AUGUSTA – Maine is about to venture into the fastest-growing nature-based tourism activity in the nation: birding.
At 11 a.m. Monday, May 11, the state will debut its first Maine Birding Trail Map and Brochure during a presentation at the Pine Tree State Arboretum on 112 Hospital St. in Augusta.
According to the Maine Department of Conservation, the map and brochure are the first result of the Maine Nature-Based Tourism Initiative. The brochure is designed to inform resident and out-of-state casual and serious birders of the best areas for bird watching in the state, department spokeswoman Jeanne Curran said in a Wednesday report.
“It is expected to encourage visitors to rural areas of the state and to enhance local economies through nature-based businesses,” Curran said.
The presentation will include speakers from the department, Maine Office of Tourism, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the arboretum, and Rep. Bob Duchesne, D-Hudson, a well-known Maine birder.
After the presentation, Duchesne will lead a bird walk through the arboretum.
Nature-based tourism ranges from hunting and fishing to birdwatching; flower, tree and rock identification; hiking; rock climbing; or just being with nature, according to James A. Maetzold of both the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Avitourism or birdwatching, he said in a Future Farms 2002 report, is fast becoming a leading nature-based tourism activity in the nation.
For more information about Monday’s event or the map or brochure, contact Curran at (207) 287-3156.