In many ways, Maine is a leader in land conservation. Much of the focus over the last few decades has been on working forestland and remote wilderness. These efforts seek to preserve the largest area of intact temperate forest and brook trout habitat in the country.
But for most people, these lands are far away.
The Land Conservation Task Force recommended creating more opportunities to connect people, including Wabanaki tribal members, with nearby nature. Fewer and fewer Maine people are experiencing nature due to economic circumstances, physical disability, or lack of experience in the outdoors.
Those who do want to go outside are finding that accessible land has been steadily decreasing as development spreads and more landowners restrict hunting, fishing, and recreation on their property, weakening Maine’s tradition of public access to private property.
Full story in The Working Waterfront.