SAM President Jim Gorman Jr. was among three of Gov. Paul LePage’s nominees to the Land for Maine’s Future Board of Directors. The other nominees were former legislator Don Marean, and Bill Vail, former commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife. The legislature unanimously endorsed all three nominees.
Marean, current LMF Board chair, was renominated for another term. He is anchored to the land as a horse farmer, and that’s an important attribute for an LMF member.
He’s also a very thoughtful leader and works well with others — and it’s always helpful to have the perspective of a former legislator on this important board.
Vail was an exceptional DIF&W commissioner. He distinguished himself from all other commissioners when he resigned that position because he could not support his governor’s attempt to take $1 million from his department. That’s the kind of integrity Vail will bring to the LMF Board.
Gorman is L.L. Bean’s great-grandson, and of course, he’s an avid hunter and angler. He works at his family’s business. Gorman has served on SAM’s Board of Directors for 20 years, including two lengthy stints as president. He is currently SAM’s president and is the only person who served on SAM’s Board for the entire 18 years that I worked for the organization.
While I grabbed the limelight, Gorman always was there in the background providing excellent advice, displaying strong leadership of the board, and forging a collaborative relationship that allowed all of us to work together. We achieved a lot, and he deserves much of the credit.
Maine has led the nation in land conservation, and the LMF program is one key reason. Since it was created in 1987, LMF has conserved 550,000 acres, using an average of $4.78 million annually in state funding, for an average cost of just $113 per acre.
A recent economic analysis by The Trust for Public Land found that every $1 invested in land conservation through LMF returned an astonishing $11 in natural goods and services to the Maine economy — a that return increases every year.