MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- In his final day in Maine, Secretary Zinke stated he will be recommending the Katahdin Monument become a national park, but only after he speaks with Governor Lepage.
The Secretary started his day in Millinocket at a breakfast with local business owners and leaders. It was there that he stated he felt the review was very important and he was glad that he was able to come up and meet members of the community and see the monument for himself.
"If you stay in D.C. you just don't get the real story, or if you even go to the capital of Maine, you just don't get the real story". Secretary Zinke said.
In fact, his overall impression was so good, he is now considering the land become a national park. Which is the exact opposite Governor Lepage wanted when he asked the Trump administration to review it back in April. We reached out to the Governor for comment but have yet to hear back.
This however is exactly what Lucas St. Clair, the son of land donor Roxanne Quimby, had wanted from the start. "It's a very realistic option and it's something we worked on for a long time" St. Clair said. "We hope our congressional delegation does pass legislation -- that was our objective this whole time".
While many supporters are cheering over the idea, there are still members of the community that want to see the designation be reversed. There are currently dozens of signs that line the entrance of the park stating "NO!" to the monument. Secretary Zinke said his main goal is to restore the trust of people in the government and find a way to get everyone in Maine on the same page about the monuments status. He feels at the end of the day everyone wants the same thing -- it's just a matter of finding a way that works for everyone.
"We need to be good neighbors and we need to make sure that the state and local community are all on the same page" Secretary Zinke said. "We can make it unique, we can make it special -- and I think it should be".
Secretary Zinke stated he should have a final decision about the Katahdin Woods and Waters national monument within the next 80 days.
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