Conservation champion

To the Editor of The Ellsworth American,

I write to express gratitude to my state senator, Brian Langley (R-Ellsworth) for being a champion for the Land for Maine’s Future (LMF) program in the legislature this past year.

The Land for Maine’s Future program is Maine’s a most successful land conservation program. It is popular because it has been successful in contributing to Maine’s natural resource-based economy through the conservation of farms, trails, mountains, forests, water access, wildlife habitat, and working waterfronts. Here in the Ellsworth area, nearly 3,000 acres of land has been conserved thanks to LMF – over $4.4 million has been invested in those properties!

As most readers of the Ellsworth American know, Governor LePage held up over $10 million in voter-approved funding for LMF projects this legislative session, until he got his way on separate policy issues. This was surely a massive overreach of power by the Governor and resulted in putting dozens of LMF projects in jeopardy.

Thankfully, a bill was proposed to address this power grab. If passed, LD 1378 would have ensured that voter-approved bonds can not be held hostage by any governor for political leverage. LD 1378 would have ensured good governance and that the will of Maine voters is honored. Unfortunately the bill fell 5 votes short of passage in the Maine House of Representatives. Now, over $10 million in LMF funding has been lost, including funding for water access on Lily Pond in Deer Isle.

I was happy to learn that my state senator Brian Langley (R-Ellsworth) voted for LD 1378 to release LMF funds and to honor the will of Maine voters. The Land for Maine’s Future program ensures public access to special places here in Maine, now and for future generations. Thank you for your support Senator Langley.

Thank you, Martha Dickinson, Ellsworth

40 Washington Street, Ellsworth, Maine 04605

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