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NV conservation group supports FERC's transmission planning rule; Memorial Day weekend includes Tornadoes and record-high temperatures; A focus on the Farm Bill for Latino Advocacy Week in D.C; and Southeast Alaska is heating homes with its rainfall.

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U.S. Supreme Court allows South Carolina gerrymander that dilutes Black voters, Sen. Ted Cruz refuses to say if he'll accept 2024 election results, and Trump calls Mar-a-Lago search an attempt to have him assassinated.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

ME prepares to welcome more climate migrants

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Monday, October 9, 2023   

Community leaders in Portland, Maine are preparing for a growing number of Central American "climate refugees."

Intense storms and drought in the region have devastated many subsistence farms and indigenous areas, forcing people to head north in search of food and shelter.

Crystal Cron, executive director of Presente! Maine, said not all migrants are chasing the American dream.

"Why would people want to leave their homes in such huge droves if they didn't have to?" said Cron.

Portland has long been a resettlement hub for asylum seekers. More than 1,000 arrived in Portland in the first half of 2023 alone.

Cron said climate refugees are joining those already fleeing violence in their home countries and that the U.S. has a responsibility to care for them.

Gov. Janet Mills says these new Mainers could help relieve worker shortages in healthcare, education and construction. Her office has set a target of attracting 75,000 new workers in the next several years.

Kristina Egan, executive director of the Greater Portland Council of Governments, said the state should welcome the people who can help build its future.

"We need some changes to our infrastructure - more housing, more public transportation," said Egan. "But we also need some changes to our mindset so that we in Maine can really open our arms to this great possibility."

Egan said the state already faces a housing crisis but will need to ensure that sprawl doesn't eat up vital agricultural land needed to feed a growing population heading north.





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