December 12, 2019

Maine Rep. Poliquin’s Letter to Sec. Zinke Concerning Katahdin Woods and Waters

Maine Congressional representative Bruce Poliquin, upon request from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, has written a letter to express his thoughts and concerns going forward in an investigation into the designation as a National Monument continues.

Although repeated polls showed the majority of Mainers, specifically those in the immediate region of the Roxanne Quimby lands, opposed the National Monument (and Park) designation, I’m sure Quimby’s position on the Board of the National Park Service played a significant role in President Obama’s decision to make the appointment of a National Monument. It was first attempted by Quimby to convince the Federal Government to open a National Park. The opposition to such a move was quite significant and so Quimby sought then president Barack Obama to bypass the usual processes and so Obama, with the stroke of a pen, designated the newly formed Katahdin Woods and Waters.

President Trump has since, via Executive Power, ordered an investigation into many land designations, including Katahdin Woods and Waters, to see if anything can be done to remove the designation and if not what might be done to ensure what will be in the best interest of the Maine people.

Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke, inquired of Rep. Bruck Poliquin, for information about the land and the process of its designation. Poliquin’s letter back to Zinke (included below) presents much of the same arguments used against the designation leading up to Obama’s executive action. However, different from previous thoughts on the issue, Poliquin is asking Sec. Zinke, that should Maine remain stuck with the National Monument, to somehow let Maine be in charge and control over the monument and not necessarily the Federal Government. I’m not sure how that would work, but it is an interesting thought – one I’m doubtful of and probably could not support without knowing more specifics.

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Maine’s Sportsman Tradition

By Bruce Poliquin, Cong. Rep from Maine:

As an avid outdoorsman, a proud gun owner, and a member of the Congressional Sportsmen Caucus, one of my priorities in Congress is to protect our outdoors and public lands and to ensure that they can be enjoyed by all and for generations of Mainers to come.

We Mainers have a rich tradition of using our pristine lands for recreational use, whether it is hunting game in the Katahdin region or angling in the Kennebec River. I believe that it is critical to protect these lands in our State and our citizens’ rights to use them, as we have for centuries.

Under current law, there are several federal agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), that have the authority to unilaterally implement policies that can restrict citizens’ rights to the recreational use of federal lands. These agencies even have the ability to limit and attack our Second Amendment rights.

This week, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on a very important piece of legislation to support our hunting, fishing and sportsman rights. The SHARE Act is a bipartisan bill that contains several key provisions to protect our fishers, hunters, outdoorsmen and women and their rights.

This bill removes intrusive regulations from federal agencies, greatly increases the opportunities for Mainers to use federal lands recreationally, and puts in place safeguards to protect law-abiding citizens’ Second Amendment rights.

As Maine’s Second District Congressman, I know how important it is to protect our sportsman tradition in Maine. In Congress, I will continue to support our citizens’ rights to using our land responsibly. I will also always stand firmly against any attack on our Second Amendment rights.

That is why this week I will proudly cast my vote in support of the SHARE Act when the House brings it up for consideration.

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