Terry Hayes makes lots of commitments on environmental and conservation issues

Terry Hayes is an independent candidate for governor.

Today I am sharing her comprehensive responses to a lengthy survey by Maine Audubon. On June 27 I posted the survey responses from Alan Caron, another independent candidate for governor.

Neither the Republican nor the Democratic nominees completed the survey, but I am urging them to do so, and if they do, I will share their responses with you.

Here’s what Terry Hayes had to say.

Terry Hayes Maine Audubon Survey Responses

Q1 In 2015, Maine adopted a Wildlife Action Plan that outlines voluntary conservation actions to help prevent species declines over the next ten years. How do you propose implementing the plan?

Appreciation of wildlife is central to our love for Maine and tourists’ desire to visit here. To preserve Maine’s wildlife legacy and facilitate the Wildlife Action Plan to protect species in greatest conservation need, the Hayes Administration will focus on the following three priorities: · Bolster State Level Resources: If our environmental assets are to continue to be one of our competitive advantages from wildlife watching and hunting and fishing to logging and lobstering, we must: o Leverage federal funding and allocate sufficient resources to address the lack of stable and secure financial support for the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (DIFW) and the Maine Department of Marine Resources. Without sufficient resources, our agencies cannot conduct the research, mapping, monitoring, and enforcement (also see answer to #2 below) to successfully implement the Wildlife Action Plan; and o Restore the integrity and funding of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) so that it once again will have the staffing levels, competence, expertise and leadership it needs to protect Maine’s environmental quality and public health. · Recognize and Mitigate the Impact of Climate Change: Maine’s economy and quality of life – including the Gulf of Maine fisheries, forest products, farms and four-season tourism – depend on the quality of our water, our coastal resources and communities, our wildlife habitats and our infrastructure. All these resources and our public health are threatened by rising sea levels, rising water temperatures and changes in our flora and fauna. In order to mitigate and limit the effects of climate change, my administration will redouble Maine’s efforts at energy conservation and energy efficiency starting with a comprehensive review of existing programs and incentives and the potential for new incentives to reduce carbon dioxide emissions at a faster pace. In every instance, we will pursue these efforts in concert with a renewed commitment to preserving Maine’s quality of place. Sprawl increases carbon emissions at the same time that it makes public services more expensive, and weakens communities. These concerns should strengthen the arguments for making available more efficient forms of transportation – such as rail, buses, carpooling and bicycling – wherever they are economically feasible. · Exercise Collaborative and Civil Leadership: As Maine’s first Independent State Treasurer, elected and re-elected by a coalition of Republicans,
Democrats, and independents in the Maine Legislature, I have earned the trust of Maine’s elected leaders across the political spectrum.
I have passionately advocated for greater civility in politics and government for more than ten years because how we do things matters. Given the opportunity to bring this approach to the Governor’s office, my administration will continue to find common ground among the wide range of conservation groups, private property owners, Native American tribes, and governmental agencies that helped develop the Wildlife Action Plan and who will be instrumental in its successful implementation.

Q2 The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (DIFW) works to conserve and enhance all of Maine’s wildlife resources, including nongame species. However, the bulk of the division’s funding comes from hunting and fishing license and registration fees and does not fund the full scope of their work. Do you support broadening the income stream for DIFW’s fish and wildlife programs and how might you envision doing so?

I agree that it is unfair and unwise to fund public services – like many of those performed by the staff at DIFW – with variable revenues collected from only a portion of those who receive the benefits of those services. I will commit to work with department professionals, legislative leaders and members of the Appropriations Committee to create a budget for DIFW that includes significant support from all Mainers for the important work of the agency.

Q3 Maine is home to 97 percent of wild Brook Trout waters in the eastern United States. Brook Trout are under threat from habitat degradation and fragmentation, as well as the introduction of invasive species. Do you support strengthening Maine’s laws and/or policies to protect this ecologically and economically important species and if so, how?

