Dear Senator Dill, Representative O’Neil, and Members of the Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Committee, I’m Melanie Sturm, Forests and Wildlife Program Director at the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM). I’m providing testimony in support of Dr. Mac Hunter to serve on the Land for Maine’s Future (LMF) Board.
We enthusiastically support Dr. Hunter’s nomination to the LMF Board, and we are pleased that he is willing to serve in this capacity.
Dr. Hunter is one of Maine’s leading conservation biologists, with dozens of published research papers and substantial expertise in fields that are highly relevant to the mission of the LMF program.
An experienced biologist whose research at the University of Maine focuses on forest ecology and biodiversity, Dr. Hunter has studied the evolving interactions among plant and animal species within a singular forest site for more than 40 years. His work has shed light on the effects of climate change and management decisions on Maine’s ecosystems. He has been a friend and trusted expert to many conservation organizations, including NRCM.
Dr. Hunter will bring a valuable, science-oriented perspective to the LMF Board and an understanding of landscape-scale conservation. His expertise will be an asset to the LMF Program, especially given the new climate change adaptation criteria that is part of the project selection process.
NRCM is very supportive of the LMF Program, and we are thrilled there is new funding to carry out the Program’s important work during a time of significant climate-induced change on Maine’s natural areas.
I encourage the Committee to support the confirmation of Dr. Hunter to the LMF Board.
Thank you for your time.