MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Just last month, Gov. LePage sent a letter to President Trump asking him to reverse the order signed by President Obama that designated land in the Katahdin Region as a national monument.
The Governor fears it will cause economic damage to the areas forest products industry.
The leaders of the Katahdin Area Chamber of Commerce fired back, saying people are already investing in the area and to turn back the clock would jeopardize that. The owner of one real estate company in the area says he's seen an increase in his bottom line.
"Just roughly, we've seen a 20-30 percent increase in business, and that may be conservative," said Dan Corcoran, owner of North Woods Real Estate.
Corocoran is not only a licensed real estate broker but a forester, too, who worked for Great Northern Paper Company for decades. He's been a supporter of a national monument and says that support is certainly paying off. He says he's doubled his small staff in the past year, going from 3-6 employees.
Corocoran says there are definitely out of state investors coming in. He said one man came to check out the area after the national monument was announced, planning to spend just one day but ending up staying much longer.
"Three days later he was still here and in my office. Five weeks later he was still here. He purchased a camp out on the lake and an island out on the lake and he's still buying," Corcoran said.
Corcoran says he's also fielded calls from brokers in Tennessee and Massachusetts representing national retailers. He has interested buyers coming to look at lakefront properties from as far away as Texas.
He hopes that any talk of reversing the decision doesn't stop the momentum he's been seeing. When asked if it's made any investors nervous he said, "absolutely."
Millinocket's tax assessor, Michael Noble says he, too, believes there's been an uptick in purchases but he couldn't say as to why.
According to real estate transfers recorded with the Penobscot County Registry of deeds, there was an uptick in Millinocket last year. There were 203 real estate transfers in 2016, compared to 181 in 2015.
Medway also saw an increase in transfers from 42 in 2015 to 52 in 2016. But there were decreases in East Millinocket and Patten.
East Millinocket had 58 real estate transfers in 2015 and 63 in 2016. In Patten, there were 55 in 2015 compared to 54 in 2016.