Down East 2013 ©
Scan an ocean, river- or lakefront skyline in Maine in the 1970s and you’d be hard pressed to see signs of eagles. Nests were few and far between and hopes for the future of the American Bald Eagle seemed dim. In fact, by 1972 only 29 pairs of nesting eagles were recorded in Maine. Fast forward to 1978 when 43 states and federal law recognized the eagle as an endangered species. Since then efforts to curb harmful pesticide DDT and encourage habitat preservation has assisted the American Bald Eagle recovery effort in Maine. Now some 440 nesting pairs are documented and Governor John Baldacci, upon recommendation of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, endorses delisting the bird from the state’s endangered and threatened species list. His signature on the legislation, made some 35 years after scientists and environmentalists identified a threat, is being touted as an environmental success story for Maine.