More than 87,500 acres of gorgeous forest in central Maine was permanently protected from encroaching timber industry threats Wednesday, Aug. 24 when President Barack Obama created the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.
The monument, which will be managed by the National Park Service, protects the including the stunning East Branch of the Penobscot River and a portion of the Maine Woods that is rich in biodiversity and known for its outstanding opportunities to hike, canoe, hunt, fish, snowmobile, snowshoe and cross-country ski," according to the White House.
"In addition to protecting spectacular geology, significant biodiversity and recreational opportunities, the new monument will help support climate resiliency in the region. The protected area – together with the neighboring Baxter State Park to the west – will ensure that this large landscape remains intact, bolstering the forest’s resilience against the impacts of climate change."
LightHawk has flown several missions in support of increased protections in Maine's north woods, including flights with renown photographer Scot Miller to capture documentary film and images to promote conservation of the area, as well as the Natural Resources Council of Maine for aerial monitoring of lands previously scheduled for timber harvest by the state of Maine.
The announcement came one day before the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said the announcement serves as an "inspiration to reflect on America’s iconic landscapes and historical and cultural treasures."
See a few of the sights from Katahdin Woods and Waters below: