The first permanent English settlements were not established in Maine until 1623. The first naval action of the Revolutionary War occurred in 1775. During the war, supplies were cut off and conflicts with Native Americans were frequent, but with American independence, economic development was rapid in what was then called the District of Maine. Agitation for statehood, which had been growing since the Revolution, now became widespread. Maine eventually became the 23rd state as part of the Missouri Compromise in 1820.
Maine’s forests are largely softwoods, chiefly red and white spruces, balsam fir, eastern hemlock, and white and red pine. Important hardwoods include beech, yellow and white birches, sugar and red maples, white oak, black willow, black and white ashes, and American elm. Maine has rare orchid species, of which one is considered threatened.
Common forest animals include the bobcat, beaver, muskrat, mink, raccoon, red fox, and snowshoe hare.
11 Maine animal species were classified as threatened or endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, including the bald eagle, piping plover, Maine salmon, two species of whale, and leatherback sea turtle.
Maine State Housing Authority is leading the way to a more energy efficient Maine by investing in housing that is inexpensive to operate and maintain, healthier for the occupants, and better for the environment. It is setting an example on ways to conserve energy and to make less of an impact on the environment. It is leading the effort in developing a methodology to measure, monitor, verify, aggregate and sell avoided carbon emissions from energy efficiency programs and projects run by housing agencies. It has promoted the construction of more green single-family homes through its Mainestream Green Home Design project.
The Maine Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council is working to create a sustainable built environment in Maine. They are committed to promoting buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work. The mission is to rapidly transform the global Building Sector from the major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions to a central part of the solution to the climate change, energy consumption, and economic crises. The goal is to achieve a dramatic reduction in the climate-change-causing greenhouse gas emissions of the Building Sector by changing the way buildings and developments are planned, designed and constructed.
Proposed Maine bill supports green initiatives with the backing of many local Maine legislators. Energy efficiency is the central green point.