In Maine, Signs Don't Point to Park Obama Designated

Gov. Paul LePage refusing to install road signs to Katahdin Woods and Waters
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2017 2:00 PM CDT
In Maine, Signs Don't Point to Park Obama Designated
In this Aug. 4, 2015 photo, Lucas St. Clair, son of Burt's Bees founder Roxanne Quimby, poses on land proposed for a national park in Penobscot County, Maine. Mount Katahdin, the state's highest peak, can be seen in the background.   (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

Katahdin Woods and Waters is 87,000 acres in Maine that former President Obama designated a national monument in his final months in office. But you're going to have to use Google Maps to get there, because there are no road signs in the area directing drivers to it, reports the Guardian. That's because Gov. Paul LePage is refusing to install signs to the monument. It's one LePage opposed, and he successfully lobbied the Trump administration to review whether Obama's order was valid; until that federal review is complete, there won't be signs on four main roads to Katahdin, state officials announced Friday. "What we don't want to do is commit taxpayers' money to signage ... without knowing that it [the monument] is in place and that everyone is on board with it," a state DOT rep tells the Bangor Daily News.

It's a move being called "spiteful and destructive" by Lucas St. Clair, the son of Roxanne Quimby, the woman who donated the land she bought with the fortune she made at Burt's Bees. "It’s one of the most irresponsible things he could do for the region," says St. Clair, who also uses the words "petty" and "sophomoric." He points out that Katahdin is only under review because the governor requested it and indicates the governor won't even let signs paid for with private funds be put up. Katahdin is among 27 monuments under the Interior Department review, which is due to conclude Aug. 24. "The fact that our governor is blocking signage is telling people that the region is not open for business," says the Katahdin Area Chamber of Commerce president. (Read more Paul LePage stories.)

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