I write to express gratitude to my state representative, Don Marean, R-Hollis, for being a champion of the Land for Maine’s Future Program in the Legislature this year.

Land for Maine’s Future is Maine’s most successful land conservation program. The program is popular because it has been so successful in contributing to Maine’s natural resource-based economy through the conservation of farms, trails, mountains, forests, water access, wildlife habitat and working waterfronts.

Here in the Hollis area, there are over 200 acres of land that have been conserved through LMF, in which over half a million dollars has been invested.

As most readers know, Gov. LePage held hostage over $10 million in voter-approved funding for LMF projects this legislative session until he got his way on separate policy issues.

This, in my opinion, was a massive overreach of power by the governor and as a result has thrown dozens of LMF projects into uncertainty.

Thankfully, a bill, L.D. 1378, was proposed to address this power grab. If passed, L.D. 1378 would have ensured that voter-approved bonds are not held hostage by any governor for political leverage. L.D. 1378 would have ensured good governance and that the will of Maine voters is honored.

Unfortunately, an effort to override Gov. LePage’s veto of the bill failed by six votes in the Maine House of Representatives. Now, over $10 million in LMF funding has been lost.

I was thrilled to learn that my state representative voted both to pass L.D. 1378 and to override the veto of the bill. He also voted in support of L.D. 1454, a resolve specifically directing Gov. LePage to release the 2010 voter-approved LMF bonds in January.

I appreciate all of these votes. Thank you, Rep. Marean.

John S. Wood