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November 8, 2023

Bill would help gauge Maine snowpack in wake of climate change

White snow on the ground Courtesy / Pixabay U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Angus King, I-Maine, have introduced legislation to help monitor mountain snowpack across Maine and the northeastern U.S.

With ski season set to open, Maine's two U.S. senators have introduced legislation to help monitor snowpack across the state and the Northeast.

The Snow Survey and Water Supply Forecasting Act, introduced by U.S. Sens. Angus King, I-Maine, and Susan Collins, R-Maine, would establish a regional network of snow- and water-monitoring stations to better track mountain snow accumulation and precipitation rates.

The goal is to help communities and businesses adapt as climate change continues to disrupt weather patterns, sparking a need for impact research and response.

In Maine, decreased snowfall, increased rainfall and rising temperatures have already had a substantial effect on the environment, as well as the state's recreation and forestry industries. Both are key sectors of Maine's economy.

“On a global scale, climate change is one of the greatest existential threats we are facing today,” King said. “Here in Maine, we are already seeing the impact firsthand with increased temperatures, above-average precipitation and less snowfall — impacting not only our environment, but also the recreation and forestry industries which are important economic drivers for our state. 

The Snow Survey Northeast Expansion Act will help expand the tools and resources needed to track the impacts of climate change to better inform the Maine industries that are heavily reliant on weather forecasting, King added.

Collins noted that "access to more accurate weather data is essential for informed decision-making, especially with recent unpredictable shifts in weather patterns."

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