Learn about Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument

In August 2016 President Obama designated the new 87,500-acre Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in the Maine Woods on lands east of Baxter State Park. This historic action coincided with the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. The lands for the National Monument were donated to the National Park Service by Elliotsville Plantation, Inc. (EPI), a Maine family foundation founded by Roxanne Quimby. This area between Baxter State Park and the East Branch of the Penobscot River has long been recognized for its ecological, recreational, and cultural importance to Maine and beyond. In April 2016 after input from Maine Chapter members and AMC’s board of directors, we expressed our support to the Obama Administration and the Maine congressional delegation for a national monument on these lands as a step toward a National Park and Recreation Area.

In the short time since its designation, the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument has already brought new visitors and economic opportunities to the region. AMC has continued to tout these benefits and advocate on behalf of the monument. In April 2017, President Trump issued Executive Order 13792, which directed the Secretary of the Interior to review certain National Monuments designated or expanded under the Antiquities Act, including Katahdin Woods and Waters. As part of the monument review, the Department of Interior launched a public comment process. More than 500 AMC members submitted comments in support of the monument. In May, 2017 we again expressed our support for the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in response to a hearing hosted by the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Natural Resources, Federal Lands Subcommittee. And, in June 2017, AMC submitted its official comments to the Federal docket in support of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. These efforts to undermine the monument in Congress have stalled, but AMC will continue to monitor this issue. 

Since it’s designation, AMC chapter leaders have explored the region on organized scouting trips and are beginning to offer a variety of guided trips to the public. We are working as an organization to engage as many people in the process as possible through recreation, education, and encouraging our community to weigh in on the management planning process. The management planning process is facilitated by the National Park Service. A series of public meetings and opportunities for public comment will continue through 2019. If you would like to learn more, please join AMC’s Conservation Action Network to receive timely updates on the process.

The Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument joins a diverse matrix of public and privately conserved lands in the Maine Woods, including AMC’s 74,000 acres of conservation and recreation lands that provide the focus for the organization’s Maine Woods Initiative, an innovative approach to conservation that combines land conservation, outdoor recreation, resource protection, sustainable forestry, and community partnerships. AMC’s land totals more than 100 square miles, all of which is open to the public for recreation.

Plan a Visit!

Check out the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument page for information on how to plan a visit.

View a map of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument and surrounding areas in Maine’s North Woods.

AMC’s History in the Region

AMC members have been recreating on these lands for more than a century and have long been involved in trails and mapping of Katahdin and surrounding lands. Pictured below are a few photographs of AMC trips to the region courtesy of AMC Library and Archives. In order (1) an AMC trip to Katahdin in 1910 at the Staceyville train station, (2) An 1886 photograph from a logging road on the north bank of the Wassataquoik Stream, and (3) an AMC trip along the East Branch, shown at Lunkasoo Ferry in 1923

Learn More about AMC in Maine’s North Woods