Conserving the Nature of America
Press Release
10th Annual Private Lands Conservation Workshop Comes to Maine
Economic interests and conservation find balance in Maine’s forests

October 3, 2017


Tom Kielbasa, 207-745-7493
Meagan Racey, 413-253-8558

Credit: USFWS

Maine will be the focus of national attention this week as landowners from across the country gather in Bangor Wednesday and Thursday with staff from state and federal agencies, conservation groups and universities to highlight voluntary, incentive-based conservation collaborations in the state and other areas of the country.

Nearly 200 people are expected to attend the annual Private Lands Partners Day conference, which is dedicated to community-based, landscape-scale conservation and offers an opportunity for landowners and conservation partners to meet, learn and further develop the vision of collaborative conservation. The landowner-led Partners for Conservation founded the event in western Montana in 2008 with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

This year’s local host, alongside Partners for Conservation, is Keeping Maine’s Forest, a collaboration of private, state, tribal, federal and NGO leaders who share an interest in sustaining Maine’s forests to support the forest products industry, a healthy ecosystem, thriving local communities and public access to recreation. Keynote speakers at the Cross Insurance Center include U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Principle Deputy Director Greg Sheehan, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service Acting Director Leonard Jordan.

This year’s theme, “The Maine Woods: A landscape of working forests and collaborative conservation,” will showcase how economic interests and conservation are balanced in a multiple-use forested landscape. The event will include speakers and panels that provide insights into conservation practices that support communities and improve wildlife habitat and forest health.

Maine is home to the largest contiguous area of privately owned forest in the country, and, at 18 million acres, the largest intact temperate forest in the western hemisphere. The state’s vast landscape supports the largest population of lynx in the lower 48, over 90 percent of the remaining native brook trout habitat in the eastern U.S., and the country’s last stronghold for wild Atlantic salmon.

The field trip will highlight: the Penobscot River Restoration Project, which reconnected 2,000 miles of river to the sea while providing continued power generation; ongoing efforts to replace culverts to improve river health and fish habitat and reduce flooding risks; and the vast 3.5 million acres of forest conservation easements that ensure continued timber culture and wood supply, support fish and wildlife habitat, and maintain public access for recreation.

Speakers will also highlight partnerships from across the Northeast Region and the country, including efforts to conserve at-risk species like the New England cottontail, the region’s only native rabbit, and the greater sage grouse, and efforts to recover listed wildlife including the Canada lynx and red-cockaded woodpecker.

Quotes from conference hosts, sponsors and supporters

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