Bald Eagles are Back 

Governor John E. Baldacci today ceremonially signed LD 66, An Act To Amend Maine’s Endangered and Threatened Species List by Removing the Bald Eagle.  The bill was ceremonially signed during a ceremony at Capitol Park with Lawrence the Bald Eagle present.“When you look at this bald eagle, you really get a sense of strength, awe and beauty,” Governor Baldacci said.  “Those characteristics are a perfect representation of this great country.”Bill sponsor Sen. Bruce Bryant (D-Oxford) was in Capitol Park for the ceremony, as was his brother and co-sponsor, Rep. Mark Bryant (D-Windham), and a number of supporters of the legislation.In the 1970s, only 20 nesting pairs of eagles lived in Maine and they were virtually the only ones left in the Northeast.  Only one other pair lived in New York.  In 1978, the bald eagle was first recognized as an Endangered Species in Maine and 42 other states.  Less than 10 years later, further action was taken in the Maine Legislature to protect the bald eagle and other Endangered Species in Maine.  With the signing of LD 66, the bald eagle is the first species to be removed from this list.Bald Eagle populations have been restored to more than 475 nesting pairs now in all 16 Maine counties.  The legislation ceremonially signed today includes protections that ensure that the bald eagle population in Maine continues to thrive.“Thanks to the work of State and federal agencies, the problem has been corrected over the past 30 years in Maine and throughout the country,” the Governor said.  “But the government agencies were not alone in their efforts.  Conservation organizations, landowners who share their properties with eagles’ nests and volunteer citizens helped out, and I would like to thank them for their commitment to this remarkable species.”