More than 260 businesses, towns, and organizations from across the state today urged lawmakers to help make Maine a national leader in recreational and multi-use trails to help bolster our economy, environment, and quality of life. The remarkably broad coalition supports a $30 million Maine Trails Bond (LD 1156) to invest in the design, development, Read More
Maine Public Lands
Maine has approximately 600,000 acres of Public Reserved Lands in 37 separate parcels located across the state. These lands are enjoyed for their outstanding hiking, camping, birding, fishing, and hunting opportunities. They include the Bigelow Preserve, Kennebec Highlands, Tumbledown, Cutler’s Bold Coast, Donnell Pond, Debouillie, Mount Abraham, and other Maine gems.
Maine’s Public Reserved Lands are a unique state resource. Their origin dates back to the separation of Maine from Massachusetts in 1820. In 1820, the state set aside lots in each unincorporated township from private sale in order for this land to provide various public benefits. In the 1970s, these dispersed public lots were consolidated into the spectacular Public Reserved Land System that we have today. These consolidated lots provide timber, protect wildlife habitat, and offer a wide variety of public recreational opportunities. These lands are held in public trust and managed for public use and enjoyment.
Maine also has 48 State Parks and Historic Sites, protecting more than 100,000 acres of land and offering diverse recreational opportunities throughout the state.
New Law Will Expand Maine’s Ecological Reserve System
Maine Audubon and Natural Resources Council of Maine news release A bill that will expand Maine’s network of ecological reserves to protect more habitat for the state’s rich array of plants, animals, and other species was signed into law by Governor Janet Mills on Tuesday March 29, 2022. State-owned ecological reserves cover less than 1% Read More
Testimony in Support Certain Provisions of LD 1995 Related to Dept. of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry
Testimony in Support of LD 1995, An Act To Make Supplemental Appropriations and Allocations for the Expenditures of State Government, General Fund and Other Funds and To Change Certain Provisions of the Law Necessary to the Proper Operations of State Government for the Fiscal Years Ending June 30, 2022 and June 30, 2023 Senator Breen, Representative Pierce, Read More
Role of Maine’s Ecological Reserves More Critical Than Ever
Did you know that the Mahoosuc ecological reserve is one of only a few places in Maine where Cutler’s goldenrod occurs? This delicate yellow flower is endemic to a naturally scarce habitat type. It is also one of many powerful messengers demonstrating why Maine’s ecological reserve system is so vitally important—and should be expanded. Maine’s Read More
Support of LD 736, An Act to Enhance Maine’s Ecological Reserve System
Senator Dill, Representative O’Neil, and Members of the Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Committee, I am Melanie Sturm, Forests and Wildlife Director at the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM). I am testifying in support of LD 736, as proposed to be amended by the sponsor. This bill would play a significant role in helping Maine Read More
50 Years of Maine’s Land Use Planning Commission
Many who care about Maine’s environment may not be familiar with the relatively unknown state agency that holds the key to the future of much of Maine’s undeveloped areas, including the North Woods and Unorganized Territories (UT). That agency, which was created 50 years ago this month, was originally known as the Land Use Regulation Commission (LURC) but is today named the Land Use Planning Commission (LUPC). For almost as long as the LUPC has existed, the Read More
Your Support for Land for Maine’s Future and Other Public Lands
Maine’s public lands have been good for us, providing safe places to explore and find solace. The pandemic was a reminder of just how important Land for Maine’s Future (LMF) and other public areas are for us. Getting out and enjoying these special places is a great way to demonstrate support for them. So is Read More
Permanently Protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (Arctic Refuge) is a place of spectacular beauty as well as ecological and cultural significance, but right now it’s vulnerable to oil and gas development. These industries threaten to pollute our air and water, degrade public lands, and ruin an Indigenous way of life. As Mainers we value our public lands and the space they provide for recreation and wildlife conservation just Read More
Support of LD 700, An Act To Promote Economic Development and Outdoor Recreation through Investment in State Parks
Senator Dill, Representative O’Neil, and Members of the Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry, I am Melanie Sturm, the Forests and Wildlife Director at the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM), and I am providing testimony in support of LD 700. Maine State Parks are in critical need of investment. They face $50 Read More