These past two winters, there has been a rare influx of snowy owls in New England. Given the unprecedented migration, many people like myself have been lucky enough to have sighted one of these beautiful birds in the wild for the very first time.

On March 29 during our regular walk on Ogunquit Beach, my sister and I saw a snowy fly by and later spotted it settled on the top of a dune. It is a special encounter I may not experience again.

Snowy owls nest and breed in the Arctic region, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Providing necessary habitat to hundreds of migratory bird species, the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a vital sanctuary to birds that migrate through all 50 states and nearly every continent of the globe.

Working to make sure the Arctic Refuge continues to be protected is important. That is why I would like to thank my congresswoman, Rep. Chellie Pingree, and our senators, Angus King and Susan Collins, for pledging to protect this incredible wilderness area and hope they will hold true to that position in the future.

Laura Stutz

South Berwick