The Natural Resources Council of Maine ( NRCM ) is a Maine-based, 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, with offices in Augusta, Maine. Founded in 1959 as a Small, Volunteer-based Environmental Advocacy Group, NRCM has grown to be one of the largest advocacy organizations, with more than 20,000 supporters and activists and a staff of 24, including science and policy experts. Over the past two years, NRCM has been recognized and awarded a number of environmental issues.

About

The Natural Resources Council of Maine was formed on June 25, 1959 when a coalition of environmental organizations from across Maine came into contact with Maine to land, air, and water. NRCM’s work through the 1960s and 1970s on a range of environmental and conservation issues as the leading organization in Maine’s growing conservation movement . The organization’s mission statement is:

„To protect, restore, and preserve Maine’s environment, now and for future generations“

It further states that it harnesses the power of the law, science, and the voices of more than 16,000 supporters and more … to protect the health of Maine’s rivers, lakes, and wetlands; canned natural resources and stop toxic pollution; set Maine has a path to a prosperous sustainable energy future, without climate-change and preserves Maine’s woods, wilderness, and wildlife „. NRCM monitors the state of the art and the state of the art. Historically the Natural Resources Council of Maine has partnered with other non-profit organizations from across Maine to promote issues of mutual concern.

Programs

The Natural Resources Council of Maine focuses on several different programs:

  • The climate and clean energy program works on issues promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency , reducing climate pollution, ensuring the enforcement of the Clean Air Act , and clean transportation alternatives.
  • The Healthy Waters program works to prevent the contamination of lakes, ponds, and streams; to ensure compliance with the Clean Water Act , to remove obsolete dams as part of river restoration efforts, and to ensure water is safe for wildlife, for recreation, and for human consumption.
  • The Forests and Wildlife program works to preserve the many undeveloped areas of the state by advocating for urban development, balanced development, public lands , and sustainable forest management .
  • The Sustainable Maine program to reduce toxic waste and the use of toxic products in consumer products. The program also works to promote more sustainable solid waste management programs, particularly recyclinginitiatives, through outreach to individuals, communities, and state government.
  • NRCM’s State House Watch program actively tracks the Maine State Legislature . NRCM staff regularly submits comments to both legislative committees and executive agencies promoting the organization’s interests. Legislative activism is a central aspect of NRCM’s operation and mission.

Significant issues

NRCM has been involved with most of Maine’s most important environmental issues.


1960s

  • The major issue that led to the formation of the Maine Natural Resource Council in 1959 was the increasing risk of deterioration of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway . This almost 100 mile long stretch of streams, lakes, and rivers located in northern Maine. Encroachment of roadways, poor timber harvesting practices, and several proposed hydropower projects. [1]NRCM worked in concert with established national conservation organizations to promote the value of allagash as a designated conservation area. In 1966 the citizens of Maine passed a referendum authorizing the state to issue a $ 1.5 million bondage to protect the water and protect its wilderness character. In 1970, the waterway became part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System .

1970s

  • NRCM was a key supporter of the so-called „Bottle Bill“ legislation approved by Maine voters in November, 1976. [2] Angus King , then in private practice as an attorney in Brunswick, Maine, acted as NRCM’s primary lobbyist on the issue at the Maine Legislature. The bill, which is charged to manufacturers of a bottle redemption fee on bottles and cans, is arguably Maine’s oldest and most successful recycling promotion. The legislation has come under fire Numerous times since ict adoption [3] [4] aim NRCM and other organisms-have product stewardship Worked successfully to preserve it against Attempts at repeal Several times over the last 40 years.

