Katahdin, marine monument may get less protection under Trump

The Penobscot River's east branch flows through the new Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument near Patten, Maine. –Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press

US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has recommended that President Trump make significant changes to 10 national monuments, including proposals to allow commercial fishing in a protected expanse off Cape Cod and to open woodlands in Northern Maine to “active timber management.’’

The recommendations add a surprising uncertainty to two vast areas set aside last year by the Obama administration, which established the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, about 130 miles off Cape Cod, and the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, some 87,000 acres in Maine’s North Woods.

Earlier this year, Zinke launched a review of 27 protected areas, including the two in New England, and sent his recommendations to Trump last month. The White House had refused to release the recommendations, but on Monday they were leaked to the media.