Important Access Secured for Sportsmen in Central Maine
The Trust for Public Land announced today the purchase of five important properties spread throughout central Maine that will provide critical access for hunting and fishing. The five tracts totaling 2,730 acres are in Embden, Burnham, Detroit and Ripley. The Central Maine Sportsman's Access Project is the result of a two-year partnership between The Trust for Public Land, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) and Plum Creek. The properties will be owned by MDIFW and become part of the state's Wildlife Management Area system.
"Hunting, fishing and wildlife watching are a central part Maine's culture and economy. We are proud to work side-by-side with sportsmen, guides, the state, and federal partners to protect these great traditions," said Wolfe Tone, Maine state director of The Trust for Public Land.
"We are pleased to play a role in ensuring that these lands remain open for the people of Maine to enjoy forever," said Luke Muzzy, senior land asset manager for Plum Creek. "Maine's woods provide great benefits to people and essential habitat for wildlife and securing this access now will benefit generation after generation."
Recent game tagging data has shown that the Central Maine Region has some of the highest use by sportsman statewide, yet it has the lowest amount conserved land ensuring public access.
In addition to securing vital access for sportsman, the project protects approximately 1,000 acres of active Deer Wintering Areas, and 1,000 acres of wetlands supporting moose and waterfowl. The project includes undeveloped sections of Hancock and Sandy Ponds in Embden, and the Sebasticook River in Ripley.
"As a Master Maine Guide who works throughout Central Maine, I know how important well managed forests are for sportsman. This project will help protect the Maine deer herd and ensure businesses like mine have a future," said Clint Southard, owner of Full Circle Guide Service.
The purchase of land from Plum Creek was made possible because of the support of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Wildlife Restoration Program (WRP) and the Land for Maine's Future Program (LMF). WRP (also referred to as Pittman-Robertson) funds are generated through a federal tax on ammunition and firearms used for sport hunting. WRP provided $1.39M and LMF $500,000 towards the $1.89M project.
"Generations of Maine sportsmen, through the purchase of ammunition and firearms, have paid into the Wildlife Restoration Program," said David Trahan, executive director of the Sportsman's Alliance of Maine. "Putting this money towards important habitat protection and public access is exactly what needs to happen to ensure the next generation of sportsmen have places to hunt and fish."