Conservation Group Outlines Excellent Priorities

I like the priorities of the Maine Conservation Alliance: clean water, energy independence, land and wildlife for all to enjoy, and healthy local food. You can guess which goal I like the best.

MCA, headquartered in Augusta, has an exceptional staff and will be lobbying Governor Janet Mills and the legislature on all of these goals.

OK, I like the wildlife goal best. No surprise there.

MCA says, “Our Maine way of life depends on open land and waterways that create opportunities to earn a living and enjoy the outdoors. But Maine is losing farmland, waterfronts, and wildlife habitat to development pressure. Investing in public lands will preserve opportunities for hunting, fishing, and recreation for generations to come.”

They’re certainly right. I’ll post a column in a few days about the importance of new funding for our Land for Maine’s Future program, probably in the form of a bond.

And here’s more from their section on wildlife.

The economic value of Maine’s water, land, and wildlife is not just our legacy, it’s our greatest potential. Maine’s forest products industry is contributing $8.5 billion to Maine’s economy and supporting 33,000 jobs. Outdoor recreation, including hunting, fishing, skiing, hiking, and wildlife-watching, adds $8.2 billion and 76,000 jobs. Commercial seafood landings topped $700 million in 2016, while Maine farmers add $1.4 billion in value to the state’s economy. All the while, innovations in composite materials, environmental technologies, and bio-based products are creating new opportunities for economic growth based on Maine’s abundant natural resources.

Maine’s natural heritage depends on healthy wildlife habitats. Conserving habitat for wildlife to flourish throughout their life cycles provides opportunities for recreation and quiet enjoyment of Maine’s beauty, while generating millions in revenue from our outdoor economy. Land conservation provides opportunities for high-quality management of vernal pools, deer wintering areas, and other significant wildlife habitats, including areas for seabirds, shorebirds, and inland waterfowl to nest, roost, and feed. And as our climate changes, conserving resilient landscapes for wildlife, agriculture, drinking water, and protection from storm surges will take on even greater importance.

You can learn more at the group’s website,

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.