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Sen. Angus King pushes bill for southern access to Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument

FILE- In the Aug. 9, 2017 file photo, the East Branch of the Penobscot River flows over Pond Pitch in the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, in northern Maine. The 87,500-acre property in Maine consists of mountains, streams and ponds next to Baxter State Park, home of Mount Katahdin, the state's tallest mountain. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is reiterating his support for a "made in Maine" solution that keeps intact the boundaries of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.
Robert F. Bukaty
/
AP
In the Aug. 9, 2017 file photo, the East Branch of the Penobscot River flows over Pond Pitch in the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, in northern Maine.

Congress is considering a bill introduced by Senator Angus King that would create a southern access point to Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.

King introduced similar legislation two years ago that would have added roughly 42,000 acres to the existing monument. The latest proposal would add just 2,500 acres, just enough to better connect the monument with Millinocket.

"What this bill does is provide access. It's essentially a road, either ownership of the road or a right of way, not significant additional land added to the size of the national park. We're talking about access, not additions to the acreage of the monument," King said.

King said the acquisition was scaled back at the request of Trust for Public Lands, which owns much of the acreage and wants to transfer some of it to the Penobscot Nation for a working forest.

The legislation would give the National Park Service permission to acquire land from willing landowners and donors, and includes protections to ensure that logging, hunting and other outdoor activities are allowed to continue.