1980s

  • NRCM opposed to one of the Great Northern Paper Company’s Proposed Big A dam project on the West Branch of the Penobscot River . [5] [6] The proposal would have been created several times in the most important stretches of water in North America. Specifically, the dam would have submerged the Ripogenus Gorge ; A deep gorge along the West Branch of the Penobscot River that had the potential to be designated at Natural National Landmark . Further, the dam has the potential to disrupt some of the most pristine existing habitat for landlocked salmon spawning.
  • In 1987 NRCM was one of the primary supporters of both the legislation and the public referendum that led to the formation of the Land for Maine’s Future program. In response to growing Concerns about unchecked development, urban sprawl, real-estate speculation, and the potential for the loss of lands significant to Maine’s cultural heritage , the citoyens of Maine Voted to approve a $ 35 million bond package [7] Intended to finance the state purchase of lands of state importance. [8]

1990s

  • Breaching of the Dam Edwards Dam on the Kennebec River [9] [10] When the Edwards Dam’s license came up for review in the late 1980s, a coalition of Maine-based conservation groups, led by the Natural Resources Council of Maine, lobbied before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for Damage Decertification and Deconstruction. They argue that the economic and ecological value of restoring the river to a more natural state, which included the return of sea-run species of fish, far outweighed the benefit of hydroelectric energy production at the site. After a long period of debate and consideration, the FERC finally agreed with conservation groups and issued a landmark ruling [11]calling for the removal of dam. The Damage of the Edwards Dam was established on July 1, 1999. The breaching of the Edwards Dam established a useful precedent that was used to decommission and breach other obsolete dams in other places in the state.

2000s

  • In 2004, NRCM successfully lobbied for the passage of the nation’s first-level e-waste recycling law. [12] Under the law, certain categories of e-waste are banned from landfills, costs to consumers are reduced for disposal, and they are billed for the cost of recycling materials at the end of their life. Since Maine’s passage of this landmark law, 24 other states have passed legislation requiring statewide e-waste recycling. [13]
  • In 2005, Plum Creek, a real-estate development company based in Washington State, submitted the largest development proposal in state history. The proposed development would have built two resorts, hundreds of residential units, a marina, a golf course, and other facilities on the southern shores of Maine’s Moosehead Lake . NRCM was the first organization to oppose the plan on the grounds that it was too much development in an inappropriate area. Working with stakeholders across the state, NRCM, NRCM and NRCM, continued, and NRCM continued to act as a watchdog to ensure accountability and accountability. public input [14]

2010s

  • NRCM was one of the leading proponents of the 87,500 acre Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument established by President Obama on Aug. 24, 2016. The National Monument is located in Northern Maine, east of Baxter State Park . ALTHOUGH Some residents in the area INITIALLY Opposed the proposal, [15] on the grounds That It Would interfere with the traditional forest products industries in the area, The Eventual closure of paper mills in the towns of Millinocket and East Millinocket and the recognition by local residents and businesses, including the Katahdin Area Chamber of Commerce, that the National Monument would help diversify their local economy.
  • NRCM played a significant role in the efforts to get South Portland, Maine to pass an ordinance banning the shipment of oil from Canadian tar sands through Existing pipeline infrastructure Located fait que city. [15]

Notable members

Angus King , US Senator from Maine 2012-present, worked as NRCM’s primary legislative lobbyist for a number of years in the 1970s.

Jon Hinck , member of the Maine House of Representatives, contributing member of Greenpeace USA, and current member of the Portland, Maine city council, acted as attorney for the Natural Resources Council of Maine from 2003 to 2006. Hinck’s work was vital the passage of the landmark 2004 electronic waste law, requiring manufacturers for the first time to take over responsibility for environmentally sound recycling of certain kinds of electronics, like computers and televisions. [16]

Bruce Poliquin , US House of Representatives from Maine’s 2nd Congressional District 2014-present, is a NRCM board member.

Chellie Pingree , US House of Representatives from Maine’s 1st Congressional District 2008-present, is a member of NRCM’s National Advisory Board.

Brownie Carson acted as Executive Director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine from 1984-2011. Carson is widely regarded as one of the leading voices on conservation and environmental issues in Maine and the Northeast. Former United States Senator Olympia Snowe called him, ‚one of the leading architects of the Maine Environmental Movement.‘ He was awarded the EPA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. [17]

Leon Gorman , Chairman and Chairman of the Board of LL Bean and Founder Leon Leonwood Bean , is a member of the Natural Resources Council of Maine’s National Advisory Board.

