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Poliquin Requests Hearing in Katahdin Region on National Monument Proposal

BANGOR, Maine - Republican Congressman Bruce Poliquin is calling for a congressional field hearing to be held in Maine's Katahdin region, as the debate over a potential national monument in the area rages on.

In a letter Friday to the House Committee On Natural Resources chair, Rob Bishop, Poliquin says that President Obama has designated more national monuments than any other president in history. Poliquin says the "threat" of a unilateral designation with "complete disregard" for the concerns of his constituents has reached a point where Congress "must take action."

Poliquin also has also filed a bill that would limit presidential authority to declare a national monument.

The letter comes days before a meeting on the issue in East Millinocket, chaired by independent Sen. Angus King and featuring National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis.  Planning to attend the event on Monday are the town councils of Millinocket, East Millinocket, Medway, Patten, Sherman, Mt. Chase, and Stacyville on Monday. A public meeting is also set for Monday evening in Orono.

At issue is the creation of the North Woods National Monument, with the eventual goal being a National Park. The area in question is an 88,000-acre parcel, currently owned by Elliotsville Planation, a nonprofit entity which manages the property of Burt's Bees Founder and philanthropist Roxanne Quimby.

Jarvis will meet in East Millinocket with the surrounding towns from noon to 2 p.m. on Monday, with the public meeting scheduled for 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the University of Maine Collins Center for the Arts.