National Parks Conservation Association Meet & Greet: May 24th

You’re invited to a 21+ Oxbow Brewery meet and greet hosted by the National Parks Conversation Association (NPCA) featuring Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters!

Come learn about the vital work of NPCA, an organization which has advocated for national parks since 1919, and how you can be involved in shaping the future of these special places, including Katahdin Woods and Waters. We hope you’ll join us! Your first beer (Maine Beer Company’s Woods & Waters IPA – fitting, right?) is free. To RSVP, register for the event here.


Event Details

Thursday, May 24th
5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Oxbow Blending and Bottling
49 Washington Ave, Portland, ME 04101

Save the Date: August 25th

Join us for the Second Anniversary Celebration of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument presented by Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters and Maine Beer Company.

Plan on joining us Saturday, August 25th to explore the monument and enjoy and an evening celebration at Shin Pond Village in Mt. Chase, Maine.

More details forthcoming, but this is something you don’t want to miss.

Fiddlers and Fiddleheads Fest: May 19th

Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters is excited to be one of the sponsors for the fifth annual Fiddlers & Fiddleheads Fest, taking place Saturday, May 19th at the Lumbermen’s Museum in Patten. You’re invited to join this celebration of spring in the north woods. Musicians from near and far will be playing throughout the day alongside local artisans, craftsmen, and food vendors.

Thanks to the generosity of Emera and Case Professional Services, this year’s festival will be headlined by the Muddy Marsh Ramblers. The festival lineup will play on two stages: the Maine Stage and the Log Jam Stage, with performances from Gus Lacasse, Belfast Bay Fiddlers, John Birmingham RFD Band, Donna Chase, and Hannah Boone. If you play an instrument or sing yourself, then come prepared to share a tune at the afternoon jam session scheduled from 4 – 5 PM at the Log Jam stage.

Food will be served throughout the day, with all the proceeds from the festival vendors benefiting local non-profits. If you’ve got a great dish involving fiddleheads, send your best fern-friendly recipe to the curator at the Lumbermen’s Museum and you may be entered into a cook-off to crown 2018’s “Cast Iron Chef”.

The festival will also include a childrens’ area featuring throwback games from the 20th century. The event promises to be fun for the whole family and we hope you’ll join us. For those of you willing to lend a helping hand to the event set-up and take-down, please email us at

Festival Details:

Saturday, May 19th, 2018
10 AM to 5 PM
Lumbermen’s Museum
61 Shin Pond Rd, Patten, ME 04765

The Fiddlers and Fiddleheads Festival is made possible thanks to the Lumbermen’s Museum, Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters, and our fellow sponsors at Elliotsville Plantation Inc., Emera, Katahdin Valley Health Center, Yankee Grocers, Jerry’s  Thriftway, Case Professional, and Katahdin Trust.

Stacyville Monument Planning Meeting: April 11th

Katahdin Woods and Waters Superintendent, Tim Hudson, will be hosting a meeting to gather public input for the monument’s management plan next week.  The management plan will act as a road map to the development of our park over the years ahead. This particular meeting will focus on access to the monument from the Patten/Sherman area and visitor use in the north end of the monument as well as the Seboeis parcel.

This is an important opportunity for Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters supporters who are eager to take an active role in determining how the monument is developed. If you plan on joining us at the meeting, or would like information on future meetings, please email our Operations and Special Projects Coordinator, Sam Deeran.

Meeting Details:

Wednesday, April 11, 2018
6:00 to 8:00 PM
Katahdin Area Middle/High School
800 Station Rd, Stacyville, Maine 04777

Trip Report: FKWW & AMC XC Ski to Haskell Hut

This past Saturday, our Executive Director, Andy, and I set out from the Matagamon Gate (at the north of the monument) for a weekend XC ski excursion with our partners at Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC). AMC is training their members to lead trips into the monument, and they invited us along to recon the trail to our lodging at Haskell Hut, and to share about our ongoing work.

It was the final weekend of the Head North Ski Days, and so the trails near the gate were populated by some friendly folks, enjoying free rentals provided by Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters. For long stretches along the East Branch of the Penobscot, there wasn’t a soul in sight – save for some red squirrels scurrying between the trees. We thought we found some lynx tracks along the trail, but it turned out to be a big, friendly brown lab running alongside a couple from Fort Kent.

