Representative Bob Duchesne, 2012 Environmental Award
For his tireless and skilled leadership across a broad range of legislative issues, bringing passion and humor to the job of defending Maine’s environment through the passage and defense of strong laws
As a member of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee in the Maine Legislature, Bob knew that he had a major responsibility to help protect Maine’s environment. But unlike some legislators, Bob hasn’t just given lip service to the idea of environmental protection. For the last eight years, Bob has been one of the most dependable, outspoken, and hard-working environmental leaders in Maine. During the last few years in particular, it became almost a routine: a legislator would introduce a bad bill, NRCM staff would read it and determine just how bad it was, then came the inevitable words: “We need to meet with Bob to figure out a way to stop this.” And meet we did, countless times with Bob, who always listened carefully to our concerns or called upon our scientific expertise to make sure nothing was overlooked. Without Bob’s willingness to take a principled stance in defense of Maine’s wildlife and natural resources, many of our most important environmental safeguards would have been sacrificed. Efforts to eviscerate protections for vernal pools and shoreland zoning; a proposal to dismantle the agency that provides stewardship of Maine’s North Woods; and a disastrous “takings” bill that could have stymied future environmental policy in Maine all were defeated, in no small part because of Bob’s knowledge of the issues and commitment to defend Maine’s environment. At the same time, we could always count on Bob to introduce or support legislation that made Maine’s environmental laws more effective.
It is with regret that after eight years of service in the House of Representatives, Bob is term-limited out. He leaves his post, however, having been an outstanding representative for the people of Hudson, and a tremendous asset to all the people of Maine. I am confident that he will continue to be a strong advocate for Maine’s environment, as he remains active with his work on the boards of other environmental nonprofits and as creator of the Maine Birding Trail to promote Maine’s natural resources and nature-based economy. It is my honor and privilege to present to you, Bob, a 2012 NRCM Environmental Award.