Senator Olympia Snowe, Senator Susan Collins, Representative Michael Michaud, and Representative Chellie Pingree received the 2011 Downeast Lakes Conservation Award for their contributions toward the long-term economic and environmental well-being of the Downeast Lakes region of Maine.
The Downeast Lakes Land Trust Board of Directors voted unanimously to honor the four members of Maine’s Congressional Delegation as this year’s recipients of the award. Senator Snowe, Senator Collins, Representative Michaud, and Representative Pingree also serve as Honorary Co-chairs of the land trust’s 21,700-acre West Grand Lake Community Forest Project.
“It is a profound honor to be awarded the prestigious Downeast Lakes Conservation Award. Maine’s iconic and unparalleled natural beauty is preserved through stalwart advocates including the staff and volunteers at Downeast Lakes Land Trust and the critical federal assistance received through the Forest Legacy Program,” said U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe. “Maine is fortunate to have such willing partners for our state’s future and this tremendous work will further serve as a template for protecting our local economy and preserving our natural resources.”
“I am truly honored to be a 2011 recipient of the Downeast Lakes Conservation Award. Maine is a state that is blessed with natural gifts, from our pure lakes to our majestic forests, our scenery is unrivaled. The people of Maine know that these gifts are not to be taken for granted, but must be cherished, nurtured, and protected. The environment in which I grew up is why I do all that I can to support conservation efforts like the West Grand Lake Community Forest Project,” said Senator Collins.
“The West Grand project is a shining example of the outstanding land conservation efforts going on across Maine to maintain our working forest landscapes and traditional recreational uses,” said Congressman Michaud. “I want to thank the Downeast Lakes Land trust for this honor and their commitment to conservation.”
Our Senators and Representatives have been strong advocates for Downeast Lakes Land Trust’s forest conservation projects and federal conservation programs. Their support has been essential to our success.
The U.S. Forest Service awarded $6,675,000 to Maine in 2011 for the number one national priority West Grand Lake Community Forest Project from the Forest Legacy Program. These federal funds are an important piece of the project, which will also rely on private contributions to succeed.