May 5, 2017: The newly designated Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, in northern Penobscot County, is added to a national list of 22 sites that President Trump’s administration is considering for possible reduction in size.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage lobbied hard to get the site added to the list, having opposed the 87,000-acre monument’s establishment in 2016. The federal government first said it would consider alterations only to monuments of 100,000 acres or more, but it made an exception in Katahdin’s case.

Even so, nothing changes. U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke visits Katahdin Woods and Waters in June 2017. Months later, he recommends leaving its boundaries as they are.

LePage refuses at first to authorize highway signs directing travelers to the monument. Then a state government shutdown interferes with awarding contracts for the signs.

Their installation finally begins last October, about nine months after LePage leaves office.

Joseph Owen is a retired copy desk chief of the Morning Sentinel and Kennebec Journal and board member of the Kennebec Historical Society. He can be contacted at: [email protected]

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