The American Fly Fishing Trade Association (AFFTA) applauds the recent designation of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, located in Penobscot County in northern Maine. The monument rests in the shadow of Mount Katahdin, the northernmost terminus of the Appalachian Trail and Maine’s tallest mountains.
A donation of 89,261 acres from the Elliotsville Plantation, Inc. — a nonprofit foundation dedicated to land conservation — was gifted to the National Park Service for the creation of the monument. In addition to the land, the foundation is also creating a $40 million endowment to support the operations and maintenance of the new monument. The foundation will donate $20 million to the endowment and will raise an additional $20 million.
The Elliotsville Plantation Board of Directors noted, “Our family would like to thank President Obama and the members of his administration for their hard work to safeguard America’s natural treasures and for their efforts to prepare the National Park Service for its next 100 years of success. This designation is a fitting tribute to the ‘Centennial of America’s Greatest Idea.’”
This is a historic moment that all of America can be proud of. Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is an amazing addition to the National Park Service in a part of the country that has been underrepresented and underserved until now.
Elliotsville Plantation, Roxanne Quimby and the members of the board of directors are following in a grand tradition of philanthropic support for the National Park Service, helping to protect an amazing part of our country for generations to come.
The designation is a fitting way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service and to prepare for the next 100 years of success.
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument will help to diversify the economy of Northern Maine, helping to strengthen a region hard hit by the closure of five paper mills in the last three years. The monument will draw new people to the region and create new economic opportunity in the communities nearby and for the entire state of Maine.
The monument will permanently protect and guarantee public access to 89,261 acres of nationally significant forests, ponds and parts of four major watersheds, including the East Branch of the Penobscot River, Seboeis River, and Sandy and Wassataquoik streams. It will protect land surrounding the oldest mountain chain in the world and Mount Katahdin, the northern most terminus of the Appalachian Trail and the tallest peak in Maine. The area is known for its lush forests and watersheds where wildlife can adapt to our changing climate.
AFFTA President Ben Bulis noted, “We applaud Elliotsville Plantation and Roxanne Quimby for donating this land to the U.S. Government. This is a monumental step in preserving the outdoor heritage in the Northeast. Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is forever protected and provides public access to recreate and enjoy this pristine environment.”
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument brings together conservationists and sportsmen. The area provides unrivaled habitat for Canada lynx, Ruffed Grouse, brook trout, deer, moose, bears and loons, and will enhance opportunities for hiking, camping, paddling, fishing, biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hunting and snowmobiling.
Under the management of the National Park Service, the national monument will interpret the rich history of the Wabanaki people and the birth of American conservation through the eyes of Henry David Thoreau, President Theodore Roosevelt and Percival Baxter. And it will honor and interpret the history of logging and the paper industry in Maine.
AFFTA advocates for and promotes the sustained growth of the fly fishing industry. By igniting consumer demand for products and services, providing businesses the tools to be successful, and advocating for access, protection and restoration of fishing waters, we will continue to enhance the passion and profitability of the sport of fly fishing.