By mid-afternoon on Saturday, we arrived at the Haskell Hut as snow flurries started up. Haskell Hut is a cozy cabin sitting above the expansive Haskell Deadwaters. When we stepped in and dropped our packs and sleds, the cabin was still warm from the visitors there the night before. From there, we set out to Haskell Rock Pitch, where we built a snowman to keep watch over the rapids.

That night, we cooked up some hefty dinners and ate as the sun went down. Around our solar powered lamp, we talked at length with the AMC members about the history of the monument and how they could get involved with the monument planning process.

On Sunday, we rose early with the morning sun, made some coffee and ate some chocolate chip pancakes courtesy of Eliza from AMC. On our way back, we took a mile long detour to see Stair Falls. Along the trail, there were stunning views of Bald Mountain and Billfish Mountain, which sits at the Northwest corner of the monument.

At the Matagamon Gate, we were welcomed back by Mark and Susan Adams from EPI. They’ve devoted nine straight days to making sure Head North Ski Days was a success, and we’re grateful for their help in gearing us up for our excursion.  Thanks also to Kaitlyn and Kim from AMC for leading a safe and fun trip.

As we left, the roads were starting to mud up. Spring is making its way to the monument, but there’s still plenty of snow. If you have any questions about our trip, or are planning a trip of your own, reach out. We hope you’ll make a trip north while there’s skiing to be had.

We’ll see you out on the trails.

Sam Deeran
Operations and Special Projects Coordinator

Head North Ski Days Are Back: March 17th-25th

We are happy to announce that Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters and Elliotsville Plantation, Inc. are teaming up to bring back the Head North Ski Days!

A Katahdin region tradition in its fifth year, Head North Ski Days is a gathering of nordic skiers taking place between March 17th and March 25th. Join us for free XC skiing at the North/Matagamon Gate as the calendar turns from Winter to Spring at Katahdin Woods and Waters.

Starting each day at 10 AM from Saturday, March 17th to Sunday, March 25th, you’re invited to enjoy the beautiful trails beyond KWW’s north entrance. We welcome students, families, outdoor groups, and more.

Free skis, boots, and poles will be provided by the Outdoor Sport Institute. Trails will be groomed, and beginner terrain will be available. Volunteers will be standing by to get you, your group, or your family trained up and ready to hit the trails. We recommend you wear warm layers, and pack yourself water, lunch, sunglasses, and sunscreen. For families visiting on Saturday and Sunday March 17th-18th and March 24th-25th, we will be serving fireside marshmallows and hot chocolate.

For more info and reservations, contact Susan Adams, Recreation Manager for Elliotsville Plantation, at or (207) 852 – 1291.

Visit the National Park Service’s Katahdin Woods and Waters Directions page for directions to the North/Matagamon entrance. For a preview of the trails, check out the KWWNM Cross Country Ski Map. And if you’d like to check in on trail conditions, visit the Katahdin Woods and Waters Facebook.

Event details:

March 18th to March 25th
Starting each day at 10 AM
Free skis, boots, and poles provided by Outdoor Sport Institute
Trainings offered by experienced volunteers
Pack list: layers, water, lunch, sunglasses and sunscreen

Stars Over Katahdin: Mark Your October Calendar

Stars Over Katahdin (SOK) is a very special October event that has been sponsored for the past four years by Elliotsville Plantation, Incorporated (EPI), on and around the lands EPI originally owned. When EPI gifted these lands to the United States, the acreage was then decreed by President Obama to be the new Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument (KWWNM).

“Dark Sky” sight-seeing is growing, in which people will go to great lengths to catch a glimpse of what many often take for granted in the North Woods – stars in the wilderness unobstructed by the presence of human artificial light, often called “light pollution.”

This year, the Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters is delighted to continue sponsoring this magical event, with community educational programming during the week of October 1-8, 2018.  Each year the event has grown.  At SOK 2017, light readings were taken to show that our location for the star viewing event is one of the darkest found in the state of Maine, and maybe even in New England.

Stars Over Katahdin has evolved into a successful communities outreach program as well, bringing the Northern Star Planetarium to schools in the Katahdin Region in the same week, along with a small group of Astro VIPs (Volunteers in Parks) that are shared with Acadia National Park. Last year, the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument engaged its first Place Based Learning Educator into the Stars Over Katahdin programming. The Monument VIPs offered guided interpretation and hikes or bike rides into the Monument through the weekend as well.

