NRCM works to protect Maine’s natural areas and wild, undeveloped character, particularly in the North Woods. We support responsible land development and sustainable forest practices that protect sensitive ecosystems and wildlife. We work for increased public ownership of Maine lands, so future generations will know the Maine we love today.
Protection of Maine’s natural, remote areas was one of the issues for which NRCM was founded in 1959. Almost 60 years later, much progress has been made but major threats to Maine’s land and water resources continue.
With our coalition partners, NRCM has won many significant victories over the years, from helping establish the Allagash Wilderness Waterway to passage of legislation limiting irresponsible clear cuts. But the challenges of protecting Maine’s treasured wildlands and the wildlife that depend upon them have never been greater, nor the need more urgent.
We worked to establish a new National Monument just east of Baxter State Park and continue our work to push for Land for Maine’s Future funding to acquire public lands, watchdog Maine’s public lands and the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, stop the ill-conceived East-West Highway from being built, weigh-in when harmful development is proposed in Maine’s North Woods, and ensure that any timber harvesting laws and policies are as protective as possible.
More than one-third of the state has changed ownership in recent years. Corporations that have no stake in our local communities are buying up hundreds of thousands of acres. Slicing and dicing these natural areas can destroy the character of Maine’s North Woods forever.
This loss would affect not only the people of Maine but also our wildlife. The region is home to moose, bear, deer, and dozens of bird species—Boreal Chickadee, Spruce Grouse, Pine Grosbeak, Cape May Warbler, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher—for which the North Woods are the southernmost limit of their breeding range. Maine’s North Woods also provide many recreational opportunities for Maine people. Unchecked development threatens access to undeveloped, wild forests, lakes, and rivers for hiking, canoeing, camping, hunting and fishing.
While development pressures and the loss of public access continue to intensify, NRCM remains a voice for balancing economic development in Maine’s North Woods with conservation.
We invite you to learn more about our work to protect Maine’s North Woods and other natural areas, and to support our vital work for generations to come.