By George Smith
Bangor Daily News column
Governor Paul LePage hated public land and did everything he could to stop us from acquiring more of it, including refusing to support a bond issue for the Land for Maine’s Future, throughout his 8 years as governor.
A reliable, well-funded LMF program remains essential to permanently protecting working waterfronts, farmland, water access and hunting sites, working forests, habitat, and conservation land in your community.
I’ve been a strong LMF supporter throughout its existence, including my 18 years as director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine. During my time at SAM, I even appeared in a TV ad for an LMF bond issue that was on the ballot.
Public land is especially important to hunters. As more and more private land was posted, our opportunities to hunt on public lands has become very important. During my time at SAM, we actually got the legislature to enact a guarantee that the amount of public land available for hunting would never diminish.
There’s talk of a $75 to $100 million bond for LMF, but I expect it will not be that much.
At the Land Conservation Task Force’s public listening sessions in Portland and Bangor last month, people affirmed their strong support for the Land for Maine’s Future program.
I urge you to tell the Task Force about your priorities for land conservation in Maine.