries that the fish need for spawning and for cold-water refuge from the summer’s heat.

Both the Sebago Chapter and State Council of Trout Unlimited participated in an extensive public process before giving our endorsement of the monument, listening to both opponents and proponents of the proposed designation over a couple of years. We believe the monument is a great outcome for brook trout, for Maine and for our nation. Please let your elected officials in Washington know that you support protecting this beautiful part of our natural heritage.

David Miller

president, Sebago Chapter, Trout Unlimited