Jan 31, 2008

LEGIS - Maine fish habitat to be protected when 'imperiled'

A law protecting Maine fish habitat is up for amendment by the legislature.

LD 2016 An Act To Safeguard Imperiled or Critically Imperiled Natural Communities within Protected Natural Resources
Official Summary: "This bill provides protection under the Natural Resource Protection Act for imperiled or critically imperiled natural communities, as identified by the Department of Conservation, that are located within protected natural resources."

It does that by adding the phrase " imperiled or critically imperiled natural communities, " to the list of ecological communities that a would-be developer must not harm with its project, if they want to receive a Natural Resources Protection Act permit.

So the law would look like this: (addition in boldface)

38 MRSA §480-D, sub-§3,
3. Harm to habitats; fisheries. The activity will not unreasonably harm any significant wildlife habitat, freshwater wetland plant habitat, threatened or endangered plant habitat, imperiled or critically imperiled natural communities, aquatic or adjacent upland habitat, travel corridor, freshwater, estuarine or marine fisheries or other aquatic life."

Fine and good. But does the state have definitions or guidelines for defining when a natural community is imperiled or, worse, critically imperiled?

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