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Browsing posts tagged with: advocacy

Action Needed: Open Pit Mining in Maine, LD 1032

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013
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We need your help to protect Maine’s waters, wildlife and communities from mining pollution! Support LD 1302, An Act to Amend the Maine Metallic Mineral Mining Act to Protect Water Quality (sponsor Rep. Jeff McCabe)

You Can Help in Two Ways
  1. Please attend a hearing at the Environment and Natural Resources Committee on Monday, April 29th at 9:00 a.m. in Room 216 of the Cross Office Building (directly behind the State House) to support a bill that would strengthen standards for mining in Maine.
    Contact Jenn Gray at [email protected] or (207) 798-2900 if you can attend the hearing on Monday, April 29th beginning at 9:00 a.m., or if you have questions.
  2. Contact members of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee to ask them to support LD 1302! (Please see contact information below)


Rio_tinto_river_CarolStoker_NASA_Ames_Research_CenterThe Facts –
 The mining industry has an extremely poor track record of polluting the environment and leaving taxpayers with the costs of clean up. In 2012, the Maine Legislature passed a bill that rolled back Maine’s mineral mining laws. Proponents of last year’s legislation are considering mining Bald Mountain in central Aroostook County. Should open pit mining occur in that location, the impacts could be dramatic – open-pit mining leaves large toxic acid ponds which could potentially drain through ground and surface waters into the Fish River and the Fish River Chain of Lakes, which provide some of the best brook trout fishing in the country.

Learn more on our Open Pit Mining page »

Why we need your help – LD 1302 amends last year’s law to protect water quality and Maine taxpayers from the risks of mining.  A huge turnout of concerned citizens at the State House last year helped improve the bill – we need your help!

Specifically, LD 1302 – An Act to Amend the Maine Metallic Mineral Mining Act to Protect Water Quality (sponsor Rep. Jeff McCabe) would:

  • Protect Maine’s groundwater by requiring DEP to measure compliance with groundwater standards as close as possible to mining-related activities;
  • Require an independent, third-party estimate of clean-up costs and ensure that mining companies place a sum equal to that cost in a secure trust;
  • Make any mining permit contingent on a company proving that at least one mine has operated elsewhere in the U.S., in a similar climate to Maine’s, without polluting groundwater or surface water;
  • Not allow any mines that would require wastewater treatment or other waste management activities in perpetuity (such as a tailing dams or liner maintenance). Specifically, LD 1302 would mandate that mining companies complete all clean-up, waste management and water treatment activities within 10 years of ceasing mining operations.

Maine Environment and Natural Resources Committee
Contact Information

House Phone Number: (800) 423-2900
Senate Phone Number: (800) 423-6900

 

Action Needed: Protect Our Native Brook Trout

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013
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fisheyeguyphoto

Maine Audubon Opposes LD 170 – Resolve, To Allow the Use of Live Bait When Ice Fishing in Certain Waters of the State. This bill would impact Maine’s native brook trout by introducing new species that would compete for food sources and put the brook trout population at risk.

Maine is home to 97% of the nation’s wild eastern brook trout lakes and ponds. Brook trout are important to Maine and the nation’s ecological and sporting heritage and are also a valuable recreational and economic state resource.

This population is at risk. The quality and abundance of the fishery has declined for a lot of reasons, but, the biggest threat to the resource is the introduction of competing fish species into the trout’s fragile ecosystem by the use of live bait for fishing.

Facts: In 2012, Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife adopted changes to its fishing regulations to ban the use of live fish as bait in nine northern Maine lakes where Brook trout live. We support these changes that are intended to protect important headwaters that feed watersheds containing many of the state’s wild brook trout populations.  LD 170 proposes rules changes which undo these important protections.

The Department’s rules will go into effect April 1, 2013 unless LD 170 passes.  LD 170 directs the Commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to reverse these protective measures.

Senate: (800) 423-6900
House (800) 423-2900
For email contact information, see the House/Senate member list.

Committee Members

Senate:

  • Senator David E. Dutremble (York), Chair
  • Senator Anne M. Haskell (Cumberland)
  • Senator David C. Burns (Washington)

House:

  • Rep. Michael A. Shaw (Standish), Chair
  • Rep. Sheryl J. Briggs (Mexico)
  • Rep. Dale J. Crafts (Lisbon)
  • Rep. Eleanor M. Espling (New Gloucester)
  • Rep. Paul T. Davis, Sr. (Sangerville)
  • Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos (Friendship)
  • Rep. Karen Kusiak (Fairfield)
  • Rep. Timothy I. Marks (Pittston)
  • Rep. Stanley Byron Short, Jr. (Pittsfield)
  • Rep. Stephen J. Wood (Sabattus)

How You Can Help

  1. Attend the public hearing before the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee on March 26, 2013 at 1:00 pm in Room 206 of the Cross Building (next to the State House) and speak up for not allowing live fish as bait in these prime Brook trout waters.
  2. Call or email members of the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee and ask them to oppose LD 170 – Resolve, To Allow the Use of Live Bait When Ice Fishing in Certain Waters of the State.

