- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 28, 2017

PATTEN, Maine (AP) - A nonprofit group has been formed to preserve and protect the newly-designated national monument in Maine.

The private group, called Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters, plans to work collaboratively with the National Park Service, which manages the monument. The group’s president, Lucas St. Clair, says its initial focus will be on organizing volunteer opportunities, developing education programs and advocating for the monument. Eventually it will raise money for specific projects to supplement federal funding.

President Barack Obama made the designation six months ago, creating the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument on land donated by Burt’s Bees co-founder Roxanne Quimby’s foundation. Republican Gov. Paul LePage earlier this month asked President Donald Trump to take the unprecedented step of returning the land to private ownership.

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