20 Individuals and Organizations Form New Conservation Group

A new and impressive conservation group has been organized “to shape the next generation of Maine land conservation.” The group is cochaired by David Trahan of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and Tim Glidden of Maine Coast Heritage Trust.

“Despite the many conservation successes realized in recent years, traditional public access to the outdoors continues to be threatened and the loss of habitat remains a challenge to the health of deer, brook trout, water fowl, and other important wildlife species,” explained Trahan. “I look forward to joining other task members as we identify the state’s future conservation priorities and develop a roadmap to ensure outdoor recreational activities remain a vibrant component of Maine’s culture,” said Trahan.

The Task Force’s ambitious agenda includes 1) identifying land and water conservation initiatives that reflect the evolving priorities of Maine people and communities; 2) improving public access to existing conservation lands; 3) enhancing collaboration between economic development organizations, recreational groups, land trusts, municipalities, businesses, and other civic organizations; 4) maximizing ways in which land and water conservation activities benefit local and regional economies; and 5) proposing funding, strategies, and policy options to support the Task Force’s recommendations.

The Task Force met for the first time on May 29 and will meet at least five more times and solicit public feedback before developing a final report in early 2019.

“Following voter approval of the Land for Maine’s Future Program in 1987, our state enjoyed a remarkable 30-year period of land conservation,” said Glidden. “However, there has been a growing realization that the state needs to complete a fresh assessment of current ecological challenges, community needs, and economic opportunities in order to lay the groundwork for a new chapter of land conservation activities in Maine.”

Members of the Task Force include:
John Banks, Penobscot Indian Nation
Adam Bishop, Maine Farmland Trust
Cathy Breen, State Senator
Jen Brophy, Red River Camps
John Bryant, American Forest Management
Patrick Corey, State Representative
Hugh Cowperthwaite, Coastal Enterprise Institute
Lee Dassler, Western Foothills Land Trust
Tim Glidden, Maine Coast Heritage Trust
Doug Kane, ATV Maine
Dennis Keschl, Belgrade Town Manager
Don Kleiner, Maine Professional Guides Association
Alex Koch, Unity College Student
Janet McMahon, Ecologist
Austin Muir, Chewonki Foundation
Nancy Smith, GrowSmart Maine
Alison Sucy, Maine Tourism Association
Wolf Tone, Maine Huts and Trails
David Trahan, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine
Chris Winstead, Piscataquis County Economic Development Council

Information about the Task Force and its work can be found at www.maineconservationtaskforce.com.

You are invited to share your views with the task force through the website, upcoming meetings, and public listening sessions which will be scheduled later in the year. Consultants Jerry Bley and Liz Petruska will be jointly coordinating the Task Force’s work.

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website, georgesmithmaine.com, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.