Gov. Baldacci, U.S. Rep. Allen to appear at Muskie Symposium

Gov. John Baldacci

Gov. John Baldacci, U.S. Rep. Tom Allen, the co-founder of the pioneering newsweekly Maine Times and a host of experts in land use, economics and agriculture are among presenters at an environmental symposium planned for Feb. 28 and March 1.

Maine: The Way the Environment Should Be runs from 4 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, and from 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday, March 1, in the Muskie Archives, 70 Campus Ave. In honor of the late U.S. senator and secretary of state, the Edmund S. Muskie Environmental Symposium is sponsored by the college, the affiliated Muskie Archives and the Washington, D.C.-based Edmund S. Muskie Foundation. It is open to the public at no charge.

The symposium “turns the focus on Maine, the root of Ed Muskie’s passionate commitment to improving our environment,” says Jim Carignan, dean of the college. “The task for us is the same as it was for him. We must collectively find ways to live together that show greater respect for the natural world, and develop practices that support the sustainability of our natural resources.”

The event explores Maine’s environment where it overlaps with three aspects of economic activity — urban-suburban planning, forestry and agriculture. Presenting keynote addresses are the governor and Maine Times co-founder Peter Cox, co-chair of the Eco/Eco Civic Forum and president of the Wolfe’s Neck Farm Foundation. Muskie Foundation Chair Leon Billings, formerly the late Sen. Muskie’s chief of staff, presents concluding remarks.

Panelists in the three sessions are widely known for their expertise. They include Rep. Allen, Brunswick town planner; Theo Holtwijk, former Maine State Planning Office director Evan Richert; author Neil Rolde; Russ Libby, executive director of the Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association and former state agriculture commissioner Stuart Smith.

Born in Rumford, Edmund Sixtus Muskie was the son and grandson of Polish immigrants. He was a member of the Bates class of 1936, a graduate of Cornell University Law School and a Navy veteran of World War II. A Democrat in an overwhelmingly Republican state, he served in the state House of Representatives, served two terms as governor, began his 21 years in the U.S. Senate in 1958 and was sworn in as the 58th U.S. secretary of state in 1980, a position he held until January 1981.

Muskie died in 1996, in Washington, D.C., and his memorial service was held at the Chapel.

Dedicated in 1985, the Edmund S. Muskie Archives documents Muskie’s career in public service, as well as his activities after leaving public office. The archives also holds a permanent collection of Muskie memorabilia and a substantial oral history collection.

The Edmund S. Muskie Foundation was organized in 1996 to honor and continue Muskie’s lifelong commitment to the environment and to fostering civic responsibility. The foundation serves as a focal point for the funding of institutions and sponsorship of programs that commemorate and extend Muskie’s work. In Maine, the foundation supports the Edmund S. Muskie Archives and contributes to the programs of the Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine, Portland.

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