Conservation Almanac




Maine Profile of State Programs and Policy Framework

Highlighted Local Programs


Highlighted State Programs


State Policy Framework



To avoid double counting acres where multiple programs contributed to the acquisition of a single parcel, the acreage is only aggregated under the program that provided the majority of funding. For example, if the table below displays a dollar amount greater than $0 for a given year but shows 0 acres, the program was not the primary contributor for any parcels in that year. As a result, a prolific program may show very low acreage figures on this page. To see customized program information please visit the map viewer tab or contact the Conservation Almanac Team.

Highlighted Local Programs

No county-level conservation finance measures have been approved by voters in Maine. For more information on municipal measures in the state, visit

2013 155.0 $245,250
2012 288.0 $262,630
2011 0.0 $80,000
2010 0.0 $47,500
2007 144.8 $150,000
2005 0.0 $30,000
Totals 587.8 $815,380

Highlighted State Programs

Land for Maine's Future

Land for Maine's Future (LMF) was created in 1987 in response to concerns over the loss of critical natural area, wildlife habitat, and farmland along with traditional access to undeveloped lands for hunting fishing and outdoor recreation. The Land for Maine’s Future Program is the state’s primary funding vehicle for conserving land. LMF has helped to preserve over 560,000 acres of conservation and recreation lands. Special protected places include 52 water access sites, 37 working farms comprising of over 8,900 acres, 20 commercial working waterfront properties, 1,200 miles of shore lands, and 158 miles of former railroad corridors for recreational trails.

Between 1987 and 2012, Maine voters approved six Land for Maine’s Future bond referendums. The 1987 referendum established the program with $35 million to fund the purchase of lands and conservation easements of statewide importance. Maine voters subsequently approved additional referendums in 1999 for $50 million, in 2005 for $12 million, in 2007 for $35.5 million ($17 million for LMF), in 2010 for $9.75 million, and in 2012 for $5 million.

In May 2015, Governor Paul LePage declared that he would not release $11.47 million in LMF bonds (approved by voters in 2010 and 2012), nor approve any projects in the program’s pipeline until legislation he proposed to increase timber harvesting on state-owned lands was sent to his desk. In response, State Senator Roger Katz (R-Augusta) and a bipartisan group of co-sponsors submitted legislation that would compel the issuance of these voter-approved bonds without the Governor’s approval. The bill (L.D. 1378) passed through the Senate and House but was vetoed by the Governor. While the Senate voted to override the veto, the bill failed in the House. Meanwhile, nearly $6.5 million in bond funds approved in 2010 are set to expire this year, but the state only issues bonds once per year in June. Efforts are still underway to release the bond funds. L.D. 1454 aims to extend the issuance of these bonds until June 30, 2016. Currently, 30 conservation projects have been awarded LMF grants but have not received funding.

2013 721.5 $2,184,054
2012 1,143.6 $3,906,419
2011 991.3 $2,660,361
2010 4,250.4 $8,586,353
2009 20,386.3 $9,276,096
2008 3,774.6 $4,465,221
2007 6,783.9 $8,642,898
2006 9,959.5 $6,338,139
2005 19,221.1 $4,811,176
2004 25,567.8 $9,567,935
2003 19,850.3 $8,348,960
2002 11,447.5 $8,131,983
2001 8,028.7 $3,141,059
2000 537.4 $1,133,685
1999 211.5 $693,000
1998 1,126.0 $125,000
Total134,001.6 $82,012,339

Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry

Created in 1973 as the Department of Conservation, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry (DACF) is a natural resource agency whose bureaus oversee forestland, unorganized territory, parks and historic sites, and public reserved land. Funding for land acquisition outside of LMF and MOHF is provided through appropriations from the state legislature, Department of Transportation, as well as other internal funds.

If the DACF sells land for any reason, the Maine constitution provides that the revenues must be used for conservation land acquisitions. Funding is also made available through escrow payments or donations from regulatory processes that involve the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or wind power processes.

2012 5.3 $16,462
2011 11.0 $31,500
2010 237.8 $561,279
2009 28.6 $13,815
2008 48.0 $43,500
2007 0.0 $268,000
2006 9.0 $233,000
2005 13.6 $92,835
2004 165.7 $688,929
2003 0.0 $385,883
2002 0.0 $250,000
2001 0.0 $43,500
2000 537.1 $335,456
1999 6,245.0 $7,405,000
1998 1,710.5 $604,800
Total9,011.7 $10,973,959

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife - Endangered and Nongame Wildlife Fund

Maine's Endangered and Nongame Wildlife Fund was created by the legislature in 1983. Contributions are made through a "chicadee check-off" on the state income tax form and through the sale of a conservation license plate that features the loon. All donations are deposited into a special interest-bearing account.

2013 0.0 $125,000
2007 0.0 $6,946
2006 80.0 $2,500
Total80.0 $134,446

Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program

The Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program (MNRCP) awards grants to projects that restore and protect high priority aquatic resources across the state. The program was created to manage the allocation of funds collected through Maine’s In Lieu Fee Compensation Program which provides flexibility for regulators, businesses, and agencies in meeting regulatory permit requirements by providing a fee in lieu option instead of more time-intensive traditional mitigation options. It is administered by The Nature Conservancy on behalf of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The program was started in 2008 and has awarded over $8 million to non-profit groups, municipalities, and public agencies. Grants are made for fee and easement acquisition, dam removal, culvert replacement, shoreline re-vegetation and stabilization, and fishway construction, among other project types. The Conservation Almanac includes grants that have been awarded to land acquisition projects only; it does not include restoration activities.

2013 1,348.6 $2,088,162
2012 1,933.0 $1,975,250
2011 352.6 $1,676,348
2010 157.1 $552,403
Total3,791.2 $6,292,165

Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund

The Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund is supported by 26 percent of the total proceeds from “scratch-off” lottery tickets. Funds are allocated to habitat conservation, land acquisition, and endangered species projects. Grants are awarded twice each year by a seven-member board that is appointed by the Governor. Grants are awarded based on a point system. Local governments or municipalities receive a higher score if there is a cash or in-kind match of 1/3 or higher from non-governmental sources.

2013 142.0 $39,000
2012 100.0 $39,000
2011 281.1 $70,931
2010 5,230.0 $83,162
2009 8,010.0 $80,000
2008 11,254.0 $76,814
2007 33.0 $80,352
2006 234.3 $136,663
2005 16.1 $60,000
2004 632.1 $155,423
2003 0.0 $181,000
2002 0.0 $131,335
2001 63.4 $157,500
2000 69.0 $115,000
1998 0.0 $210,000
Total26,065.0 $1,616,180

State Policy Framework

Substantial State Investment

Enable Local Financing

State Incentive for Local Land Conservation

Public-Private Partnerships

Conservation Tax Credits

Federal Partnerships

Some data was not provided on a yearly basis, but rather as an aggregate figure. In this case we have distributed total acres acquired and/or dollars spent evenly by year.