Sec. Zinke reviews national monument

Monument Zinke 6:00

STACEYVILLE, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — The future of the Katahdin Woods and Waters Monument is in the balance after Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke took a tour through the monument.

This comes after President Trump called for a number of national monuments and parks around the country to be reviewed. The review process started at the south entrance of the monument and made its way around the 17-mile long Katahdin loop. Sec. Zinke seemed to be impressed with what he saw.

"The family, you know, graciously donated it to the public, so the public could enjoy this and that was honorable and I commend and thank the family for that," the interior secretary said. "Now it's in the public hands and we have to make sure we manage it well and respect the traditions of why this area is so special."

» RELATED: Residents say Sec. Zinke visit the last chance they'll have a say

He spoke with a lot of people throughout the trip, including loggers and those visiting. As far as what will happen after this, it's still unclear.

"Right now everything is on the table, I'm here to listen as much as I am to tilt it one way or the other," Zinke said. "If this is an indicator then I would be pretty happy, but I'm not going to make a decision until we go through it."

Zinke added he wanted about gaining back the trust of locals by listening to what the community had to say about the designation. He says at this point, he feels he's heard from all sides. The secretary also commented on the recent threat to take legal action by Attorney General Janet Mills.

"You know I was sued the first day in office six times and I don't yield to pressure, only higher principal, and the threat of lawsuit has no bearing on my decision," Zinke said.

© 2017 WLBZ-TV


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