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Congressional Hearing Highlights Partisan Nature of Park Issue

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A congressional field hearing this week on a proposal to create a national monument underscores how the lines have been drawn. As usual, they fall along partisan lines.

 Republican Gov. Paul LePage will deliver opening remarks Wednesday, and he'll be followed by four others who oppose a proposal to donate 87,500 acres of privately owned land to the federal government. Two slots for supporters have gone unclaimed, meaning there will be no formal support.

 Republican Rep. Rob Bishop, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, is holding the hearing at the request of Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin, who opposes the monument proposal.

 David Farmer, a spokesman for supporters, said opponents have "stacked the deck" and that the hearing is more about partisan politics than "good public policy."