Maine’s northern forest is the single largest undeveloped forestland in the eastern United States. Its woods, waters and wildlife create outstanding recreational experiences for Maine people and visitors, bringing good jobs and new opportunities for economic growth. Maine’s Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry houses the state’s core programs that benefit and conserve the North Woods.
Many in the forestry community are preparing for a likely outbreak of spruce budworm in the next few years. Spruce budworm is a destructive native insect that affects the northern spruce and fir forests of the eastern United States and Canada. The last outbreak in Maine in the 1990s was severe and the response included
dramatic clear-cutting and pesticide spraying.
To its credit, the forestry community is now trying to develop a response to the outbreak by planning ahead and reaching out to the environmental community and the public. There will likely be multiple bills related to a future spruce budworm response. We will work with all parties to ensure that the response takes into account the multiple benefits our forests provide, including wildlife habitat and water quality.
The Bureau of Parks and Lands’ (BPL) mission includes protecting and managing the natural and cultural resources under its care in order to offer a wide range of recreational and educational opportunities, as well as providing environmental and economic benefits for present and future generations. It includes 28 Public Lands Units comprising more than 500,000 acres of wild lands that are managed for a variety of resource values, including recreation, wildlife and timber.
Preserve Maine’s public lands for recreation, wildlife and sustainable forestry. Support the essential role Forest Rangers play in enforcing environmental laws.
Maine Audubon DOES NOT support the proposed Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Department’s budget. This budget proposes to break apart Maine’s Bureau of Parks & Lands and slash Maine Forest Ranger law enforcement capacity by 90%.
Maine’s 600,000 acres of public lands should, by law, be managed for multiple public uses: outdoor recreation, wildlife habitat, and sustainable forestry, not for maximum financial extraction
Maine’s Public Lands are iconic and well managed
Maine’s Forest Rangers play an essential role in enforcing important environmental laws; the proposed budget slashes their enforcement capability