In Support of Samantha Horn’s reappointment to the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund (MOHF) Board

Testimony of Nancy Smith, CEO of GrowSmart Maine

In Support of Samantha Horn’s reappointment to the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund (MOHF) Board

February 8, 2024

Senator Brenner,  Representative Gramlich  and Members of the Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources,

My name is Nancy Smith, I live in Ellsworth, and I am the CEO of GrowSmart Maine. We are a statewide non-partisan non-profit organization helping communities navigate change in alignment with smart growth.  We advocate for comprehensive policies and funding for smart growth practices and outcomes.  I regret that I cannot join you for today’s confirmation hearing, and am instead submitting our testimony electronically.

I have interacted with Samantha Horn professionally for over a decade, through her work with Maine’s Land Use Planning Commission, The Nature Conservancy in Maine, and in her current role as Principal in Braided Planet Consulting. In each of these roles, Samantha performs her duties  thoughtfully, and is generous with her time in order to ensure outcomes that reflect respectful process. 

In her nonworking hours, Samantha is an active outdoorswoman who enjoys all that Maine’s outdoors can offer. In January, she became a board member of GrowSmart Maine, sharing her knowledge and experience to guide our organization in achieving our mission of supporting communities in navigating change in alignment with smart growth. Land use planning is often seen through the lens of development, but it applies equally to conservation and protection of natural and working lands. Samantha has long understood and supported this connection. 

Samantha’s personal and professional perspectives on the natural resource sector make her a strong advocate for the MOHF, with its sole purpose of “maintaining, improving and expanding state and local natural resource conservation programs and associated compatible public uses.”