News & Notes


Act Now to Stop the Merger of the Depts. of Agriculture & Conservation: Call your Representative Today!

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013
Posted on:

Dear Friends and Supporters,

In the coming weeks the Legislature will decide whether or not to merge Maine’s Department of Agriculture and Department of Conservation. LD 837 – the “merger” bill – would boost agricultural programs at the expense of conservation programs and shift the focus away from stewardship and toward marketing and development of our natural resources.

How can I help?

Contact your local representative and ask him/her to vote in opposition to LD 837, An Act to Clarify the Laws Establishing the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

Call or email now!

House (800) 423-2900

Unsure of your local legislator?  Need their contact info?

Visit http://www.maine.gov/legis/house/townlist.htm

The Facts

The “merger” bill would finalize the tentative merger of the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Conservation that was passed last year. In the past year, it has become clear that strong separate departments can best meet the needs of all Mainers.

We oppose this bill and the proposed merger because:

1. The new merged Department would focus on economic development, which is a distinct change from the previous Department of Conservation’s purpose, which was to preserve, protect, and enhance the land resources of the state of Maine.

2. The merger would boost agricultural programs at the expense of conservation programs and shift the focus away from stewardship and land protection toward marketing and economic development.

3. Maine’s parks and lands and ecological reserves are not commodities to be exploited; they are our state’s natural treasures and part of our outdoor heritage. They also are the foundation of our tourist economy.

4. Agriculture can be boosted and supported in many ways that do not undermine conservation, none of which are discussed in this bill.

5. The Commissioner recently presented 45 “New Initiatives” that showcase why the Administration thinks merging these two departments is helpful. This list’s goals for our Division of Parks and Public Lands, includes NO initiatives to promote conservation or stewardship of Maine’s public lands. To us, this demonstrates that a merged Department will not value conservation or appreciate its importance to Maine’s economy.

Thank you for your support!

For questions, please contact: 

Jennifer Burns Gray
Staff Attorney and Advocate
[email protected]
(207) 781-6180 x224