Richard Anderson has enjoyed an illustrious career during which is constantly sought to protect Maine’s natural resources. He has quietly, but effectively, enhanced Maine’s natural resources and wildlife habitat for the past 50 years.
Working as a fisheries biologist for Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in the late 1950’s he studied the effects of pesticide use on Sebago Lake salmon populations, advocating successfully against the use of DDT. From 1969 through 1972, he served as conservation director and eventually executive director for Maine Audubon Society where he worked to assure the passage of Maine’s "Bottle Bill," the ban on highway billboards, the establishment of the Maine Board of Pesticide Control, and the improvement of environmental conditions in the Presumpscot River estuary. He also was instrumental in the acquisition of the property that is now the Maine Audubon Headquarters at Gilsland Farm. He also was involved in the development of the Scarborough Marsh Nature Center.
In the 1980s, he served as the Commissioner of Maine’s Department of Conservation, leading the Department as it oversaw legislation to protect Maine’s natural resources, most notably, securing the consolidation of the State’s more than half million acres of Public Reserved Lands, producing the legislation that protected the States most valuable rivers and writing the legislation that resulted in the Land for Maine’s Future Program. He was also a key person in the establishment of the Saint Croix International Waterway Commission.
Mr. Anderson was co-founder, board chair, and executive director of the Coastal Conservation Association. He was appointed as a member of the Maine Board of Environmental Protection by Governor Curtis. Governor John Baldacci appointed him to be Chairperson of the Maine
Outdoor Heritage Fund Board of Directors. He is founder and President of the Maine Chapter of the International Appalachian Trail/Sentier International des Appalaches, a trail that connects the bioregion of the northern forest from Maine to Newfoundland and Labrador. This
project connects two countries, two major watersheds, the English and French cultures and seeks to foster international cooperation.
Mr. Anderson’s career has been one of high-minded, continuing and truly outstanding contributions to the health of Maine’s environment, the improvement of Maine public policy, and the well being of all Maine people.
The University of Southern Maine is honored to award Richard Anderson a Distinguished Achievement Award.