Legislator Spotlight

Legislator Spotlight: Delegate Julie Palakovich Carr

May 17, 2024



NCEL Point of Contact

Kate Burgess
Conservation Program Manager


About Delegate Julie Palakovich Carr

Delegate Julie Palakovich Carr sponsored Maryland HB0345/SB0916 to review Maryland’s current endangered species lists. The bill expands definitions allowing for more comprehensive endangered species management.

What motivated you to get work on endangered species and why is this topic important to you?

Before I was involved in politics, I was a biologist. My Master’s thesis was focused on researching a federally protected species, the Canada lynx. Although I didn’t stick with a career in research, I worked in science policy for a decade before being elected to the legislature. I find that my background in science gives me a different perspective as a legislator and sometimes leads me to work on issues that aren’t on other people’s radars. (And I know that is also true of my colleagues who come from other professional backgrounds.)

What led you to choose endangered species legislation and what was the impact of your policy?

The report NCEL released in 2023 on the state of state policies on protected species was incredibly informative. After reading through the report, I was motivated to dig deeper into what more Maryland could do. After looking at my state’s current laws, regulations, and practices, I realized that several things that Maryland was already doing–and doing well-weren’t codified in law. This felt like a good time to codify those existing practices to make sure that they continue into the future, regardless of what administration is in office. This session, Senator Benjamin Brooks and I introduced a bill to codify routine reviews of the state’s protected species lists, to clarify that our legal definition of ‘wildlife’ includes all animal species, and to require scientific evidence to list or de-list a species. The Department of Natural Resources supported the bill and we passed the bill this session. It is currently on the Governor’s desk awaiting his review.

How has NCEL helped you in your work?

Beyond compiling the report that motivated the legislation I sponsored, NCEL was helpful in providing me with more detailed information about the policies of other states.