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Maine’s governor voices opposition to national monument

FILE- In this March 8, 2107, file photo, Maine Gov. Paul LePage speaks at a town hall meeting in Yarmouth, Maine. LePage will be in Washington on Tuesday, May 2, to testify at a House subcommittee on federal lands hearing on the use of the Antiquities Act of 1906 to create monuments. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine’s governor says “most” state residents oppose the creation of a national monument in the state and that it could have the unintended effect of increasing pressure on an adjacent state park.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage reiterated his opposition Tuesday to former Democratic President Barack Obama’s decision to create the Katahdin (kuh-TAH’-dihn) Woods and Waters National Monument on 87,500 acres of donated land.

He told the House subcommittee on federal lands that visitors will be so “uninspired” that they’ll want to see Baxter State Park, which is managed a wilderness park.

The governor told the panel that three nearby communities held nonbinding referendums that rejected the idea of a monument, but some believe it could give a boost to the economy.

A key proponent has said the governor should visit the land before criticizing its worth.

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