Maine’s legislative session has begun and it’s game time for Maine wildlife. What happens in Augusta is even more important as we work to protect Maine’s wildlife against climate change impacts.
There are numerous opportunities to work together to make improvements to existing protections for wildlife and habitat and to issue bonds to make critical infrastructure investments that benefit wildlife and Maine’s economy. However, we must remain vigilant against efforts to take Maine in the wrong direction.
Here’s a glimpse of our legislative priorities this year:
• Update the state’s endangered and threatened species list
• Invest in the Land for Maine’s Future program
• Safeguard our fish and water from toxic mining
• Protect the water quality of Maine’s lakes
• Advance the use of solar power
• Fund local efforts to replace stream crossings that are barriers to fish movement
• Maintain the integrity of the Bureau of Parks and Lands
• Ensure that managing the impending spruce budworm outbreak takes into account the many benefits our forests provide.
In addition to these priorities, we will be highly engaged in a variety of other issues important to our mission. We will closely monitor the budget process to make sure our natural resource agencies’ budgets and missions remain intact. As a member of the Environmental Priorities Coalition, we will work closely with our partners to push forward legislation that will conserve Maine’s wildlife and habitat and defend against attacks that undermine these protections.
We welcome your participation in our efforts and thank you for all you have done and will do to help protect Maine’s water, land and wildlife.
Charles Gauvin started at Maine Audubon in 2014. Gauvin brings more than 25 years of experience in conservation leadership, much of it as the president and CEO of Trout Unlimited, the nation’s leading river and fish conservation organization.Gauvin most recently served as Chief Development Officer at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC. He collaborated with Carnegie scholars worldwide to develop program strategies and support in the United States, Europe, Russia, the Middle East, Asia and South Asia.