Brook Trout are a “Maine Heritage Fish” and indicator of high water quality. Because Maine’s wild brook trout populations are concentrated in the interior highlands of the state, the fish are a draw for Mainers and out-of-state fishermen who head to sporting camps in northern Maine and are a vital natural resource. We have a responsibility to protect and preserve this irreplaceable and valuable ecological resource. The Hayes Administration will be committed to the conservation of Maine’s Brook Trout and recognizes the enormous contributions made by Maine Audubon, Trout Unlimited and many volunteer anglers to identify many new ponds with Brook Trout as Heritage waters and subject to the protections under LD 1131 – the Act to Protect the Native Eastern Brook Trout as Maine’s Heritage Fish – prohibiting stocking in and use of live sh as bait in Heritage waters. It is incumbent upon the DIFW to protect native Brook Trout populations in other waters where they have been discovered and expeditiously follow through by designating additional heritage lakes and ponds worthy of that distinction. As governor, I would consider expanding these restrictions to the tributaries of ponds where Brook Trout are found to further conserve this vital natural resource and to ensure that DIFW’s rulemaking to protect Brook Trout is based on sound science and objective criteria.

Q4 Are you willing to help lead the effort to pass a large land acquisition bond early in your term that will provide the Land for Maine’s Future program with the necessary funding to continue its work? Why or why not?

Last year marked the 30th anniversary of the LMF program, which has protected more than 490,000 acres of land, working waterfronts, and working farms. As a member of the Maine House for four terms, I am proud to have voted to authorize the LMF bonds that came before the legislature during my tenure. Maine has a very special quality of place and a unique civic culture. Maintaining these important characteristics is one of the most important investments we can make. That means protecting our natural environment and our wild and scenic places; preserving farmland, forest, harbors and downtowns; and ensuring that people in historic mill towns and villages can both live here and earn a living. LMF continues to be an important mechanism for accomplishing these goals. As governor, I will work with the legislature to establish a capital budgeting process that will permit us to make informed and sound decisions about competing investment needs, including investments in Maine’s competitive advantages, through bonded indebtedness, infrastructure capital improvements – including protecting our water and air and fauna, and investments in human capital. That said, during the last eight years we have done very little to take advantage of what have been historically low interest rates to propose any kind of bold vision for building on Maine’s competitive advantages.

Q5 Maine’s Public Reserved Lands are statutorily managed for multiple uses, including wildlife, timber, and recreation. What are your goals for managing these lands and how do you propose to balance competing interests on these lands?

Public Reserved Lands are enjoyed for their outstanding hiking, camping, birding, fishing and hunting opportunities and consist of approximately 600,000 acres of forests in more than 30 separate parcels across the state, including some of most cherished resources such as the Bigelow Preserve, Kennebec Highlands, Tumbledown, and Cutler’s Bold Coast. The Public Reserved Lands are also managed for multiple-values: timber, recreation, scenic attributes, wildlife, soil-water conservation, protection of unique habitats and features. I believe in shared use and will work to make sure that our public lands continue to be managed to conserve and enhance their multiple values of wildlife habitat, outdoor recreation and sustainable harvesting. I believe that sustainable natural resources are critical to Maine’s future growth and prosperity. They represent our key competitive advantages over other states and an important foundation for jobs and economic growth. We must invest in those resources and find ways to add value to them. As we have done so many times in the past, I believe we can strike a balance between protecting our most critical and special wilderness areas, and encouraging sustainable wood harvesting, recreation and other traditional uses throughout our remaining forest lands. I support the legislature’s action last year to override the current governor’s veto of LD 586 – implementing the recommendations of a legislatively created, bipartisan study commission comprised of legislators and opinion leaders from the forest products industry and conservation and recreation organizations to study the management of our public reserved lands. I believe the bill will strengthen the management of our public lands by striking a balance among competing interests through bolstering recreational opportunities in rural Maine, increasing transparency of forest management, averaging sustainable harvest levels and establishing a reasonable forestry inventory timeline.

Q6 Where we locate development is critical for ensuring the integrity of our natural resources, containing state and municipal costs, and supporting Maine’s economy and brand, which relies on our rich natural environment. What steps would your administration take to make sure future development is properly located?

