January 23, 2020
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Conservation bond invests in Maine’s quality of life

Bridget Brown | BDN
Bridget Brown | BDN
Mt. Kineo which was acquired through the Land for Maine's Future Program in 1990, rises out of Moosehead Lake in a photo taken in 2007. Referendum Question 3 on the November ballot will ask voters if they favor a $5 million bond to invest in land conservation.

Question 3: Do you favor a $5,000,000 bond issue to purchase land and conservation easements statewide from willing sellers for public land and water access, conservation, wildlife or fish habitat and outdoor recreation, including hunting and fishing and deer wintering areas, and to preserve working farmland and working waterfronts to be matched by at least $5,000,000 in private and public contributions?

During its 25 years, the Land for Maine’s Future program has expanded its focus from public access-based land conservation to farm and working waterfront preservation that maintains important elements of Maine’s heritage. Through grants, conservation easements and partnerships with private landowners and trusts, Land for Maine’s Future has protected almost 200 properties that add to the state’s quality of place.

Enhancing Maine’s value as a place to live, work the land, hunt, fish and enjoy nature yields tangible economic benefits. A February 2012 study by The Trust for Public Land calculates that “every dollar invested in land conservation through LMF returned $11 in natural goods and services to the Maine economy.”

Passage of Question 3 will further expand the program’s worth to sportsmen. The bond question designates funding to conserve deer habitat and help restore healthy deer numbers, according to the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, which endorses the bond.

Better conditions for the deer herd in Maine’s more remote regions will draw hunters and wildlife observers, translating to better economic conditions for small-business owners.

The Land for Maine’s Future program has a proven record of benefiting all segments of the state’s population. It continues to adapt to support the state’s farmers, fishing families and outdoorsmen.

A yes vote on Question 3 represents a worthy investment in what’s best about Maine.

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