One of the Maine senators who expressed concern about tens of thousands of acres of Maine forest becoming a national monument seems to have had his fears assuaged.

Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, wrote to Obama last year about rumors that an 87,500-acre swath of Maine's forest would become a national monument with Maine Republican lawmakers Sen. Susan Collins and Rep. Bruce Polquin.

King said at the time he was concerned about the land not being used for hunting and fishing, as the land's then-owner, Roxanne Quimby, did not allow hunting or fishing on her land.

In the announcement Wednesday, the White House said fishing and other recreational activities, such as hiking, kayaking and cross-country skiing, would all be allowed in the monument. King said he was pleased by the announcement.

"I believe that the president's proclamation, along with the binding commitments in the deeds conveying the land, address the essential elements of those conditions, and that, as a result, the benefits of the designation will far outweigh any detriment," King said. "And — on balance — will be a significant benefit to Maine and the region.

"This conclusion is confirmed by the comments made by Secretary of the Interior [Sally] Jewell shortly after the designation was announced, explicitly mentioning hiking, canoeing, ‎fishing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing."

Obama designated 87,500 of central Maine forest the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument Wednesday, one day after Quimby, a co-founder of Burt's Bees, donated the land to the government.

The designation is the culmination of about 15 years of work by Quimby, who started buying up land east of Baxter State Park in 2001. Baxter State Park is famous for being the home of Mt. Katahdin, the end point of the 2,800-mile long Appalachian Trial.

The White House announced the monument one day before the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the National Park Service, the government agency that will manage the land.

King, who praised the designation as a chance for an improvement in the recreation economy in central Maine, urged state residents to be open to the change.

"For some, this designation is welcome, while others will meet it with skepticism or outright opposition — but for all of us it is a change, and change is always hard," King said.

"That is why I think it is important that we respect both the excitement as well as the concerns that will follow this announcement. And it is why I will continue to work with people on both sides of this issue and the Park Service to ensure that the day-to-day implementation of the monument plan lives up to its promise."

The announcement of the new monument was met by outright derision by a major congressional opponent of the Antiquities Act, the legislation that gives Obama the power to designate monuments.

Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, is the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee and a strong opponent of increasing federal land holdings. Bishop held a field hearing in Maine earlier this year about the federal government expanding its control of land using the Antiquities Act, an early 20th century law that gives the president unilateral ability to protect swaths of land.

Bishop said Wednesday using the National Park Service's centennial as an excuse to add the new monument was just poor political cover.

"The president is using the centennial as a cover to subvert the will of Maine's citizens and leaders," Bishop said. "The only votes taken on this proposal, at the local and state level, have demonstrated opposition from Mainers. If the president cared about local voices and improving our National Park System, he would have done this through the public process and not behind closed doors.

"Instead, he's hijacked a moment of celebration to advance powerful elite special interests over Maine's economy and citizens."