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National Park Advocates Urge Maine Delegation's Support

BANGOR, Maine - Citizens who back a national park in Maine's North Woods are calling again on the state's congressional delegation to get behind the project.

At a Bangor press conference this morning, they announced they would be delivering a petition with 13,500 signatures supporting the park to the Bangor, Waterville, and Augusta offices of Maine's U.S. senators and house members.

Over the summer, residents in East Millinocket and Medway voted - in non-binding straw polls - against the creation of a national park and recreation area.

But Gail Fanjoy, head of the Katahdin Area Chamber of Commerce, says those elections don't accurately reflect the region's overall sentiments.
"You heard from just a small sampling," Fanjoy says. "Those votes were, you know, lost just by hundreds of people. What was the total difference? Less than 150 people. So, you know they're, I think, a poor representation of how the Katahdin region feels about a national park. Every national park has had opponents."

Democratic Congresswoman Chellie Pingree supports a National Park and Recreation Area. But Republican Congressman Bruce Poliquin, Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins and independent U.S. Sen. Angus King all expressed continued reservations about the idea after the recent votes in East Millinocket and Medway.