Nearly one dozen corporate and private landowners across the state were honored last week as the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and Maine Snowmobile Association recognized their efforts during the annual Landowner/Land User Recognition Banquet.
The Pingree Family and Seven Islands Land Company of Bangor joined Maritime and Northeast LLC of Richmond in receiving awards for their generosity in ensuring that public recreation on privately-owned land continues to be part of Maine's outdoor tradition.
“Landowners and responsible land users are the keepers of Maine’s natural resources, and they make possible the outdoor opportunities which we all enjoy and make Maine unique,” said Captain 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 MDIF&W Landowner Relations Program works closely with the Department of Conservation, the Commissioner’s Landowners and Sportsmen Relations Advisory Board (LSRAB), other state agencies, clubs from the various user groups and landowners to proactively address the topic of public access to private land.
Over 1,000 nomination forms were distributed to various user groups and landowners, seeking award nominations this year. The nominations were then reviewed by members of the LSRAB and the Maine Warden Service.
Private landowners owning more than 100 acres of land open to public use honored at the banquet were Bob Linkletter of Athens, Randy Cousineau of Strong, and David Anderson of Topsham.
Organized landowner groups to be recognized were the Penobscot County Conservation Association of Brewer, the Rangeley Region Guides and Sportsmen’s Association, and the Aroostook ATV Club.
Over 90 percent of Maine’s land is privately owned, and outdoor enthusiasts are dependent on the generosity of private landowners to allow public access to their land. The MDIF&W Landowner Relations Program strives to maintain Maine’s unique heritage and ensure that the outdoor recreational opportunities available today will continue to be available to future generations.