"While the [Professional Logging Contractors of Maine, PLC] has a deep respect for the rights of private landowners, we also believe it is their responsibility to act in ways that do not harm the livelihoods of their neighbors," wrote Dana Doran, PLC's executive director, in an editorial published last December. "The designation of a national monument on the [Elliotsville Plantation Inc., EPI] land through executive order will only serve to further divide communities already split over the issue and discourage investment in future markets in the region."
But despite the efforts of PLC and other logging organizations to negotiate a compromise that would allow some management within EPI land, that property was designated a national monument by Pres. Obama in August, named the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. The designation effectively removes 87,500 acres of Maine timberland from active management.
"Supporters of a national monument designation may be under the illusion that the parcel EPI wishes to donate to the federal government, as well as the surrounding land, is a pristine wilderness of old growth trees and undisturbed land. In fact, the land and most of the region have been working forests for generations," wrote Doran. "The beauty people see there today is a result of responsible forest management and logging. Loggers are critical to this responsible management. Preserving Maine's forests as 'working forests' is the best way to ensure their protection and health for future generations."
To read the NY Times' coverage of the new national monument, click here.