Senator Edgecomb, Representative Hickman, and members of the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee. My name is Eliza Donoghue. I am here today to speak on behalf of the Natural Resources Council of Maine and our 16,000 members and supporters in support of LD 1629, An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Commission To Study 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.
I first explored the Nahmakanta Public Reserved Land Unit, located southwest of Baxter State Park, while guiding a 10-day wilderness canoe and work experience for disadvantaged youth about 20 years ago. Together, four guides and eight kids spent a little less than a week constructing trails throughout the Nahmakanta Unit and then paddled the St. Read More
A 1972 story by the longtime writer for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram resulted in 400,000 acres of Maine forestland being returned to the people of the state. By Edward D. Murphy and Beth Quimby, Staff Writers Portland Press Herald news story Bob Cummings, whose trailblazing journalism for the Portland Press Herald and Maine Read More
By The BDN Editorial Board Gov. Paul LePage has insisted for more than a year that contractors cut more timber from state-owned forests and that the state use the additional revenue to fund heating upgrades for low-income, rural households. Fortunately, reason has repeatedly prevailed in the face of a proposal that has lacked a sound Read More
By Stephanie Bouchard, Island Institute Bangor Daily News news story Editor’s note: This story first appeared in The Working Waterfront, published by the Island Institute, and appears here with permission. The story that would become reporter Bob Cummings’ legacy didn’t set his world on fire when White Nichols walked into the Bath Times office in Read More
Citing constitutional restrictions, the commission spurns the governor’s idea to fund the home heating program with income from expanded logging on public lands. By Kevin Miller, Staff Writer Portland Press Herald news story AUGUSTA — A task force has recommended against using revenues from logging on state-owned lands to help low-income Mainers heat their homes, Read More
By George Smith Bangor Daily News column A special Commission organized by the legislature to respond to Governor Paul LePage’s demands that money be diverted from the Public Lands Bureau to fund heating assistance has unanimously rejected those demands, effectively shutting the forest door on the Governor. But the Commission did vote to divert some surplus Read More
Maine’s Public Reserved Lands are among our state’s most treasured lands—but many people don’t know it! They include much-loved places like Tumbledown, Grafton Notch, Kennebec Highlands, Bigelow Preserve, and many more. In fact, Maine has approximately 600,000 acres of Public Reserved Lands in more than 30 separate parcels located across the state. They are enjoyed Read More
Driving into Deboullie, part of Maine’s Public Reserved Land system, was like entering Oz. As soon as we crossed the line from JD Irving’s hard-cut lands – lots of young trees, clear cuts, and plantations – the canopy closed around us. It was beautiful. My girlfriend Pam and I both laughed at the difference and Read More