An outstanding collection of Mainers – including some sportsmen - gathered at the request of Pete Didisheim of the Natural Resource Council of Maine to speak to Governor Paul LePage about environmental issues on January 20 before a live audience of 500 environmentalists at the Augusta Civic Center.
A diverse group of twenty eight people got 90 seconds each to speak to the governor. Those who worked to connect in some real way to the governor and his concerns were the most effective.
Here’s what some of the speakers had to say about public health, wildlife habitat, children, energy, and the economy.
Bucky Owen, former Commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, said that hunting, fishing, and wildlife watching is a $1.8 billion industry, and DIF&W, which brings in $110 million in General Fund tax revenue, gets none of that revenue back to fund its budget this year. He cited the economic potential of this industry, with a specific pitch for river restoration and alewives.
Jeff Reardon of Trout Unlimited hit a homerun with me when he spoke for Maine’s native brook trout.