May 22, 2018
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Department of Conservation suggests park passes for holiday season

AUGUSTA – Looking for something to give that certain person who loves the outdoors.

The Maine Department of Conservation and the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands for some great gift ideas.

Based on their sales this year, you won’t go wrong giving Maine state park passes, both vehicle and individual passes.

Vehicle pass sales for 2010 were the highest for the past 10 years, according to recently compiled Bureau of Parks and Lands (BPL) figures, according to a press release from the MDOC.

“I can’t think of a better gift than to give the gift of getting outside in our Maine state parks and making family memories that you can treasure forever,” Will Harris, BPL director, said. “Park vehicle passes are one of the best values for Mainers’ recreational dollars. They can be used at all parks for the entire season, and we hope they will be.”

The MDOC also reminds gift-givers of the publications available from the department. These include several books, including the latest from the Maine Geological Survey published just this fall, and the popular DVD, “Northrunner: the Allagash Wilderness Waterway.”

This fall, the Maine Geological Survey announced the publication of its latest book, “A Guide to the Geology of Baxter State Park and Katahdin,” by Douglas W. Rankin and Dabney W. Caldwell.

The new book includes new information about Baxter State Park based on the latest understanding of plate tectonics and continental glaciation; two full-color relief maps on bedrock and glacial geology; beautiful color photos that give a real feel for the park area; interesting sidebars on history, science and geology; and a description of five geology hikes ranging from easy to challenging that highlight unique geological features of the park. The Baxter book costs $10, and ordering instructions can be found on line at:

The MDOC’s other new publication is “Natural Landscapes of Maine: A Guide to Natural Communities and Ecosystems,” by Susan Gawler and Andrew Cutko. The unique book, published by the Natural Areas Program, is useful to ecologists, foresters, consultants, teachers and backyard naturalists.

A top-seller on Maine non-fiction book lists is “Forest Trees of Maine: Centennial Edition,” a spiral-bound, backpack-friendly guide to Maine’s 78 tree species. One of the MDOC’s most popular books, “Forest Trees” features detailed pictures and descriptions of the state’s native trees, plus forest history by the Maine Forest Service. The book is $15 including tax and mailing. More information is available at:

Other publications from the MDOC include:

Your Maine Lands: Reflections of a Maine Guide by Tom Hanrahan – available for $12, including tax and shipping; a unique collection of essays on the lands owned by the people of Maine.

Seasonal passes allow unlimited day use at Maine state parks and historic sites, but don’t apply to Baxter State Park, the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, Penobscot River Corridor, Penobscot Narrows Observatory, Maine Wildlife Park, or Scarborough Beach.

Prices for the coming year remain the same as last year, with a vehicle pass, which allows day use for all the occupants of up to a 1-ton vehicle, costing $70. An individual pass costs $35. Ordering information can be found at:

For more information, go to:

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