AUGUSTA, Maine — A host of corporate and private landowners from across the state were honored last week as the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Maine Snowmobile Association recognized their efforts during an annual Landowner/Land User Recognition banquet, according to a DIF&W press release.
The Pingree Family and Seven Islands Land Company of Bangor joined Maritime and Northeast LLC of Richmond in earning awards for their generosity in ensuring that public recreation on privately owned land continues to be part of Maine’s outdoor tradition.
Private landowners owning more than 100 acres open to public use who were honored at the banquet: Bob Linkletter of Athens, Randy Cousineau of Strong and David Anderson of Topsham. Organized landowner groups recognized were the Penobscot County Conservation Association of Brewer, the Rangeley Region Guides and Sportsmen’s Association, and the Aroostook ATV Club.
“Landowners and responsible land users are the keepers of Maine’s natural resources, and they make possible the outdoor opportunities that we all enjoy and make Maine unique,” said Capt. Dan Scott of the Maine Warden Service. “Anyone venturing out on private land should first seek permission from the appropriate landowner and always respect the land to ensure future use for everyone.”
The DIF&W’s landowner relations program works closely with the Department of Conservation, the commissioner’s landowners and sportsmen relations advisory board, other state agencies, clubs from the various user groups and landowners to address the topic of public access to private land.
More than 1,000 nomination forms were distributed to various user groups and landowners this year.
More than 90 percent of Maine’s land is privately owned and outdoor enthusiasts are dependent on the generosity of private landowners who allow public access to that land.