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Valuing the natural world

As a devoted sport fisherman and environmental educator, I was very happy to learn that President Joe Biden had embraced conserving 30 percent of America’s lands and waters by the year 2030. This is an ever important strategy to slow climate change and to prevent the further loss of critically sensitive habitats.

Take the Atlantic salmon as an example. This keystone species was once found in every coastal river northeast of the Hudson River. Today only remnant populations of the endangered Atlantic salmon are found in fewer than 10 rivers here in Maine. Overfishing and poor marine survival are two contributors to its population collapse. Equally important contributors are habitat loss and blocked fish passage to upstream spawning grounds. The health of the salmon population is directly affected by the health of its ecosystem.

To lose the “king of fish” would be a travesty. That’s why so many people, organizations and

governmental agencies have devoted themselves to restoring this fish that once supported lucrative fisheries, and before that sustained indigenous people for thousands of years. Salmon are an indicator species and when we improve their habitat, we help improve the well being of all the species in the watershed.

Biologists and fishermen have long known that nature is interconnected. If we want healthy fish and wildlife, we need to conserve their habitat. The 30 x 30 initiative will benefit fish, wildlife and communities that value the natural world.

Donald R. Sprangers

East Machias

Truth in plain sight

Like many Americans, I turn on the nightly news at around 5, and by 6, I’m disgusted and depressed. We are still battling a virus that has killed over 500,000 Americans. Only a small fraction of our population has been vaccinated, and some states are acting like it’s over.

We are, however, battling an even bigger enemy, from within, misinformation! When our founders wrote into law the First Amendment, they did so understanding that different opinions and points of view would be a key to compromise in a free nation. Never could they have imagined this source of lies and misinformation that would divide our nation, called cable news.

COVID-19 has killed over a half million Americans, and because of misinformation, controlling and ending it, has become more difficult. A portion of our population chooses to believe lies, while ignoring provable facts. The talking heads on cable News, like Fox and Newsmax, rake in huge profits misinforming a base that sometimes believes these lies. They tell their viewers what they want to hear, and make millions by doing so.

The truth is in plain sight. There are two parties, one is trying to address job loss, gun violence, small business closings and evictions, while trying to control a pandemic. The party responsible for much of this, offers nothing but criticism and misinformation. Our own senator, who preaches Paycheck Protection, has apparently chosen her party over the COVID relief plan that will serve struggling Mainers. It’s time for accountability.

Doug Davis


LD 1’s positive impact

COVID-19 has seriously impacted our country and state. With the unprecedented events of the past year, Mainers have tackled new emotional and financial struggles. I thank all who worked to form LD 1, the COVID-19 Patient Bill of Rights, and the benefits it will bring. I especially thank Senate President Troy Jackson and House Speaker Ryan Fecteau for their leadership.

This issue is extremely important because the COVID-19 Patient Bill of Rights ensures that Mainers have essential care to protect them from the virus, no matter their healthcare status. Under this new law, patients have access to screening, testing, and vaccinations without worrying about costs. Another benefit of the law is the expansion of telehealth services to include audio-only visits for those who live in areas of Maine where internet connection is sparse. Additionally, the measure increases certain prescription amounts from 30-day to 180-day supplies, reducing the need to frequent a pharmacy or doctor’s office.

I was honored to testify earlier this year in support of LD 1. I was glad to see that LD 1 received strong support during the recent public hearings, with no opposing testimonies. Now law, the COVID-19 Patient Bill of Rights will positively impact the lives of Mainers across the state.

Pamela Corcoran