By Catherine B. Johnson, Special to the BDN Bangor Daily News op-ed Gov. Paul LePage threatens to increase logging on Maine’s Public Reserved Lands beyond sustainable levels and divert the revenues to unrelated purposes. But his plans run contrary to the origins, unique characteristics and purpose of these Lands. Maine has about 600,000 acres of 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.
The non-binding vote shows the difficulties facing Gov. Paul LePage in winning approval of parts of his proposed budget. By Kevin Miller, Staff Writer Portland Press Herald news story Members of a legislative committee are recommending against a LePage administration proposal to dismantle the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands and divide its responsibilities among Read More
The new duties for Maine Forest Service Director Doug Denico are likely to bring more timber-cutting on state land, which could affect recreation and wildlife. By Kevin Miller, Staff Writer Portland Press Herald news story The LePage administration has appointed the head of the Maine Forest Service to oversee forestry activities within the Bureau of Read More
Many believe he’s planning to have the same director for the forest service and the parks bureau, two agencies with different missions. By Steve Mistler, Staff Writer Portland Press Herald news story AUGUSTA — State lawmakers and conservation groups are raising concerns that Gov. Paul LePage will soon appoint the current director of the Maine Read More
Gov. LePage’s proposed timber harvest breaks land management tradition and treats the woods as a resource to be mined. By The Editorial Board Portland Press Herald editorial Maine’s 17 million-plus acres of forest have long been a source of industry. The wood became the ships of one era, the paper of another, and continues to Read More
Critics of the governor’s intent to increase timber harvesting and divert its revenues worry about a shift in how forests are managed. By Kevin Miller, Staff Writer Portland Press Herald news story Nestled between Moosehead Lake and Baxter State Park are 44,000 acres of state-owned land where hikers roam Maine’s largest roadless backcountry and fishermen Read More
By Robert S. Seymour, Special to the BDN Bangor Daily News op-ed The LePage administration’s proposed merger of Maine’s Bureau of Public Lands with the Maine Forest Service, along with its proposal to increase timber harvests on public lands, is a serious threat to the bureau’s long legacy of excellent forestry in Maine. It should Read More
By The BDN Editorial Board Bangor Daily News editorial Maine’s Bureau of Parks and Lands is easy to take for granted. Most visitors to state parks don’t think about their management hierarchy, and few Mainers likely give much thought to timber harvesting on public lands. But the state’s parks and public lands play important economic Read More
by Mario Moretto, BDN Staff Bangor Daily News news story AUGUSTA, Maine — Conservationists are skeptical about Gov. Paul LePage’s budget for the natural resource departments, fearful that it would open the gates for expanded commercial harvesting of state-owned property. LePage wants to do away with the state’s Bureau of Parks and Lands, which is Read More