Happy March, Friends.
As I write, the heavy February snows are melting around Gilsland Farm. Hard to know if this is the end of winter (hopefully not!), but if it is, at least we know we made the most of it.
February saw our best-attended Winter Carnival ever, with hundreds of families tromping around the Farm, playing nature games, and building epic snow villages. Our vacation camp was another highlight, capped off on February 24 with a live wildlife show. If you have school-age kids and haven’t already signed up for our April camp, be sure to do so before it fills up.
The month in politics was notably more troubling. On February 17, Scott Pruitt — someone who has repeatedly sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for protecting our air, water, and wetlands – was narrowly confirmed as the next Administrator of the EPA . As you know, Maine Audubon actively opposed his confirmation. Along with Maine’s other science-based and conservation-minded organizations, we encouraged our members to contact Maine’s senators and urge them to oppose Mr. Pruitt.
Thanks in large part to those efforts — including calls from many of you — Sen. King and Sen. Collins ultimately voted against Mr. Pruitt. They recognized that he is a dangerous choice who would be bad for our state’s wildlife, natural resources, and economy, which in Maine are inextricably linked. Sen. King and Sen. Collins deserve our sincere gratitude for this. Unfortunately, in the end it wasn’t enough to prevent his confirmation.
Looking ahead, we are facing a challenging political atmosphere filled with many unknowns. If your relationship with Maine Audubon stretches back a ways, as mine does, you know our organization as a source of thoughtful, measured, science-based views about what is best for Maine’s wildlife and habitat, and what you can do to support it. In a moment like this, that role has never been more important.
I want you to know that, amidst all the uncertainty, our commitment to our mission is unwavering. In fact, our team is more motivated than ever to carry out this critical work. As we learn more about potential threats to our clean air, clean water, endangered species, public lands, and efforts to mitigate the effects of a changing climate, Maine Audubon will be here with the facts you need to be an informed and effective steward of Maine’s wildlife and habitat.
They say that hope springs eternal. As I look around at all the buzzing activity in our sanctuaries — kids exploring, groundhogs emerging, birdseed and feeders flying off our Nature Store shelves, engaging speakers and events around the state — that has never been more true for me. Swing by our sanctuaries this spring and see for yourself.