Our Precious Natural Heritage
1. Rivers for everyone. Our rivers are owned by the citizens of Maine. They are not to be sold to the highest bidder. As Governor, I will not give corporations special rights to pollute our waterways.
2. Fish we can eat. It is outrageous that we have to actually warn people about eating Maine's fish. I am hopeful that in the near future we will be able to replace the consumption warning with a label extolling the positive health effects of a diet of Maine fish and seafood.
3. Toxins we can eliminate. Mainers have been leaders in taking responsibility for the costs that our habits, consumption, and business practices have put onto our fellow citizens. We have shown that leadership in our commitment to clean air and to clean water, and also our assertiveness in removing toxics from our environment. I was pleased to be a part of the effort to clean up lead paint and educate our citizens about its continuing dangers, and I support continuing efforts to eliminate mercury.
4. Development we can live with. One person's dream of home ownership is what someone else calls sprawl. Our development policies need to recognize the value that is placed among Mainers and people from away who are attached to our state on our rural lifestyles, our small towns, and our open spaces. It is also important to understand that commercial development is different from residential. It is time to review the rules and regulations at the local and state levels that create incentives in development and to reform our policies to be consistent with, and better promote, Maine values and lifestyles.
5. Habitat to sustain wildlife. Our state's rich sporting tradition in fishing and hunting has been enhanced in recent years by tremendous growth in ecotourism and other activities that are improved by bountiful wildlife. We must support recent, collaborative efforts to protect the ecosystems that sustain our wildlife and give diversity to our plants and animals.
6. Special places to enjoy today and tomorrow. Maine abounds in special places. These may be a popular local fishing hole, a windblown peak, a secluded beach on a beautiful great pond, a farm field shrouded in morning mist, or a stand of ancient forest. Sometimes it is appropriate for the state to help protect these places so that they may be enjoyed by future generations of Mainers. I have supported the Land for Maine?s Future program to help this purpose, as long as the projects have local support, that they include public access, traditional uses, and that they be done in partnership with others. We need to find a means of funding LMF without continually turning to our bonding authority.