Maine's Mount Katahdin. (Northeast Explorer Photo)

Maine’s Mount Katahdin. (Northeast Explorer Photo) Roxanne Quimby’s foundation donated more than 87,500 acres in the Katahdin region to the federal government Tuesday in a critical step toward creation of a national monument in Maine’s North Woods.

While representatives for Quimby and the Obama administration remained silent Tuesday about a potential national monument designation, news of the land transfers drew strong reactions from those involved in a debate over the changing use of Maine’s vast forestlands. Supporters cheered a gift that they predicted could revitalize the region’s struggling towns, while opponents warned that providing a foothold to the federal government would inhibit economic development in the North Woods.

Read about land near Katahdin being donated to the federal government to possibly become a national monument.