For more information visit our website where you can learn about all of our Legislative Advocacy priorities or contact [email protected]

Water-bodies subject to the ban that would be repealed under LD 170 include:

  • Attean Pond, Attean Township (Somerset County)
  • Fish Pond (Little), Hobel Twp. (Somerset Co.)
  • Twin Island Pond, Lowelltown Twp. (Franklin Co.)
  • Mountain Catcher Pond, T06 R08 WELS (Penobscot Co.)
  • Webster Lake, T06 R10 and T06 R11 WELS (Piscataquis Co.)
  • Chase Lake, T09 R10 WELS (Piscataquis Co.)
  • Millimagasset Lake, T7 R8 WELS (Penobscot Co.)
  • Millinocket Lake and Little Millinocket Lake, T07 R9, T8 R9, T7 R10 WELS (Piscataquis Co.)
  • Munsungan Lake (including Little), T08 R9, T8 R10, T9 R10 WELS (Piscataquis Co.)
  • Wheelock Lake, St. John Plt. (Aroostook Co.)
 

How Does Maine Audubon Work? Our Legislative Advocacy Efforts

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
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While birding we use bills as one tool for bird species identification—we also use bills at the statehouse to promote best practices and inform legislative priorities that protect wildlife & habitat while drawing on our staff biologists’ science-based conservation work.

At Maine Audubon we draft bills and track existing bills to ensure good stewardship of Maine’s wildlife and habitat. With some bills, we make an effort to promote best practices within specific state agencies responsible for our wildlife and other natural resources, while other bills establish clear protections for rare and high value wildlife and habitat. Many of the bills we work on relate to other wildlife work we do and our comments and suggestions are based on our staff biologists’ science-based conservation work.

Deep relationships with individual legislators, across several legislative committees, and within some state agencies, built across 16 years of experience at the State House by Jennifer Burns Gray, Maine Audubon’s Staff Attorney and Advocate, inform these legislative priorities. She also builds strength and effectiveness through partnerships such as the Maine Environmental Priorities Coalition. Her advocacy efforts focus on reasoned improvements to existing law and proposed legislation that impact our mission. In addition, our conservation staff are available to provide expert testimony at public hearings. Our reputation of a trusted and respected voice at the State House comes from our homework, teamwork, and expertise.

We also often encourage our members and friends to speak up on critical issues by calling, writing, and testifying on certain bills.

You can join this community of guardians of Maine’s wildlife by calling or writing your legislators or by attending a public hearing to give voice to our shared concerns. Our email action alerts serve as a call to action and notify you when your help will be most effective.

Receive Action Alerts by Email »

This year we will work on bills to: 1. Reduce mortality of common loons by banning the use and sale of some lead sinkers and jigs; 2. Improve the process for reviewing and permitting wind power projects; 3. Safeguard our water bodies from toxic mining; and 4. Ensure threatened and endangered wildlife are adequately protected.

Check out our Legislative Advocacy page regularly for more information and stay tuned – things can change very quickly on the legislative front!

 

Support Proposed Rules to Protect Our Native Brook Trout

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012
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Brook trout being measured in the field...Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has proposed changes to its fishing regulations to ban the use of live bait on 16 lakes in northern Maine.

Maine is home to 97% of the intact wild brook trout lake and pond habitat in the eastern U.S.  Brook trout are important to Maine and the nation’s ecological and sporting heritage and are also a valuable recreational and economic state resource.

This population is at risk.  The quality and abundance of the fishery has declined.  The biggest threat to the resource is the introduction of competing fish species into the trout’s fragile ecosystem.

The use of live bait can introduce new fish species to wild brook trout waters that can complete with local brook trout and put the population at risk. The proposed rule changes are intended to protect important headwaters that feed watersheds containing many of the state’s wild brook trout populations.

Please attend one of the hearings and submit comments in support of the proposed changes.
Public Hearing information

  • Monday, Oct. 22 at 6:30 pm, Presque Isle Inn & Convention Center, 116 Main St., Presque Isle
  • Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 6:30 pm, Northern Timber Cruisers Snowmobile Clubhouse, Millinocket Lake Rd., Millinocket
  • Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 6:30 pm, City of Ellsworth, Council Chambers, 1 City Hall Plaza, Ellsworth
  • Thursday, Oct. 25 at 6:30 pm, Brunswick High School, Multi-Purpose Room, 116 Maquoit Rd., Brunswick

Written Comments are due November 15 and should be sent to:
Becky OrffInland Fisheries and Wildlife, 284 State St., 41 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0041
[email protected]

Proposed waterbodies that would be subject to the ban

  • First (Billings) Pond, Blue Hill (Hancock Co.)
  • Round Pond and outlet, T10 SD (Hancock Co.)
  • Fish Pond (Little), Hobel Twp. (Somerset Co.)
  • Twin Island Pond, Lowelltown Twp. (Franklin Co.)
  • Mountain Catcher Pond, T06 R08 WELS (Penobscot Co.)
  • Webster Lake, T06 R10 and T06 R11 WELS (Piscataquis Co.)
  • Carr Pond, T13 R08 WELS (Aroostook Co.)
  • Chandler Lake, T9 R8 WELS (Aroostook Co.)
  • Chase Lake, T09 R10 WELS (Piscataquis Co.)
  • Fish River Lake, T13 & 14 R08 WELS (Aroostook Co.)
  • Millimagasset Lake, T7 R8 WELS (Penobscot Co.)
  • Millinocket Lake and Little Millinocket Lake, T07 R9, T8 R9, T7 R10 WELS (Piscataquis Co.)
  • Munsungan Lake (including Little), T08 R9, T8 R10, T9 R10 WELS (Piscataquis Co.)
  • Portland Lake, Bridgewater Twp. (Aroostook Co.)
  • St. Croix Lake, T7 & 8 R4 (Aroostook Co.)
  • Wheelock Lake, St. John Plt. (Aroostook Co.)