I promised to send a letter to Sen. Angus King to inquire about the background and format of the recent North Woods monument meetings. Since the Senator’s web site has an email “form” instead of an email address, here’s a copy of what I sent:
A couple of questions about the North Woods Monument
First of all, thank you for hosting National Park Service Director Jarvis in the two meetings to discuss the possible designation of Katahdin region land as a national monument. I think it is important for those most affected by the proposal to have a voice in the decision.
Two questions about the format of and publicity surrounding the meetings:
1) From your May 13, 2016 press release, it seems as if the format for the two meetings was also quite different, in that the general public was not invited to speak at the E. Millinocket meeting and, instead, only certain public officials were allowed to participate in the discussion. As indicated above, I’m very interested in hearing what the local folks have to say about the proposed monument, not just their elected officials. And, if the argument is to be made that these elected representatives are an adequate voice for the citizenry, it seems most fair to have adopted the same format in Orono.
What drove the choice of format for the E. Millinocket and Orono meetings? Was it done at the request of the local officials, Director Jarvis, your office or some other group?
2) I note that only the Orono meeting is available as a YouTube webcast. From what I’ve read, the attendees at the Orono meeting were of a substantailly different “composition” than those attending the E. Millinocket meeting–at least that’s what the op-ed writers seem to think–with E. Millinocket being attended mostly by people who live in the region and Orono being attended by a much broader swath of Mainers. In that light, I’d be very interested to see a video of the E. Millinocket meeting to see what those closest to the proposed monument had to say.
Is such a video available? If not, a transcript of the meeting? If not, why not? It would be unfortunate to stifle the publicity available to these (E. Millinocket attendees’) voices in the public dialogue.
Thank you again for fostering local dialogue on this subject and connecting those with an interest in the subject to the corresponding Federal government organization.
Blue Hill, ME