The small challenges of reaching this slightly remote area are offset by the wow factor when observing the shadow of Katahdin and the stars so closely — thanks to astronomer partners who bring all kinds of telescopes, and share expertise for your viewing pleasure for one magical night in the Monument. One more reason to celebrate this amazing gift!

To learn more about the impact of artificial light and how you can protect the precious resource of dark skies, visit:

For more information on how you can participate and support this and other programs and events at Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, explore the pages right here of the Friends of KWW website (

Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters Acquires Patten Home for National Park Service Administrative Use

Private Philanthropy and Collaboration Celebrated as the Nonprofit Enters its Second Year

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, January 22, 2018

PATTEN, ME:  Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters (FKWW), the nonprofit founded a year ago to raise private funds for Maine’s new national Monument, has completed its second charitable project, the acquisition of a Patten, Maine building to be used for National Park Service administrative offices.

FKWW’s first project, funded by membership donations, was an Interpretive Map and Guide to the Loop Road, published in August and available for free.

“The National Park Service occupies the Patten building now,” said Andrew Bossie, executive director of FKWW. “The rent-free arrangement allows the Monument’s budget to go further. Private philanthropy like this, leveraged with collaboration, is fundamental to the success of the Monument and the Katahdin region.”

Bossie emphasized the facility is a working office, not a visitor contact venue. Visitor stations are housed at nearby Patten Lumbermen’s Museum and in downtown Millinocket.

Anita Mueller, vice president of FKWW board said, “We are so grateful to Steve and Vicki Richardson, who generously donated the facility to the National Park Foundation (NPF).”

After retrofitting it, the NPF granted FKWW ownership of the house in 2017. Maintenance funds were also granted to FKWW from an endowment at NPF for the Monument; that endowment was established by The Roxanne Quimby Foundation when the Monument was created in August of 2016.

“The Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument provides an important economic opportunity for Northern Maine, preserves a beautiful and fruitful part of the environment, and is regenerating the aspirations of our youth and communities,” said Steven Richardson. “Vicki and I are happy to contribute to this effort and we can see no better use of our family home than to support this cause.”

Will Shafroth, NPF’s president and CEO, said, “The foundation raises funds for America’s national parks and supports nonprofits like Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters, which is already doing excellent work after one year. We are pleased to be on the team bringing about the Patten project.”

Monument Superintendent Tim Hudson said, “The combined philanthropy of the Richardsons, National Park Foundation, Quimby family and Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters enhances our ability to foster resource protection and meaningful visitor experiences. The monument is grateful for the partners who made this happen.”

“Thanks to the generosity of our members and other donors,” Bossie said, “Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters is poised to enlarge its giving and advocacy programs in 2018.”

The membership nonprofit was founded in January 2017 by individuals to ensure the success of the newly established Monument. A sixteen-member board of directors guides the nonprofit, which raises funds supporting the Monument, defends it against threats, mobilizes volunteers for site projects and represents users in the betterment of park operations.

Like Baxter State Park and Acadia National Park, Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument sprang entirely from private philanthropy, a word that means “love of mankind generally.” This 87,563-acre gift to the nation and Maine from the Roxanne Quimby family challenges citizens to honor the natural, cultural and economic bounty of the northern wilds. By engaging people in protecting these civic assets, FKWW works, in gratitude, to extend and magnify the tradition of selflessness that informed the Monument’s creation.

To become involved in Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters, visit:


Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters is a 501(c)(3) Maine-based nonprofit organization. Its mission is to preserve and protect the outstanding natural beauty, ecological vitality and distinctive cultural resources of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument and surrounding communities for the inspiration and enjoyment of all generations.

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Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters Remains Watchful on Efforts to Alter Maine’s New National Monument

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announces details about the fate of 27 National Monuments under review in a report today.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, December 5, 2017

PORTLAND, ME:  Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters (FKWW), the nonprofit organization founded this year to support Maine’s new national monument, expressed concerns over potential changes to the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in a report released by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today.

Within the report, Secretary Zinke recommends that the administration make changes to Katahdin Woods and Waters that “promote a healthy forest through active timber management” and vague language about prioritizing public access, infrastructure, traditional and tribal use, as well as hunting and fishing rights in the management plan currently under development for the monument.

