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Maine Endangered Species Act
Maine's Endangered Species Act was passed in 1975 by the State Legislature. The Act provides MDIFW with a mandate to conserve all of the species of fish and wildlife found in the State, as well as the ecosystems upon which they depend.
The Maine Endangered Species Act
History of the Maine Endangered Species Act
The Maine Endangered Species Act has a history of over twenty-five years. The time-line that follows reviews the most important milestones in the conservation of Maine's rarest species.
The Maine Legislature enacts the Maine Endangered Species Act (MESA). The State's first Endangered and Threatened Species List is established, containing only federally listed species whose ranges include Maine.
The least tern becomes the first species listed under Maine's Endangered Species Act that does not have federal listing status.
The Maine Legislature creates the Endangered and Nongame Wildlife Fund (income tax check-off).
The first comprehensive review of Maine's vertebrate wildlife results in six additional species being listed as endangered, and four additional species being listed as threatened.
The Maine Legislature amends Maine's Endangered Species Act to include a habitat protection provision, allowing for designation of "Essential Habitat" for listed species.
The Maine Legislature clarifies that MDIFW has responsibility for the conservation of invertebrates.
The first Essential Habitats are designated for bald eagle nest sites.
Objective, biologically-based listing criteria are established in rule through the Commissioner's Advisory Council.
MDIFW initiates a second comprehensive review of the status of all of Maine's fish and wildlife species, including invertebrates.
The Maine Legislature establishes the Conservation Registration license plate ("loon plate"), with a portion of the proceeds going to the Endangered and Nongame Wildlife Fund.
The Maine Legislature transfers authority to list endangered and threatened species from the Commissioner of MDIFW to the Legislature.
MDIFW conducts public hearings and informational meetings to solicit public input on the list of species proposed for addition to Maine's Endangered and Threatened Species List.
The Maine Legislature eliminates the provision in the Maine Endangered Species Act that automatically lists federally endangered and threatened species on Maine's list.
The Commissioner's Advisory Council endorses the proposed additions to Maine's Endangered and Threatened Species List.
Proceeds from the sale of a conservation lottery ticket are used to establish the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund. Fifteen percent of this fund is allocated to conservation programs for endangered and threatened species.
The Maine Legislature approves MDIFW's listing recommendations and adds twenty species to the State's Endangered and Threatened Species List. Invertebrates are listed for the first time.
The Maine Legislature amends Maine's Endangered Species Act to parallel the federal Act and allow the limited taking of a listed species with an approved Incidental Take Plan.
Photo: Clayton's copper butterfly by Beth Swartz
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