Land Conservation Organizations and Agencies
Maine’s Local and Regional Land Trusts
Local and regional land trusts play an essential role in Maine's conservation community. Trusts own land, hold and monitor conservation easements, help landowners develop conservation plans, educate people about the values of open space, and raise funds to purchase threatened properties. The total acreage held by land trusts nationwide (not counting lands transferred to state or federal agencies) now exceeds one million acres. Most of Maine's local land trusts are staffed by volunteers, although a growing number have paid staff.
The Maine Land Trust Network is a communications and coordination service provided by Maine Coast Heritage Trust to land conservation organizations throughout the state. To locate a local land trust or for further information, visit www.mltn.org or call 207-729-7366.
In addition to its lands on Mount Desert Island, Schoodic Peninsula and Isle au Haut, Acadia National Park is authorized to hold conservation easements on island properties from the main ship channel in Penobscot Bay to the Hancock/Washington county line and Schoodic Peninsula on the mainland. Acadia currently holds 175 easements protecting more than 11,000 acres of island property.
Department of Conservation
Bureau of Parks and Lands (BP&L)
286 Water Street, Key Bank Plaza
Augusta, ME 04333
BP&L acquires interests in land for public parks, historic sites, boat-launching areas and trails. In some instances, it accepts donations of land and conservation easements that would protect important new parks or enhance the setting of its existing holdings.
Land for Maine's Future Program (LMF)
State Planning Office
State House Station 38
Augusta, ME 04333-0038
The LMF Program funds the acquisition and long-term conservation of natural lands for the enjoyment of present and future generations. Since 1987, the Program has protected more than 100,000 acres, including mountain summits, farmland, riverfront, lakes, ponds, prime wildlife habitat, coastal islands and beaches. Anyone may submit a proposal for consideration: contact the Program for more information.
Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife (IF&W)
State House Station 41
Augusta, ME 04333-0041
The Department is concerned with the protection of important habitats of fish and wildlife species. IF&W holds easements on private lands and owns wildlife management areas, including coastal islands.
The Maine Natural Areas Program provides comprehensive information on the State's important natural features. In collaboration with public and private landowners, it inventories lands that support rare and endangered plants and animals, rare natural communities, and outstanding examples of representative natural communities. It maintains an extensive database of these features and shares information with landowners, state agencies, conservation groups and towns.
The USFWS works to protect and restore federally threatened and endangered species, migratory birds and searun fish. In Maine, the USFWS manages six National Wildlife Refuges and two National Fish Hatcheries. Its Gulf of Maine Program works in partnership with other federal and state agencies, land trusts and conservation groups on private, state and federal lands to protect and restore high-value coastal wetlands, nesting islands, rivers and Northern Forest lands in the Gulf of Maine watershed.
Nonprofit Conservation Organizations
Forest Society of Maine (FSM)
115 Franklin Street
P.O. Box 775
Bangor, ME 04402
The FSM, a statewide land trust, safeguards the ecological, recreational, and economic values of Maine's forestlands--particularly the unique character of Maine's North Woods. Using conservation easements as a primary tool and strategic acquisitions as appropriate, FSM seeks to maintain traditional forest uses and sustain their economic contributions while preserving ecological and recreational values and important natural areas.
The national LTA promotes voluntary land conservation and strengthens the land trust movement by providing the leadership, information and resources that land trusts need to conserve land for the benefit of communities and natural systems.
Maine Audubon acquires sanctuary properties to be used as environmental education sites and to provide the public with opportunities to enjoy and connect with the natural world.
Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT)
1 Main Street, Suite 201
Topsham, ME 04086
MCHT protects coastal and other lands of scenic, ecological, recreational and cultural significance. The Trust provides free conservation services to landowners, government agencies, local land trusts and communities statewide.
New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF)
P.O. Box 1099
Groton, MA 01450-3099
NEFF promotes and demonstrates responsible management of working forests for the benefit of landowners and the public. It works with private landowners to achieve conservation goals through acquisition of fee interests and conservation easements.
SWOAM supports and promotes long-term stewardship of Maine's small woodlands, and assists in conserving productive forestlands through a land trust program.
TCF works in partnership with nonprofit organizations, public agencies and the private sector to conserve the country's outdoor heritage. In Maine, TCF has completed projects in several counties.
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) -- Maine Chapter
14 Maine Street, Suite 401
Brunswick, ME 04011
TNC acquires land and easements by purchase and donation to protect rare and threatened species and to preserve natural diversity. Maine Chapter staff consult with landowners on the preservation of unique natural areas.
The Trust for Public Land (TPL)
Maine Field Office
377 Fore Street, 3rd Floor
Portland, ME 04101
TPL facilitates the protection of open space areas in urban and rural settings for public use. It often temporarily secures threatened properties and works with local, state, and federal partners to obtain funds for permanent protection and to bring land into permanent conservation ownership.