“We will continue to promote and support the original intent of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument,” said Andrew Bossie, Executive Director of FKWW. “We’re relieved that the report doesn’t recommend changes to the size or existence of the monument, but we will continue to monitor any efforts to amend the proclamation and Monument as it currently stands.”

Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument was designated by President Obama on August 24, 2016 after years of advocacy by locals and conservationists. Maine philanthropist Roxanne Quimby agreed to donate 87,563 acres of land she had purchased for creation of the monument. The current designation allows for fishing throughout the property, with hunting and snowmobiling allowed within certain designated areas.

This spring, President Donald Trump called for a review of 27 national monuments, many of which had been designated by former presidents Obama and Clinton. During a public comment period this summer, over 260,000 individuals sent comments to the Department of the Interior in support of Katahdin Woods and Waters; fewer than 100 individuals provided opposing remarks.

“The monument is providing a much-needed boost to the local economies of the Katahdin region,” continued Bossie. “We’re seeing increased visitation to the area and businesses are expanding, despite the cloud of this current controversy.”


Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters is a 501(c)(3) Maine-based nonprofit organization. Its mission is to preserve and protect the outstanding natural beauty, ecological vitality and distinctive cultural resources of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument and surrounding communities for the inspiration and enjoyment of all generations. 

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National Monument Friends Update October 2017

Stair Falls — by Mark Picard

October 2017 Update

Dear Friends,

I’m glad to serve as Vice President of the Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters because, like you, I want to ensure our Monument is protected and preserved. Our team wants to keep you informed about the latest happenings, so here’s some recent news from in and around the Monument.

One-Year Celebration: Katahdin Woods and Waters celebrated its first birthday as a National Monument on August 25, 2017.  A number of area businesses gathered to celebrate this momentous achievement at the New England Outdoor Center, and to also raise funds to benefit Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters (FKWW). Along with meeting visitors and new friends, many of us were filled with pride for the Monument and the community that has come together to create, protect, and share it. We are grateful to everyone who participated by attending, donating funds or beautiful auction items, and joining as new members of FKWW. A special shout out goes to the Maine Beer Company for hosting this business-driven event!

Department of Interior Status on Monument: Amidst the anniversary festivities, there was an undercurrent of uncertainty about the unknown, long-awaited decision by the Trump Administration over our National Parks and Monuments. On September 17, 2017, the Washington Post leaked the DOI’s report. At this time, there is little clarity to this report for the Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters to comment on or process. That said, in accordance with our mission, we will continue to fight to preserve and protect the Monument as outlined in the original proclamation.

Friends KWW is Growing: In case you haven’t seen media sources that picked up our September news release, FKWW appointed Andrew Bossie as new Acting Executive Director, along with Elaine Tselikis as Communications and Administrative Coordinator. Andy is now the public spokesperson for the Friends. Feel free to reach out to Andy or Elaine anytime. We are very excited to have such a great team — working alongside our robust and committed Board of Directors — to help build and strengthen operations, membership and mission delivery.

Thank You, Lucas: Speaking of a strong Board of Directors, our Board formation has been stewarded by the gifted vision and leadership of Lucas St. Clair. Lucas has faithfully served as Board President prior to and since the formal inception of the Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters. It is with heartfelt gratitude that we wish Lucas and his family well as he departs his FKWW Board service to start a new chapter in his life. Accomplished environmental leader Cathy Johnson is the new Friends President. Watch your next Update for news from Cathy!

Friends Publishes Loop Road Map: Planning to visit the Monument? Email us your mailing address and we will happily send you a free, printed copy of the Interpretive Map for the Loop Road!  Your membership donations helped FKWW produce its first charitable project for the Monument: a precision topographic map showing trails, roads, rivers and other loop area features, with interpretive texts and photos keyed to scenic and historic stops. It’s available at the Monument’s Millinocket and PattenVisitor Contact Stations, Patten Lumbermen’s Museum, the Katahdin Area Chamber of Commerce and at many area businesses.

Thanks to you for helping make the visitor experience at the Monument a more enriching one, while also protecting and preserving all that is special about the Monument. Autumn is another gorgeous season to experience and photograph its diverse natural beauty and wildlife.

See you on the trails!

Anita Mueller
Vice President
Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters