The National Park Service received a centennial gift from the White House on August 24, when President Barack Obama created the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Northern Maine. The 413th official unit of the National Park Service, the new national monument will be known to National Parks on the Air (NPOTA) participants as MN84. The Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument was created from land donated to the federal government this week by philanthropist Roxanne Quimby’s foundation, Elliotsville Plantation Inc. The grant was facilitated by the National Park Foundation as part of its Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks.
“The new national monument will protect approximately 87,500 acres, including the stunning East Branch of the Penobscot River and a portion of the Maine Woods that is rich in biodiversity and known for its outstanding opportunities to hike, canoe, hunt, fish, snowmobile, snowshoe, and cross-country ski,” the White House said in announcing the designation.
Accompanying the land donation, valued at approximately $100 million was $20 million to supplement federal funding for initial park operational needs and infrastructure development at the new monument, plus a pledge of another $20 million in future philanthropic support.
The new national monument is situated in northern Penobscot County and adjacent to Maine’s Baxter State Park, which includes the state’s highest peak, Mount Katahdin, within its borders. Maine has a national park farther south on its coast — Acadia National Park, mostly located on Mount Desert Island near Bar Harbor.