I have had a fast-paced month at Maine Audubon and have been able to get out and tour some of our sanctuaries and meet a range of folks who are engaged with our organization.
On April 1, I visited Borestone Mountain Audubon Sanctuary, near Greenville. I hiked up the snow covered trail and crossed the frozen ponds to reach our remote lodge. This was not April fool’s joke but a serious outing.
The Borestone sanctuary is a stunning example of all that Maine Audubon embodies, a magnificent landscape of rugged peaks, mature forests and cold streams and ponds – a wonderful palette for wildlife. I was privileged to get a tour of the lands, environmental center and the remote lodge with retired State Game Warden Don Annis, who has been heavily involved with caring for both the visitors and the lodge complex. His knowledge of the land, history of the facilities and people involved with Borestone over the past decade was moving.
I have also visited Fields Pond Audubon Center, just outside of Brewer, and met with representatives of the Penobscot Valley Chapter of Maine Audubon. These deeply committed volunteers are making a real different in their communities and at Fields Pond.
Later this month, I will be meeting with representatives from all of our seven chapters at our biannual Chapter Congress. This is a chance for people involved with Maine Audubon from across the state to connect and learn from each other. I look forward to hearing the different regional concerns and approaches to conservation issues.
Time and again, I see a deep commitment to stewardship and conservation among Maine Audubon volunteers and staff. The stewardship ethic embodied by these individuals is about a concern for the future and the land itself — rather than for ourselves as individuals. That’s a special commitment that I have found striking. I hope you can have a similar experience during your next visit an Audubon sanctuary, educational program or event.
Enjoy spring; it really is coming!
Ole Amundsen became Executive Director of Maine Audubon in March 2016. He brings more than 25 years of experience in conservation leadership, with a focus on landscape scale conservation, environmental education and finance. Amundsen most recently served as program manager for the national land trust, The Conservation Fund.