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Andy’s Note: Reflections and resilience

The mass shooting in Lewiston last Wednesday is still very much on my mind. We’re all absolutely heartbroken that so many lives were tragically and suddenly taken in a community that has long been known for its perseverance and openness. This is truly a time for grieving and reflection. In times of strife, I have always sought solace by immersing myself in nature and I suspect that many of you are doing the same. This is a good time to think about our values and what matters most in our lives; as I sort out my own thoughts and emotions, I’m making a special effort to direct an extra dose of kindness toward loved ones and strangers alike.

A core part of Maine Audubon’s advocacy approach is to tether ourselves to science, reason, and pragmatism. Still, that doesn’t mean that we are devoid of values and emotions as we consider our position on various issues. In our recently issued Maine Voter Resource guide, I urged readers to vote YES on Question 6, which would require the state to print the full text of the Maine State Constitution, including a section about Maine’s original treaty obligations to the Wabanaki Nations that has been missing from printed versions for nearly 150 years. I hope you will take the time to learn about the issue and reflect on your values as you consider how to vote on Question 6.

Speaking of advocacy, Maine Audubon has become fully immersed in renewable energy issues. We’re pleased with the recent BOEM draft site selection for offshore wind power. Offshore wind presents an opportunity to greatly increase our renewable energy sources and reduce dependence on carbon emitting power generation, while protecting important fishing and wildlife habitat.

In the “thumbs down” category, we have also been joined by your many voices as we testified against Wolfden Resources’ maligned attempt to mine in one of Maine’s most remarkable habitat areas. Please sign up for our Action Alerts and join us in advocating for Maine’s wildlife and wildlife habitat. We choose to live in Maine for its remarkable natural resources, so let’s band together to protect them.

With temperatures in the 30s this week, we are forced to admit summer is well and truly over. In this month’s e-newsletter, we’ve got season recaps from the Coastal Birds project as well as the Loon Restoration Program, so you can read about our efforts to help birds on the beaches and lakes of Maine. As daylight grows shorter and we end Daylight Saving Time this weekend, it’s a good time to remember to clean your bird feeders and get them ready for the winter season. Please remember Maine Audubon’s fall and winter events and make them a part of your adventures. It’s also never too early to get ready for the holiday season; a gift membership to Maine Audubon opens the door to so many great things.