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The Penobscot River is New England’s second largest river system and the historic home of the Penobscot Indian Nation. Over 17 years, culminating in 2016, the Penobscot River Restoration Project collaboratively worked to balance fisheries restoration and hydropower production. The project successfully restored habitat for the river’s sea-run fish, including Atlantic salmon and sturgeon. John Banks will speak about the restoration project, the history and culture of the Penobscot Indian Nation and their connection to the river.
Banks is the director of the Department of Natural Resources for the Penobscot Indian Nation, a federally recognized Indian Tribe in Maine. He has served the Penobscot Nation in this capacity since 1980, following the enactment of the Maine Indian Land Claims settlement Act of 1980. As natural resources director, Banks has developed and administers a comprehensive Natural Resources management program for his tribe, which advances an integrated management approach, in recognition of the inter-connectedness of all things in the natural world. He has served on many local, regional, and national organization boards including the National Tribal Environmental Council, Native American Fish and Wildlife Society, National Indian Policy Center and the Tribal Operations Committee with USEPA. John is the 2019 Distinguished Alumnus from the University of Maine School of Forest Resources.