The Nature Conservancy in Maine honored Sen. Susan Collins with its “Champion of Nature” in Washington Tuesday. The conservancy also honored 2nd District Rep. Mike Michaud for his commitment to conservation. Both lawmakers were recognized for their years of support for policies that protect nature.
The awards were presented by Conservancy trustees and staff this week, as they traveled to Capitol Hill — in the midst of a government shutdown — to ask Congress to support conservation programs by investing in nature. For example, funding for the ongoing Penobscot River Restoration Project
Senator Collins has consistently worked for the health and conservation of Maine’s lands and waters,” said Michael Tetreault, executive director for The Nature Conservancy in Maine. “Her support of the Penobscot River Restoration and forest easements in Maine (through the Forest Legacy program) are crucial to Maine keeping our forests in production and accessible the public.”
Rep. Mike Michaud was also honored, in recognition of his commitment to supporting conservation initiatives like the Forest Legacy and Land and Water Conservation Fund programs.
“We are grateful for his support, since the health of our natural resources is so critical to our economy, our heritage and our way of life,” Tetreault said
While the shutdown makes it clear that Congress must address many critical issues, Tetreault added, the Conservancy is asking that as they work on a way forward, they consider that conservation is a part of the solution to improve our nation’s economy, health and well-being.
“Sen. Collins and Rep. Michaud are fantastic supporters for lands and waters, but there is always more to do. So we’re asking now that all of Congress join us to sustain funding for conservation programs and complete a new Farm Bill that contains strong conservation provisions,” continued Tetreault. “These relatively small investments bring big returns for America, and are critical for the economy.”
Nationally, outdoor recreation, natural resource conservation, and historic preservation provide a minimum $1.7 trillion in economic impact in the U.S. and support 12.8 million jobs. In Maine, outdoor recreation employs 65,000 people and contributes about $1 billion to the state’s economy annually.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
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