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King: Trump's Budget Allocates 'Significant' Funds For Maine's National Monument

Robert F. Bukaty
Associated Press
In this Sunday, March 4, 2018 photo water flows through Haskell Pitch, a series of drops on the east Branch of the Penobscot River in the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in northern Maine.

While some details surrounding Maine's Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument are still not settled, independent Sen. Angus King says the existence of the 87,000-acre preserve no longer seems to be in doubt."The best evidence I can give of that is that there is a line in the budget this year that the president submitted last week - Katahdin Woods and Waters, significant, six figures, to support of the activities of that," King says.

The future of the monument, created by former President Obama in 2016, has been unclear since the Trump administration's former interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, listed the fledgling park as one in need of further review.

King met Friday with Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, who was in Maine to discuss the monument, and maintenance issues at Acadia National Park, with local authorities.

King says that because Katahdin Woods and Waters came with a $20 million dollar endowment, paying for its upkeep is a bit more certain than other park service properties.

The main management detail that needs clarity says King is what the phrase "active timber management" means in the context of the monument.

King says a final management plan is expected either later this year or early 2020.

The National Parks system faces an estimated $11.6 billion infrastructure backlog at National Park Service properties across the country.