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Zinke Hints Tampering With Maine National Monument…

Proponents of Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument are breathing easier Thursday after Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said he’s unlikely to push for the scaling back of the sprawling property.

Zinke visited the site Wednesday as part of a review ordered by President Donald Trump to reassess some 27 national monuments established by three former presidents, the Maine property approved last year by former President Barack Obama.

“Scaling back, I don’t think, makes a lot of sense from here,” Zinke told reporters, according to The Bangor Daily News.

Nor did he appear to favor turning the land over to private or state ownership, an idea that has the backing of Gov. Paul LePage.

Earlier this week, Maine Attorney General Janet Mills threatened to sue the Trump administration if it killed Obama’s order for the monument consisting of 87,563 acres in Penobscot County.

In a brief filed with the U.S. Interior Department, Mills said: “We are prepared to challenge any unlawful executive branch action that purports to abolish or reduce the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.

“DOI should instead terminate its review … and reaffirm the agency’s commitment to making the monument work well for all people, particularly the residents of the Katahdin region who are now counting on it for their economic future.”

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