Land for Maine's Future

Gov. Janet Mills called the Legislature back into session to consider four bond proposals totaling $163 million in borrowing for the November ballot. The bonds would fund transportation projects ($105 million), economic development aimed at high-speed internet expansion ($23 million for pollution clean up; $15 million for energy efficiency loans) and $20 million for conservation projects under the Land for Maine’s future program. The session went into a deadlock, then three bonds were defeated. We'll learn more about the future of funding for the state.

STONINGTON, Maine - A Maine land conservation program will use more than $1 million to preserve working waterfront areas, including sites that are important to the lobster fishing industry.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills is backing a $95 million bond proposal for the Land for Maine Future program and improvements at state-owned parks and historic sites, although she says the total amount of the package could shrink.

AUGUSTA, Maine - The board that controls land preservation grants in Maine is asking for proposals that would help protect working waterfront areas of the state.

Panel To Study Pet Peeve Of Governor: Conserved Land

Oct 11, 2017

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine lawmakers are studying land conservation, a topic often derided by Republican Gov. Paul LePage as a tax giveaway for the wealthy.
A legislative panel meeting Thursday has until February to study the tax implications of millions of acres of conserved land owned by nonprofits.
The Maine Municipal Association has said the current system can give too much power to some owners of conserved land. But the group stresses conservation decisions are up to individual municipalities.

Kevin Bennett / For Maine Public

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is moving to acquire a $1.2 million conservation easement to protect a remote plantation of sugar maples — meaning it could soon become a stakeholder in Maine’s maple syrup industry.

Land for Maine's Future

Jul 26, 2017

An update on LMF, which was established in 1987. To date, LMF has helped protect more than 600,000 acres of land in Maine through matching funds, forming partnerships with conservation organizations at all levels of society, from town parks and recreation departments to the federal agencies.  

Guests: Kate Dempsey, State Director, The Nature Conservancy in MaineDavid Trahan, Executive Director, Sportsman's Alliance of MaineJeff Romano, Public Policy Coordinator, Maine Coast Heritage Trust

Kevin Bennett / For Maine Public

A Maine businessman and a national conservation group are seeking $6 million to protect a prized plantation of sugar maples in Somerset County. But the project’s remote location and its Canadian-produced maple syrup raise questions about whether Mainers should subsidize a conservation easement.

AUGUSTA, Maine - A bill that revives $6.5 million in voter-approved Land for Maine's Future conservation bonds is heading to the desk of Gov. Paul LePage.

The Maine Senate on Thursday voted unanimously to give final approval to the bill, following the unanimous approval by the House on Tuesday.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine House has taken what some say is as a first step toward ending an often acrimonious standoff between Governor Paul LePage and the legislature over a public land conservation program.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Legislative leaders have allowed two bills into the second session addressing how bonds are authorized. At issue is Governor Paul LePage not signing off on some bonds for the Land For Maine's Future program.

One measure takes the sign off requirement by the governor off the books, but Sen. Roger Katz, a republican from Augusta is sponsoring a second bill that is more comprehensive.

AUGUSTA, Maine - The first project to benefit from Land for Maine's Future funds is a conservation group's purchase of more than 2,700 acres in the central part of the state.

The Portland Press Herald reports that Plum Creek Timber Co. agreed to sell five tracts of land in Embden, Burnham, Detroit and Ripley to The Trust for Public Land. The trust is transferring the land to the state to be added to Maine's wildlife management systems.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Gov. Paul LePage says he will fight efforts in the Legislature to curb his authority to sign off on the issuance of bonds under the Land For Maine's Future program.

"Now they are trying to take my powers away," LePage says. "They can't do it so now we are going to have another constitutional battle. And that one is going to last a long time because I am not going to ask the questions of the Supreme Court anymore. We are going to go through the litigation process so I can get all of these Land for Maine's Future people wasting their money."

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage has released $5 million in voter-approved land conservation bonds.

The Land for Maine's Future bonds, approved by Maine voters in 2012, had been caught up in a political tug of war between the governor and state lawmakers.

LePage had said he wouldn't release the LMF bonds unless legislators agreed to more timber harvesting on state land. The Republican governor had wanted to use that money to pay for heating assistance for the poor.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A state commission crafting recommendations for the management of public lands is not embracing Gov. Paul LePage’s proposal to use revenue from the sale of timber to help low-income mainers heat their homes.