I just returned from the three-day Orvis partners meeting in Vermont where we spent a good part of a morning talking about conservation efforts that the company and partner businesses might take. The discussion got me to thinking about all that has already been done and what I have been involved with over the years.
First, I think that any conversation on this topic needs to start with the North American conservation model through which hunters and anglers have been the clear leaders in conservation of not just the species they are interested in but many others. This has been happening for over 100 years. Maine Outdoors part of this is that fishing licenses are provided on our trips because the funds collected are a primary source of funding for biology and law enforcement on our waters. Not an add on but actually included in the price of the trip as a license agent I ensure that the funds are forwarded to the state.
The next step is land conservation that has become a focus of climate efforts in addition to wildlife and fisheries conservation. I have been fortunate to be part of a variety of conservation efforts over the years. Most recently serving on Maine’s Forest Legacy Committee and the Board of the Land for Main’s Future program. Over my career a significant portion of Maine has been conserved through purchase and easement.
Clearly this work is not complete but we have made and are making significant progress.