George J. Mitchell , United States Senator / Senate Majority Leader and United States Special Envoy to Northern Ireland , presented the keynote speech at the Natural Resources Council of Maine’s 2011 Annual Meeting. Senator Mitchell addressed a number of different issues, including a political grid lock in Washington DC , the success of the Clean Water Act , and the need to keep working to find solutions to the challenges posed by Climate Change [18]

Awards and recognition

In 1999, as part of their work with the Kennebec Coalition, NRCM received the Gulf of Maine Visionary Award from the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment. The award recognizes the coalition’s efforts to remove the Edwards Dam. [19]

In 2007, NRCM was honored with the EPA ’s Climate Award Winners for their „demonstrated leadership (ship) on climate protection at the state level and beyond“. Specifically, NRCM received the award for their public education initiatives at the regional and national levels of the Greenhouse Gas Initiative . [20]

In 2008, the Natural Resources Council of Maine, as share of the Partners in Penobscot River Restoration Project, received the United States Department of the Interior ’s Cooperative Conservation Award for Their work to restore 11 species of sea-run fish and balance hydropower generation Penobscot River Watershed. [21] [22]

References

  1. Jump up^ „Maine.gov Allagash History“ .
  2. Jump up^ BottleBill.org. „Maine Bottle Bill History“ .
  3. Jump up^ „Bangor Daily News:“ Maine’s Bottle Bill Comes Under Fire “ “ . March 31, 2011 . Retrieved February 27, 2015 .
  4. Jump up^ „MPBN:“ Maine Beverage Industry Targets State’s Groundbreaking Bottle Bill “ “ . February 11, 2011 . Retrieved February 27, 2015 .
  5. Jump up^ „New York Times:“ Proposed Dam Project Casuses to Stir . „March 31, 1985. Retrieved February 27, 2015 .
  6. Jump up^ „New York Times:“ Mixed Reaction to Demise of Dam “ “ . March 16, 1986 . Retrieved February 27, 2015 .
  7. Jump up^ „Ballotpedia Entry on Bond Question 1987“ .
  8. Jump up^ „Maine Dept.of ACF Background on LMF Program“ .
  9. Jump up^ „New York Times:“ Environmentalists, Dreaming of River Without Dam, May Contest License “ “ . February 12, 1989 . Retrieved February 27,2015 .
  10. Jump up^ „WCHS-TV Story on the Kennebec River Recovery after the breaching of the Edwards Dam“ (June 29, 2014).
  11. Jump up^ Crane, Jeff (December 1, 2009). „Setting the river free“ . Water History1 (2): 131-148. doi : 10.1007 / s12685-009-0007-2 . Retrieved March 2,2015 .
  12. Jump up^ „New York Times:“ Makers Start Bearing the Cost of Recycling TV’s in Maine “ “ . January 19, 2006 . Retrieved February 27, 2015 .
  13. Jump up^ „Electronics Take Back Coalition“ . Retrieved March 2, 2015 .
  14. Jump up^ „Seattle Times Plum Creek Article“ .
  15. Jump up^ „Boston Globe Article on Tar Sands Ordinance“ .
  16. Jump up^ „New York Time Article on Maine Landmark E-Waste Law“ . January 19, 2006 . Retrieved February 27, 2015 .
  17. Jump up^ „Brownie Carson Receives EPA Lifetime Achievement Award“ . Retrieved March 2, 2015 .
  18. Jump up^ „MPBM; George Mitchell Stirkes Upbeat Tone“ . MPBN.org .
  19. Jump up^ „Gulf of Maine Times; Vol 4; No. 1“ .
  20. Jump up^ „Announcement EPA of 2007 Winners Climate Award“ .
  21. Jump up^ „PRRT Press Release“ (PDF) .
  22. Jump up^ „US Dept. of the Interior Press Release, April 21, 2008“ .