New bill would increase penalties for those who violate Endangered Species Act


    A bill in Augusta would beef up the penalties for people who violate Maine’s Endangered Species Act. (WGME)

    AUGUSTA (WGME) – A bill in Augusta would beef up the penalties for people who violate Maine’s Endangered Species Act.

    The act has been on the books in Maine since 1975.

    The state has 26 species considered endangered.

    The bill also gives law enforcement more power to enforce it.

    Right now, wardens can only give a warning for a first-time violation.

    This proposal changes that.

    "So those people can only issue a warning for a first time, and that's sort of unsatisfactory when we're talking about intentional violations to these endangered species, and so this bill would give law enforcement more flexibility to take other action, to issue fines or take other actions to protect the species," Nick Lund of Maine Audubon said.

    Some endangered species in Maine include birds like the golden eagle and piping plovers.

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