Bureau of Parks and Lands broadcasts new Out of doors Recreation Investments Map

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contributed August 20, 2022

AUGUSTA – The Parks and Lands Office of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry recently released the new Land and Water Conservation Fund Outdoor Recreation Investments Map for Maine, which was developed in cooperation with the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, the Maine Office of Outdoor Recreation, Maine Recreation and Park Association, Maine Department of Transportation, Appalachian Mountain Club and The Nature Conservancy. The map highlights investments in outdoor recreation such as trails, parks, and other projects.

AUGUSTA – The Parks and Lands Office of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry recently released the new Land and Water Conservation Fund Outdoor Recreation Investments Map for Maine, which was developed in cooperation with the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, the Maine Office of Outdoor Recreation, Maine Recreation and Park Association, Maine Department of Transportation, Appalachian Mountain Club and The Nature Conservancy. The map highlights investments in outdoor recreation such as trails, parks, and other projects. Eight hundred and seventy LWCF-supported outdoor recreation projects included on the map are permanently accessible to everyone.

“This work to take stock of the full extent of the impact of the LWCF’s state and local service program provides a tangible and visible way to understand the importance of this program to our work to preserve and provide access to these important countries for the benefit of the public and our condition forever,” said DACF Commissioner Amanda Beal. “I invite everyone to visit the LWCF Map website to get an idea of ​​the wide range of projects that have been made possible with LWCF funding.”

“In Maine, the term “conserved land” most often conjures up places like Camden Hills State Park or Tumbledown Mountain. But many of our favorite playgrounds, baseball fields and neighborhood trails are also protected areas, and they were made possible by the LWCF,” said BPL Director Andy Cutko. “This great new web resource shows the importance of having outdoor places that are 10 or 15 minutes’ drive from our homes.”

“For 57 years, the LWCF Mainers has ensured free access to nature and helped protect some of the places we love most. It has strengthened our communities and our economy,” said Eliza Townsend, conservation policy director for the Appalachian Mountain Club Maine. “Now the public and our elected officials will be able to gauge its impact. AMC is proud to work with the State of Maine to make this information available.”

Two environmentalists from the Maine Conservation Corps spent over 3,000 hours creating the interactive recreation map. 2,700 paper files were converted into a dynamic GIS database.

An additional item added to the recently approved state budget will support improvements to the map and help ensure the resources developed by the fund are permanently available to the public.

Since 1964, royalties from companies drilling for oil and gas on the outer continental shelf have been donated to the LWCF to protect national parks, forests and wildlife sanctuaries and provide grants for state and local parks and outdoor recreation projects. Over the past six decades, the LWCF has played a critical role in ensuring these resources are available for future generations. After years of diverting the program’s dedicated funds from conservation, LWCF received permanent funding in 2020 under the leadership of the Maine Congressional delegation.

The Outdoor Recreation Investments Map is located on the BPL website at https://www.maine.gov/dacf/parks/publications_maps/land-water-conservation-map.shtml.

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