Maine land from Burt’s Bees founder is new national monument

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has declared a new national monument in Maine on 87,000 acres of scenic woodlands donated by the founder of Burt’s Bees.

The formal announcement Wednesday came a day after reports that conservationist Roxanne Quimby’s foundation had transferred the land to federal ownership. It fulfills Quimby’s dream of gifting the land for the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary, which is Thursday.

Supporters say the move will create hundreds of jobs in a region that needs it. But many in the Katahdin (kuh-TAH’-dihn) region oppose the move, mostly over concerns of federal intrusion.

Independent Sen. Angus King, Republican Sen. Susan Collins and Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin last fall wrote a letter to Obama outlining “serious reservations” about the proposal.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage called the proposal an “ego play.”

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