Governor Janet Mills today announced funding for nine new Land for Maine’s Future (LMF) conservation projects across Maine, advancing the State of Maine’s commitment to preserve precious natural resources, protect wildlife habitats, and ensure public access to lakes, rivers, scenic views, and mountain vistas.
“These nine projects will preserve thousands of acres of land for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations,” said Governor Janet Mills. “I am proud that, through actions taken by the Legislature and my Administration, we are continuing to protect more and more of our cherished natural resources.”
“These projects represent another example of Maine’s strong and enduring commitment to protecting our valuable natural resources, wildlife habitat, and wilderness areas,” said Patrick Keliher, Land for Maine’s Future Chairman and Commissioner of the Department of Marine Resources.
“Broad support for the Land’s For Maine’s Future program has enabled important ongoing work to protect land for the benefit of all who recreate in Maine, ensuring lasting benefits for our state and local communities both now and for future generations,” said Amanda Beal, Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.
“Reinvigorated with $40 million through the leadership of Governor Mills, the Land For Maine’s Future program continues to preserve, protect and enhance many of Maine’s most valuable and pristine natural areas, ensuring Mainers and visitors alike will always be able to enjoy the way life should be,” said Judy Camuso, Commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
Since the Governor proposed and the Legislature overwhelmingly approved $40 million to reinvigorate LMF, the LMF Board has approved 46 new projects, totaling $5.19 million. These projects are expected to leverage an additional $6.7 million in private and Federal funds.
The newly approved projects announced today include:
The Land for Maine’s Future Program, established in 1987 through a $35 million bond approved by Maine citizens, is the State’s primary method of conserving land for its natural and recreational value. Recognizing the importance of working lands and public access to these lands in preserving Maine’s quality of life, the program has conserved over 624,000 acres of land, including 333,425 acres of working land.
This remarkable work includes the establishment of 70 water access sites, providing over 67 miles of shoreline on rivers, lakes, and ponds, the preservation of 41 farms and 9,884 acres of farmland, the conservation of 30 working waterfront properties, the conversion of 158 miles of former railroad corridors into recreational trails, and the creation of over 69 miles of coastal access.
For more information about the LMF program and the conservation projects, please visit www.maine.gov/dacf/lmf.