SHERMAN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) – Secretary of the Interior of Ryan Zinke is set to tour the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument Wednesday.
He is the first official under the Trump administration to come to the region after President Trump has called for the department to review monuments across the country.
Zinke is scheduled to join Lucas St. Clair, the driving force behind the monument, on a driving tour through the 87,500 acres, followed by a hike and canoe ride.
Many in the region have criticized politicians, including Governor LePage, for not seeing the monument firsthand. Both proponents and opponents NEWS CENTER spoke with are welcome to Zinke’s visit.
“Yes I would [like to meet him] and I'd like to have a couple of my friends talking to him too,” Bob Mascone said.
“I believe it is a great opportunity for anybody,” Tricia Cyr said. “Because everybody has their opinions and are able to form their opinions to visit the national monument."
Both Cyr and Mascone said there is still uncertainty and tension in the region.
"It depends on who he talks to. You got a lot of people who thinks this park is going to be the golden egg this place around here and the town and everything,” said. “I personally don't see that. I've got friends that don't see that."
For many business owners, voicing opposition at a time like this could impact business.
"If I say I'm for the monument, I could lose people in town coming in because there are people who are strictly no monument,” Cyr said. “If I say I'm against it I lose people that are for the monument.”
It is still unclear just how much Sec. Zinke’s input and guidance to President Trump would impact a possible reversal of the designation.
The tour starts at around 9:30am.
© 2017 WLBZ-TV