I have to thank Sen. Eric Brakey for supporting LD 1378. The governor vetoed the bill and I hope that Brakey and Rep. Ellie Espling will override that veto.

Gov. Paul LePage is holding the Lands for Maine’s Future bonds hostage as a political bargaining chip, putting 30 projects at risk. The Legislature voted, by a two-thirds majority, in favor of LD 1378. The bill would require the governor to release voter-approved bonds unless there are legitimate, non-political reasons for holding them.

Maine voters have spoken. Sixty percent of Maine voters in 2010 and 2012 voted to invest those conservation funds. Failure to override the veto would severely curtail conservation activities statewide.

And local projects are at risk. Near my home in New Gloucester is Morgan Meadow, a 1,000-acre unbroken woodland setting and 100-acre freshwater wetland.

Morgan Meadow is distinct because of its wild setting in a rapidly growing area that includes the Greater Portland community and Lewiston-Auburn. Morgan Meadow provides opportunities for hunting, hiking, swimming, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and mountain biking. Without LMF funding, Morgan Meadow may not exist as it does today.

Morgan Meadow is just one example of the many benefits LMF provides to the local community and the state at-large.

Again, I thank Sen. Brakey for voting in support of LD 1378. I urge Brakey and Espling to vote to override the veto and support the will of Maine’s people and our own community.

Emily Bastian, New Gloucester

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