One of the things that makes the state of Maine unique is the abundance of natural places: lakes, mountains, coastal areas and large stretches of forest. This summer, I hiked through the largest area of undeveloped forest in the state: the hundred mile wilderness. Spending time deep in the woods, I realized how important these areas of Maine really are. I am fifteen now. I want to be able to enjoy these places for the rest of my life. I have a younger brother and younger cousins and I want them to be able to enjoy Maine’s beautiful outdoors as I have.

The Pine Tree Amendment would help protect these natural places by making the right to clean air, clean water and a healthy environment part of the Maine constitution. Though these rights are important to the protection of natural places, they are about more than just being able to enjoy nature. The Pine Tree Amendment could be used to stop harmful mining practices, chemical contamination of water sources and other forms of pollution and environmental degradation that are harmful to the health of people and communities.

These rights need to be protected and including them in the constitution will secure them so that all people and generations to come can have the right to clean air, clean water and a healthy environment that they deserve. That way, my brother, my cousins and I can have a future where we can thrive.


Audrey Hufnagel


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