2012 Environmental Award, Mark Stadler
For his decades of service protecting Maine wildlife as leader of the Wildlife Division at Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and for his invaluable efforts in the Legislature and before the Board of Environmental Protection that helped defeat extreme rollbacks of strong protections for Maine’s inland wading bird and waterfowl habitat.
For more than 30 years, Mark Stadler worked to protect Maine’s most precious economic and ecological resources: our fish and wildlife. As a biologist at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IF&W), Mark spent his career working to ensure habitat protection and addressing Mainers’s concern and passion for wildlife. Mark served as director of the wildlife division from 1998 to 2011, and in 2009, was named IF &W’s Manager of the Year.
That doesn’t surprise us. We have seen Mark in action, as NRCM staff worked closely with him on the efforts that resulted in the strong wetland, shorebird habitat, and vernal pool protections we have today. Mark was one of our star witnesses in front of the Board of Environmental Protection (BEP) during the hearings on Inland Waterfowl and Wading Bird Habitat (IWWH) last December. He played a crucial role in convincing the BEP to strengthen the Department of Environmental Protection’s poor proposal for a “permit by rule” system for this type of habitat. For those of you unfamiliar with this jargon, “permit by rule” is streamlined permitting process that allows less extensive and time-consuming review if a developer agrees up front to meet certain standards. Mark’s testimony was critical in influencing the Board to strengthen DEP’s proposal by increasing buffer requirements from 100 to 150 feet around IWWH wetlands. With some 350,000 acres of these wetlands in Maineâand the critical importance a larger buffer plays in protecting bird habitat and water qualityâthis 50-foot difference is a very big deal.
Mark, like everyone who cares about Maine’s environment, NRCM staff are grateful to you for your excellent work protecting our wildlife and wildlife habitat. We are pleased to be giving you a 2012 NRCM Environmental Award.