Growth does not need to compete with our climate goals. Research shows that increased density is preferable to urban sprawl in reducing emissions from traffic and preserving environmental quality. Neighborhood organizations can also play an invaluable role in both monitoring and compliance. As we expand, we need to include input from residents across the affected areas to ensure these goals remain in balance.

Q7 Renewable energy sources like wind and large scale solar benefit Maine’s wildlife by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but can also bring negative outcomes, including bird mortality and habitat degradation. How would you balance the benefits of renewable energy with wildlife and habitat impacts?

We need to develop all of Maine’s clean, renewable energy resources, including land-based and offshore wind power, in ways that are cost-effective and consistent with the protection of Maine’s vital assets. I share rational concerns about how and where generation and transmission facilities are sited, about their noise, wilderness and view-shed impacts, and about their effects on wildlife and habitat. We need to strike and restrike, over and over, the right balance between meeting our energy needs with renewables and protecting what is unique about Maine. By respecting all who are willing to share in this work, we can find and implement that balance.

Q8 Maine has fallen behind the rest of New England in developing solar power. How do you propose increasing Maine people’s access to solar?

Maine is the only state in New England without a comprehensive solar policy, and we lag behind in solar installations and jobs being created. We can ramp-up Maine’s solar energy potential by passing legislation to grow rooftop, grid scale, and community solar solutions in a way that is beneficial for both solar markets and ratepayers. To do this, the Hayes administration will: · Work closely with a wide diversity of stakeholders, including ratepayer advocates, solar companies, environmental groups, utilities, and other community groups to develop a comprehensive solar policy that supports growth; · Review existing tax credits and incentives (including helping businesses finance and afford larger projects) for solar power to ensure that they are being used appropriately, yielding real energy savings, making Maine more energy independent, and helping to drive down long-term energy costs for Maine people; · Empower consumers to adopt renewable energy systems by exploring net metering rate structures that will save transmission investment dollars for the most important transmission investments while promoting investment in solar and other distributed, renewable generation. · Encourage scalable and reliable non-transmission alternatives like the promising one employed in the Boothbay Smart Grid Reliability Pilot project and pursue grid-scale and dispersed energy storage.

Q9 What process will you employ in choosing commissioners of key natural resource agencies, including the Departments of Environmental Protection; Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry; and Inland Fisheries and Wildlife? What qualities and/or characteristics will you be looking for in your appointments?

As an Independent and a Clean Elections candidate, I will not be obligated to make my choices based on party affiliation or returning political favors to special interest groups. I will reach out to a variety of stakeholders with expertise and will make decisions based on how well the person will do the job for all Mainers. I will appoint the most qualified people I can find to top positions in natural resources and other agencies. Experience, competence, substantive knowledge, an ability to collaborate, and good listening skills will be among my top criteria.

Q10How would you characterize your voting and/or professional record on environmental issues?

As a lifelong Mainer who grew up hiking, camping, and canoeing, I am committed to supporting environmental policies that keep our air and water clean, promote public health and keep Maine on track towards sources of renewable energy. I have worked in all three branches of Maine state government – in the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation during the McKernan administration, as a guardian ad litem in the district and probate courts for 28 years, and I served in the Maine Legislature from 2006 to 2014. I received a lifetime rating from Maine Conservation Voters of 88% and was a member of the MCV Honor Roll (2007-2008, 2011-2012, and 20132014). As a member of the Maine House, I supported the establishment of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) in 2007, the two natural resource bond initiatives (2007 and 2012) authorizing funding for the Land for Maine’s Future (LMF) program, the Healthy Kids bill and the phase out the chemical, Deca, a toxic flame retardant, and voted against the Governor’s bill that would have undercut Maine’s existing Renewable Portfolio Standard. In 2012, while serving in the Maine House, I organized the “Measures of Growth” Caucus and brought together Republican, Democratic, and independent lawmakers to review data and discuss challenges and opportunities, seeking to build consensus around focus areas and policy directions. Recognizing the critical importance of protecting and fulfilling Maine’s promise as a place of boundless opportunity and unrivaled natural beauty, the environment (air quality, water quality and sustainable forest land) is one of four key categories of metrics monitored by the annual Measures of Growth.

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website, georgesmithmaine.com, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.